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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chair Caned

My first! I did it all by myself! This is a cheap and fun activity, resulting in useful chairs and stools.

When the local community college offered a one-semester course in chair caning, I signed up. The problem was--I had no chair to cane. Everyone else did. So, I set off to find a reasonably priced straight-backed chair.

This chair was originally two identical chairs. The owner told me they were over a hundred-years-old when I bought them from him about 1988 for $2 each. Maybe? At any rate, I brought them home and cannibalized one chair to form one good, whole chair. This only required a lot of strength. Nothing had to be glued because the chair is constructed with notches holding the whole thing together. Once it is reassembled, the caning will hold it together.

Yes, it creaks a bit. All the ones I sat in at relatives' houses creaked a bit, too. These were so ubiquitous in my youth. Of course, I am old! I rarely see them anymore, except in antique shops.

The chair lived on my side porch for almost twenty years. Whenever I needed extra seating in the yard, it could be gotten easily. Eventually, I asked someone to put it in the basement. When I retrieved it last week, it was in horrible shape. Okay, someone else retrieved it at my request.

Lately, water can run in my basement, something that never happened until just a few years ago. Obviously, from the look of the legs, this chair was placed in the back windowless corner, the wet corner of the basement. Exbf confirmed that when I asked him where he found the chair.

Even though I was disgusted at the sight of the legs, I sat down to do something in the yard. As you can see below, the seat had rotted because of too much moisture.

This is the result of continual dampness and my putting my ample behind down on the seat.  Now, I must evaluate the damage to the legs to determine if this is worth my time to re-cane. Maybe I will set the chair legs in buckets of borax water to make any rotting stop or prevent rot to the wood.

The wood must be thoroughly saturated and then thoroughly dried several times in order to make it rot and bug proof.

Back to caning. The cane is here, ready to go, bought several years ago for another project.

The other type caning is another post.

Your turn
Have you ever caned a chair? Do you have chairs that need re caning? Does anyone teach chair caning in your community? Have you ever used the community college as a resource for learning a practical skill?

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