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Chair Caning Instructions


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 Should this be the very first time to re cane your seat and the text with pics is really not your thing...

Or you really want to know how I do it...on Video!

Yes.. then simply click on this link:



Good Luck...
any problems give me a call on
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Chair Caning Instructions are available FREE for the DIY enthusiast, both on video  and in text here below. There are two methods of caning a seat, so make sure that you are aware of the two types of seats for caning. A chair seat with holes around the frame indicate that the seat has been handwoven. A groove in the seat frame indicates a pe-woven rattan has been fitted into the seat.
A handwoven seat in most cases can have a routered grove put in so that a pre-woven seat can be fitted, as hand weaving is costly and time consuming.

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There are 2 Ways To Cane Your Chair Seat...The Pre-Woven Method and the Hand Woven Method  The Easy to follow Instructions are listed below. Please scroll down. 

1 The Pre-Woven Method

Follow These Easy Step by Step Instructions

Materials:  Rattan webbing, Cane spline, PVA glue, Tools:  Stanley knife, Router or Drill, Wooden wedge.

1 To remove the old rattan from the seat, first dismantle the seat from the chair frame, this makes it much easier to work on. For best results use a router or an electric drill to remove the old cane spline, making sure not to damage the timber.

Soak the rattan webbing (but not the cane spline) for at least 20 minutes in warm water, then place the rattan webbing over the seat, making sure you have the glossy skin side upwards. Align the horizontal and vertical strands with the seat frame.

2 Starting at the centre of the front rail of the timber frame, use a blunt wooden wedge or half a wooden clothes peg to push the rattan webbing into the groove. Now proceed to the rear of the seat frame and carry out the same procedure. Once you are happy that the rattan webbing is sitting true and square with regard to the seat frame  continue by pushing the rattan webbing around the other sides.

3 Now the difficult part- but don't panic. Using a sharp Stanley knife, cut and trim off the excess rattan webbing no more than a couple of millimetres below the outer edge of the groove.  Please try not to cut your wrist whilst doing this as it is very difficult to remove blood stains from the rattan webbing.

4 If you're now this far - and without serious injury or a nervous breakdown, then that's great. Now pour some PVA glue into the groove, not too much, but enough to cover the rattan webbing at the bottom of the groove. Now sit back, have a coffee and allow the glue to settle. (5 mins) 

5 Now that the caffine has calmed you down, place the cane spline into the groove, and using a hammer gently tap the cane spline into the groove, starting at the front and then working your way around the back of the seat to finish at the corners of the seat. If there are tight corners on your seat, dampen the cane spline first as this will make it more flexible and will eliminate any breaks.

6 Use the Stanley knife to cut the cane spline at 45 degrees, nice and easy here, you don't want to cut the timber seat.

7  It should look quite good now, just wipe away any excess PVA glue with a damp cloth. Allow the rattan webbing to dry naturally - do not put it in front of a heater or out in the hot sun/  Allow the rattan webbing to dry slowly and please be patient, and do not sit on it just yet. Wait at least 12 hours before staining, if required, or sealing with a lacquer, polyurethane or shellac. Rattan webbing likes to breathe so do not seal the underside. It is also advisable to clean the rattan webbing with a damp cloth, especially if the seat is in a dry environment ensuring that the rattan webbing does not become brittle.  Well done!

 NOTE: This method of recaning your seat is suitable for most chair seats or backs that already have the groove in the frame. Should your seat or back have holes around the frame, then this indicates that the cane work was done by hand (strand for strand, and that's a different process which I can help you with). Otherwise you will need to have a groove professionally routered in, that is provided that the timber frame is thick enough, then you can carry out recaning using the above instructions.


2 The Hand Woven Method

Materials and Tools for the job:  The correct size chair cane, Stanley knife, wooden pegs or golf tees, water and plenty of patience! 

First, here is a little bit of info. Cane comes from the tough outer layer of rattan, which is machined and cut into long strips. Chair cane is available in several sizes, the widest being 6mm which is generally used for binding. The other sizes available are 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 3.5mm and 4mm.

Please note that the cane has a distinctive top and bottom side to it. The top has the shiny surface. So ensure when weaving that the shiny side is up. Avoid bending or twisting the cane to ensure durability. The wooden pegs or golf tees are used to secure and hold down loose cane, and keeps the cane taut until they can be tied off on the underside. Right then, let's get started. First things first, put the kettle on. Nothing like a cuppa for starters.

1 First clean out any cane that is still left in the holes, you can use a blunt nail to push the cane out of the holes or drill them out should some of the cane be plugged or glued. You may want to consider removing the seat from the chair frame, it makes it a lot easier to do the caning on your lap whilst watching your favourite TV show! 
2 Put a few strands of cane into a container with warm water and allow to soak for about 5-10 minutes. The cane needs to be pliable before weaving, so make sure that you add another strand of cane to replace the one you have just used.
3 Find the centre hole front and back of the chair, and insert your first cane through the front hole and secure it with a golf tee. Now thread the other end through the back hole and secure that too. I'm a Virgo, so I like to use a 'red' golf tee for the one that I want to leave in, 'yellow' tees for temporary holes and 'white' tees that are on the move. Of course, you may have bought all the same colour tees... When you are passing the cane through each hole ensure that you  pull the cane taut before fitting your appropriate coloured tee. Bring the cane up through the very next hole on the left and then run it parallel to the first strand of cane, and pass it through the very next front hole. Keep on moving the 'yellow' and 'white' tees as you progress, untill you run out of front and back holes. (On round seats you may need to miss a few holes so that the cane stays parallel and has an equal distance to the previous strands. Now you can repeat this pattern to finish the right side of the seat.
4 Begin this step by starting at the hole next to the corner hole of the side rail at the rear. The cane should be carried across the seat and always over the existing woven pattern. It is important to keep the corner holes free because you will use them when finishing off the caning process.You may have to use the corner holes of the seat if the seat is curved. If your seat is round, begin on the side at the centre point and develop the parallel pattern as you did in step 3. Start at the centre hole and work to the left, filling in the back, and then repeat that process from the next centre hole, filling in to the right front of the seat. 
5 This process is the same as step 3.  You use the same holes as you did in step 3, but keep this strand to the right of the first strand. 
6 This is the first actual weaving step, and it is critical in the development of the basic pattern. This step is parallel to step 4, and uses the same holes. Begin on the left side in the rear left hole, and take the cane in front of step 4, passing it under step 3 and over step 5.
7 This strand of cane is the first to run on a diagonal. It begins at  the right front and goes to the rear left. Remember, cane will run from front to rear. This strand goes under steps 3 and 5, and over steps 4 and 6.

8 This is the second diagonal strand you will weave; it is done in the opposite pattern of step 7. The cane will go over steps 3 and 5, and under steps 4, 6 and 7.
9 Tie off the loose ends on the underside of the chair. When secure, cut the ends back to about an inch (2.5 cm).
10 Finish the top edge of cane seats with a special strip of cane called a binder. If your seat is square, measure four equal lengths, allowing about 5 inches (13 cm) extra. If your seat is round, measure one length of binder, allowing the same 5 inches (13 cm).
11 Lay the binder over the row of holes on one side of the chair. Insert binder end into the last hole. Peg to secure. You may cut the peg off flush with the top of the chair seat. To bind the binder, take a strand of the cane you were using to cane the chair, and insert the strand from the underside of the seat up and over, and pass through the same hold to underside. Advance around the chair following this process, keeping the strand as taut as possible. When you reach the end, lap the first end over the second end and tie them down.

Please note. The image on the right does not show the chair having been finished with the binder cane. Instead this chair had been plugged with the use of small timber plugs.



 CONTACT: Richard ph/sms 0411 664 653  

Unit 3A, 12 Scarborough Way, Lonsdale, South Australia 5160
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