"Unglueing" a bellows from mounting frame?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Dave Starr, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr Member

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    I want to open up the front of a Busch Pressman 4x5 bellows just a little, so I can use a couple lenses I have on it. The bellows is glued to the metal mounting frame & I need to remove it. Any tips on what to use to do this? Solvent, or what??
     
  2. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Sharp razor knife or scalple, cut to the bone. The old glue will more than likely be brittle.
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    It's likely fastened with hide glue or shellac. Heat is best with hide glue, if you happen to have a tacking iron that might be small enough to do what you need. Otherwise a travel clothes iron might work.
    If it's shellac, then denatured alcohol wil soften it. Alcohol may also work on the hide glue.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2011
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Vinegar will break down either shellac or hide glue. I wont recommend it in your instance tho, might damage the bellows material as well. I think the safest bet is heat and a sharp instrument to lift the bellows away from the frame.
     
  5. Dave Starr

    Dave Starr Member

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    On my way to try heat now - THANKS!

    2:25pm - heat did the trick. It didn't take much & the bellows came loose easily.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2011
  6. Shadowtracker

    Shadowtracker Member

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    Hide glue is also water soluble unless it's been treated with formaldehyde.