Carol Rocking Chair Project

Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2003 9:38 AM
To: Sharp, Wayne E

Dear Wayne,
As you can see by the enclosed 2 photos, I have refinished this rocking chair and have completed caning the seat.  I am at a loss as to how to cane the back.  Can you give me any hints or instructions that will get me started?  There is a curve to the back of the chair and I'm not sure how to maintain that feature while caning.    Thank you!


From: Wayne
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2003 4:21 PM


You did a nice job in refinishing the rocker. It will be beautiful when successfully completed.   I know this, because I have almost the exact same rocker (now completed & sitting in my bedroom).  I attached a picture of it for your reference (named ROCKER)  It is in the banner of page 1 of my caning website.

Check out:

Bill is from Alaska & used my caning website instructions to successfully re-cane his grandmother’s curved back rocker. He does a pretty good job in pictures & words, describing his work.

In his first picture notice that he has a ruler or thin board secured behind the side rails of the back. On Steps 1 & 3 this ensures that you leave enough slack in the cane for the cane to make a natural curve. The ruler also helps to keep steps 2 & 4 running parallel.  Leave the ruler in place until step 4 or as long as you can. Start step 4 in the middle by the ruler & work your way up first, before completing the lower half weaving. 

Also in steps 5 & 6, start weaving near the middle of the back (figure out were to start so that the first cane will hit the lower corner hole properly then continue down from there. Complete the upper half next)  Watch for the need to “fisheye” this is were you have to skip holes or double holes, so that the caning can run parallel by sight.

The natural curve of the back will come just by allowing slack in the early steps. So avoid the thought of tightening the cane, the tightness will come in steps 4-6.

You are doing a fine job of bringing this rocker back to life.  Send me a picture of your completion & also celebrate your success with your favorite refreshment.

Wayne Sharp

Dear Wayne,
Thank you very much for your comments and suggestions concerning the old rocker I am recaning. I have completed the first 4 steps and it is looking wonderful.  I did refer also to your website and the pictures of Bill doing his grandma's rocking chair-a fine job!  I will be sure to send photos when my project is completed.  Thanks again for your help!       ~ Carol ~
Dear Wayne,
I have finally finished my rocker!  What an undertaking!  After MANY MANY hours of "labor of love" I believe I have brought back to life a chair that was left for trash.  Thank you once again for your suggestions and comments.   From a lover of old furniture ~ Sincerely ~ Carol




What a wonderful job. Congratulations on the successful completion of this project & your quality work. You have indeed brought a rocker back from the dead & turned it into an heirloom. 

Wayne Sharp