Replacing cane in canoe seat?

I would like to replace the cane in an old seat. I could use some advice. I did a search and came up with replacing the entire seat. I also saw Tamies woven rope seat “In the Same Boat”, but didn’t find how to recane a seat. In case you are wondering I have an old solo tripper by Curtis and a vagabond that though the seats are still complete they are weak. The seat in the tripper has seen a lot of weather. Any “how to” advice will be helpful. I will sand and oil all the wood on the tripper like I did the vagabond.

couple of options
Do your seats have a routed channel around the border of the cane into which a spline was driven to secure the cane?

It would be easier, and possibly cheaper, to just replace the seats but if you want to save the original seat(s) you can do it. You will need to dig out the old spline first and clean up the rout. You can buy a fancy spline chisel for that purpose, or improvise your own tool.

Then you will need replacement cane(s), chine(s), and wedges. Here is one source:

Ed’s canoe sells a DIY cane seat kit:

Ed is pretty good about working with customers so if you give a call he may well be willing to just sell you the cane, spline, and wedges with the instructions and adjust the price if you want to keep your old seat frames.

It would be cheaper
But it goes against my grain to discard the original seat. Thanks for the links! I am completely shameless when it comes to asking advice, and y’all always come through!

I haven’t decided yet what I will do. I might try polypropylene rope and do something like “In the Same Boat” suggested for the short term. A light brown might look good.

Pre-woven cane seats
Replacing pre-woven cane is easy to do. You could probably do both seats in a bit over an hour. One trick to removing the old cane and old spline is to soak the seat in warm water to soften the old glue. The spline will come right out.

Here is a video that shows how it is done.

I like to use a very sharp chisel to trim the spline and the edge of the cane rather than a utility knife as shown.

polypropylene rope ??
… hope your not considering the polypropylene rope I’m familiar with , usually seen in bright colors , very plastic feel , probably the least expensive of all ropes .

If so , that would be a nasty mistake . When this ropes surface begins to chaff (and it begins quickly) , the “sharp” and hard roughness of the chaff will chew your skin up in a heartbeat .

If interested , I may still have a link that shows seat lacing how to .

I would use a tiny fluting bit in a laminate trimmer to clean the old (existing) channel groove out if re-canning .

An important thing to know (understand) about re-canning … is that “splines” come in different sizes (one size does not fit all) . The spline you replace with must be the correct size to match the channel grove width .

I would like a link to seat lacing
That is just the kind of thing I like. I have removed the thwarts and seat and and sanded them and removed the cane from the seat. They have two coats of oil, and I am waiting for the tropical rains to pass before starting on the rails of the solo tripper. My wife thinks she may have some woven cane some where, but it also may be history. Anyway, many many years ago I wove a seat for a wooden stool, but I don’t recall exactly how.

I believe the poly rope you are referring to is polyethylene. It doesn’t stretch like nylon and has hard strands. Thanks for the warning. I know how rough and prickly it can get. The rope I have on hand is soft like nylon but has much less stretch and I think it is polypropylene. I did the “the same boat” method with it to see if it might work ok. It did alright, so I took it back off and oiled the wood.

I watched the video thanks
It was helpful.

try this
Run a Google search on “snowshoe lacing”. You will find a lot of info on materials, techniques and instructional diagrams.

my link doesn’t work anymore, but …

– Last Updated: Jun-07-13 12:33 PM EST –

...... here's a good one found on the WCHA forums ...

scroll about 1/2 way down for the seat lacing ...

my old link was , posted it a few times over the years here ... too bad , it was a good instruction w/detailed drawings

Poly Rope
I hope someone can clarify this, but I’m pretty sure nearly all the rope I use is polypropylene, and it’s a very soft braid with a bit less stretch than nylon. I’m pretty sure that the really cheap stuff that comes in bright colors and is stiff, hard, and plastic-feeling is polyethylene (think “milk jug” material).

na , it’s like I said …

– Last Updated: Jun-07-13 6:22 PM EST –

..... polypropylene rope chaffs up , surface cracks up a leaves micro barbs , it's monofiliment strand molecuclar chain degrades quickly (very UV intolerant) ... gets that fuzzy feel which becomes hard and scratchy quickly there after . Usually found as the least expensive rope on the shelf , doesn't knot well either .

This stuff is advertised as polypropylene rope . Nephew got some from Bass Pro last year . I've handled it many times and it's not like the other polypropylene rope I talked about .

Not sure what "if any" part of it is polypropylene , maybe the sheath , maybe the core (??) . Anyway it's light , it floats , has a smooth feel , begins to aquire an unfavorable memory shortly after new . I don't like it much and try to keep it off the boat . Don't believe it will chaff up like solid polypropylene rope dose though . I think of it more like a temporary toy rope .

You may have (be using) polyester rope or a polyester sheathed rope .

I checked - not the same thing.

– Last Updated: Jun-08-13 10:27 AM EST –

I checked the rope in your Bass Pro link. I've seen and used rope like that and I agree that it's pretty crappy stuff. It is dirt-cheap so I bought a couple hundred feet of it one time when I needed to cut a great many tie-downs to help someone secure a load on a trailer, and I was never going to see that rope again. I normally wouldn't buy it for myself.

The rope I use is 100% polypropylene, and unlike that stuff in your link, it does NOT have an inner core that's wrapped with a diamond braid. Instead, the whole thickness of the rope is made from one complex braid of the same material, and it costs quite a lot more than the stuff you are talking about. I have lengths of this rope that I've been using for roof-top tie-downs for years, and it's still soft, smooth, pliable, and good for knot-tying. This rope would be fine for weaving a seat, though I'm not saying there wouldn't be something better.

Edit - Okay I just checked, and polypropylene has low UV resistance, so I suppose it wouldn't be good for seat material. On the other hand, nylon, which has good UV resistance, has way too much stretch for that use and stretches even more when wet.

The seats of Nova Craft canoes are woven from light rope and most people seem to think they are quite comfortable. I wonder what type of rope they use.