"Caning" seats

Well, not actually cane.

I have been toying with the idea of building a new seat for my slider in the Magic. I would like to lace it with polyester (Dacron) cord rather than cane. I have a hank of 1/8" braided polyester from West Marine, but I would like a smaller diameter such as 3/32 to reduce bulk at the seat frame holes (smaler hole needed).

So far my Gogle search has tuned up the perfect cord material (polyester), size (3/33") and color (black). Only problem is that it is on a 3000’ spool.

Anyone have a source for such cord in

West Marine
does sell Spectra at 3/32", but it is very pricey, I think it is almost $0.50 a foot.

I repaired a cane seat using the technique you are considering and used 1/8" line. It looked fine, but was surprised how uncomfortable it was. Eventuallu just went back to a cane seat.

Did the same thing. The seat is more
comfortable than before. Maybe its the tightness or lack of tightness of the weave.

You can buy less
but pay a little more per foot.


Swordfish :
Exactly what I wanted!

Thanks for the link. I would have never thought of radio supplies being a source.


Dacron does not give. Good for what you are doing.


I just re-read my post, and besides the bad spelling and my creation of a new English measuring unit (3/33") the last few words of my post disappeared.


I would have never thought of it!
But I am going to try it out!


a weird place but try: kitebuilder.com
the leading kite making supplier to the us…

lots of different line…


“cord” seats

– Last Updated: Dec-14-07 12:59 AM EST –

Before you buy your cord (and I think the Kitebuilder idea is terrific; as a long-time kiter I've found them GREAT to work with), check out the standard seats on Nova Craft canoes. I have a feeling this is what you are looking for. They use actual boot lacing, which can be bought in bulk at a cobblers (and maybe even REI?) for very cheap. The Nova seats on my Bob Special are not only much more comfortable (at least to my butt) than any cane seat (flat or curved) that I've sat on, but they also seem to provide a better "box spring" effect when using a thin foam Granite Gear or Crazy Creek pad or seat. Everyone's anatomy is different, but I think you will be very happy that you decided to go the corded route rather than re-caning. You can even buy an entire replacement Nova Craft seat from Rutabaga. You'd have to cut it down for your slider, but this way you could get someone else to do at least some of the work!

Nova Craft seats
Yep, Nightswimmer’s Nova was the inspiration for this design.

I am still going to stick with the 3/32" cord, as I want to keep the holes drilled in the seat frame as small as possible. Also, most of the cushioning effect comes from my Piragis seat w/ Thermorest seat pad modification.

Gadzooks! Buy a seat when I can make several prototypes over the winter? That’s crazy talk!


Doing it on your own…
So, let’s see some photos come ice out, OK?

Jumping the gun
I will be cutting and glueing wood tomorrow. It will be a few weeks before I am ready to lace!


Search for paracord.
You don’t really need milspec 550 paracord for that application. And you can buy paracord without a core or you can strip the core, giving you a 1/8" cord that collapses into a flat tube. Usually a fair amount of paracord in small quantities on ebay. And nylon paracord has good UV resistance.

Problem with nylon
is that it is sensitive to water, even variations in the humidity levels from various times of the day. That is why your nylon bow & stern lines go slack over night.

The polyester (Dacron) cordage from radio supply houses will work MUCH better for maintaining tension under varying conditions.


a different treatment
I felt that all the holes necessary for cane-type weaving just makes for places for water to hide and eventually cause rot in the frame.

This Belgian double chair weave was usually done with hooks secured to the seat bottom, but I adapted it to wrap the frame instead. It takes almost 100 feet of 3/16 braid to weave a standard seat.

This seat is over 20 years old and has seen very hard use.


Belgian weave
That’s pretty neat! I like the idea of not drilling holes. Have to study the pic to see if I can figure it out.


can you explain how you got that weave pattern? I have a seat that needs the cane replaced, and I found your post in a search for info on that. I might like to do your method instead, if I can figure it out.