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Author Topic: Stretching Your Own Prints  (Read 4271 times)
bill proud
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« on: February 19, 2014, 10:25:41 AM »
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Hello,

I recently sold a 30x48 canvas print and had it stretched by an outside vendor. I've now sold a second large print and was thinking I could do this myself. PhotoCraft out of Boulder does my printing and will give me a 2 inch mirror image for the edge.

Where do those of you who do your own stretching get wholesale stretcher bar and middle bar material? 

Any ideas on good staple guns would be helpful as well?

Thanks,

Bill Proud
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Jim Coda
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 12:08:13 PM »
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With some trial and error, I have found Upper Canada Stretcher Bars to be the best.  Here is a link:  http://www.ucsart.com/   UCSB sells several styles of bars.  It recently developed one that I've started using that I like. It's sort of a hybrid stretcher/ strainer bar.  The depth is 1.5 inches.  UCSB calls it a "gallery bar." 

I prefer electric staplers because I do the stretching in my home office.  The two best choices are Duo Fast and Maestri.  I bought a Maestri from Ken Bowles in Sonoma, California, because his store is a short drive from my house.  Here's the link:  http://http://www.upholster.com/toolkits/electric-staple-guns.htm  He also sells a pneumatic gun.

You might also want to get a stretcher pliers.  The one I like is a modified vice grip.  You can get it from Breathing Color or its supplier, Pit Bull, which is located in Southern California.  Here are the links:  http://www.breathingcolor.com/action/bc_shop/226/#.UwTvEIXEFQY  http://www.pitbullwrapstretcher.com/ 

Jim
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bill proud
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 02:09:55 PM »
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Thanks very much Jim I'll give these a look.

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Paul2660
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 03:20:07 PM »
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Note the stretch relief pliers work best on a stretcher bar with a notch on the back. 

Here is a quick write up I did on the pliers.

http://photosofarkansas.com/2013/03/14/031413-review-of-the-breathing-color-stretch-relief-pliers/

Another great bar is the Larson 6011.  1.5" depth.  Larson only sells via a distributor and you will still need the chop join cost.

Paul C


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Paul Caldwell
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bill proud
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 03:52:07 PM »
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Paul,

Jim also mentioned the pliers and I'm curious. The tutorials I found indicate you will get a tight stretch by slightly pounding in the corner wedges and or the brace wedges after stapling but they don't mention pliers.

Is it the larger sizes where you need the pliers?   
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Jim Coda
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 07:08:07 PM »
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Bill, I think you need to watch a video on stretching. Three of the sites I referred you to show how to stretch. I suggest you look at the one by Pit Bull.  If you can stretch by hand, more power to you.  The corners are the hardest part of stretching.  This is also the most likely area where ink will come off the canvas in the stretching/folding process.  Finally, make sure the size of your stretcher frame matches exactly where the break is between the face of the print and the sides (assuming you aren't sacrificing some of the face of the print for the sides).   

Jim
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Paul2660
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 07:49:56 PM »
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Paul,

Jim also mentioned the pliers and I'm curious. The tutorials I found indicate you will get a tight stretch by slightly pounding in the corner wedges and or the brace wedges after stapling but they don't mention pliers.

Is it the larger sizes where you need the pliers?   

Bill

The use of corner wedges really applies to stretching with traditional fletcher pliers.  The corner wedges will allow you to tweak the corner.  I don't use them since the stretch relief pliers give such a tight stretch. 

There is a good video on the breathing color site where the pliers are listed.  Take a minute to switch and some if this will make more sense.  The corners will be the hardest part to perfect. 

The stretch relief design allows so much more control than standard pliers abet with the loss of just a bit more canvas since the pliers need 1" of canvas to get a good bite.

Paul C
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Paul Caldwell
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 06:00:43 AM »
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And do not forget about finishing.
Canvas needs a protective coating.
Rolled or sprayed doesn't matter but it still has to be done.
Dozens of threads here on the subject.
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bill proud
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 11:01:57 AM »
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Hi,

I watched the video and the method looks easier with the pliers, unfortunately they are currently sold out.

I'll have to check and see how much excess canvas I get from my printer for grabbing.

Dan,

Thanks, I did get coating at the printers recommendation.

Thanks again all.
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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 09:05:33 PM »
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I found with the Stretch Relief pliers that I generally need an extra 3 to 3.5" inches all around (6 to 7" added to the height and width). Unfortunately, that's about 3/4" more than some of the standard size rolls for certain sizes. With the right bars though, you may be able to get away with less.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2014, 07:51:53 AM »
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Breathing Color makes a system called Easy Wrap that greatly simplifies and speeds the process. It's more expensive than ordinary stretcher bars, but worth it IMO. Check the video on their web site. My very first wrap, and all since, have been perfect with this system.
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Peter
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bill proud
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2014, 10:29:34 AM »
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Peter,

I looked at the Breathing Color site and it is a good method but I don't think I want seamed corners, which it has. Thanks.

Mike,

I work closely with my printer so I'll be sure and specify the extra 1 and a half in addition to the 2" mirror edge for each side.

Learning more every day. There a lot of videos out there.

Thanks
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PeterAit
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2014, 12:58:00 PM »
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Peter,

I looked at the Breathing Color site and it is a good method but I don't think I want seamed corners, which it has. Thanks.


Hi Bill,

What's a seamed corner? What's the alternative? I'm pretty new at this as well. Thanks!
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Peter
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bill proud
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2014, 01:22:02 PM »
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Peter,

Not sure I can explain this clearly, maybe someone else with more experience can chime in.

Watching the Breathing Color video they first cut a diagonal on the canvas from corner to corner of adjacent stretchers. Then they cut a straight line out of that remaining triangle and they fold each piece into its stretcher leg. Then when they rotate the legs up to their closed position there is a seam that shows.

The other method I viewed is to gather the excess canvas at each corner, trim a little and fold the rest up and over the leg to the back side and staple this to the back, kind of like a Christmas present wrap.

This, to me seems to be a cleaner appearance.

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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 09:55:26 PM »
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The 'seamed' method uses their 'Easy Wrap' system.  The Christmas wrap corners Wink are what we generally use for traditional canvas wraps.  I personally don't like the easy wrap systems (Hahnemuhle also has this and there's others around too).
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2014, 05:59:09 AM »
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The 'seamed' method uses their 'Easy Wrap' system.  The Christmas wrap corners Wink are what we generally use for traditional canvas wraps.  I personally don't like the easy wrap systems (Hahnemuhle also has this and there's others around too).

+1. I also prefer to use the Christmas corners. IMHO it looks less manufactured and has more of a human touch to it, more character perhaps.
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Jason DiMichele
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bill proud
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2014, 10:50:47 AM »
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Hi,

As an update on this topic, I was able to order stretcher bar in 12 foot lengths, cut to 6 foot for shipping purposes, from Breathing Color. This really cuts costs but the tradeoff is I have to do more labor.

The PitBull pliers are still back ordered, I'll get a $40.00 pair of pliers and see how they work.

I have a 12x22 inch canvas print in hand waiting for the lumber.

I also found a guy with canvas experience who is going to show me how to finish the corners.

Thanks all,

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Mike Guilbault
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« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2014, 10:07:23 PM »
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If forgot to mention earlier that, like Jim, I use the http://www.ucsart.com Gallery Bars (stretchers).  I've switched all my canvas products to these.  Fortunately, I live only a couple hours from them so shipping isn't outrageous. Service and delivery has been excellent too.  I use a pneumatic stapler as well, a Porter Cable US58 Upholstery Stapler, and very pleased with it.  I can get the staples at my local Home Depot too.
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Jason DiMichele
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2014, 02:58:05 PM »
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If forgot to mention earlier that, like Jim, I use the http://www.ucsart.com Gallery Bars (stretchers).  I've switched all my canvas products to these.  Fortunately, I live only a couple hours from them so shipping isn't outrageous. Service and delivery has been excellent too.  I use a pneumatic stapler as well, a Porter Cable US58 Upholstery Stapler, and very pleased with it.  I can get the staples at my local Home Depot too.

+1. Same here.

Cheers!
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Jason DiMichele
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bill proud
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« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2014, 01:16:58 PM »
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I did my first canvas stretch yesterday, a 12x22 from wholesale stretcher bar purchased from Breathing Color.

The $40.00 pliers are marginal, the fulcrum point is small and slips easily. I'll need the Pitbull pliers.

I did have 3 and 1/2 inches of excess canvas on all sides.

I measured the front side for wrap excess, which was an even 3-1/2" and then penciled the back side in 3-1/2" on all four sides. This gave me the frame outline.

It was then easy to see where the frame sits in relation to the backside of the canvas.

I stapled with a Stanley hand construction stapler I already had. It can be done but I'll need a pneumatic. Some of the staples didn't go all the way in and I had to hammer them in smooth.

The hardest part is the corner. I watched several videos for technique. I didn't want to cut off too much material but finally figured it out and it looks good and it is tight with no ripples.

Jim, Mike, thanks for those links, they helped a lot.  

Here is the print I did.
 

  


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