Museum Quality Art Supports since 1967: John Annesley Company category_view="list"

Heavy Duty Traditional Wood Keyed Stretchers

John Annesley Company offers 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 lose 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.
Our most popular heavy 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; made to order.
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 are outlined below.
Heavy Duty Stretcher 3/8'' bead (H1)
Overall stretcher bar thickness (depth) is 1+1/8" while the width is 2+1/2".  Mortise and tenon bracing is 3/4" x 2+1/2" Clear, straight basswood is used, with a 3/8" bead made from poplar which raises fabric above the face of the stretchers. This profile is designed for the artist who posesses a light touch in their painting techniques. Sealing with shellac is optional.
Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars, 1/4'' bead (H2)
Oerall thickness (depth) is 1" 
This profile is designed for the painting conservator, for the restretching of existing works with little tacking edge on the canvas. Also can be used with shallow picture frames. The bead raises fabric 1/4" above the stretchers.Same price as H1 stretcher, above.
NOTE: we also make a version with no bead which is 3/4" deep with a slight bevel and 5/8" instead of 3/4" thick braces- for conservation use.
Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars, 1+3/4'' 
wrap around (H3)
The 1+3/4" depth of these heavy duty stretchers is designed for art fabric to be wrapped around the edges of the stretcher bars and tacked in back. This means the sides can be painted (gallery wrap), eliminating the need for framing. (We do make fine floater frames for these as well). Artists who use a moderate to heavy touch should consider these as they raise fabric 5/8" off the stretchers and braces.
Heavy Duty Stretcher Bars 2+1/2'' 
deep wrap around (H4)
Overall profile is 2+1/2" deep and 3" wide. Same as H3 above with the following differences: Raises fabric 1+1/4" off the stretcher bars and braces, and has a 1/2" recesss in back. It tends to make a bolder statement when hanging on the wall. Adds much more stiffness and strength to the art support. 

Available assembled or in kit form with instructions - reduces shipping charges. We assemble all stretchers, final sand & mark corners and braces for easy re-assembly, then dis-assemble and package the stretchers.

Detailed assembly video for our wood keyed stretchers and bracing.