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Old Cane Seats -- can I soften the cane?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by millie_sass, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. millie_sass

    millie_sass Canoe anybody?

    The seats for my old Peterborough were re-caned in the 1960s. That caning job was done well and appears to be in good shape (no breaks but is somewhat brittle. Although the rest of the canoe is being restored, I was thinking of keeping the caned seats "as-is" for the moment, delaying re-caning until a later date.

    Is there some way that I can soften up the cane to get a few more years of life out of them?

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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  2. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    50% linseed oil and 50% turpentine should help the cause. Shake it up well. Both sides and a couple coats if needed.
  3. Ed Moses

    Ed Moses LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Your cane looks to be in very good shape and as Gerrish has said a mixture of oil and turp will restore some flexibility. I use Tung oil & Turp 50/50 and have resurrected several "old" cane seats. Even though conventional wisdom has said not to varnish new cane seats, I have varnished only the tops of resurrected cane and have had good results. The varnish just replaces the natural top shiny surface found on new cane that has weather worn off. Leaving the cane underside unvarnished allows it to "breathe" & able to be re-oiled if necessary.

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