Lebron stretcher frame

Terry Hart cpf

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sep 23, 2003
Excelsior, MN
Has anyone made a "Lebron" stretcher frame? I'm looking at one in the Decor Framer's Woorkbook. Does it really work? Is it worth the effort? The instructions seem to lack some details. I need to make a 2in. deep stretcher for a canvas that will not be framed and don't want to use the pre fab type that slide together as the corners seem weak and tend to "butterfly". If the tight joint fastener is placed near the back of the frame will it properly expand the front? I'm thinking of adding an extra dowel towards the front of the stretcher for strength and stability. Good idea? Others? Thanks, Terry
It is the Cadillac of stretchers. It applies pressure in both directions (in - out). The 2 rigid pins will prevent torking.

The last time I used the system it was on a stretched canvas 120" x 240". My bars were 1 1/2" x 3" milled from 6% kiln dried poplar. Cross braces were slightly smaller.
Thanks Jerome. So apparently you don't think an extra dowel towards the front of the stetcher would be neccesary for 2" deep bars? This frame will be a mere 35"x66" but it has to be the best I can make. Terry
There is nothing wrong with over-engineering with moderation. Anything to an excess is bad for your health.

A third rigid steel pin is not a big deal to do. Go for it. The long side might be better with a single brace. The size you mention would be fine with 1" x 2.5" stock. I assume the 2" depth of the stretcher is a visual thing only.

[ 01-27-2004, 11:31 AM: Message edited by: JFeig ]
The Lebron was made by a man named Tim Moore from DC quite a few years ago from what I know. The place that makes them hear is called Archival Art ervices, 202.667.3575. The owner now is Bill BUtler and his place is known as one of the best in DC.
They are not cheap, but they are heavy duty.
Ok, I finished the bars (with great effort). They seem to work great but I think I need to make some sort of jig for next time. What do you use? seems to me I need to charge for at least 1/2 hr per corner (+ materials of course). Does that sound like the right ballpark to you? First I tried marking & drilling holes on both sides of the inside of the mitre but could'nt do it accuratley enough. I'm useing a standard drill with guide that adjusts to various angles. In the end what worked best for me was to do the Tite Joint fastener first, insert it & draw the corner together then drill all the way through from the outside of the corner for the dowels. I used wooden dowels per the example in the Decor Framers Workbook. Steel pins sound like a good idea. Do you use the rolled steel type from the hardware or something else? Now that I think of it you probably want stainless steel. I'm also wondering about the joint fastener you use. The ones I found are 4" long. I used one dowel to the outside of the corner and one to the inside with the TJF positioned in between them which means my stock probably needs to be at least 2 1/2" to fit it all in. Last, how the heck did you piece together a 240" bar? You the Man Jerome.
James (Jimmy) Lebron is still in business and making these stretchers. I order them from him for especially valuable or hugely oversized work. He makes his stretchers from no. 1 bass wood, uses aluminum dowling in the joints and knock down turnbuckle hardware for tensioning. I learned about him through a conservator that has used his products for years.

I have access to a commercial cabinet shop and have built these myself. It was cheaper and much more efficient to order them from Jimmy.

Anyone interested in his contact info can email me.