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rawhide seat weaving questions.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by bob goeckel, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. bob goeckel

    bob goeckel Wooden Canoe Maniac

    i have a diagram but what thickness and width is best for this? is artifical sinew as good or just different for this process? which is better? anybody have a source that has reasonable prices ? thanks
  2. Denis M. Kallery

    Denis M. Kallery Passed Away July 3, 2012 In Memoriam

    What manufaturer is your canoe? I have a Faber and a Rilco. They both have rawhide seats but are different styles. I can measure each and send a photo of the weave pattern if that would help. Not sure of a source of rawhide, perhaps one of the snowshoe makers could give you some help. Here in the U.P. we have Iverson Snowshoes. I know they now use neoprene but there may still be someone working there that would know a source. If you wish I could call them to find out.
  3. OP
    bob goeckel

    bob goeckel Wooden Canoe Maniac

    hi denis, i am building the bob's special right now and would like to try my hand at rawhide seats. i have a set of hand caned seats but like the look of rawhide. i have found a number of sources on the internet so i don't need you to call thanks. i was just inquiring if anyone here had found a good source and knew which sizes to use. :p
    swmbo wants to try this, she does seat weaving so.........
  4. Todd Bradshaw

    Todd Bradshaw Sailmaker

    I'm sure you could use anything from 1/16" up to 1/2" wide stuff, but the pattern needs to get smaller (tighter) as the size of the strands gets narrower in order to have the same strength and an even look. I suppose it depends on what you like the looks of best. Personally, the nicest set I've owned were back in the short period when Vermont Tubbs owned a little struggling company called Mad River Canoe. The lacing was about 1/4" wide and the biggest holes were maybe 3/4" across or so. It's also a good size for general durability and difficult to accidentally snag or punch through.


    Buy full-grain rawhide if you can find it. The split stuff usually means that somebody else got the good part and it isn't as tough or as resistant to stretching.

    Keep your splices off to the sides, where you won't be sitting on them or snagging them with your legs if kneeling because once dry, the edges are sharp.

    There is a right side and a wrong side to the lacing. The right side (skin side) is smoother and will dry in a slightly convex curve (in cross-section). You want the right side up as you weave so that it's the side up against your posterior.

    After weaving and drying, but before varnishing, go over the seat with a bare hand and feel for sharp edges on the corners of the strands. Hit any you find with fine sandpaper to ease the corners a bit (but don't scrape-up the top, flat sides). If left raw, these edges are pretty abrasive. I once wore holes in the seat of a fairly new set of jeans during a ten-day Quetico trip and so did my bow man.

    Above all, when getting ready to weave do not soak the rawhide for more than about 24 hours. Normally, it's just a bit slimy to work with, but if you soak it too long it smells EXTREMELY bad!

    This photo shows a pattern about the size of the ones I used on seats.

    Attached Files:

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