Martin's Pegging Instructions

In the Fall 2004, Martin emailed from England. He had questions on how I worked "Pegging"  the binder into my Spiderweb and Daisy& Button patterns. I replied that I didn't know what "Pegging" was, other than to read about it's use in VERY OLD & Ornate chairs.  Well, Martin has (what we in the US would think is a Privilege) opportunity to work on some very old, ornate chairs with caning.

Martin is nice enough to send a drawing & instructions on "Pegging".  In short, the technique removes the need to tie-off ends, by routing them back up a hole & then holding them with a Peg.  This should really clean up those cane back rockers that I like working on, no more ugly knots showing; but also a more challenging technique.

I will let Martin tell the story, pretty much as he wrote it. Enjoy the "English Accent" in his writing. :-)

THANK YOU, Martin, for sharing this technique with the Caning Community.
Wayne Sharp.
  Click to enlarge his hand written instructions.


Dear Wayne,
I found your website yesterday and was very impressed.

I have been caning for about 20 months. My first project was a victorian bowed top, queen anne legged, light oak stool. One of our secretaries inherited it and was going to throw it into the local council tip but knew that as a hobby I refurbished old wooden furniture. After 2 weeks I had learnt the basic skills from local library books and found a local stockist for the materials and finished the stool. I now realize that the binder corners that I copied on that stool were "couched" although I did not know the term before, it is certainly much neater that just pegging

Since then I have progressed with other chairs, stools. Many come from the local tip at about 1 each, painted, broken, dusty/filthy and all needing a lot of TLC. Some are very ordinary and others are just beautiful. I also do rushwork.

Your website is very interesting especially for the more experienced caning techniques as I have two old chairs that would really look good with the daisy and button.

Please thank your other writers for their inputs, they all make very interesting reading. Like many taking up this almost lost craft, finding books is very difficult. Finding more about the styles, makers (some of mind have the marks on the back) and general origins is not easy, probably more so in the States.

I have done a couple of commissions for local people and some of the local antique shops also have my details. It is very much a spare-time hobby for me but as others have found, you do get a huge "buzz" when you finish a project and it sets you looking for the next piece.


In the daisy and button and spider web I think; the binder appears to be held with the cane being looped through every hole. How does this work in practice as the cane-work needs to be finally pegged to stay in place?

I normally peg every other hole depending on the number and then the cane is looped through the last remaining open holes, hopefully in one long continuous length until I reach the start hole when the cane is fed back up through, the binder trimmed and then the loose ends fed back and the final peg pushed in.

Best Regards

I don't peg each run. It is possible to complete the binder without any pegs, ie check out the Rounded Corner section of the website. I have only seen pictures of pegging every hole, on VERY old chairs & then a binder is not added.

To Couch square corners, I peg the corner & then bend the cane over the pegs to cover the peg. The last corner to peg/couch, is a bit tricky. I loop over the binder, leaving the last 2-3 looped but loose. With the end of the binder in the hole, push a peg in the hole under the binder. Pull the end of the binder down as you also push the peg down. Then finish pulling the loops tight.

I wonder if that is understandable. Let me know if not & I will try again.
Good luck with your caning projects.

Dear Wayne,
Many thanks for your reply.

I agree that really old chairs are pegged every hole and do not have a binder.

When you are caning, you end up with a number of loose cane ends from stages 1 - 6 which are held in place with dowels/golf tees, before starting stage 7, these have to be secured. The method that I read was to count the holes such that the corner and the adjacent hole would be left OPEN and then every other hole between,( sometimes you have to arrange for two adjacent in the middle to be OPEN), is pegged. This involves arranging the loose ends to be left as they are for a pegged hole or fed up through an adjacent hole if they are to be OPEN. The fine cane holding the binder is then passed through all the open holes over the binder and repeated down the side to the corner, missing holes underneath before coming up, over and down the next open hole.

Rounded corners are as you say a little tricky as you have to make a decision where to run the straight binder and then start the curve and may have to work the curve with shorter lengths. A

As we all know these old chairs often have no trace of the cane, just the holes in the frame indicate what they were originally. Very often when they broke the seat was just replaced with a plywood seat or as I very often find upholstered and then there is a great deal of repair work to be carried out before you can even consider starting caning.

Many thanks for the guide info.
kind regards