Aluminum Stretcher Bars
Upper Canada Stretchers offers architectural-grade aluminum stretcher bars which are ideal for very large canvases (up to 50 ft and more!)
Typically, aluminum stretcher frames offer advantages in the following situations:
- where large canvases need to be stretched on a relatively thin stretcher frame
- where exposure to large variations in heat and moisture levels exist (outdoors, or in tropical/cold climates)
- where tolerances for movement within the stretcher frame are very small
- where fire code regulations make the use of wood stretchers unacceptable
- where artists wish to keep a "master frame" for painting which will stand up to repeated reuse
Available in two thicknesses, 40mm (1-9/16") and 27mm (1-1/16"), these aluminum bars are fitted with a plywood backing strip to permit stapling of the canvas and a mechanical keying system for the corner joints and braces allows for fine-tuned adjustment of tension throughout the canvas. These aluminum frames are easily taken apart and reassembled, making it possible to move, ship, and store even oversized canvases (please let us know during quoting if you wish to fold the canvas while stretched). These stretchers will maintain their integrity through adverse conditions and have a high degree of resistence to corrosion.
There is a misconception around the weight of aluminum stretcher frames. Many people assume an aluminum frame will be lighter than an all-wood one, however, this is not usually the case. While aluminum is one of the lightest metals available, a frame made entirely out of aluminum will generally be 30% to 50% heavier than one made of wood. Aluminum stretcher bars can be made thinner than equivalent wooden ones but the weight will be greater.
The cost of making aluminum frames is also higher than all-wood designs, mainly due to the higher cost of materials and machining.