Learning to Cane a Chair, Mike's School Project:
Mike is in High School & wrote to me about a self-learning project. He was brave enough to try this on his own, under the pressure of a class assignment. Here is his (almost) finished work & some of our conversation about the project.
11/17/02 Hi, my name is Michael. For a school project i am planning on learning how to cane, and then build a TV stand using caning. I looked all over for understandable instructions and information on how to cane, but couldn't find anything. You don't know how relieved I am after finding your website. I had already done front to back, but didn't know how to continue. I gave one last hope on the internet and found your site. Thanks a lot for putting up that website. Mike
1/9/03 Dear Wayne,
yeah, i really like caning, but it's taking a lot longer than i thought at first. The first few steps are simple, but when you have to weave it gets hard, and the caning snaps a few times. Anyways, i will send you a picture when i'm done, but it may be in a while. Mike
Mike, I like to cane while watching TV. Then I don't feel like I've wasted
time sitting there. Also, keeps my hands busy. Be careful to not bend/kink
the cane or pull too tight, as this will snap the cane. Also, make sure
your weaving correctly over/under horizontal & under/over verticals in the
diagonal steps. Wayne.
1/16/03 Thanks a lot for the tips, hopefully i'll be able to get it done faster. Yes, I think that caning while watching TV would be a good decision, since i spend too much time in front of the TV anyways, i may as well be doing something. Mike
I finished my chair. Well, the first six steps. Here's a picture of my chair in its present state. I don't have the wider cane to do the last step yet, but i finished everything else. I still have a couple of ends to tie off, but i'm not sure if i should wait until i finish to tie them off.
Anyways, I finally finished (almost).
2/3/02 Mike, Good job. The chair looks very good.
Some suggestions: 1) you could put one more short diagonal cane on each of the 4 corners. You should try to go just 1 strand further on each corner for steps 5 & 6.
2) Go ahead & tie off the ends now. Moisten them so they are flexible to make tying them easier.
3) How are you going to finish the wood seat? It appears from the picture to need something to give it protection. You need to try to match the finish on the rest of the chair. Perhaps a tung-oil or light varnish&Poly.
4) Be sure to do step 7 after putting on the finish. The border cane puts the finishing touch to the whole project.
Again. Congratulations on the (near) completion of your project.