Heavy Duty Canvas Stretcher Bars

The larger the canvas, the more important it is to have it supported by a professionally made stretcher. Large canvases are prone to twisting and sagging and only by using a fully keyable, heavy-duty stretcher is it possible to maintain rigidity and proper canvas tension over the life of the painting.

As many artists have discovered, it is very difficult to make a straight stretcher bar longer than 8 feet out of solid wood. The longer the bars, the more likely it is that the wood will bow or twist and make the stretcher frame unusable. We have found that the only reliable way to make long stretcher bars strong and straight is to laminate two or more lengths of wood together. Every heavy-duty bar we use in our large frames has been glued and set in clamped jigs to produce very strong, straight and stable stretcher components.

Upper Canada Stretchers  specializes in making very large stretcher bars and we have extensive experience with frame dimensions over 30 feet across! Our  extra-strong, laminated stretcher bar profiles and sectional, easy-to-assemble splice joints that make it possible to create fully keyable stretchers of any size.

Read More About our Extra Large Stretcher Frame Design Features

DESIGN RECOMMENDATIONS

* The size recommendations for the following profiles assume the maximum tension (raw canvas to be gessoed).

Heavy Duty Basic Stretcher Bar Profile

  • Economical choice for medium to large-sized canvases
  • Laminated design produces very reliable, straight and stable support for canvases
  • Uses heavier 3/4″ x 3″ braces to provide necessary frame support for bars longer than 36″
Buy HD Basic Stretchers Online

RECOMMENDED SIZE RANGE:
24 – 84 inches
(61 – 214 cm)

Heavy Duty Basic stretcher bar for medium and large sized stretched artist canvases


Heavy Duty Standard Stretcher Bar Profile

  • Most commonly used large format stretcher profile
  • Laminated design produces very reliable, straight, and stable support for canvases
  • Uses heavier 3/4″ x 3″ braces to provide necessary frame support for bars longer than 36″. In some cases, our 1-1/8″ extra-heavy-duty braces may be recommended.
  • Bars and braces longer than 96″ (240 cm) are often made in one or two sections using splice joints that are assembled with flush-mounted bolts. This makes it possible to ship large frames by courier and also allows for paintings to be folded for easier transportation once stretched.
Contact us for a quote

RECOMMENDED SIZE RANGE:
72 – 120 inches
(183 – 305 cm)

Heavy Duty Standard stretcher bar for large stretched artist canvases

Heavy Duty Professional Stretcher Bar Profile

  • Ideal for very large frames or smaller frames where very high tension is required
  • Laminated design produces very reliable, straight, and stable support for canvases
  • Thicker profile also provides extra “set-back” space between the canvas and stretcher components, a feature favoured by artists who like to press hard on the canvas when applying paint
  • Uses heavier 3/4″ x 3″ braces to provide necessary frame support for bars longer than 36″. In some cases, our 1-1/8″ extra-heavy-duty braces may be recommended.
  • Bars and braces longer than 96″ (240 cm) are often made in one or two sections using splice joints that are assembled with flush-mounted bolts. This makes it possible to ship large frames by courier and also allows for paintings to be folded for easier transportation once stretched.
Contact us for a quote

RECOMMENDED SIZE RANGE:
up to 144  inches
(up to 366  cm)

Heavy Duty Professional stretcher bar for large and extra large stretched artist canvases


Extra Heavy Duty Standard / Professional Stretcher Bar Profile

  • For extra-large  stretchers over 120″ (300 cm) in length, we use a 3-ply laminated bar with 1-1/8″ x 3″ extra heavy duty braces to provide the necessary structural strength to provide the necessary structural strength to support a well-tensioned canvas
  • Bars and braces longer than 96″ (240 cm) are often made in one or two sections using splice joints that are assembled with flush-mounted bolts. This makes it possible to ship large frames by courier and also allows for paintings to be folded for easier transportation once stretched.
Contact us for a quote

RECOMMENDED SIZE RANGE:
10 – 20 feet
(3 – 6 meters)

 

Extra Heavy Duty Standard stretcher bar for very large stretched artist canvases

Extra Heavy-Duty Standard


Aluminum Stretcher Bars

  • For frames larger than 20 feet or for situations where a slimmer depth is desired than a wooden frame would allow at the size.
  • Also ideal in situations where there are fluctuations in heat and humidity or fire codes prohibit the use of wood stretchers.
  • Click here to learn more about Aluminum Stretcher Frames. Please call 1-800-561-4944 or email us to discuss your unique project requirements.

Buy Aluminum Stretchers up to 96" online

or Contact us for a quote

RECOMMENDED SIZE RANGE:
20 feet & up
(6 meters +)

 

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Below are some examples of the large stretcher frames that Upper Canada Stretchers has created for various clients around the world:

ROMBollywood1&2
15′ x 36′ heavy-duty stretcher frame made for the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada


Assembling a triptych in our shop (three canvases connected to become one large one)


Three canvases 102″ x 74″ connected to form a triptych – primed with acrylic gesso on #10 canvas on Heavy-Duty Professional stretcher

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13′ x 8′ frame to be hung in the Mary Chapel of St. Anthony’s Church in The Woodlands, Texas

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Our on-site stretching services  were  utilized to help stretch this completed 7′ x 20′ painting in Toronto, Ontario

 

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Toronto artist, Lynn Kelly, prepares to stretch raw linen canvas on a 72″ x 120″ Heavy-Duty Standard frame with Extra-Heavy-Duty Bracing (above) and completing the job (below).

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Test fitting a large Heavy-Duty Professional frame in our shop

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There are many factors that we consider in designing proper support for large canvases. Please  fill out our quote form or phone us at 1.800.561.4944 – we are happy to help guide you through your project.