Saturday, January 29, 2011
A Tale of Two Chairs
Here we go with the tale of two chairs, my apologizes to Charles Dickens! The two chairs I'm re-doing are quite different even though they're from the same manufacturer, Hitchcock. I completed the one on the left yesterday and it's done with pre-woven, manufactured cane. After soaking the cane for a couple of hours it was wedged into a groove which runs completely around the seat. A tapered spline is then glued and forced into the groove to keep it in place. Now that the caning is dry the seat is as tight as the proverbial drum and ready for another half century of sitters.
I've just started on the chair on the right and am breaking for lunch. It has a woven seat and will be done with a Fibre Paper Rush. I've only used sea grass in the past and this fibre is a manmade material that is woven in a spiral pattern. You need to be careful not to unwind the spiral as you weave the rush around the seat. The only part done so far is the front corners which needed to be filled in before going to the back. As is typical in chairs, the front is a bit wider than the back so the first step is to square it up. This chair has painted, wooden slats that will cover the front, back, and sides. I was fortunate to be able to loosen the glue and wedge them off without popping the nails. Keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to re-install them into the same holes without popping them back through the front and ruining the existing paint.
If anyone has a chair they need to re-cane or a new caning job I whole heartedly recommend Mike Frank who is the owner of Franks Caning. He has been in Southern California for years, has great service with quick shipping. The best part is that you can call him and he answers the phone! No recordings or anything, another big plus is that he's more than happy to give you advice and help on your projects. That's the kind of company I like to do business with.