Monday, January 23, 2012

Radio Weave Tutorial -- Wine Cupboard Doors

Doors Caned & Drying
     You know that you can only say: "I've never done that before" one time?  It's my goal to be able to say that about all kinds of things -- my so-called bucket list keeps on growing!  This is my first attempt at laying woven cane into the back of a door.  I've used spline to attach woven cane into chairs and shelves but this project needed a clean appearance without the clutter of a spline.  So far, so good; let me take you through the process.  In the back of each door there is a 3/8" x 5/16" rabbet.  The rabbet is to lay the radio weave in and then a strip of wood is pinned on top of it.

Bench Hook, Miter Side

    Since I ran out of Mahogany I made the strips from Smoked Poplar, figure that will add a bit to the inside of the doors.  To cut these small pieces to size, a bench hook was my choice.  Bench hooks are something I think should be in every woodworkers shop.  Very safe and easy way to cut small pieces to size.  Granted, this one is "over-kill" with dovetails but I wanted the practice!

Ready to Start
     To protect my bench I clamped a plastic bag to it.  A 23 gauge pin was ideal for attaching the strips and Liquid Hide glue was the glue chosen for this job.  This type of glue can be removed with a vinegar solution should the cane ever need to be replaced.  The first step is to soak the cane for about 5 minutes.  I was surprised to learn that this cane is actually made of paper!

Anchor one End

     After soaking, remove the cane and shake off the excess water.  Now center the cane and then crease it into the rabbet on one end.  It's easiest to pull out some of the excess strands that run parallel to the rabbet.  Once that's done, run a bead of glue in the corner, hold the pre-cut strip in position and pin it into place.


Opposite End and First Side

After following the same procedure and pulling it tight, the opposite end is secured.  I did the best I could to line up the strands with the door's edge but not perfect.  Actually I feel it looks better -- more of that hand crafted look and it's really not that obvious.  I really like the look of this product, I get all of my caning supplies from Franks Cane and Rush Supply in Huntington Beach.

Opposite Side Secured

     After the first side was secured I found it easiest to flip the door around so that the side was closest to me.  This made it easier to put pressure against the strip as I nailed/pinned it in place.  Notice that all of the long strands of the radio weave that run parallel to the edge are removed.  This makes it easier to crease into the rabbet.  All that remains is to let them dry for a good 24 hours and then trim those ends with a utility knife.  I put them in the house so they will dry quicker.


     The remainder of the shop time was spent making the French cleats that will be used to hang the cupboard.  The upper portion of the doors needed a door stop so that was designed and glued on as well.

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