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 fr
m 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.