Danish Cord Bench #5: Weaving the Warp

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This is part 5 in a 6 part series: Danish Cord Bench

Once I completed the final sanding and prepped according to instructions, I applied Rubio's Monocote Pure to the frame.  It was my first experience using it, and while it was relatively easy to apply, I didn't like the final texture of the wood using their sanding recommendations.  It's a little rougher than I'd like.  Before I use it again, I'll experiment with doing some finer sanding.  But for this project, I left it as-is and got busy weaving.



I wanted a wide band of cords directly in the center of the seat, so I started weaving the warp cords (front to back) in the middle of the bench and moved outward.  This band will later be used to conceal knots underneath when I need to join lengths of cord as I'm weaving the weft strands (side-to-side).  The band of cords looks a little untidy at the start, but the gaps will close up once I begin the weft weaving.


This weaving technique uses cow hitches to reverse the direction of the cord as goes back and forth between rails (as opposed to the technique that uses 'L' nails on the rail).  It's a more tedious process because for each adjacent pair of cords, you can't simply pull a loop across, wrap it over the rail, and hook it over a nail on the back side.  Instead, a single cord has to be threaded around in order to capture the rail with the cow hitch.  This is explained well here (although there is a slight error in his diagram).

When using this technique, the gaps between the warp pairs are filled on one rail as you weave. 

On the other rail, the gaps are filled in a separate step after all the warp cords are finished.


This illustrates the purpose of the weaving slots.  Without them, there would have to be a gap in the warp cords because the leg would prevent the cord from being able to wrap over the rail.


My estimate was off for how much cord I would need to complete the warp weaving with a single length of cord, and I ran out a few inches from the end.


I started a new length of cord on the back side of the rail, with a staple anchoring the tail end of the short cord and the start of the next.


I left a short pigtail on the end of each that would get wrapped as I finished the remainder of the warp cords.  I later realized that this would have been a good place to pre-tack the start of the doubled weft cord so it would get wrapped and concealed as well.  I hope I remember that for next time.

And that finishes the warp weaving.  Again, I left a little pigtail end that would get wrapped on the underside of the stretcher when I start the weft weaving.


I've vowed to do a major workshop cleanup after this project.  I can barely move in here!


I then finished-up by wrapping the gaps in the far rail (no photos), and was ready for the weft weaving.  That's definitely the most satisfying part where everything comes together. 

11 Comments

That is slick!
Did you take any measures to set the tension or just go with what "feels right" ?

 SplinterGroup
 commented 1 minute ago
new
That is slick!
Did you take any measures to set the tension or just go with what "feels right" ?

Thanks!  I didn't do anything special to tension the cords - just did it by feel.  I had the experience of one other chair to draw on, except that one was done with paracord instead of Danish cord.  I make the warp cords tight enough that there's no noticeable droop, but not super tight.  You can't really make them super tight anyway - if you try,  the cow hitch will start pulling the pair of cords down and away from the rail.  Any slack will tighten-up as I do the weft weaving. 
Neat process in the weave Ross, looks like you will have the strength and it will be comfortable to sit on.

Main Street to the Mountains

That’s a very interesting (and involved) process. How many feet of cording do you think you’ll end up using for the entire bench?

Have you ever heard of a singer-songwriter named Laura Veirs? She has an album titled Warp and Weft. I didn’t know those terms before I bought the album. It’s funny where one learns things.
Awesome! About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to do a Danish cord bench but, for whatever reason, using nails didn't appeal to me. I looked online for weaving techniques without nails and I found some mentions, but not much by way of details (other than designs with double rails), so this is really helpful! 

 Eric - the "Loft"
 commented about 22 hours ago
Neat process in the weave Ross, looks like you will have the strength and it will be comfortable to sit on.
Eric - yes, it should be relatively comfortable.  Relative to the general comfortableness of benches.  :) 

 Ron Stewart
 commented about 19 hours ago
That’s a very interesting (and involved) process. How many feet of cording do you think you’ll end up using for the entire bench?

Have you ever heard of a singer-songwriter named Laura Veirs? She has an album titled Warp and Weft. I didn’t know those terms before I bought the album. It’s funny where one learns things.
Ron - I have that Laura Veirs album.  In fact, I'm going to play it on my computer as I respond here.  

I have been keeping track of arm spans lengths of cord I've been using, so I should be able to calculate a reasonable estimate of the total length when I'm done.  


 WillMSP
 commented about 18 hours ago
Awesome! About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to do a Danish cord bench but, for whatever reason, using nails didn't appeal to me. I looked online for weaving techniques without nails and I found some mentions, but not much by way of details (other than designs with double rails), so this is really helpful! 
You're right, there's not a lot of information about Danish cord weaving without nails.  The site I linked earlier is one helpful source.  Here's another site with photos of the process of weaving with the cow hitch on the warp, but without much commentary.  If you search for Yugoslavian rope chair, you'll see more example photos of the weft weaving style that I'm doing.
Ross Leidy
commented about 2 hours ago
Ron - I have that Laura Veirs album.  In fact, I'm going to play it on my computer as I respond here.  

That's cool, and a little unexpected; she's not exactly a household name. I saw her in person in 2016 as part of case/lang/veirs at the Ryman in Nashville. We sprung for first-row seats, and I could literally reach out and touch the front of the stage. It was a fantastic show.
Ross,
We really enjoy seeing your weaving techniques.  You've acquired a great combination of skills.  And your finished projects are always perfect.
L/W

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin


 Ron Stewart
 commented about 1 hour ago
new
Ross Leidy
commented about 2 hours ago
Ron - I have that Laura Veirs album.  In fact, I'm going to play it on my computer as I respond here.  

That's cool, and a little unexpected; she's not exactly a household name. I saw her in person in 2016 as part of case/lang/veirs at the Ryman in Nashville. We sprung for first-row seats, and I could literally reach out and touch the front of the stage. It was a fantastic show.
It's hard to beat concerts with those kind of seats.   I can't say I'm a super-fan of her, but I heard Drink Deep somewhere, and that led me to get a few of her albums.


 Lightweightladylefty
 commented about 1 hour ago
new
Ross,
We really enjoy seeing your weaving techniques.  You've acquired a great combination of skills.  And your finished projects are always perfect.
L/W
That's very kind, thanks.  I think the weaving is informed by some long-lost skills I learned as a kid - crocheting, knitting, macramé.  It definitely more of a physical task than the woodworking part.  I've got a few sore muscles after finishing the bench weaving.   😀  (final post to come)