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The Strainer

The strainer, on which crayon paper or any kind of photographic
enlargement is to be mounted, should be the same size as the intended
picture. The frame is made of four strips of pine wood, two inches
wide, one inch thick on the outside, and three quarter inch on the
inside, making a quarter inch bevel on the inside edge of the face;
these are nailed together and glued. To this, tack a piece of bleached
muslin, free from knots and rough places, which has been cut two inches
larger each way than the frame. Use six ounce Swede upholsterers'
tacks, placing one in the centre of the outside edge of one side and
another directly opposite, stretching the muslin as firmly as possible
with the fingers. Then place a third tack in the centre of the outside
edge of the top, and a fourth in the centre of the bottom of the frame,
stretching as before. In finishing, use the pliers in addition to the
fingers, and remember that you must always stretch from the centre
towards the corner or you will have wrinkles in the muslin. As this
process should be thoroughly understood, I will give minute directions
for completing the operation. Having already placed the four tacks as
above, stand the strainer on its bottom edge on the floor, with the
back towards you, and put in the fifth tack two inches to the right of
the third, that is, the one on the top previously mentioned. Instead of
stretching the muslin directly back in a straight line towards you and
at right angles to the fourth tack, you must draw it with the fingers
towards the right hand corner. Then finish stretching, and tacking this
edge to the right hand corner of the top, placing the tacks two inches
apart and taking care to only draw the cloth sufficiently to have it
perfectly smooth and straight on the edges, leaving the stretching to
be done with the pliers; then turn the strainer on the side edge and
tack at two inch intervals from the centre of the other (that is the
upper) side to the right hand corner, same as before, and then tack
half of the bottom edge and half of the other side in the same way. You
will observe that you now have only one half of the muslin tacked--that
is, one half on each edge--and you then complete the tacking, using the
pliers to thoroughly stretch the muslin. This method has the advantage
that you can stretch the muslin on the strainer and get it on better
and in less than half the time required by the old method; also that
you stretch the whole surface of the muslin with the pliers, and do it
with only half the work.

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Previous: The Specific Use Of Crayon Materials

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