The Steps To Re-Cane A Chair
Machine-woven chairs can be repaired easily. But, are the seats are framed of a band of wood on all its four sides with the ribbon in between the cane and the wood? These seats can be fixed. This ribbon is the spline and it hides the cane's raw edges.
The inched widths of the cane sheets and spline are pressed into a groove carved on all its four edges of the inner wood frame.
For re-caning the chairs, the professionals use the caning wedges, screwdriver, utility knife, hammer, fine sandpaper, carpenter’s glue, and spray lacquer. This is how the professionals add life to the caned chairs by replacing them following the steps of re-caning.
i. When the caned chairs are brought to be repaired in the re-caning workshop in Hobart, the professionals pre-cut a new cane sheet so it extends right about 1 inch beyond the chair's grooves on all is four sides. They make sure to use the sheets or cane and spline in the right length and width needed for the project.
ii. The cane sheets are soaked for one hour in warm water so the caning material becomes pliant and working with it is easy.
iii. The old splines’ are cut around both the edges on the chair using a utility knife. The old glue bond is broken so the spline can be lifted easily out of the groove.
iv. The old spline edges are lifted up using the screwdriver.
v. Pulling the caning and the old spline, they are put aside. Being skilled in the trade, the professional craftsmen can redo the cane chairs by threading individual cane strands into the holes located around the chair’s frame and then woven together.
vi. The softened cane sheets are placed on the chair’s top and the groove is overlapped by about one inch on all its sides.
vii. The pattern square is kept on all edges, the caning is stretched slightly and the caning wedge is hammered into the groove on each side. When the new sheets are put down, the woven patterns must be ensured that they run across straight up and down of the chair's seat, and not diagonally. The patterns are rechecked as the first four caning wedges are pushed into the groove.
viii. A few more wedges are hammered into each side and the cane is pushed into the groove. The stretch and the patterns are maintained so the square does not slips off or becomes loose.
ix. The spline is soaked for 15 minutes in warm water. The task becomes easier when the splining is soft.
x. The wedges are taken out one at a time as the carpenter's glue is squeezed into the groove and pressed in the soft spline, while continuing to work around the chair. One of the wedges is used for pushing it down firmly while the spline is tapped by the hammer to keep it in place.
xi. With the utility knife, the excess cane is trimmed off and the cane seat is sanded using a fine-grained sandpaper.
xii. The cane is sprayed using lacquer and it is let to sit for some days before using the chair.
Just like caning the chairs, re-caning is even art. The only difference is that the caned chairs are freshly done and re-caning is meant for saving the caned chair from becoming non-used stuff. In fact, the re-caning is solely the task of the professional experts since they can perfectly complete the steps as mentioned above.