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Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars

John Annesley Company offers these heavy duty wood-keyed stretcher bar solutions in four depths and configurations. All our stretcher bars are made from solid basswood which is a very light weight and straight grain hardwood with an almost neutral PH. What this means is that the stretchers are light, strong, guaranteed to be warp free, and are much less likely, than stretchers made from others woods, to react with paints in any negative fashion. Plus we provide a variety of edge treatments(bead) for our stretchers, allowing for a variety of framing options and painting techniques.

Much like a human face, the fabric on stretcher bars is affected by gravity and sags over time. Both linen and cotton duck show their sensitivity to heat and cold by expanding and contracting. Over time, the fabric fatigues and begins to loose its resiliency. Traditionally, the wooden keys hammered into the corners of the stretcher bars have been used to further expand and lengthen the bars to take up the fabric slack.

Detail of A Wood Key

Our most popular normal duty stretcher bars, the Thin Wraparounds (H3) are strong, museum quality stretchers with a 1-3/4" depth profile. The design of the bars is an interlocking t-section created by insetting, glueing and nailing the inner and outer pieces of wood together. This design makes an extremely rigid stretcher with three times the tensile strength and warp resistance of a single length of wood. The front face of the "T" design has a beveled edge which raises your art fabric 5/8" off the face of the stretcher bars. A 3/8" recess in back of the stretcher makes it easy to tack art fabric edges, allows for tighter corners, and the space to inset of a backing board, while still maintaining room for a hanging system. There are double slip mortise and tenon miter joints in each corner, plus mortise and tenon bracing. Braces are 3/4" X 1-3/4". Like all our products, the Thin Wraparound is made from kiln-dried basswood, beautifully crafted to exacting tolerances. These stretcher bars are totally free of knots and other physical defects. All joints are expandable through the use of traditional wooden-keyed system.

We custom build all our stretcher bars to standard, fractional and metric sizes; Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars and Museum Bars® can go up to 40 feet!
We offer four models of our heavy duty stretcher bars:
H1 1-1/8" deep, H2 1" deep, H3 1-3/4" deep, and H4 2-1/2" deep. Details on these products is outlined below.

Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars
- Product Details


Profile of Heavy Duty Stretcher Bar

Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars, (H1) 3/8" Bead
Overall stretcher bar thickness (depth) is 1-1/8", 2-1/2" wide. Inner-locked braces are 3/4" x 2-1/2". Only knot-free basswood is used in the fabrication. This profile is designed for the artists who possess a light touch in their painting techniques. Shellac sealing is optional.

$ $ Click here for (H1) pricing. $ $

Front of Heavy duty stretcher bars - H1 Back of heavy duty stretcher bars - H1

Profile of Heavy Duty Stretcher Bar

Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars, (H2) 1/4" Bead
Overall thickness (depth) is 1", 2-1/2" wide. Bracing is 3/4" x 2-1/2". This profile is designed for the painting conservator, for the restretching of existing works with little or no tacking edge on the canvas. Also can be used with shallow picture frames. Same price as H1 stretcher bars, above.

$ $ Click here for (H2) pricing. $ $

Front of Heavy duty stretcher bars - H2 Back of heavy duty stretcher bars - H2

Profile of Heavy Duty Stretcher Bar

Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars, (H3) 1-3/4" Thin Wraparound
The 1-3/4" thickness of our heavy duty stretcher bars is designed for art fabric to be wrapped around the edges of the stretcher bars. This means the sides can be painted (gallery wrap), eliminating the need for framing. Artists who use a moderate to heavy touch should consider using the H3 option in order to prevent the appearance of lines in the paint film which can occur as a result of pressing stretched fabric into contact with the body of the stretcher bars or braces.

$ $ Click here for (H3) pricing. $ $

Front of thin wraparound stretcher bars - H3 Back of thin wraparound stretcher bars - H3

Profile of Heavy Duty Stretcher Bar

Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars, (H4) 2-1/2" Deep Wraparound
Overall is 3" wide x 2-1/2" deep. Same as above with the following differences: Raises fabric 1-1/4" off the stretcher bars and braces, and has a 1/2" recess in back. It tends to make a bolder statement when hanging on the wall. Adds much more stiffness and strength to the art support, but is heavier for transpotation.

$ $ Click here for (H4) pricing. $ $

Front of Heavy duty stretcher bars - H4 Back of heavy duty stretcher bars - H4

We build to standard, fractional and metric sizes up to 40 feet!
We offer three types of stretcher bars:

  • Normal Duty Stretcher Bars       stretcher bar prices $
  • Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars        stretcher bar prices $
  • Expansion Bolt Stretcher Bars    stretcher bar prices $
  • Stretcher Bars Tutorials

    Take a look at our training video "How to Stretch Canvas".
    We encourage you to check out this wonderful MP4 movie.
    Click on one of the following titles to view a "how-to" slideshow:
    How to Assemble Wood Keyed Stretcher Bars

    Using the Keys on Wood Keyed Stretcher Bars

    How to Install and Adjust a Wood Key Stretcher Using a Turnbuckle Adjuster

    Scroll down for Product Details

    Testimonials - Stretcher Bars

    As I was carrying a painting in London down Piccadilly to the Royal Academy of Arts, I was stopped by so many people, especially artists. Actually, they were not so much interested in the front of my painting as the back - they all admired your beautiful, practical, and sturdy stretcher bars. As one passer-by said, "This is a fine piece of furniture!"
    I would never buy my stretchers anywhere else!
    Many thanks for your great work,
    Monroe Hodder

    Will you please give me prices for the following sizes of H1 stretchers, and with linen stretched by you (the same linen used the last time I ordered from you -- I'll bet your records are better than mine). I have so many of the Tri-Mar stretchers sitting around, but I can't work on them anymore because your stretchers have spoiled me ! ! !
    David Hannah, San Francisco, CA

    I bought a few supports from y'all last year and loved them. Your work is wonderful! Now I would like to order more.... Thank you!
    Lance Whitner
    Steamboat Springs, Colorado

    Everything arrived yesterday afternoon in perfect condition. These are much better quality stretchers than the ones I'm using now.
    Timothy Rudd
    Houston, Texas

    Just wanted to let you know how much Bob (and I) appreciate your help with this time pressing situation. Bob really respects you and holds your friendship close to his heart. You have always done beautiful things for him and he is in awe every time he gets to paint on your stretcher bars....
    All the best and thanks again,
    Quinn Morrison
    Assistant to Bob Nugent
    Santa Rosa, California

    Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars Kits

    We offer these kits because it costs much less to ship the larger sizes when they are disassembled. When we prepared the kits, first, all our bars and braces are pre-assembled and each intersection is marked A to A and B to B, etc. The parts are then disassembled into a kit. The bars and braces will fit perfectly with one another as long as attention is paid to the markings.

    Don't forget to order the fabric you need. We have a wide range of linens, cotton canvas and polyester we can stretch for you. Or you can stretch fabric yourself and use a John Annesley-designed canvas pliers.

    Take a look at our training video "How to Stretch Canvas".
    We encourage you to check out this wonderful MP4 movie.


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