How to assemble Stretcher Frames With Universal Braces


“Just received the stretchers and put them together. The new stock brace system is great, nice materials. Now I need to place another order ……”

Michael Bromley: Professional Artist; Regina, Saskatchewan


Stretcher Frame Components

Stretcher Frame Components (supplied):
stretcher bars, braces, brace mounting brackets, screws and keys

Tools Required:
rubber mallet, Phillips or Robertson (#2) screwdriver, measuring tape




The first step is to fasten the brackets to the stretcher bars.

Insert the provided 1-½" screws into the holes in the bracket. Each stretcher bar 36" and over (30" or longer for Basic or Gallery profile bars) will be marked with two small indents near the center of the bar for aligning the bracket using the screws. (The exception are 72" Professional stretcher bars which will be marked for two braces each).


When installing brackets on our BasicStandard or Professional stretcher bars, make sure the back edges of the bracket are flush, as shown. This provides the maximum "setback" (space) between the canvas and braces.

For our Gallery bars, the bracket will be centered based on the outer edge.

Bracket alignment for various stretcher bar profiles

Dados cut into cross-braces allow them to nest together


Next, assemble any cross-braces.

All braces 36" and longer (30" and longer for Basic or Gallery) will come with dado joints cut into them that allow the braces to nest together flush when crossed. Use the supplied ½" screw and sleeve nut to fasten each nesting pair during assembly.

The pieces are now prepared and you can start putting the frame together, as below: