Wednesday, 28 January 2009

How to put wedges on a canvas?

Canvasses often come with wedges, which purpose is to increase the tension of the canvas. The way it works is that the wedges push the stretchers away, creating tension on the fabric.

This seems an easy task, but elementary precautions are required to make sure you don’t damage your canvas.

First, you will see that you can insert the wedge in to different ways (depending on what long side of the triangular piece of wood you slide in contact with the stretcher. Personally, I prefer to slide the wedge so that the end part I will be hammering forms a right angle with the stretcher (have a look at the photograph and it will become clear).

Wegde put sideway

Wedges with the end perpendicular to the stretcher

Before hammering the wedge, insert a piece of cardboard between the fabric and the stretcher in order to protect the fabric. This is a simple way to prevent the hammer from denting or tearing away the canvas.

Piece of cardboard protects the fabric

Finally, make sure that you hammer alternatively the two wedges at each end of the same stretcher. This way the tension created by the stretcher will be parallel to the weaving and equally spreaded.

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Anonymous said...

I like your blog very much .. I just wanted to point out that the last picture of this post is slightly wrong .. when you hammer them in, the movement created is perpendicular to the direction the of key (wedge), not in the same direction as you have it.

Anonymous said...

After lot of search, your post finally provided with an explanation, thanks. Another anonymous was correct with a note, it seems.

Anonymous said...

It helped a lot, thanks friend!!

Hilary Kimbel said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I had no idea how to use a canvas stretcher... I definitely feel like this provided me some clarity! Thanks so much again for posting!!!

Sean Valjean said...

This is great. I haven't thought to use wedges like those to help as a canvas stretcher. This is really cool.

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