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Tips and Tricks from the 2015 Gathering

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s session that has become a favorite!


Joining Rush – you can either use hog rings or cage clamps Hog Ring Pliers – found at a Farm Supply Store Small Hog Rings – The Nylon Net Company ( Pet Cage Clamp Pliers – found at a Farm Supply Store (Family Farm & Home $9.99) Pet Cage Clamps – small steel clips (Family Farm & Home $3.99) *************************************************************************************

Trimming Sheet Cane – You can use a small rotary cutter that can be found with scrapbooking supplies at your craft store. JoAnn Fabric has a nice set that is not as pricey as the ones found on or Hobby Lobby Tonic Mini Rotary Cutter $3.99 *************************************************************************************

Cutting Leather Strips for weaving – TANDY Leather – Australian Leather Stranding Tool. To get the really long strips, you cut the leather in spirals. To get rid of the skew, put the leather in hot water for a few minutes and then stretch and tie off to dry. You will need to practice with the tool for about a half of a skin before you get the hang of using the tool *************************************************************************************

There is a very small pry bar that is only about the size of your fist that is helpful in many aspects of seat weaving. Can be used as a packing tool as well as pulling nails and such. (Home Depot - Vaughn about $5) ************************************************************************************* Acrylic Squaring Tool for hand caning available from Peerless Rattan. This very easily squares up the cane after step 4. ************************************************************************************* Metal from Windshield Wipers is very strong and flexible. The end can be ground/tapered and you can “sharpen” the end. This is good to dig under tight cane where sometimes the awl may be too big ************************************************************************************* Upholstery Tack Puller – good for getting out tacks and small nails. Jill Woods brought up use of a tack puller.... the nature of us using them can lend itself to be easy to damage the furniture or send a tack flying. If you use a mallet to work it under the tack, you'll avoid slipping and damaging furniture. ************************************************************************************* Home Made Sample Catalog – The Mead “Five Star Flex Hybrid Notebinder” is a great notebook for this. The rings are flexible and guaranteed not to break; and the cover folds over to lay flat. It comes with picket dividers for your sections. Use with Avery plastic sheet protectors to easily put in sample sheets, catalogs, instructions. flexible Mead 5 Star 3 ring binder from Amazon 2&keywords=mead+five+star+flex+binder or Costco (2 pack) looks like this: . This type of binder will flip open and stay that way. Then you will need a box of the clear page protectors. Then collect either sample cards from the different suppliers or make your own samples and slip each into the page protector with information. You can also use this to save any handouts, instructions or notes that you gather at future Guild Gatherings. ************************************************************************************* Steamer – be sure to use distilled water in your steamer. Normal tap water has chemicals and minerals which can solidify and clog your steamer. ************************************************************************************* Steaming out spline – If you have dark finishes, sometimes using a steamer will turn the finish white. If this happens, “blush remover” will work to take it out. ~or~ Put a layer of paste wax on the wood of the chair before you start steaming to help protect the finish on the wood. Also, use a paper towel to dry the wood rather than a rag. ************************************************************************************* Removing spline – drill small holes in the spline, drop in denatured alcohol and wait ½ hour. The spline should come out and not leave any residual glue behind—no goopy mess. Do not get the alcohol on the chair’s finish, use the previous tip and use paste wax to protect the finish. You can use a syringe or little oil can with a point to put the denatured alcohol in. ************************************************************************************* Squaring Up a Rush Seat on uneven chairs – put pencils in the corners to help square off the corners when starting on an uneven chair. ************************************************************************************* Finishing up a rush seat – when the “bridge” is getting tight, use a drinking straw to jam in the middle so your rush can come through without rubbing—it will save it from getting fuzzy or warn looking. ****************************************************************************************** Wine corks are great to put on the ends of sharp tools to keep them from poking though things or stabbing you when not in use. ***************************************************************************************** NEW – Wayne Sharp got a great stand at a church auction for $3 – the church use is for banners and flags, a caner’s use is for hanging hanks of cane. He can hang the hanks and easily find either a long or shorter strand to choose that would be perfect for weaving. Also have a look at his work table in the background, it can adjust to 5 different heights and notice his chair is a piano chair that also is height adjustable! *********************************************************

"Preserving & perpetuating the craft of chair caning and seat weaving!"
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