JAIC 1984, Volume 24, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 57 to 58)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1984, Volume 24, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 57 to 58)

A NOTE ON STRETCHER MODIFICATION

Phil Gottfredson

ABSTRACT—The author presents a simple solution to acid migration from the wood rabbet of a picture frame and the stretcher bar, using clear polyester film and Bostik Web adhesive.


1 MATERIALS & TOOLS

  1. .0015 gauge clear polyester film
  2. Acid-free low melting thermoplastic Bostik Web adhesive
  3. Selector Tacking Iron
  4. Razor blade, #12
  5. Scissors


2 LINING THE RABBET (see fig. 1)

Fig. 1.

  1. Cut both the polyester film and the Bostik Web into strips equal to the measurements of the inside of the rabbet of the frame.
  2. With the tacking iron set at its highest temperature, lay the polyester film over the Bostik Web, and bridging the rabbet of the frame, press the film and the web into the rabbet with the hot tacking iron. The heat of the iron will form the film to the rabbet.
  3. Again with the tacking iron, fold over the excess film to the outside of the rabbet, and trim flush with razor blade.


3 COVERING THE STRETCHER BARS (see fig. 2)

Fig. 2.

  1. Cut into strips both the polyester film and Bostik Web in adequate lengths and widths to wrap around three sides of the bars that come in contact with, and are nearest to the painting's canvas.
  2. Apply film with the heat of the tacking iron so as to form the film snugly to the bars. Trim excess away.
  3. Stretch the canvas over the polyester covered bars.


4 ADVANTAGES

With both the stretcher bars and the rabbet of the frame lined with polyester film, the canvas is isolated. The canvas can be stretched with more accuracy because of less friction between the bar and canvas. Acid migration is greatly reduced.

Section Index

Copyright 1984 American Institute of Historic and Artistic Works