How to Build a Stretcher (Strainer)

How to Build a Stretcher (Strainer)

  1. Select wood with good, straight endgrain, straight (not bowed), few knots, no critical knots.
  2. Cut all pieces to length (2×4’s & 1×6’s) on miter saw.
  3. Set table saw to 15 degrees – rip 2×4’s in half (??”), rip both halves of each piece of wood.
  4. Set table saw back to vertical – rip 1×6’s in half or thirds.
  5. At dado saw, attach fence w/clamps, set height of blade to depth of miter-corners (1/4″ or so), dado out groove on inside side (bottom side) of each end piece.
  6. Dado out grooves for cross-braces. For large strainers, dado out grooves for cross-braces to fit into each other, 1/2 depth of each cross-brace.
  7. Miter corner on miter saw.
  8. Cut corners on table saw. Cut 2 square pieces.
  9. On band saw, cut corners in half, long way.
  10. Using pneumatic staple gun, glue, & corner braces, assemble pieces. Long staples in ends of pieces. Short staples for corners (first) and cross-braces (last).
  • 2 8ft. 2×4’s will make 1 strainer @ 5’x6′ (32′) or 3 strainers @ 2’x3′ (30′) w/2′ left over (minus the blade kerf).
  • 8 ft. of 2×4’s = 16′ of stretcher bars
    or
  • 3′ + 3′ + 5′ + 5′
    or
  • 3.5′ + 3.5′ + 4.5′ + 4.5′

Disclaimer: these are transcriptions of hand-written notes from 1991 which I never put to use, so don’t hold me to it!  Other standard disclaimers apply (i.e., use caution around saws; be especially careful when ripping wood; wearing safety glasses; etc.)

Want to know the difference between a stretcher and a strainer?  Read “Stretchers and Strainers: Secrets of the Trade” from Golden Paints.

Leave a Reply

I paint with shapes.

— Alexander Calder
Find Previous Posts:
Comments on My Paintings
  • That’s some excellent art, Marilyn. Respect. I enjoyed the thoughts and feelings this piece provoked. Fantastic use of shape and color to convey emotion. Hard to put it into words so I’ll have to assure you that it’s super-groovy. Thanks for creating and sharing. Keep up the great work.
Gallery of Recent Paintings
Small Color Painting 2014-015 - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn Squeezebox Oil on Canvas 12 x 12 - © 2015 Marilyn Fenn Small Color Painting 2014-013 - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn Composition Number 8, 2013 - Acrylic on panel - 12 x 9 - © 2013 Marilyn Fenn