Dip the required length of cane in cold water for a few minutes, then drain on a towel and roll up. Always try to estimate the amount of cane required, as too-frequent immersions in water will tend to discolour the white cane. Cane must never be worked dry or it will split as soon as it is bruised with the pliers to curve it. The cane must be just damp and mellowed.
When weaving pull the cane tightly over the stakes, which are the upright pieces of cane used to shape the base or the sides of a basket, or whatever is being made. With the rapping iron knock each row down as it is woven so that the cane is kept level all round. Unless this is done the weaving is bound to get out of order when the article is brought into use.
Square- or oblong-shaped lids and bases are made on a screw block. This consists of two pieces of wood about 12 inches long and 1-& inches thick, and the same width. It has a thumb-screw fixed on each end to pass through both pieces of wood to grip the canes firmly while the randing or pairing is being done.
Beginners are advised to commence by making a round base, which is much easier than any other shape, or to use the convenient wood bases bored with holes which are obtainable in all sizes and shapes.
Before attempting to make anything with cane the worker must learn what is meant by randing, pairing, waling, or upsetting, and slewing. All these terms indicate a different way of manipulating the cane round the stakes.