Glue for recaning seat

What is the best glue to use for replacing the cane in a canoe seat?

All the recaning advice I find say to use white, wood glue like Elmer’s. But that stuff is not waterproof.

TIA, Chip

TiteBond III
Woyks ok, an’ be wudderproof too.


Depends on whether you’ll ever
need to do it again. Hot water and a little scraping is all that’s needed to remove yellow wood glue residue. I’ve never tried it with the newer water-resistant “outdoor use” products like Titebond type II or type III, but I can’t imagine it being much fun.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a caned canoe seat fail because the spline pulled loose, though. A tight-fitting spline probably keeps any liquid out of the groove anyway. It’s not like you’re gonna have them submersed for any longer than necessary.

Non-Waterproof Glue

– Last Updated: Jan-28-14 12:19 PM EST –

I've been casually keeping track of re-caning advice that I see here and there because I have some seats I'll be re-caning someday. I often see non-waterproof glue recommended so that when replacement time comes, you can soak the seat in water and peel out the spline without the need for the use of wood-cutting tools (like a tiny chisel, etc). That prevents wear and tear on the groove which might make the next spine not fit as well (I'm just being a parrot regarding what I've read. No first-hand experience here). Apparently many non-waterpoof glues are "waterpoof enough" to tolerate rainy days and repeated dunking, but only soften when submerged for a very long period of time (like when it's time to remove the spline). I don't know which glues are best in this category though.

Glues for cane seats
I’ve redone mine several times. The second time I did it I learned the wisdom of not using (Titebond II) waterproof glue. It is a real pain to get out and there’s a good chance of screwing up the wood while cleaning out the groove in the process. Especially on the corners. Regular Titebond is fine. You’ll trash the spline removing it no matter what, but you don’t want to damage the groove any more than you have to when you’re removing the cane.

After the new cane and spline are in I finish with an artist’s brush and several coats of spar varnish over the spline to seal against water. Seems to work pretty well.

BTW, Plastic shim stock is pretty good for working the cane into the groove and holding it there while putting in the spline.

PJC makes a good point. Someday you may have to dig all of that superduty glue out for the next recantng. I have used Elmers and Gorilla glue and both work fine. There is a lot of friction with the spline in place.