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Can my new frame be salvageable?

Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding

Monduras

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Oct 20, 2020
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New York
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Bank
I am new here, and have never made a canvas frame before. I am building a 60x40 frame for my wife's art and have a warp in a corner. I've built it using 1x2's and quarter-rounds I've cut out from wood i thought was straight that I bought at Lowe's. At the store it looked pretty straight, but i think at home before I put the frame together one of the 60s developed a bow. I wet the bowed side and put it on a metal straight edge with clamps to flatten out. It looked like it was getting straighter so i put it in the frame thinking the rest of the frame will straighten it out. however, after putting everything together (no canvas yet) the bow is back and causing one of the frame sides to stick out about 2-3 inches.

Is there anything I can do to straighten this out without having to take the frame apart? I tried adding a turnbuckle with wire across but it doesn't seem to be helping that much.

IMG_8329.jpg
 
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Framar

WOW Framer
Joined
Jul 24, 2001
Messages
25,835
Location
Buffalo, New York, USA/Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
You might be able to straighten it if you remove the warped rail, wet it thoroughly, and clamp it between two really straight strong pieces of wood, and leave it dry for a couple of weeks. Or just go buy another piece of wood and try again.

Lumber yard wood from a place like Lowe's is probably not meant or needed to be that straight as in a stretcher frame.

Try an art supply store and buy some real stretchers.

And good luck!
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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11,975
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Eastern Ontario
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The road to Frustration City is paved with twisted sticks.

I learned long ago to walk away. Twisted pieces are made into 8x10s at best.

Take your time, eyeball every piece before you head to the cashier, and you’ll never have to travel that twisted road.

Btw: welcome to the Grumble!
 

Monduras

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Joined
Oct 20, 2020
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Location
New York
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Bank
The road to Frustration City is paved with twisted sticks.

I learned long ago to walk away. Twisted pieces are made into 8x10s at best.

Take your time, eyeball every piece before you head to the cashier, and you’ll never have to travel that twisted road.

Btw: welcome to the Grumble!
so i am stuck in disassembling and taking the twisted board out? ugh what a waste of time :(
 

neilframer

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Welcome to the Grumble.
As mentioned, you are better off buying stretcher bar or strainer stock than trying to make it if you have access to framing supply companies or as mentioned you can buy stretcher bars by length or buy them larger and cut them to length.
Although, even the stretcher bar or strainer stock can be warped as well.

Sometimes in framing (and other things), The easy way becomes the hard way and the hard way becomes easy.
You can waste a lot of time and energy trying to fix rather than replace the bad piece.
Ask me how I know this....:rolleyes:
I'm a 51 year framer still working full time.
Good luck with your project.:thumbsup:
 
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tedh

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Can’t tell you how many times I’ve cursed suppliers for shipping twisted lengths. I sight every frame I join before leaving the workshop, asking Our Lady of Straight Lines to bless each one.
 

Monduras

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Oct 20, 2020
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New York
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Bank
Welcome to the Grumble.
As mentioned, you are better off buying stretcher bar or strainer stock than trying to make it if you have access to framing supply companies or as mentioned you can buy stretcher bars by length or buy them larger and cut them to length.
Although, even the stretcher bar or strainer stock can be warped as well.

Sometimes in framing (and other things), The easy way becomes the hard way and the hard way becomes easy.
You can waste a lot of time and energy trying to fix rather than replace the bad piece.
Ask me how I know this....:rolleyes:
I'm a 51 year framer still working full time.
Good luck with your project.:thumbsup:
thanks... so i glued and screwed the frame up... what's the most efficient way for me to disassemble that 60 out of the frame and maybe replace it with a diff 60? should i cut at the joint or is there a more elegant solution?
 

Monduras

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Oct 20, 2020
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New York
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alternatively... how can i keep the wood i get at the store as straight as possible so it doesn't warp? i think i bought the wood straight and then at home it warped.
 

neilframer

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thanks... so i glued and screwed the frame up... what's the most efficient way for me to disassemble that 60 out of the frame and maybe replace it with a diff 60? should i cut at the joint or is there a more elegant solution?
I would use a chop saw if you have one.
Set it at 45° and cut the joint on the 60" side to not take any wood from the good short sides.
Don't cut thru screws if you have them in the corners.

I don't know how the corners are glued or screwed or nailed, but you might be able to just bang that side off with a hammer.
Depending on how the cross braces are attached, once the corners are cut you can probably just hammer or hammer and chisel the braces loose from the 60" side.
Then just put in the new side with glue, drywall screws, finishing nails whatever you might have.
Since it's not a frame, it really doesn't have to be perfect, just the right size and level.
Nobody will see the corners and as long as you can just re-glue and nail or staple the corners and the braces you should be good to go.

Just one other thought...
Are you sure that you've identified the 60" piece that's bad?
If it's a bow then you can look from the side or just put a straight edge on the piece to see the bow.
If it's a "corkscrew" twist, then you have to look down from the top with the stretcher standing up as it is in your picture to see the twist.
 
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Hoffmann Dovetail Joining System

Monduras

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Joined
Oct 20, 2020
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Location
New York
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Bank
I would use a chop saw if you have one.
Set it at 45° and cut the joint on the 60" side to not take any wood from the good short sides.
Don't cut thru screws if you have them in the corners.

I don't know how the corners are glued or screwed or nailed, but you might be able to just bang that side off with a hammer.
Depending on how the cross braces are attached, once the corners are cut you can probably just hammer or hammer and chisel the braces loose from the 60" side.
Then just put in the new side with glue, drywall screws, finishing nails whatever you might have.
Since it's not a frame, it really doesn't have to be perfect, just the right size and level.
Nobody will see the corners and as long as you can just re-glue and nail or staple the corners and the braces you should be good to go.

Just one other thought...
Are you sure that you've identified the 60" piece that's bad?
If it's a bow then you can look from the side or just put a straight edge on the piece to see the bow.
If it's a "corkscrew" twist, then you have to look down from the top with the stretcher stand-in up as it is in your picture to see the twist.
thanks! yea i think so, it's the left 60' it's the only one with the visible bend. here's some photos of that piece

IMG-8331.jpg

IMG-8334.jpg

here's the other side where i think it's good

IMG-8333.jpg
 

CHolt

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
114
Your board looked straight at the store and changed shape in your shop because of the change in environment. Best to let the the boards acclimatize before construction. You will see the dimensional instability after a few days, no guarantee though. Those timbers are meant for other uses.
 

CHolt

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
114
Your board looked straight at the store and changed shape in your shop because of the change in environment. Best to let the the boards acclimatize before construction. You will see the dimensional instability after a few days, no guarantee though. Those timbers are meant for other uses.
More constructive suggestion...can you fabricate the stretcher frame from MDF? You could still use the 1/4 round for the stand-off. MDF will barely deflect because it's engineered not to.
 

wpfay

Comfort Badger
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Sep 1, 2000
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12,346
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Jacksonville Beach, FL USA
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Sunshine Frames
Welcome to the G.

First, what has been said about pre-milled stretcher/strainer stock being a better choice if you factor your time at all. You can find it in finger-jointed pine, and Basswood. In a pinch I have used an architectural moulding called Brick Stop to make fixed stretchers (technically strainers, as stretcher implies the ability to tension the canvas after it is stapled to the sub-frame).

One way to have greater success is to use No.1 clear pine, available at both HD and Lowes, as opposed to anything with knots in it. Better yet, if you have a source for Basswood, use that. Basswood is much more dimensionally stable than either pine or poplar.

Unrelated suggestion: Ease the edge of the quarter round that the canvas will be wrapped over a bit. The crisp edge looks nice, but a smoother transition will allow for easier stretching and less stress on the fabric.

Despite the tricks to straighten the piece of wood, you might be better served by replacing it. If the environmental conditions repeat themselves that caused the initial warp, it might happen again.
 
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Nikodeumus

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
856
Location
Comox, BC, Canada
Alas, I have had similar problems with larger canvas frames.
I just consider it a learning moment and try to figure out what not to do next time.
I salvage what I can and start over. and move on.
The remnants are large enough to be cut down for smaller projects, so it's not a total waste of money.
The new frame will be even better than the first because you will make improvements based on what you've learned.
 

TWOMEYCREATIVE

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Seattle WA
Business
Annie's Art & Frame
I am new here, and have never made a canvas frame before. I am building a 60x40 frame for my wife's art and have a warp in a corner. I've built it using 1x2's and quarter-rounds I've cut out from wood i thought was straight that I bought at Lowe's. At the store it looked pretty straight, but i think at home before I put the frame together one of the 60s developed a bow. I wet the bowed side and put it on a metal straight edge with clamps to flatten out. It looked like it was getting straighter so i put it in the frame thinking the rest of the frame will straighten it out. however, after putting everything together (no canvas yet) the bow is back and causing one of the frame sides to stick out about 2-3 inches.

Is there anything I can do to straighten this out without having to take the frame apart? I tried adding a turnbuckle with wire across but it doesn't seem to be helping that much.

View attachment 36063
@Monduras have you built the outer frame for it? Or will it only be stretched ?
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
9,182
Location
Wayzata, Minnesota
What Wally said about the knots.

For framing or strainers you should buy finish grade lumber (the best stuff).

I've made lots of strainers and the finish grade lumber from Home Improvement stores is usually better than the standard strainer stock from my suppliers.
 
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