TUESDAY TIP OF THE DAY–Today’s blog post is about a situation that new chair caners encounter frequently, and it’s a question I’m asked many times during the chair caning classes I teach.
“How tight is too tight when you are caning a traditional, hole-to-hole, strand cane chair seat?”
I have always set up the first four steps a little on the loose side because as you weave the diagonal steps, #5 and #6, the tension on the previous steps gets tighter.
And keep in mind that the entire woven cane chair seat tightens as it dries, too.
So a good rule of thumb is to put at least the first two foundation steps in looser than normal to allow for the change in tension when the actual weaving steps of #4, #5 and #6 are added.
Because if you put the strands in too tight, you run the risk of the cane as it dries, breaking the seat’s framework.
The wood will split right down the center of the drilled holes in the seat frame, causing the seat and the chair to fail.
Then the cane seat must be removed, and the chair frame must be screwed and glued back together before you can reweave the seat properly.
But on the other hand, you don’t want to weave the steps in so loose that loops are hanging down underneath the bottom of the seat, either.
So there’s a fine line that comes with experience and following my or your teacher’s expert advice.
Good luck and let me know in the comments what experiences you’ve had with weaving hole-to-hole chair caning, either too tight or too loose.
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Happy Weaving, until next time!