Bellows Need Gluing

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Fotoguy20d, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I recently picked up a very nice 5x7 Seneca with one (perhaps, with your help) minor problem. The triple extension bellows are for the most part in very nice shape, but there's a 3"-4" section near the front standard where the seam at the bottom has split in the leather (or synthetic) covering and is peeling away from the lining. But, the lining underneath is light tight. What's the best way to reattach the covering?

    Another question - the lens is a Wollensak Symmetrical convertible in Autax shutter. The aperture scales are in the old style - how do I correlate that to something I can meter?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    3M makes a srap adhesive which should work. With a bit of practice you can get it very accurately where you need it.
     
  3. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Any idea what their number is for it?
    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The "Outer" leather may not be best glued to the lining, I'd try & put a patch between the two first. But without seeing it it's hard to tell what's best I've fixed a couple of sets of bellows with a black tailors repair fabric made in Holland or Belgium and it's almost invisible.

    Ian
     
  5. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I would think that being on the underside of the bellows it'll be invisible regardless unless you're looking for it. By patching, I'm assuming you mean pulling the two sides back to where they belong (overlapping about 3/8" I'd say) and then taping them back together? Would you try to do the repair with them in a fairly relaxed state or with them stretched tighter (ie, extended) so that you're applying the material again a flattish surface and not an accordion?

    Dan
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Probably stretched out straight is best, that's how I repaired a set of Graflex bellows. The tape I had came in 2-3" by 4-5" rectangles with a self adhesive back nd is vert thin but strong and completely light tight and flexible.

    Ian
     
  7. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    If you can find some shutter curtain from an old 35mm camera. Cut to fit the size you need n glue.

    It makes the best patch material since it so thin and light proof. I use contact cement, on both surfaces then apply when both are dry, like patching a bike tube. To get a good bond, extend the bellows so the area you are patching is almost flat. Back it with something hard so you can press with some forece n make the patch nice n tight.
     
  8. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Shutter curtain is easy (I have a couple of parts 4x5 Speed Graphics) but I'm not sure I really need to patch anything. The inner part of the bellows is solid and light tight. The outer has no tears but is neatly opened at the seem - not torn, but the glue on the seam must have let go. Its open from around the 4th fold to around the 12th. My first thought was just to put the halves back where they belong so they overlap nicely and just reattach the seae with RTV, figuring its flexible. But, I'm not sure that would be the best material to use.

    Dan