Soaking Cane

      Furniture makers debate the fine points of soaking cane. April 10, 2008

It has been suggested to me to add glycerin to the soaking of cane process. Would this help? I'm using conventional cane half weave in sheet form. Soaking for 15 minutes.

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor H:
Glycerin will make the cane more pliable. Do not soak the spline.

From the original questioner:
I shouldn't soak the spline? Will it swell up the spline so it won't fit in the groove?

From contributor H:
You should not soak the spline because if you do, it gets soft like the cane and you then cannot drive it into the groove. It just mashes flat.

From contributor P:
I have to disagree completely with contributor H. I've been caning for a lot of years, and done a lot of pieces. In fact, I usually do a few pieces every month. If you don't soak your spline, it will break when trying to turn a corner. It will also break if you try to drive it dry into the groove. I use a plastic hammer to drive it in, occasionally with a block of wood. Once it's in, clamp it and let it dry. You need to clamp it so when it shrinks, it doesn't pull out of the groove.

From contributor T:
I'm with contributor H. Spline goes in dry, sized correctly, can be bedded to match original, as in one of a set. I use shaped (concave edge) blocks to set the spline. For curved groove pieces, I pre-curve the spline by soaking it and putting it in the groove till it's dry. I overlap the ends of the spline when doing this so it doesn't come up short when the cane in the groove forces the spline to the outside of the groove (as in if it were a circle, the radius would be larger with the cane in the groove. Hey, always more than one way to skin a cat.

From contributor J:
Contributor P, I agree with you on soaking the spline. The only time softening the spline causes a problem is when I forget and let it soak too long.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Furniture

  • KnowledgeBase: Furniture: Custom Furniture

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article