Bellows Repair

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Gary892, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Gary892

    Gary892 Member

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    I have a 12x20 Korona and the bellows needs to be replaced. Until the time comes when I have saved enough to replace it I would like to patch it. In another thread tape was suggested but the name and or type of tape was not made clear.

    How do you patch your bellows.
    Tips, Trick and suggestions welcome.

    Thanks
    Gary
     
  2. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    For small-medium pinholes, I use Plasi-Dip, which is a liquid latex, flat black paint that can be found at any Home Depot or Loels store. You can apply it with a qtip on the inside and outside of your bellows. Works very well and last long.

    You can also use gaffers tape on the outside for larger areas.

    Ryan McIntosh
    www.RyanMcIntosh.net
     
  3. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I always use gaffers tape until I get around to getting new ones, unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the gaffers tape works well enough, most of the time, I never seem to end up getting new ones!!!

    Dave
     
  4. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    For pinholes I use artist's black liquid acrylic paint, scrubbed into the interior surfaces with an old soft toothbrush. For anything larger than a pinhole, black crepe tape seems to work well. My B&J flatbed has a "temporary" black crepe tape patch that is still good after 25 years.
     
  5. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    The acrylic artist paint from Walmart etc. works as is noted above, it stays a bit soft and flexible but won't let even a little bit of the dark out of your bellows. Matte Medium mixed into a little bit of copy machine toner also will
    work. The liquid electricians tape, and the acrylics will do a much better looking job than any of the Duct/Gaffer tapes. Can be applied both inside and out, you can even match the color of your bellows. Have been using the acrylics for 30 years or more without a problem.

    Charlie.........................
     
  6. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    I have used Bostick & Sullivan's bellows patch kit on bellows with pinholes in the corners with success.
     
  7. sanking

    sanking Member

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    For pinholes on the corners I recommend 2-3" wide peel and stick bookbinders tape from Gaylords. You can use either the cloth type (Filmoplast) or plastic coated cloth. Use the wider size for large cameras.

    Rack out the front standard to the maximum to make the bellows as flat as possible.Before you apply the tape clean off the outside of the bellows with something that will remove grese and oil. Siince oiling was recommended practice to keep them in good shape most bellows have a lot of this residue, and the residue may interfere with good adhesion of the tape.

    Now just cut a piece of the 2-3" wide tape of the required length and carefully apply it to each of the four corners, from front to back and lightly crease the bellows at the folds following the original pattern. Repeat for all four sides, then rack the bellows back a bit and contnue to crease the folds following the original pattern.

    Bookbinders tape is much superior to Gaffers for this type of repair, IMO. It is both more flexible and thinner than Gaffers, and if proprely applied will not interfere with folding the bellows and/or closing the camera. I recently gave this treatment to my old 5X7 Nagaoka that had developed a few light leaks at the corners, using 2" wide tape, and the bellows is now as good as new. And the repair was real easy and fast to do, and of course cost a lot less than a new bellows. And, unlike some of the bellows patch methods this is a very long-lasting fix.

    I am attaching a .jpeg image of the completed repair. For some reason the photograph accentuates the difference in tone between the tape and the original bellows. In reality it is barely noticeable even on close inspection. And the camera still folds up to its wonderfully compact width of 2.25" just as easily as it did before the tape was applied.

    Sandy
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2006