large strainer support


Grumbler in Training
Mar 17, 2005
new orleans, la
i have been requested to construct a strainer/support substrate for a textile conservator. the support needs to be 9' x 18'.
usually we build the support out of strainer bars that have sealed with varathane but none have been quite this large. fabic is then stretched over this frame support and then the textile is then stitched onto this fabric. am looking for any alternate ideas and any all suggestions for building something on this scale.
Out of the box.

Go talk to a few set designers about constructing "Flats" which are a type of set screen.

9x18 sound like a coupled 4 flats...
Literally a wall.

What kind of frame are you putting around it? :D
There are aluminum extrusions that can be used
to make strainers, but the connectors available
for use with them do not create structures that
are as strong as one might wish. A strainer that
is made, not from solid wooden members, but rather
from thinner pieces of wood that are rabbeted and
glued together to form "L" shapes or right triangles permit the constuction of lighter but
more rigid strainers, with more options available
for stronger corner joints, i.e. plates with
screws going through them.

I did a job about this size some years ago. It was 10' x 20'.

We "dry fitted" 3 individual sections in the shop that could be bolted together. We then disassembled the 3 sections and took them to the site where the painting was to be hung. The 3 sections were then put back together and the painting was stretched.
It was a 2 person job done by 3 (the artist).

BTY, the artist was in a hurry to leave and assisted in placing the carpet tube that held the canvas back into my van. He slammed the back door and CRASH
the tube went straight through the windshield.
He did not angle the tube from side to side and it did not fit.
He did (would) not pay for the windshield.
I've reassembled a few of these monsters for a local gallery. The pieces were just too big to ship assembled. The largest was made, as Hugh suggested, with 2 pieces of 1"x material joined in an "L" configuration. There were 5 panels screwed together with multiple cross bracing and "Lebron" style tensioning devices in both the corners and the cross bracing.
If you don't feel up to starting from scratch you might contact Jimmy Lebron (718) 274-0532.
Good Luck.
being a little green(left overs from st. pat's) when it comes to building walls i may need more specifics - when you say 2 pieces of 1"x material rabbeted and glued together to form an "L" - what type of wood pieces should i get - what type of joint is best miter, biscuit, lap? - what's the best way to join the "L"'s - how large should the "L" be.? diagrams/visuals wouldhelp my comprehension.
the plan is to dry fit and then assemble the pieces on site. this particular item is not to be framed.
2 questions (for now)
Does the stretcher need to be tensionable?
Will the frame ever need to be disassembled at any point in the future?
no to both questions.
fabric - probably a linen will be stretched over the supports and stapled on the back side. that part is to be done by the conservator.