Removing The Cane And Spline

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Chisel out the spline. Pry out the old spline with a caner's hooked chisel. Work "downhill" or with the grain to prevent chipping the groove.

Rout it out. For stubborn spots, Wasserman uses a rotary tool to rout into the spline. A narrow baseplate lets you follow chair contours.

Pare away the excess. After slicing away the center sheet of cane, clean up the walls of the groove by slicing vertically with a chisel.

support at key points around the groove.

Before you chisel out the spline, use a utility knife to score the edges of the groove where the spline meets finished wood to minimize chipping. Then start by slicing into the center of the old spline with the hooked chisel and pry upward. Some spline has a tenacious grip in its groove. A solution of V^ water and V2 white vinegar in the crevices around the spline will help release it.

As you chisel, move in the direction of the grain of the surrounding wood, especially at short-grain corners where the danger of chipping is greatest. If you accidentally chip an area, save the chipped piece for later. (See left photo, above.)

If your attempts with the chisel turn to tedium, you can remove spline faster with a rotary drywall cutter. (Sec Sources.) These tradesman tools are available with wood-cutting bits that arc very effective for routing out difficult spline. (See center photo, above.)

Once the spline is removed, use a utility knife to cut through the old cane about 2 in. from the groove. Remove the old cane and set it aside for color-

matching to the new cane later. (See sidebar, opposite page.)

After you've removed the bulk of the cane, pare down the walls of the groove with a sharp chisel to clean up any remaining debris. (See right photo, above.) Blow compressed air into the groove or use a stiff brush to remove any loose particles. Now inspect the groove. Any chipped or broken areas on the side of the groove facing the inside of the frame can be repaired easily with some polyester resin, like auto-body filler sold at automotive stores. Don't worry about

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