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Old 01-16-2010, 10:00 PM   #1
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Building frame for painter's canvas


This isn't a typical carpentry task, but I have to build a frame for my daughter to show a painting at her college's art gallery. We can't afford to order stretchers from a professional art supply company.

The dimensions of the canvas are 7' x 3-1/2'. As we don't have access to a truck and would prefer not renting one for the day, I am planning to build it as what amounts to two frames to be fastened together at the college. I am ripping two 8" kiln dried douglas fir 2x4s into four 8' pieces . I want to cut six 3-1/2 footers from three of those 8' pieces. From the fourth I want to take one piece and rip it again. The idea is to end up with two square frames, with each square having one thinner side.

The rest of the material will be used to make corner braces and cross braces. If there isn't enough material taken from those two 2X8 boards, I have some scrap.

I plan non mitering the corners, gluing them, and nailing them with a 25 gauge.

One square frame will be bolted or screwed on top of the other frame, with the two thinner sides interfacing one another. I will run a ledger board across the front of the lower part of the frame so as to ensure that when the top square is stacked on it the pieces are parallel.

To get the paintable area of the canvas off the wood, I will tack on some quarter round along the edge.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can do this better on a budget. I don't have the knowledge or equipment for motise and tenons.

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Old 01-16-2010, 11:31 PM   #2
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Building frame for painter's canvas


do you have access to a biscuit joiner? that would work.
otherwise, pre-drill and screw the rails and stiles.

if you have a table saw, half-lap the corners?

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Old 01-17-2010, 09:05 PM   #3
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Building frame for painter's canvas


You might try using 3/4" ply as it's a more dimensionly stable wood. How you buid it depends on the tool situation. If you have a table saw you can do 1/2 lap joints.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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Building frame for painter's canvas


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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
You might try using 3/4" ply as it's a more dimensionly stable wood. How you buid it depends on the tool situation. If you have a table saw you can do 1/2 lap joints.
Ron

Thanks Ron & jlhaslip.

I wanted to go with the 1/2 lap joints, but it was a little shaky cutting them with my old bench saw so my daughter wanted me to do miter joints on the DeWalt miter saw. I think the lap joints would have been stronger and less susceptible to twisnting.

The biscuits idea was a great one, but I don't have access to and have never used a biscuit joiner. That is on the wish list.

This past weeks, I already bought a used Bosch barrel grip jig saw and a new Rigid R4511 granite top table saw. I would have liked to have had the new saw to make this, but the frame has to be finished tomorrow and the saw is being delivered then. (No way is this old man trying to move a 477 pound saw (boxed).)

My daugther is now concerned about the weight and wants to forego bracing. I braced it with 9" corner braces and cross braced each 3-1/2' section. As the two are bolted together to make up one 3-1/2' x 7' canvas stretcher frame, I will glue on a 6" strip of 1/4" plywood at the joint to reduce the wobble.

Thanks for the help. I also cleared a space in the garage for the saw being delivered tomorrow.
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