Restored Family Chair

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Project by tyvekboy posted 11-19-2010 03:00 AM 2466 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Nov 19, 2010

This chair has been sitting up in the attic for many years. I kept avoiding the restoration because the seat frame had a small crack in the back. The cane seat was torn and damaged. Unfortunately I did not get any BEFORE pictures. I got too excited trying to restore it. Oh well ….

Anyway I finally got around to fixing the small crack in the back of the seat frame. Then I gave the whole chair a light sanding and wiped it down with Watco Danish Oil. Thought about giving it a coat of varnish but it looked so good after the Watco I decided to leave it just as it was.

If any of you are interested in restoring a hand caned chair, go to this link for a step-by-step description on how to do it.

My first caning was done on my canoe seats which can be seen in my canoe project posting. The canoe seat pattern was the classic pattern—standard horizontal, vertical and diagonal pattern. SInce I don’t like to do the same thing twice, I decided to try a more advanced caning pattern. This one is call Daisys and Buttons. You really have to pay attention when weaving the diagonals.

I worked on it over a five day period off and on.

Picture 1 – The finished chair

Pcitures 2-5 – Closer views of the seat and caning pattern

In future projects, you might consider incorporating a field of cane. It really adds a different texture to a wooden project.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

6 comments so far

View woodworm's profile


14476 posts in 4233 days

#1 posted 11-19-2010 06:30 AM

Very nice work. I like the cane weaving pattern.
Just curious whether you made the cane strips or bought ready made ones.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View tyvekboy's profile


1967 posts in 3655 days

#2 posted 11-19-2010 06:56 AM

Woodworm – I’m good but not that good. H.COMere in the US you can order what ever size cane that you need at ROCKLER.COM and I’m sure other places on the internet. Some of us are lucky that we can drive to ROCKLER.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1594 posts in 3894 days

#3 posted 11-19-2010 09:29 AM

Wow awesome job on your chair, you do fantastic work.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4666 days

#4 posted 11-19-2010 02:15 PM

Very nice caning job. I agree, older pieces look better with a low-gloss finish as a rule. Good choice.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3937 days

#5 posted 11-19-2010 03:44 PM

Fantastic restoration !!
I love the weave pattern, I have to give it a try : )
Thanks for the link.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

717 posts in 3423 days

#6 posted 11-19-2010 06:11 PM

Really nice pattern on a super restoration!
When I renovated a much simpler chair some years ago, I kept getting the cross web wrong. Eventually I realised that there was one more hole on one side than the other! Apparently this was not that unusual, as making these cheap caned chairs was done as a cottage industry, with various stages done by relatively unskilled farmworkers. The legs would have been made by pole-lathe turners – known as ‘bodgers’.
Someone asked me to submit an article about redoing the chair to the local freebie newspaper (only to keep up their required editorial/adverts ratio I suspect).
I entitled the piece ”Does your bottom need caning?” (not sure whether that’s potentially as funny in the US as the UK)

-- Don, Somerset UK,

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