Bellows Treatment

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Mark Layne, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    What is considered the best treatment for an old leather bellows that is still ok but a bit dry?
    Mark
     
  2. agGNOME

    agGNOME Member

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    If it's real leather , how about black or neutral Kiwi shoe polish ?
     
  3. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    I am very interested in the answer to this question. My old Agfa 8x10 deluxe has red leather bellows and they're light tight but stiff. It's a real pull against the two standards to get them even part way to full extension. I'd like to know how to soften them.

    cheers
     
  4. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

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    I've been using a cleaner/moisturizer made for leather seats in automobiles. I think the bottle I have is made by Turtle Wax, but I doubt it matters. The great thing about this stuff is, since they're assuming you're gonna be sitting on it (but in this case, don't) it's made to be non-sticky.

    Nathan
     
  5. dmax

    dmax Member

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    Lexol leather conditioner works fine. You might find it in auto supply stores. Apply it sparingly with a soft brush ( I use an inexpensive watercolor brush from a 99 cent store) and allow the leather to slowly absorb the liquid. Re-apply over a period of days, with less conditioner applied with each session. Keep the bellows extended in the meantime so that it can air. Pledge (the stuff used to clean wood tops) can be used as the final coat. Spray the Pledge on a piece of soft rag and apply.

    Caveat: Do not overdo it.
     
  6. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    By far the best leather treatment was reccomended to me by a friend who is the North American champion 4 years running in the Jaguar Clubs of North America concours shows - it's Leatherique rejuvinator oil. Apply generously, let the leather sit in the sun to warm and the oil soaks in. It really does soften the leather without making it greasy.

    Not cheap, but it really does work.
    http://www.leatherique.com/
     
  7. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    I've also been recommended both saddle soap and Neats foot oil.
    The caveats are that overzealous application will penetrate enough to soften the cardboard stiffeners.
    Mark
     
  8. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    I've been warned against saddle soap for leather that's stiff due to age or drying/dried out. Neat's foot oil is said to get sticky. The stuff Jaguar owners use is likely to the THE stuff, but anything made specifically for leather upholstery should be better than stuff made for saddles and boots.
     
  9. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    I remember a similar post where someone warned that they applied oil to their bellows as these other members suggested. That person regretted it because the bellows absorbed so much oil that it became heavy and began to sag.

    Sorry I don't have that link but there were other recommendations that were better. I would search the archives at photo.net for the answer.
     
  10. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Is this the one Frank.... http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?p=182692#post182692
     
  11. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    No, sorry it is not. Use the search engine at photo.net and type in "bellows oil". Several posts come up with a whole list of solutions.

    But not the one warning about the sagging bellows from too much oil.