Why do we say kids return to school in the fall? My kids started school this week and it’s still 95 degrees outside with no relief in sight. The other day words came out of my mouth that I never thought I was capable of speaking. “I will be so glad when fall finally comes.” My daughter asked me if I was feeling ok? I startled myself with my comment and truthfully was a little confused. IS this a temporary thing or am I no longer a beach person? What’s going on? After giving it a little thought I realized what I was longing for wasn’t a change in temperature but a change in pace, just slow the tempo down a bit. It has been one busy summer.
Since I have not had any time to work on projects lately and since I have no project manager (as my husband is out of the country most of the time) I have only been able to dabble around with small projects like recaning this fabulous chair I scored for ten dollars!!!! I did have to spend a little on the caning supplies. Even so I came out way ahead. I had been eyeing this style chair for quite a while. I just fell in love with the bright shades of glossy lacquer that I see in the magazines and design shops. I love them all!! For me, color would not be a deal breaker. I was flexible. I figured the color would be decided for me when I found one in my budget. (These bad boys aren’t cheap) BUT……when I saw this chair sans a seat and all, I fell in love with the natural, organic look immediately. I knew I would be leaving it au naturel. Another example of my motto….I’ll know it when I see it.
The caning wasn’t bad. It was my first attempt. The most time consuming part of the whole project was removing the old caning and spline and scraping away at the old glue. I have no idea how old this chair is, but based on the strength of the glue I’d say it’s pretty old. It is very important to get every last bit of glue and old materials out of the groove or it will be very difficult to get the new spline and cane to fit in place and stay without popping out.
When the groove is as clean as it will come, it’s time to install the cane. Presoak the cane and spline in room temperature water for approximately 30 minutes to make it soft and plyable. Take the sheet of cane material and place it on the seat, lining it up to keep it straight. Trim off all but an inch or two so you basically have the shape and size you need. Begin on one side and use a wedge. I used a clothespin that had been taken apart. Perfect size and worked great. Use the clothespin to push the caning into the groove.
I used a small rubber hammer to gently (but firmly) work the cane into the groove. In the middle of the first side I left one of the clothespins to keep it in place while working on the opposite side. I continually worked to keep it lined up and straight. After the cane was in place on all four sides, I trimmed it up even more. The less excess the easier it will be to install the spline which for me was the hard part. Actually it was pretty easy until I got to the back. It wasn’t hard, but my materials had started to dry out and were not nearly as plyable. Also, my chair is not square. It gets wider at the back. I had to use a little more force working the spline into place. I used a small bead of elmers wood glue, just a bit before working the spline in place. On the back of my chair there were a couple quirky sharp turns because of the shape and the way it was made. I possibly could have bent the spline enough but I did not want to risk it breaking because I knew how hard it was to remove all the old glue and I didn’t want to go through that again, so I just used a craft knife and made one clean cut, you really can’t tell that it’s not one continuous piece of spline. Ultimately I decided to use some clamps in the back where the spline was being stubborn. I left them overnight and it did the trick. I am very happy with the results and currently have it sitting in a corner of one of the guest rooms.
Have you tackled any projects this summer? Do you have plans for any this fall?