B and I found this chair outside waiting for the trash I fell in love with its wide seat base and thought it would be perfect for our entry way. It is missing an arm and instead of replacing it we left it alone to add to the character. It had some old paint on it that I sanded off and was in desperate need of new caning.
This to-do project was on my list for about a year now but kept putting it off because a) I thought it was going to be tough and b) knew I had to hunt for the supplies to do it. Come to find out it was easier than I thought and I found a cool local store that had all the supplies. After doing some quick research on YouTube and The Google I found some helpful links and videos (see end of post).
Here are the supplies you need:
- Cane Web (enough to cover your project with some overhang)
- Cane Border aka Reed Spline (they actually come in different width sizes so make sure you get the right size)
- Rubber Mallet
- 2 to 3 Clothes Pins
- Wood Glue
- Razer Blade
Step 1: Clean Out the Grooves
Before you get started make sure the groove is all cleaned out and the old border cane is removed. You can take a piece of sandpaper, fold it in half and run it along inside the groove. This was the hardest part for me. I eventually had to resort to my Dremel tool with a sanding bit to clean out the grooves.
Step 2: Soak the Cane Web
I filled up my bathtub with luke warm water and laid the entire sheet of cane web in the water. I left it for about 30 min. This is really an important step in the process. I twill help the cane web become more malleable and it won’t break with you are trying to hammer the web into the grooves.
Step 3: Layout the web and cut to fit your project leaving an 1/2 to 1 inch overhang. When you start hammering in the web that overhang is important.
Step 4: Hammer in Cane Web
Take the Clothes Pin and separate it from its clip so you just have one side. Use the smaller end and insert it in the groove ontop of the web. With your mallet start tapping it in. Start with a small amount of preassure and build up. You don’t want to hit it to hard or you could break the web. Work your way around the groove.
Don’t jump forward and start hammering in another spot. I found that when I did the web started getting crooked and even broke in a few places. Also don’t worry about any small bumps in the web or if it looks loose. When it dries it will firm back up and the small bumps should disappear.
Step 5: Hammer in the Border Cane
Start by running a small strip of woodglue down the groove. Then overlay the Border Cane and hammer in. You may find that using the side of the clothes pin worked the best. It covered more surface. The tricky part for me was the corners. I didn’t exactly get them to match up but enough that I was happy with. Some of the caning sources I found gave some good instructions.
Step 6: Cut off excess Cane Web
Using your Razor Blade cut off the excess web as close to the border as you can. Then take some of the sandpaper and lightly sand any rough areas you feel with your fingers.
Step 7: Let Dry
Leave it for a day and let it dry.
http://www.seatweaving.org/Tips%20&%20Techniques.htm – they also sell supplies
http://www.woodcraft.com/Category/1002244/Caning-Supplies.aspx – where I got my supplies
YouTube Video: Chair Caning-How To Prewoven