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  1. #1
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Steve's Adventures in Bellows Building Land

    After a bit of tidying up at the weekend, I found an old changing bag with a broken zip which I don't use any more. I decided to cut it up and make it into a set of 5" x 4" bellows with the help of the laser cutter we have at work.

    I have already documented this on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...8602010&type=1

    I know some people don't like Facebook as they think their souls will be stolen after just one visit so I will start to add some pictures here in subsequent posts.

    Feel free to point, laugh and tell me where I went wrong or alternatively, post your own bellows making hints and tips.


    Steve.

  2. #2
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I started off with a sheet of polyester about 0.3mm thick and laminated a high strength sheet adhesive to both sides. Then I used our laser cutter to cut out the shapes of the stiffener ribs. The rear was taped up to prevent the pieces from falling out. The laser was also used to mark out various laminating lines to the front so I could line up the covering cloth and cut it to the correct length.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bellows1.jpg   Bellows2.jpg  

  3. #3
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I then removed half of the release liner from the first set of stiffeners and lined up the edge of the outer cover down the centre line. This is the side which will have the overlapping join.
    I then carried on removing the release liner pieces from each set of stiffeners and sticking the cloth down until it was stuck to all four sets.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bellows3.jpg   Bellows4.jpg   Bellows5.jpg   Bellows6.jpg  

  4. #4
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Then it was turned over and the tape was removed followed by the outer framework leaving just the stiffener ribs stuck to the outer cover material.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bellows7.jpg   Bellows8.jpg   Bellows9.jpg  

  5. #5
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    Nice. I'm going to eventually try this with some translucent material that light can pass through.

  6. #6
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Then the inner cloth was applied in the same manner as the outer cloth. The join was offset by about 30mm to prevent excessive build up of thickness in one area.

    The last picture shows an extra strip of adhesive along the overlapping edge. This is the outer cover. The inner cloth has already been finished in a similar manner.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bellows10.jpg   Bellows11.jpg   Bellows12.jpg   Bellows13.jpg  

  7. #7
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Now for the fun bit - folding. You usually need to use all three of you hands to do this. A second brain can be useful too.

    The rotary cutter sitting on the top is to stop it unravelling itself. Something I would not be too pleased about!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bellows14.jpg   Bellows15.jpg  
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 05-22-2012 at 03:56 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    The two heaviest books I could find at the time being used to teach the material what its new shape is going to be.

    I think the titles are quite appropriate.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bellows16.jpg   Bellows17.jpg  

  9. #9
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Finally, a couple of trial runs I made earlier using paper and a polythene bag. If Lomo are interested in making a view camera with lots of light leaks, they can contact me to supply the bellows.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bellows18.jpg  

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    Nice. I'm going to eventually try this with some translucent material that light can pass through.
    What will you use that for?


    Steve.

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