The original seat in my solo canoe has led a hard life. I slipped getting into the boat several years ago and broke the frame. I fixed that with a laminated doubler, but now I see the caning is weathering and some strands have broken. It's time for a new seat.
This time I built the seat frame from mahogany with mortise & tendon joints glued with epoxy. The wood frame is heavier than the original Alaskan Yellow Cedar frame, but it's also much stronger. I used an earlier version of Gilpatrick's Building a Strip Canoe
for the caning technique.
After drilling the holes, I put one coat of epoxy on the frame and three coats of varnish before starting the caning process. I used plastic caning because that's what I had on hand and because it doesn't stretch like natural cane does when it gets wet.
I wish I'd been a bit smarter when I made the frame. Dimensions that were an exact multiple of 3/4 inch would have resulted in consistent hole spacing.
Caning starts from the center of one of the long sides, working back and forth across the frame, using tapered dowels to temporarily hold the cane in place.
With the cane in place, the ends are tied off on the back side using a double half-hitch.
After doing a single pass north to south it's time to put in a single pass east to west, and then another layer of north to south on top of the first east to west layer.
The fourth layer is actually the first that is woven, going over the top of the upper north/south layer and under the lower north/south layer.
After the fourth layer is finished, the fifth layer starts from a corner for the first diagonal. It's very important to counts the holes correctly to have the same number on both axis. Don't ask me how I know...
All six layers are in place. This is where it shows that the hole spacing at the ends of the ends of each row is larger than the 3/4" of the majority of the rows. If I keep sitting on the seat, no one will notice.
The last step is to install the binding around the edges.
With the canoe all cleaned up and back together, I can hang it back up in the garage and give BJ her parking spot back.
Wow it looks wonderful!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Sondra. It will be highly functional, even if it does have some 'character' that it shouldn't have.Delete
Never guessed you could redo a seat like that!ReplyDelete
Yup! The same technique can be used to fix old chairs if you can find one before it gets tossed.Delete
Perfect Dear John,ReplyDelete
Now Pat can fix a few old chairs...you know we'd never toss a chair just because it has no seat!
The technique is similar for natural cane but the cane has to be soaked first. If we were coming up the year I'd volunteer but I think we're planning to stay closer to home this year.Delete
WHAT!!! No visit??? You know, we do have bedrooms upstairs, you do not always have to bring your own...ReplyDelete
I must admit, your picture of the table with the high chair and the Christmas Tree in your latest blog post had me thinking about how much I was going to miss the Glory Farm hospitality this year. Never say never, but highly unlikely this year. :-(Delete
We will miss you as well...Delete
Un-beeee-leeee-vable! As I am reading this post, I am thinking, "Don't tell me he is actually going to make his own cane seat!....Of course he is!" Man, that's not only talent, but a whole lotta patience!ReplyDelete
It's really not difficult and it's a project that lends itself to short periods of time. While it could be done all at once, I spent three or four evenings on it with the TV in the background. It might have taken 8 hours all told to weave the cane, but I suspect it was actually less than that.Delete
John, I agree wit Suzanne! You can do anything and you stay so busy with one project after another!ReplyDelete
We have two old chairs needing caning in the basement.....I guess we could tie them to the top of the truck Jed Clampett style!
Just kidding! Starting west soon.
I've never worked with natural cane which is what the chairs should use. I suspect it would be a bit slower since the cane wouldn't slide past one another as easily as the plastic, but it's a patience project, not a difficult one. A series of winter evenings with a warm fire and a project.Delete
Looking forward to seeing you guys. Hope you have a good trip west.