Easy Assembly

3 stretcher / strainer bar Profiles

  • Standard Standard
  • Medium Medium
  • Heavy-Duty Heavy-Duty
Stretcher Profiles Specs

Durable and rigid Dead Straight Stretchers/Strainer Bars come in three profile designs: Standard, Medium, and Heavy Duty. Matching crossbars are available for each profile.

Molding is milled to meet architectural millwork standards of 6-8% moisture content. Stretcher/strainer bar components are milled to a tolerance of 1/64". Molding is one continuous solid length and is produced in lengths from 6" to 168" and longer from clear select grade American Tulipwood.

Dado Joint Dado Joint

Stretcher/strainer bar designs feature a molded radius edge with a high canvas clearance that lifts the painting surface up and away from the underlying structure. This prevents ghost imaging from occurring and allows air to flow freely behind the canvas, enhancing the life of the artwork.

Crossbars are an essential part of the strength and function of all three profile groups. An integrated crossbar system lends integrity to any size stretcher/strainer bar from miniature to mural size.

Perfectly registered Dado joints are cut wherever crossbars intersect.  We use many standard and custom crossbar formats. 

American Tulipwood

Our stretcher/strainer bars feature American Tulipwood because of its strength and straightness. It is an open grained hardwood that effectively accepts and holds staples. The Tulip tree yields wide, long boards of clear sawn lumber. It is ideal for making high performance stretcher/strainer bars. In addition to its asset as a raw material, we also value Tulipwood as a sustainable managed forest product that is environmentally friendly.

American Tulip

An American Tulipwood pavilion designed by architect David Adjaye and sponsored by the American Hardwood Council was featured at the London Design Festival. Click on the link to view.
David Adjaye American Tulipwood Pavilion Video

More commonly known as yellow poplar, American Tulipwood is the largest hardwood tree in the United States. Its name is derived from Tulip-like blooms found in the tree's crown.

Easy Assembly

Dead Straight Stretchers/Strainer Bars assemble in 5 to 10 minutes with just a mallet or hammer, even mural size bars! No special woodworking skills are necessary. They assemble without glue, screws, or nails, and can be disassembled for moving or shipping. Fully assembled stretcher/strainer bars offer artists the proper resistance for delicate to aggressive stretching and painting techniques. For larger stretcher/strainer bars, or for permanent assembly, gluing the joints is recommended.

Stretcher/strainer keys are made of high density polymer (HDP), and insert into precisely cut keyways for fast, strong assembly.

Cross-brace configurations depend on your stretcher/strainer bar frame size. The illustration below shows the five most common crossbar formats for square/rectangular stretcher/strainer bars.

Easy Assembly
  • Easy Assembly - Step 1
  • Easy Assembly - Step 2
  • Easy Assembly - Step 3
  • Easy Assembly - Step 4
  • Easy Assembly - Step 5
  • Easy Assembly - Step 6
We recommend assembling your product upon arrival. Always store your frames in a dry humidity-controlled climate on a flat surface.
  • Unique Dovetail Design Our unique dovetail design ensures corners and cross brace attachments are sturdy and true. Sometimes the most simple design is simply the best design.
  • Large or Small Frame Sizes No job is too large or too small for Dead Straight Stretchers. We have built stretcher/strainer bars so long, we’ve had to knock out parts of our wall to get them out the door!
  • Crossbar Formats Crossbar Formats: The five basic crossbar configurations for rectangular and square stretcher/strainer bars are shown above. On our order form, we will recommend a format for your stretcher/strainer bars based on the size – or choose one of your own.

We Do Curves

Curved Frame

We specialize in shaped supports and surfaces for architectural spaces. We can make any configuration, including gothic arches, round arches, ellipses, ovals, quarter-rounds, half-rounds, full rounds and unique custom shapes.

Our heavy-duty curved stock is fully molded on special millwork machines and is made from 100% clear American Tulipwood. Shaped stretcher/strainer bars assemble fast and strong with Dead Straight dovetail keys.

Contact us with your circular frame requirements, and we will provide a price quote based on your specifications.