Cane styles

Howard Caplan

Wooden Canoe Maniac
While up north last week, I saw an Old Town hanging from the ceiling of an antique shop. Looked all (or mostly) original. I notice the seats had a distinctive diamond shaped caning pattern and am wondering if this could be an indicator of the era the canoe was made.
I gave the shop keeper the forum address and suggested they could get the vintage, etc. She said the owner doesn't want to sell it because it is too much of a hassle to take it down from the rafters. I did leave my name and contact as she also added the owner is ready to retire and he may consider finding a good home for the canoe.
cane seats

Here is a picture of the caning from my 1938 OTCA AA. Is it the same thing your looking at?



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It looks the same. Other then the old varnish on the seats I was looking at.
So, does this style designate an era?
Thanks for posting.
Double diamond

I saw that pattern on an AA grade once and really liked it. Note that all the strands are doubled up - unlike the traditional Chestnut weave. Maybe Benson can elaborate, but I think he thought that it was a replacement cane job and that OT used the traditional seat pattern resulting in octagons.

I did use the double diamond pattern on a pair of seats and it was fun to do. The holes must be very clean and the cane must lay flat in the holes because there is a lot of cane to go into the holes.
Aside from the poor condition of the seat, that's the same pattern as Chestnut Peterborough, and many other Canadian canoe builders used. It's the pattern that I prefer and continue to use.

I also use 1/4" holes very slightly countersunk. 3/16" holes are too small to be any fun to cane.
Bob's seat

For illustration purposes, this was the pattern I found on an old Bob's Special. Note that the diagonals are not doubled up.

Given the late hour last night that I was looking at the photo, I guess that it's not surprising that I missed the doubled up diagonals.

This pattern traditionally has single diagonals which both cross over and under at the same grid point. It is also supposed to have "Bird's Beaks", ie. each corner has 2 strands using the hole. This helps to keep the diagonals working evenly across the grid.

Also, keeping in this style, the binding is tied down only every other hole.


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Neat Work

Very neat work Doug.

I just copied what I found on the canoe. I don't know if it may have been replaced, but these Bob's seats were apparently quickly thrown together. I have attached a photo of what I found on the Bob's. Also an old Old Town seat, and the doubled up pattern on another seat.


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The early 1930'2 OT I just acquired has the same pattern as the middle picture above. The seats are in great shape, but I wonder how durable that old cane will be in service. I'm guessing that I should have them re-caned as part of the restoration to avoid problems later.


Anyone know a good seat weaver?
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