How to Remove a Hole Cane Seat

How to Remove Strand Chair Caning

There’s been some discussion over on my Chair Caning Forum in the past on how to remove a hole cane seat, easily. So I thought that might make a good topic here on the Weavin’ Wicker Woman blog.

Hole-to-hole chair cane seat before removal
Traditional strand cane seat before removal

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Hole Cane Chair Seat Before Seat is Removed

The first thing I do is to turn the chair upside-down and cut the individual cane loops on the bottom of the chair seat. Be careful you don’t scratch or damage the wood when you use your sharp basketry scissors or utility knife/box cutter to do this.

cut cane loops on bottom
To remove cane strands, cut loops on bottom of chair frame, pull out from top


Lots of knots on the underside? Then cut them off, too. Otherwise, it will make taking the strands out from the top side more difficult.

Then I turn the chair right-side up again and using either a pair of basketry scissors or a box cutter/utility knife, cut out the woven cane from the center of the seat.

remove center woven cane
Remove all woven cane from center


Next step is to cut the binder cord and loops over it. Then with your hand, you can pull on the binder cord and most of it will come up easily. Pick out all the remaining cane sections and binder cord from the holes using your hands and/or a pair of pliers, don’t forget to remove the cane from the bottom side also.

If you still have some stubborn cane in the holes, you can use a caning awl, tin punch or even a drillif you have stubborn or glue filled holes, to force the cane out from the top side, down.

remove cane from seat
Pull on binder cord and then pick out remaining strands in holes from the bottom


Hole-to-hole Cane Seat with Woven Cane Removed

strand cane removed from seat
Hole-to-hole cane seat after cane removal


But before you begin weaving your chair caning project, there’s one more step to complete. Remember to always bevel or round off the inside frame edge using a wood rasp, file or Stanley Sureform Shaver tool.

bevel seat frame edges
Bevel or round off the inside frame edge of chair seat before weaving your cane seat.


If you forget to do this step, your cane will not wear as long and might fail shortly after you’ve woven that brand new seat!

Here’s a little Chair Caning Tip of the Day Video to see what I mean by beveling the inside edge of the seat.

All done and ready to weave that hole-to-hole cane seat!

hole cane seat cleared of cane and edge beveled
Chair frame cleared of all strand cane and inside rail edge beveled


Check out the Chair Caning Instructions page for weaving that new cane seat? Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “How to Remove a Hole Cane Seat”

  1. I have an old chair which I hope to replace the seat with sheet cane. I have read many of your tutorials. My question is the seat is basically trapezoid in shape, yet the corners are all rounded. Original install has the spline going around the corner vs. 45 degree cut and mitering the corner. Should I follow suit? Also, do I really need all 3 sizes of chisel? Thank you!

    1. Hello Deb,

      Thank you for visiting my site! Yes, you are correct to use one long piece of spline to go into a rounded corner pressed cane seat, just the same as a completely round seat. Make sure the spline is a couple inches longer than needed and either make a butt joint or diagonal join in the back of the seat. You can follow the directions here in my How to Install Cane Webbing Instructions instruction page. And did you see the previous instruction page on How to Remove Cane Webbing Instructions? Hope this helps!

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