Joining paper rush using hog ring pliers

Well, this topic of joining paper rush strands using hog ring pliers is one that I thought I’d already covered here on the Weavin’ Wicker Woman blog, but I can’t find one single post on it, so here goes…

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paper rush coil
One pound coil of paper rush used in weaving paper fibre rush chair seats


Back in 2010 at the 3rd Annual Gathering of The SeatWeavers’ Guild, Inc.® at Tillers International in Scotts, Michigan, one of our members, Jan Stansell from Georgia, introduced a time-saving tool she uses when weaving a paper fibre rush chair seat.


paper rush hog ring pliers
Hog ring pliers and clips for joining paper rush strands


Until seeing and trying this method, I had always unraveled the end of the old strand, applied some carpenter’s yellow glue to it and then placed the end of the new strand in the old and rewrapped the two strands together.


joining paper rush strands by gluing together
Gluing together new and old strand of paper rush to make a splice


Then I would hold the splice until the glue dried, using a snap clothespin. I was careful to do all this splicing inside the gussets or pockets created on either the front, back or side rails, so they would be hidden by the weaving and never exposed to view.


glued paper rush splice hidden in gusset
Hiding the glued paper rush splice within the gussets


Now, I use this quick and dirty way of joining paper rush using hog ring pliers and 3/8″ rings, saving me a bunch of time and messing with the glue!


using hog ring clip and pliers to splice paper rush strands
Squeeze the hog ring clip around the new and old ends and pinch with pliers


Be sure to measure the end lengths of the rush so the join will be inside a gusset or pocket, then take out the little 3/8″ metal clipblank, put it in the pliers, place around the two end pieces of the rush splice, and pinch!


connected splice of paper rush ends
Bam! Paper rush ends are connected!


Only takes about a second and there’s NO MESS at all. Boom, you’re done! Slip the join inside the gusset between the cardboard layers and go on with the weaving!


completed splice using hog ring and pliers
Now, doesn’t this finished splice look nice! Hide it in the gusset.


Paper rush woven chair seat
Beautiful paper fibre rush woven chair seat


Thank you, thank you, thank you Jan Stansell and the members of The SeatWeavers’ Guild, Inc.®! We always learn so much at the Gatherings, especially during the Tools, Hints, Tips and Sharing workshop/seminar.

Won’t you join us this July 25-27, 2014 in Massachusetts at the Old Sturbridge Village for TSWG 7th Annual Gathering and meeting of the corporation? We’ll save a seat just for you!™.

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11 thoughts on “Joining paper rush using hog ring pliers”

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    Sooooo glad I thought to look this up before tackling the second of five chairs I’m putting new seats on with 3/8” fiber rush. I followed instructions that were very good, only they were using a very fine gauge and did tie on new pieces with knots, which were very small and neat. Mine were not, but I didn’t know what else to do. I had used the hog ties when weaving a sea grass stool as that is how they did it in video I watched. Got to thinking about that and decided to Google and see if it was unheard of with fiber rush and chair seats. Your post came up and is EXACTLY the answer I was looking for. Thank you so much for the precise instructions. The original seats were woven with one continuous strand back in the 1940s. Being able to use the hog ties is going to be a game changer for me. Thanks again.

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      Oh good, Billie, so happy this post about the hog ring connections for rush helped you out, I love using them! Thanks for leaving your comment, too! Sometimes you need to increase the paper rush gauge or size to fit with the design and use of the chairs. Dainty chairs get finer gauge and large, colonial-style ladderbacks will take a bigger gauge. The #4 size rush I used in my first paper rush chair seat was way too small for the mule-ear style seat frame.

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    Hi! I am rushing a seat with natural fiber. May I join the ends with the clamps or tie with wax cord? Can you tell me how to tie the wax cord if I can’t use the clamps?

    Thanks so much

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    Thanks for the hog ring blog. Remember reading this on the forum but it’s great to see the pics.

    I have been trying to find the appropriate hog rings here in England. Have the crimpers but the only rings that I can find locally are too big – too long and too wide.

    Please would you let me know what size the rings are that you use. Pic of the packet front would be great. Then I might be able to find the right thing on the net.

    Many thanks.

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      Sorry Sue, but I don’t have the package the rings came in any more and not even sure where I got them. Will do some investigation though and see what I can come up with for you.

      Have you gone online to check and see if you can find an English supplier with the right size rings for your pliers or crimper? And didn’t the supplier you originally bought the pliers/crimper from have the rings? You could also check with your local farm supply stores, I bet they’d know where you can purchase the rings.

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      I compared the images to the sizes of ring I had on hand. They are most likely 3/8″ blunt C-style hog rings. You might need a different size depending on your material. Hog ring sizes are the outside length on the long part, so the inside is smaller and the opening is about 3/4 the total length. I would recommend using stainless steel rings, so they do not rust and discolor your projects.

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    I’ve seen these types of chair seats before but had no idea that it actually had a name. Silly me… of course they do… a paper fibre rush chair seat! Very cool demonstration. Now I can feel all smart when I run into one of these chairs during my travels! LOL!

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    You must be reading my mind!

    When I opened my mail just now and saw your “joining rush with hog ties” posting, I had to write! I just finished the first of the cathedral chairs and was checking the joins of the paper rush. I have been using rabbit cage clips which seem similar but I like the slimmer dimension of the hog ties, which I’d forgotten about until seeing your blog post.

    Thank you for posting what I needed to read when I needed to read it! 🙂

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    What’s wrong with tying the two pieces together as is shown in a demo on this site? It looked very easy and isn’t messy.

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      Hi Jean,

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment here on the blog, but I think you may have me and my site confused with someone else.

      I have NEVER tied together the strands of paper fibre rush together when making a splice. The reason is that the knot created is large and takes up too much space and looks amateurish in my opinion.

      It’s so much nicer looking and all the strands lay neatly together when you use either glue to connect the strands or use the hog ring pliers to attach the ends in a splice.

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