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Chair Caning Instructions: How to Cane Chairs by Hand

CEO Khai Intela
Are you curious about the art of chair caning? Do you want to learn how to cane chair seats by hand? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with helpful chair caning...

Are you curious about the art of chair caning? Do you want to learn how to cane chair seats by hand? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with helpful chair caning instructions and tips to get you started on your weaving journey.

pair broken hole-to-hole cane seats

Chair Caning Instructions: How to Weave a Lace Cane Seat

If you've come across chairs with a lattice-look weaving, you may be eager to learn how to fix and weave them yourself. Whether it's a family heirloom or a flea market find, we've got you covered. With the right tools and following these moderately challenging instructions, you'll be able to weave a lace cane seat like a pro.

Cathryn Peters weaving hole cane seat

Before we jump into the instructions, here are a few things you'll need for this chair caning project:

  • A trapezoidal-shaped chair with straight seat rails and pre-drilled holes around the perimeter of the wooden frame seat.
  • 270 feet of strand chair cane and 6 feet of binder cord in the appropriate gauge for your project.
  • A work table at the right height to avoid bending over.
  • Measuring tape or a chair caning gauge tool.
  • Chair caning pegs, a dishpan or water bucket, scissors, a small hammer, an awl or ice pick, a 1/4" diameter wooden dowel rod, water-soluble white or hide glue, a spray bottle, and a bath or hand towel.

Helpful Caning Prep Tips

Before starting your first caning project, it's best to find a chair in sound condition that doesn't require refinishing or regluing. Look for a chair with holes drilled around the frame's perimeter. A square or rectangle footstool is an excellent first practice piece. Alternatively, a trapezoidal-shaped chair with fewer than 72 drilled holes is also suitable for beginners.

cut cane loops on bottom To remove old cane from the seat, use scissors or a utility knife to cut the loops on the bottom of the chair frame and pull it out from the top.

Determine the Correct Size Chair Cane

To ensure you're using the correct gauge or size of strand cane for your project, you'll need to measure the diameter of the drilled holes and the distance from the center-hole to center-hole of neighboring holes. Take measurements from several places around the seat frame and compare them with a cane gauge conversion table.

Measure a section of the seat rail for a six-inch span and count the number of holes within that span. For every six inches with a specific number of holes, you'll know which size cane to buy. For example, 12 holes would require Fine Fine Cane (2.25mm), while 8 holes would need Common Cane (3.50mm).

How Many Cane Coils Do You Need?

The number of cane coils required depends on the size of your chair seats. Generally, 250-270 feet of cane is enough for one 14" chair seat, 500 feet for two 14" chair seats, and 1000 feet for four 14" chair seats. If you have larger chair seats, it's always a good idea to order an extra coil or two to avoid running out.

Ordering the Correct Gauge Chair Cane

Once you've determined the correct size cane, you can purchase the cane and binder cane from reputable cane and basket supply companies. These companies offer a variety of strand chair cane coils to meet your specific needs.

Assemble All Necessary Tools for Chair Caning

Most of the tools you'll need to weave your cane seats are likely already available in your toolbox or garage. To maintain good posture and prevent fatigue, make sure to set up the chair on an adjustable-height table and use an anti-fatigue mat. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated during the weaving process.

How to Weave a 7-Step Hole Cane Seat

Now, let's dive into the weaving process. We'll guide you through the seven steps required to create a beautiful hole cane seat.

Step 1 - Laying the Vertical Cane Strands

Soak a few strands of chair cane in warm water for about ten minutes. Begin by finding the center holes on the front and back of the chair seat and marking them with pegs. Insert one end of the strand into the center back hole, leaving about two inches beneath the chair. Peg it in place. Take the long end of the strand and insert it into the center hole in front and peg it.

Step 2 - Laying First Horizontal Cane Strands

Continue laying the horizontal strands from side to side, above the previously placed strands. Add new strands and keep them parallel. Do not add cane to the four corner holes yet.

Step 3 - Laying Second Vertical Cane Strands

Begin laying the second vertical strands, positioning them slightly to the right of the first vertical strands. Weave over the front-to-back pairs and under the side-to-side pairs.

Step 4 - Second Horizontal Cane Strands

Begin the actual weaving by weaving under the vertical strands on the left and over the vertical strands on the right, moving from side to side. Keep the tension of the strands taught but not too tight.

Step 5 - Weaving the First Diagonal Cane Strands

Start weaving the first diagonal course from the front left-hand corner to the upper right side. Weave over the vertical strands and under the horizontal strands. Create "fish heads" in the corners.

Step 6 - Second Diagonal Cane Weaving

Complete the opposite diagonal course from the lower right corner to the upper left side. Weave over the horizontal strands and under the vertical strands. Create "fish heads" in the corners.

Step 7 - Applying the Cane Binder Cord Strand

Apply the wide binding cane to cover the holes and give a finished look to the seat. Use separate lengths of binder cane for the front, back, and side rails. Secure the ends of each strand with pegs and weave in a looping motion around the rails, picking up any loose ends.

Congratulations! You have completed your first traditional hole-to-hole cane seat weaving project. Remember to follow proper care tips to ensure your seat lasts for a long time.

We hope you enjoyed these chair caning instructions. If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting our information site by donating generously.

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