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Thread: Caned seats

  1. #1
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    Default Caned seats

    I plan to do caned seats for my current cosine wherry build. The internet has tons of information about what size cane to use depending on what the existing hole size and spacing is. Because I will be building the seat frames from scratch, I get to choose the size and spacing of holes which will dictate the cane size, or I can pick my cane size, and then drill holes accordingly. I have found nothing though that discusses aesthetic or strength issues for the different cane/hole size options. Anyone here have thoughts or opinions on which way I should go with this?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Just my opinion, but I would substitute nylon starter cable for cane. It won't rot or rip or tear or break. Black would look nice.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Sounds like an interesting project. Please keep us posted. Thanks

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Mack McCarthy does a great job describing how to go about doing this in his book for building strip built canoes. It was an eye opener for me when I built my canoes. His book is available in the wooden boat store

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    There is synthetic cane that gives most of the look of the natural. True cane will stretch if wet, which it's likely to get in a wherry.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    If you have the time... weaving cane is not that hard.. but you need an eye for detail. it's easy to miss and up down and get an up up or down down in the weave. I've self taught myself natural can weaving but have used plastic can for most canoe type seats.. growing tired of that I learned how to route the groove in the frame and press in the cane and lock it in with a wedge reed. there a lots of guides and books available and you can order them with the cane supplies you get. I think the holes are 1/4" w 3/4' spacing and the groove 3/16" but it's been awhile for me.. and I'd only do press in for now on.

    #1 pressed in natural. 2&3 plastic

    Weaving takes hours & hours not minutes and if the natural if it breaks you have to pull it all apart and start over again because you can't hide the breaks. The plastic is very very long and because of that it makes it hard to get it tight, so then you have to guess where you want to tie your knots. I'll never weave again... nope never nada, good luck.!

    This is just one of many. they have the plastic cane also.
    https://seatweaving.org/cgi-bin/sc/p...48ac0782410e53
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 02-12-2018 at 12:02 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Just my opinion, but I would substitute nylon starter cable for cane. It won't rot or rip or tear or break. Black would look nice.
    It would look nice, and I appreciate the thoughts of those who have suggested the synthetic alternatives to natural cane. I am leaning towards natural cane, though for aesthetic reasons. If that proves problematic, I figure I can always recane with synthetic.

    Mack McCarthy does a great job describing how to go about doing this in his book for building strip built canoes. It was an eye opener for me when I built my canoes. His book is available in the wooden boat store
    Hmmm, that sounds like a good resource. However, I can not find it in the Wooden Boat Store.

    Denise, thank you for the photos. Do you have any idea what the scale is? Are those seats 12" fore to aft, or some other dimension? That would give me the hole spacing.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Well, sometimes it is "ok" to shop non boating sites and for cane and rush weaving you should look for a more inclusive book that art of weaving is quite expansive I think Gil Gilpatrick tells how in his book. Mac does. the wood canvas book by Rolin covers it too I think.

    The one is in my 15ft solo. the other one has been laying around for years. I forget which boat it was in LOL

    We used perforated metal strapping for the hole guide (I think, again.. it's been awhile)

    We always made canoe seats much larger. (basically any size you need.) I also restored a nursing rocker with cane and basically gave it away to a consignment thrift shop. I've not had too much problem with natural cane stretching if it's done right and tight.

    Oh BTW. all caning is done wet.. it's amazing when wet. like steamed wood.. pliable! (but dries too fast)

    .. the plastic needs lube. the natural.. glycerin and your hands and fingers will pay a price

    youtube can be most helpful in this topic also.
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 02-12-2018 at 12:34 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    I would think that the rocking motion of rowing would be really hard on cane seats in terms of them stretching. You might also want to take a look at some of the rope-laced seats used on drift boats. They don't look as classy, but probably hold up better for rowing. I got to the point where I made a canvas covered seat pad with about 3/4" of ensolite foam inside which accompanied me on any canoe trip lasting more than a couple of days. This accomplished two tasks. The obvious one was to make the seats more comfortable as the cane would invariably start to sag after a couple of days out on the water. The not so obvious, but equally important one was that it blocked access for the skeeters who had no trouble figuring out that the big spaces between the strands where your pants were pressed tightly against your skin were good targets.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    There are two schools of thought on weaving cane. One is that it is a pleasant meditative activity. The other is that it is a pain in the . If you are in the first group, This site might be for you: https://seatweaving.org Because I am in the second group and have three seats that have been hanging fire for years because I don't like caning and decided that the natural cane is not durable enough I looked up some sources of plastic cane https://hhperkins.com/shop/medium-3-0mm-plastic-cane/ http://www.franksupply.com/caning/hand-caning.html All I know about these vendors is that they were the first ones I found.

    Since it is hard to find an opportunity to disagree with Gib, I will pick on his starter rope idea. I will suggest a flat Dacron tape, with the rubber finish. The rubber finish is not obvious, but it makes it less slippery, frays less and takes a varnish finish well. It is used in very high end electronic assemblies, so it is high quality material. I will buy some if I ever decide to finish my seats or build myself a SOF canoe, since I don't like handling synthetic sinew. A wider, stronger heavy duty Dacron tape that would not look much like traditional cane. For those familiar with SOF construction materials, this can be compared to the Dacron lacing tape for strength and size.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

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    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    There are two schools of thought on weaving cane. One is that it is a pleasant meditative activity. The other is that it is a pain in the . If you are in the first group, This site might be for you: https://seatweaving.org Because I am in the second group and have three seats that have been hanging fire for years because I don't like caning and decided that the natural cane is not durable enough I looked up some sources of plastic cane https://hhperkins.com/shop/medium-3-0mm-plastic-cane/ http://www.franksupply.com/caning/hand-caning.html All I know about these vendors is that they were the first ones I found.

    Since it is hard to find an opportunity to disagree with Gib, I will pick on his starter rope idea. I will suggest a flat Dacron tape, with the rubber finish. The rubber finish is not obvious, but it makes it less slippery, frays less and takes a varnish finish well. It is used in very high end electronic assemblies, so it is high quality material. I will buy some if I ever decide to finish my seats or build myself a SOF canoe, since I don't like handling synthetic sinew. A wider, stronger heavy duty Dacron tape that would not look much like traditional cane. For those familiar with SOF construction materials, this can be compared to the Dacron lacing tape for strength and size.
    Todd makes a very good point about rowing.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Thank you for all the advice. I also asked one of the online cane vendors (H.H. Perkins) about my question. They suggested either plastic cane or natural cane, but with a definite preference for natural. The suggested size is 3mm medium cane which dictates 1/4" holes 3/4" on center. With the natural cane they recommend annual finishing with tung oil or polyurethane. I expect I will take that advice realizing that I can revisit the decision if it proves to be a mistake.

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    Yes. Some things bear repeating. "the holes are 1/4" w 3/4' spacing" (post #6) lol good luck!



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    Last edited by DeniseO30; 02-13-2018 at 10:41 PM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Todd makes a very good point about rowing.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Todd is an expert where it comes to canoes, cane seats and sails, among other things. Not sure about rowing.
    Adirondack Guideboats (row boats) traditionally have caned seats, and seem to have done well enough for a century or so. Tradition has its limitations.
    https://adirondackguideboat.wordpres...niture-part-1/
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    Default Re: Caned seats

    No, I hate rowing...can't see where the hell you're going, etc. My only current rowboat is a big old Campways river raft, somewhere down in the basement - and it would be rowed facing downriver. I just figured that rocking on your pelvic bones would tend to stretch out the cane, though it might depend a lot on how much force it would take to propel a particular type of boat. Guideboats move very easily, so they aren't going to demand a lot of power. Something bigger and heavier might be a different story.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    I've always hated drilling holes in the rail to mount seats... Like my 15' X 32" solo... I've been wanting to make it a 2 seater... more holes... then more empty holes.. Makes one wanna make new rails!

    We make a sliding bow seat with it's own rails and clamps for the Redbird (17.5' )we built years ago.. it was a tad complicated but allowed the best positions for solo and tandem paddling
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Caned seats


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    Default Re: Caned seats

    IĒve just finished up some caned seats on my CY build thatís been going on for 18 months. Never even considered weaving them. Also bought all my supplies from Perkins in Ct.....including the natural cane sheet stock. They seem to know their stuff and were quite helpful. This is a trailer, fair weather boat that Iím sure wonít get a whole lot of use and not worried about the Ďperhapsí short life span of the cane. I do plan on coating them in beeswax....which I hope will be an annual event and help for longevity. Something I learned on the way and was not mentioned on any utube vid....is to ease the top edges of the routed groove. Cut with a new carbide bit those cherry edges are very sharp and cuts the cane when one drives the glued in spline. Iím sure the rear (and first build) seats are going to go first.... hardest part of this was trying to maintain the reveal around the perimeter of each seat....and will hopefully get it right....th next time
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Holy cats ain't that nice?! I'd stick a heel or a hatchet or something right thru it first day out, but some people have a whole lot more class and finesse than me, that's for sure. Heck, lots of people do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmq400 View Post
    I”ve just finished up some caned seats on my CY build that’s been going on for 18 months. Never even considered weaving them. Also bought all my supplies from Perkins in Ct.....including the natural cane sheet stock. They seem to know their stuff and were quite helpful. This is a trailer, fair weather boat that I’m sure won’t get a whole lot of use and not worried about the ‘perhaps’ short life span of the cane. I do plan on coating them in beeswax....which I hope will be an annual event and help for longevity. Something I learned on the way and was not mentioned on any utube vid....is to ease the top edges of the routed groove. Cut with a new carbide bit those cherry edges are very sharp and cuts the cane when one drives the glued in spline. I’m sure the rear (and first build) seats are going to go first.... hardest part of this was trying to maintain the reveal around the perimeter of each seat....and will hopefully get it right....th next time
    Woo! You been busy!! I noticed on another site that the plastic came comes in sheet stock also but I think it was white only yeah I'm not big on weaving by hand anymore I've done it too many times and I don't see any advantage to it over pressed in. You can put a slight chamfer on the Inside Edge of the groove so it doesn't break the cane prematurely but you have to be careful.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    With reasonable care and inside or covered off-use storage you can get pretty good life out of the pre-woven cane. I varnished the cane on my Old Town Guide canoe's seats when I bought the boat in 1972, mostly because it prevents dirt from eventually getting down into the fiber. Once it gets that dirty look, it isn't going to ever go away. That's what? 46 years ago? The bow seat still looks and works fine. The stern seat still would, except about ten years ago I had my British Seagull outboard clamped to the cartop rack because they leak oil and gas and I didn't want it inside the car. I put the canoe on the rack over it and miscalculated. That big five bladed prop makes a nasty sound as it punches through a cane seat. I replaced the cane in that one and gave it a couple coats of orange shellac before the varnish so that it would have a similar color.

    guide-014.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    With reasonable care and inside or covered off-use storage you can get pretty good life out of the pre-woven cane. I varnished the cane on my Old Town Guide canoe's seats when I bought the boat in 1972, mostly because it prevents dirt from eventually getting down into the fiber. Once it gets that dirty look, it isn't going to ever go away. That's what? 46 years ago? The bow seat still looks and works fine. The stern seat still would, except about ten years ago I had my British Seagull outboard clamped to the cartop rack because they leak oil and gas and I didn't want it inside the car. I put the canoe on the rack over it and miscalculated. That big five bladed prop makes a nasty sound as it punches through a cane seat. I replaced the cane in that one and gave it a couple coats of orange shellac before the varnish so that it would have a similar color.

    guide-014.jpg
    would have been pretty slick but I sold her off about 8 years ago add a yellow trailer....

    Meanwhile... I'm going to make two new seats for my canoe, decision to make Ash or mahogany?

    decisions decisions but one thing for sure I'm not going to weave cane!
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 02-18-2018 at 01:05 PM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmq400 View Post
    IĒve just finished up some caned seats on my CY build thatís been going on for 18 months. Never even considered weaving them. Also bought all my supplies from Perkins in Ct.....including the natural cane sheet stock. They seem to know their stuff and were quite helpful. This is a trailer, fair weather boat that Iím sure wonít get a whole lot of use and not worried about the Ďperhapsí short life span of the cane. I do plan on coating them in beeswax....which I hope will be an annual event and help for longevity. Something I learned on the way and was not mentioned on any utube vid....is to ease the top edges of the routed groove. Cut with a new carbide bit those cherry edges are very sharp and cuts the cane when one drives the glued in spline. Iím sure the rear (and first build) seats are going to go first.... hardest part of this was trying to maintain the reveal around the perimeter of each seat....and will hopefully get it right....th next time
    FWIW, we finished our cedar stripper with caned seats in 1985, using pre-woven natural cane and glued splines much as described above (without the curves!). It's now 2018 and the original seats are still in good shape - the bottom is where all the hard use shows. The canoe has only been used occasionally in the last decade but it had heavy use for years, including white water with numerous capsizes - when the cane is wet it stretches but shrinks again as it dries. We varnished them when new but not since then.

    Jamie

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Are you set on cane? Rawhide could work.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    Are you set on cane? Rawhide could work.
    Oh I thought about that and webbing but I like cane, I just don't like weaving it anymore.

    The bigger choice is which wood to use LOL
    Ash, Honduran, Philippine, I originally fitted out the boat with Honduras mahogany so I'll probably stay with that.

    I may go with polyurethane instead of true varnish so it doesn't get as dark this time around

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Holy cats ain't that nice?! I'd stick a heel or a hatchet or something right thru it first day out, but some people have a whole lot more class and finesse than me, that's for sure. Heck, lots of people do.
    Yep. First class. I'd mess it up in a day too.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Rawhide can work, but it can also be problematic. It is really strong, but also pretty abrasive. I owned one of the very early Mad River Malecite canoes and at that time, the seats were rawhide and being produced by Vermont Tubbs, the snowshoe company. We took the boat for a week long trip to Quetico and both the guy in the bow and I wore holes in the seats of some reasonably good Levis from the abrasion. There is enough cross-strip curl to the stuff that the edges get fairly sharp. When we later made a few rawhide seats we would stretch the hide, let it dry and shrink tight, and then ease the edges of the strips a bit with sandpaper before varnishing the hide. It made them substantially less likely to wear out your pants. With enough coats of varnish they seemed to resist stretching pretty well, even in the rain. Depending on local wildlife and vermin, it can sometimes be subject to getting chewed on during storage. It needs to be the full-grain stuff though, not the cheaper split version which will stretch out.

    You can also weave snowshoe patterns with plastic lacing made for lawn chairs, which you can buy by the pound in a variety of widths and colors. It's pretty nice stuff and tough.

    DSCF2374b.jpg

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    I just spent a couple hours cutting up some beautiful mahogany! I had it saved for making leaderboards for the 18 foot Old Town sailing canoe I sold about 10 years ago. So, given the fact I won't be making Lee board's anytime soon, I'm making canoe seat frames.

    I've kind of hijacked this thread, should I start another?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    I just spent a couple hours cutting up some beautiful mahogany! I had it saved for making leaderboards for the 18 foot Old Town sailing canoe I sold about 10 years ago. So, given the fact I won't be making Lee board's anytime soon, I'm making canoe seat frames.

    I've kind of hijacked this thread, should I start another?

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    I realized why people don't want to do pressed in cane on canoe seats or other types: it's the difficulty of making the groove with a router bit! I'm working on that solution will report back with my results

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    I never found it particularly difficult as long as you have a good sharp bit and proceed in the proper direction so that you aren't peeling out splinters along the groove's sides. You can also do it two different ways. Old Towns generally have mitered corners and four pieces of spline. You can even cut the groove in the stock ahead of time on a table saw for those if you don't want to use a router for it. Some of the other companies cut a continuous, round-cornered groove by dropping a template over the completed frame to guide the router around the seat and then use one long piece of spline. Both types seem to work fine/

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Oh I thought about that and webbing but I like cane, I just don't like weaving it anymore.

    The bigger choice is which wood to use LOL
    Ash, Honduran, Philippine, I originally fitted out the boat with Honduras mahogany so I'll probably stay with that.

    I may go with polyurethane instead of true varnish so it doesn't get as dark this time around

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Skip the Polyurethane. The oil-based stuff yellows appreciably. The water-based stuff is OK, but will lend a milky tone if you've got to build too many coats. Go with some decent varnish.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    Skip the Polyurethane. The oil-based stuff yellows appreciably. The water-based stuff is OK, but will lend a milky tone if you've got to build too many coats. Go with some decent varnish.
    I've used the water-based poly a lot for indoor projects I kind of love it but it's still hard to get used to the Milky color and it dries clear,. The real varnish that is on there now is really dark , hoping to avoid that but, it is close to 20 years old.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    I never found it particularly difficult as long as you have a good sharp bit and proceed in the proper direction so that you aren't peeling out splinters along the groove's sides. You can also do it two different ways. Old Towns generally have mitered corners and four pieces of spline. You can even cut the groove in the stock ahead of time on a table saw for those if you don't want to use a router for it. Some of the other companies cut a continuous, round-cornered groove by dropping a template over the completed frame to guide the router around the seat and then use one long piece of spline. Both types seem to work fine/
    Todd, what's your feeling on mitered spline Corners? I've never seen it but seems to me it would look better because the seat frames are rectangular. I have to get some new router bits for the grooves. So maybe just use the table saw.

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    Default Re: Caned seats

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    I realized why people don't want to do pressed in cane on canoe seats or other types: it's the difficulty of making the groove with a router bit! I'm working on that solution will report back with my results

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    I made a rectangular frame, clamped it to the seat frame and zipped around inside it with the router. No effort, no mistakes - one of the few times I found it worth making a jig.

    Jamie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Orr View Post
    I made a rectangular frame, clamped it to the seat frame and zipped around inside it with the router. No effort, no mistakes - one of the few times I found it worth making a jig.

    Jamie
    Yup I'm knee deep in all kinds of those Jamie. I was going to make a captive pattern that holds the router collar bit so there is no chance of the router moving away from the pattern Edge like happens often but we'll see what Todd has with the rectangular seat cane

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