- Select wood with good, straight endgrain, straight (not bowed), few knots, no critical knots.
- Cut all pieces to length (2×4’s & 1×6’s) on miter saw.
- Set table saw to 15 degrees – rip 2×4’s in half (??”), rip both halves of each piece of wood.
- Set table saw back to vertical – rip 1×6’s in half or thirds.
- At dado saw, attach fence w/clamps, set height of blade to depth of miter-corners (1/4″ or so), dado out groove on inside side (bottom side) of each end piece.
- Dado out grooves for cross-braces. For large strainers, dado out grooves for cross-braces to fit into each other, 1/2 depth of each cross-brace.
- Miter corner on miter saw.
- Cut corners on table saw. Cut 2 square pieces.
- On band saw, cut corners in half, long way.
- Using pneumatic staple gun, glue, & corner braces, assemble pieces. Long staples in ends of pieces. Short staples for corners (first) and cross-braces (last).
- 2 8ft. 2×4’s will make 1 strainer @ 5’x6′ (32′) or 3 strainers @ 2’x3′ (30′) w/2′ left over (minus the blade kerf).
- 8 ft. of 2×4’s = 16′ of stretcher bars
- 3′ + 3′ + 5′ + 5′
- 3.5′ + 3.5′ + 4.5′ + 4.5′
Disclaimer: these are transcriptions of hand-written notes from 1991 which I never put to use, so don’t hold me to it! Other standard disclaimers apply (i.e., use caution around saws; be especially careful when ripping wood; wearing safety glasses; etc.)
Want to know the difference between a stretcher and a strainer? Read “Stretchers and Strainers: Secrets of the Trade” from Golden Paints.