GreatArt UK

Museo Alu Stretchers

Combining wood and aluminum, with extreme stability, Museo Alu Stretchers are part of the new generation of frames that will be with the artist for years!

This reinforced structure allows for larger sizes! I tested and participated in the building of one of these new frames. Here is Amylee’s test:

01/ Materials:

In order to build the frame to 31’’x23’’(80x60cm), you’ll need:

Do not forget to add Accessory Sets for Museo Alu Stretchers


02/ Mounting Frame:

  • Total time to build the frame (without the canvas): 5 to 10 minutes

Sit on a flat surface, place the 4 bars of the frame and accessory kit in front of you.
First mount the bottom of the frame. In each end of the bar insert the 2 corner connections into the metal rail of the first bar.
Then take the other 2 bars which form the sides of the canvas. Slide them onto the corner connections of the bottom bar. (Check out the pic just below).
Once the 3 sides are joined, tighten the 4 fixing points using the Allen wrench.
TIP: Easy way, do not hesitate to press it against a wall and push on the opposite corner to keep everything tight and in line for the screws.

3/ Alu Support Bar:

The Museo Alu Support Bars are designed for reinforcing the Museo Alu Stretchers frames. They can be added without completely disassembling the Museo Alu frame.
Before closing the top of the frame, place the support bar in the middle, making sure to slide in the two corner connections at each end of the rail.
First, secure the bottom of the support bar. A small rotary latch (in red on the legend) provided under the corner connection allows it to attach to the rail on the bars. Attach the support bar then attach the last bar to close the frame.
Remember to screw all corners as well as those of the support bars to strengthen the overall structure of the frame.
Here you are! Your frame is ready! You will then need a canvas, and accessories to measure, cut, stretch and secure. 

4/ With Canvas Roll:

In this tutorial, I used a Primed Linen canvas roll.

  • Front side: the canvas is white coated and ready to paint.
  • Back side: the canvas is raw and natural.

Unroll a meter (39″) of canvas and lay out flat while ensuring the natural side of the canvas is facing you. Place the frame over the canvas with the back of the frame facing you. Allow a 10 to 15 cm (4″ or 6″) margin around the frame and cut the canvas.
TIP: How to check the front and back of the frame?
The front of the frame is slightly curved while the back  is flat.

5/ Back Of The Frame:

You can take some Tacks and a hammer but stapler is good as well.

  • Fold the canvas over the 4 bars of the frame like a gift package.
  • for tacks, always start in the middle of each side and work out to the sides making sure to pull the canvas tight (using Canvas Stretching Pliers) before putting the in tacks / staples.
  • To help you, I’ve marked the photo below using the following colours points: first the black, then red, blue, and green to complete folding the corners. I spaced every 4 to 5 cm (1 or 2 inch)

6/ Hangers & Tensioner:

  • 2 HANGERS: The hangers are provided in set 1. To attach the hanging system of the picture, the operation is identical to the fitting of a corner connection on the support bar. Rotary latches then fit into the track rods which are then maintained using screws.
  • 1 TENSIONER: It is located at the back of the painting and serves to balance the tension of the canvas. 1 tensioner is necessary for each 4 corners of the frame.
  • The tensioner is to be positioned against one of the 4 corner connection of the frame. Its rotary latch system can be inserted into the rail.
  • Before using the tensioner, unscrew the corner of the frame using the screw inside the corner connection. These must be undone to allow the canvas bars to move and stretch the canvas. Then using the tensioner secured with the latch, turn the long screw which pushes the corner connection and causes the opening of the corner of the frame.

The more you turn the screw the more the corner opens. You can go back if you feel that the corner is too open or the canvas too stretched. The corner connections can be re-tightened once  you have finished stretching.
This operation may be applied to the 4 corners to stretch the canvas. To my opinion, I stretch my canvas once painted and dried.
Here we go, my Museo Alu Stretchers  is finally ready. Let’s get to work!

7/ Video Museo Assembly Demonstration:

8/ My Opinion:

really enjoyed making this frame. It’s easy, fast, fun, everything fits together, slips in and screws by hand. I felt like I was playing Meccano with my brother.
The rods made of aluminum and wood are solid and heavy enough to give the right strength and good frame. For large sizes they are ideal.
The aluminum is rather nice. Its modular structure is well thought out! A canvas that can be mounted or dismounted and which minimizes the costs of shipping.
The total cost of the frame is obviously a little more expensive than a high-quality all-wood frame. However I am looking for my paintings to be on good quality materials. In the past, I’ve had some problems with large twisted paintings. So am considering a Museo solution to avoid these problems in future exhibitions with galleries or customers.
Finally, the only difficult thing is the shopping  and getting all the correct items for your first purchase. Since you are not used to this kind of purchases, you can quickly forget the support bar or accessory.
I can’t wait to paint it, I will keep you informed of my comments.
The content for this post was provided by professional artist, Amylee. You can visit her blog here and her portfolio.

See all our products in our new art supply shop in London Shoreditch :

Louise from GreatArt

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