Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Challenges of Machine Cane Weaving

With The Spline Cut To Size And Drying To Shape
 We do quite a bit of traditional hand caned seats here at the shop but we also do a good amount of unique caning besides that.  This chair back needs two 'windows' of machine caning, giving us a unique shape to work with and also a unique weave.  The set of chairs has a 'radio net' weave which is made up of perpendicular strands of cane done in a box pattern.  The chair also has a curved back which gives us yet another challenge to work with.   

Masked Of Weaving, Before & After Staining
Curved weaving has to be put in place by someone who really knows what they are doing.  If it is not done well,  then the weaving panel can distort and either 'cup' or 'buckle' leaving a surface you would not be happy with.  In addition, the glue which holds the woven panels in place can drain out if not done well leaving patches of dry spline, allowing the machine cane to come undone.  Not good!

Another big challenge with machine woven cane is just getting the old stuff out! If it was originally put in well, then it is going to be really stuck in there.  It has to be chiseled out, which if not done by an expert hand, can chip the wood, leaving you with a much bigger problem then you started with.

Here at the shop we are fortunate enough to have an expert Furniture Weaver, and she did a beautiful job on this difficult task.

Have you ever tried machine or hand weaving before? We would love to hear how it went!

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