Masonite is now a generic term used to describe hardboard, a
manufactured wood product made from hardwood
particles/sawdust and glue compressed under extreme heat and
pressure to create a durable thin board used for many before finishing
-Make sure you get tempered hardboard which uses a
glue resistant to water and finishes. It offers a harder and more
water resistant surface and it is easier to apply gesso and paints
to tempered hardboard.
-Have your masonite cut to the size you want your stretcher to
be. Check the sides with a square to make sure it is square.
-FRAME. Cut your 1x2s (actually 3/4x 1 1/2) to precisely fit
the outside dimensions of your masonite. Remember to subtract
3/4 for each butt joint where the sides meet.
-Nail your frame together using brad nailer. Have the boards
standing on their edge.
Small swipe of glue and fasten with 1 1/4 brads.
-If the stretcher is over 18 x 24 consider using a mid brace.
ASSEMBLY. Assuming the masonite is cut square and
the frame is precisely cut to size you will use the surface to
make the overall assembly square.
-Put a thin stripe of glue on the edge of the frame.
-Lay the masonite on the frame.
-Using a BRAD NAILER with 3/4 brads attach one corner of
the masonite to the frame with 2 brads.
Now pull the frame square to the masonite.
-Go to the opposite corner and attach the masonite to the
-Finish attaching the masonite with brads shot every 6-8
FINISHING. Use wood filler, spackling or joint compound to
fill the brad nail holes. When dry, sand lightly until smooth.
Lightly sand the edges of the masonite as well.
Let the glue dry and you are done.