Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How To Cane Chairs

In order to cane a chair, the first step is to determine what type of cane is needed. Some chairs, especially those made after the 1860s, were designed to be caned with “sheet cane, or pre-woven ” which is cane that has been machine woven and is sold in sheets. Chairs designed for sheet caning have a groove around the seat for the edge of the sheet cane to be tucked into. Then you use the reed spline with glue to hold it in place. Other chairs integrate woven cane, which means that there are small holes around the seat of the chair for the cane to be woven in and out of. I do not know how to hand cane yet. Not sure if I will take that next step or not. The chair I do are the sheet cane seats. Last week we had a snow storm coming so brought chairs home from work to do, so I didn't have to drive to work.

 These chairs were knocked apart sanded and glued already. The old seats were removed by using a chisel and hammer . I also cleaned out the groove where the reed spline goes. You need to get all the old spline and caning out for a good fit. Supplies that I used were. Caning, spline, caning wedges for holding the cane in place, hammer, sharp utility knife and scissors for cutting the spline and cane material and yellow glue, a flat thin bladed utility knife for trimming the excess cane after in is pushed into the groove. I made my own tools for pushing in the caning out of small wooden pieces. I rounded over the ends. 
 The caning and spline need to soak in water until it is flexible. Cut the caning about 2 inches more then the groove all the way around.
 I tap in all four sides in the middle, and place a wedge in the spot. I then work my way around the chair.
I then add the yellow glue all the way around the groove. I tap in the spline at the back of the chair first. Work my way around back to the spot at the back of the chair.
When I cut the spline I cut it a an angle so the two piece set well together.

I then hold back the caning to cut the excess cane off
All done. Now the chair needs it last sanding by hand and can be stained and finished.


Thank you so much for checking this out.


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