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Old 06-14-2014, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Fabricmate Alternatives

I was looking to build wood frames much like BigMouthInDC does but I'm not trusting myself to be as adept and precise at building them. So, I was looking at the Fabric Stretching systems from Fabricmate. This system is fairly costly for what I"m looking to do, so I'm looking for products that are similar that people here have used or seen. I'm open to suggestions.

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Old 06-14-2014, 05:21 PM
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some guys have used artist canvas stretcher bars, there are some web sites that sell bulk quantities at a price more than building your own but more convenient. You'll have to do some searching.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
some guys have used artist canvas stretcher bars, there are some web sites that sell bulk quantities at a price more than building your own but more convenient. You'll have to do some searching.
I need about 1 1/4" thickness. Should I just cut 5/8" sanded ply and double it up overlapped to make the frames?

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Old 06-14-2014, 08:50 PM
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what size are the frames?
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:58 PM
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yes, when you get used to the process it should take you under 5 minutes a frame. Use 1 inch long staples to assemble.

Made a video of the process some time ago I used MDF for the top layer because I cut a chamfer on the edge with my router table and MDF cuts easier and cleaner.


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Old 06-16-2014, 01:50 PM
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I did mine similarly to the way BIG did his: .5" plywood base with .5" MDF on top to bevel. I definitely recommend MDF for your top layer as it leaves clean, void-free, straight edges. I also painted my frames black to prevent the lighter colored plywood from showing through


I also recommend that if any frames are wider than about 20" to 24" that you put a support in the middle. Otherwise the long edge might bow when you stretch the fabric.


Finally, you might want to consider paying an upholsterer to stretch the fabric on the frames for you. After 40+ frames and a few thousand staples, I had a touch of tendonitis in my hands. It took over a year to clear up!
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:31 PM
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Scott, what kind of stapler were you using that gave you Tendinitis, The Porter Cable US58 is the only stapler I would use, I've done over a couple hundred thousand staples.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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what size are the frames?
I'm thinking 5/8 (Sand)Ply with 1/2" MDF on top. How much round should I put? 1/8" roundover bit? If they even make such a thing......
1/4"?

The biggest area will be 8' wide by about 3' high. I'm planning on 3 panels side by side, and the debate is do I put a 4" wide piece of fluted board in between the panels to give cleaner separation?

An example would be this picture where between the two columns I'd have this fluted wood 1/3 and 2/3rd across. Thoughts?

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Old 06-16-2014, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Picture would not attach in the past post. I tried 3 times.
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Audio: Denon AVR-4520, Fusion 12 Tempest (LCR), Fusion 8 Alchemy (4xSurrounds+2xWides+2xHeights),4 x 15" Dayton Ultimax
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:16 PM
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Scott, what kind of stapler were you using that gave you Tendinitis, The Porter Cable US58 is the only stapler I would use, I've done over a couple hundred thousand staples.

BIG, I used a pneumatic stapler. I got the tendonitis from grasping the fabric with my fingers and stretching it tight. I tried an upholstery stretcher but found it too cumbersome.
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