Easy Assembly

3 Stretcher Profiles

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

Durable and rigid Dead Straight Stretchers 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 components are milled to a tolerance of 1/64". Molding is one continuous solid length. Molding is produced in lengths from 6" to 168" and longer from clear select grade American Tulipwood.

Dado Joint Dado Joint

Stretcher 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 for 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 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 stretchers 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 stretchers. In addition to its asset as a raw material, we also value Tulipwood as a sustainable managed forest product that is environ- mentally 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 assemble in 5 to 10 minutes with just a mallet or hammer. Even mural size stretchers! No special woodworking skills are necessary. Stretchers assemble without glue, screws or nails, and can be disassembled for moving or shipping. Fully assembled stretchers offer artists the proper resistance for delicate to aggressive stretching and painting techniques. For larger stretchers, or for permanent assembly, glueing the joints is recommended.

Stretcher 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 frame size. The illustration below illustrates the five most common crossbar formats for square/rectangular stretchers . When ordering, we will recommend a crossbar option for your selected frame - or you can choose your own configuration.

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 attchments 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. We have built stretcher 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 fcrossbar configurations for rectangular and square stretchers are shown above. On our order form, we will recommend a format for your stretcher, 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 stretchers 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 specfications.

Ask about our custom-made Decorative Frames

designed to perfectly fit any of our 3 stretcher styles. Available in a large assortment of wood types.