Thursday, February 10, 2011

My First Caned Ovals

Early 1900's Waste Basket
After about 3 hours in my chilly garage I completed caning this project for my client.  This would have to be one of those mornings where we were in the 30's and the cane and spline needs to be soaked to make it workable -- water's cold!
Not to be egotistical but I really think this is a wonderful piece!  Very simple design but also very elegant;  I can see it sitting next to a desk in an office somewhere.  When I got it the cane had holes in it and some of the spline was missing as well.  It's made of a veneered plywood but it was scarred pretty badly and beyond re-veneering.  Once all of the old spline was removed, the glue soaked with vinegar and water and then scraped clean it was ready for it's do-over.  It was decided to go ahead and finish it in a satin black but I taped off the triangles at the bottom, these add a nice feature to the piece.  Experimentation was needed to see how long to soak the spline to get it to conform to the curves.  Turns out it was about 3 hours but the shop was littered with flying spline as it snapped trying to get it into the curves.  Once the spline was inserted, I left it there over-night.  The next morning the cane soaked for about 2 hours and was pressed into place.  Squaring up the spline to an oval and tapered sides was tricky but marks on the top and bottom center helped that.
It's been a couple of hours and the cane is already starting to tighten up as it dries.  The shelf for the table was done at the same time.  All that remains now is the drawer for the table, assembling the shelf to it, and final waxing to protect it and keep these pieces around for another hundred years or so.

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