Welcome to Tradestretcherbars

There are many reasons why our bars are well known for their quality, but the main reason is their reliability.  You can count on our bars to give you a great result everytime you stretch a canvas.


Imported Chinese stretcher bars manufactured from Paulownia or fir are light and economical but the wood is often heavily knotted and rough.  Additionally, the joints are not accurately cut, so the frames can be very hard to square up.  Plastic wedges don't help with the presentation of the finished frame.  European grades vary in quality, but we feel our bars stand out from these because of the way they are manufactured. 

Kiln Dried Baltic Pine

Our bars are all made from Baltic pine.  Trees grown in the cold northern European pine forests have closer growth rings and give a stronger and more stable wood.  Once the wood has been planked in the sawmill it is put into large kilns where it is dried until the wood contains the optimum percantage of moisture. 

Laminated Construction

Our stretcher bars are exclusively manufactured from laminated pine.  This means that the wooden members are made up of smaller strips of wood glued together.  This makes a bar that is far stronger and more stable than made of solid wood.  All the knots are cut out during the manufacturing process so the bars will not warp.  In five years we have only replaced two warped stretcher bars.


Each bar comes with two wooden wedges.  These are used to re-tension the frame if the canvas slackens off.  The traditional mitre cut mortise and tenon construction of the corners means that no gluing or screwing is necessary.  If the canvas needs to be re-tensioned later in its life it is a simple matter of knocking out the wedges and the frame expands. 


When the moulding is planed the wood is left very smooth and clean.  This is because the cutting blades are precision cut in Germany and never used blunt.

Our workshop prides itself of using sharp tools.  This means cleanly cut accurate corners and a minimum of splinters.  A joint cut at exactly 45 degrees wll always square up easily.

Each bar has a 1mm blunt end.  This is to stop the sharp end of the bar tearing through the canvas.  It's a small detail, but you'll appreciate it when you use our bars.

The bars are all cut 3mm short of the nominal size.  This is done to compensate for the canvas thickness.  The finished frame will be the correct size.