Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,228   Posts: 1,532,698   Online: 773
      
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    near Ottawa, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    215

    Bellows replacement/removal/repair???

    Hello folks.
    Yes, I read pretty much all the threads re. bellows making, repair, etc. here, but I have still a few questions:

    Just got a Century Grand Senior selfcasing cam in the mail today. Unfortunatelly, the bellows isn't in its best shape; it's certainly not just "Some minor scuffs on leather, otherwise in good condition" as the seller described . Pinholes everywhere, and the leather is getting really worn down (good for display maybe, but not for use).

    Question 1: What would be the best least destructive way to take the bellows off the rear housing. Unlike my Anscos, where it was merely a matter of removing a few screws, the Century's rear bellows frame seems to be be nailed to the casing as if the survival of the whole universe depended on it. Any tricks short of getting the wrecking bar out ?

    Question 2: I love the maroon coloured leather, and would like to replace it with something similar in appearance. What would you guys recommend?

    And question 3: Well, I mentioned that Ansco; it needs a bellows repair too (lucky me, picking all the "goodies" from ebay :rolleyes: ). It's the kind with the rubberized outer coating; and it's stiff as a board, with some of the coating cracking and flaking (on the corners). Is there any way to salvage the beast? Maybe something to soften the rubber/plastic, or recoating with something?

    I'm new to bellows making, but ain't afraid to tackle the callenge - how else to kill eternal boredom on those cold and dark winter nights.

    Cheers,
    Chris
    [SIZE=1]Tiptoeing through life's grand theater - and falling down flat.[/SIZE]

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    South of Rochester, NY, USA
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    256
    First off, I'm not familiar with the "Grand Senior"? Buy it might pay to double check that bellows mounting. My Century Universals have the bellows nailed (tacked) to a wood frame inside the rear standard. But that frame is then screwed to the standard box. The screws were difficult to see. Two on each side, from the inside out obviously...

    To my knowledge, noone currently makes marroon bellows. I tried on the CU. Camera Bellows in the UK used to do leather, but not in years. The only option I know of now is the standard black synthetic. If you find a reputable company that does marroon leather, let me know!


    As for the flaking covering. If it's vinyl (most probable), you can refinish it easily if not looking new. Think automotive vinyl seats and hard tops. If you remove all the flakes and anything that may flake, you can simply respray the bellows with a new vinyl covering. SPray cans right from the auto store and they work fine. The vinyl covering is really just for show anyway.... Nothing that I know of will restore cracked and flaking vinyl...

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    near Ottawa, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    215
    Thanks for the tips; I'll have a closer look at my "Grand Senior", shouldn't be too much different from a "Universal" in general construction.
    As for the maroon bellows, I am willing to try building one myself, if I can just source the material.
    The Ansco bellows are probably not worth saving; I was hoping for a small miracle of sorts I guess (something to soften the stuff). But I'll give the automotive section of my hardware store a try on my next visit (which will be shortly ;-) ).
    [SIZE=1]Tiptoeing through life's grand theater - and falling down flat.[/SIZE]

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    South of Rochester, NY, USA
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    256
    If the Ansco bellows are rigid enough for actual use, restoring them with vinyl paint is overall pretty easy and probably worthwhile. After all, if you've already given up on it, then what's to lose by spraying it?

    Finding leather for bellows has two problems beyond color. Thickness and size. Choose one... In my searches last year or so, I could find leather thin enough, but only in small sizes, one or two square feet. And _very_ exspensive. It's usually associated with book binding. Clothing leather is never thin enough... If you can find it, they will either have the color you want or you can go 'natural' and dye it yourself... Good luck with that...

  5. #5
    df cardwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Dearborn,Michigan & Cape Breton Island
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    3,342
    Images
    8
    The old maroon bellows are going to be next to be impossible to save; the glue holding the cardboard stiffeners will give way as soon as the leather gets damp.

    After many renovations, and tryin EVERYBODY, let me suggest Camera Bellows in Birmingham England as being the best craftsmen, nicest people, and best value.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  6. #6
    nick mulder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    1,204
    Images
    14
    Are you considering the possibility of making your own ?

    I've made one so far, they are a hassle and you need (lots) of time and patience but it is totally achievable / add another string to your bow etc... (;

    The difference between a working bellows and a working and *also* good looking bellows is the issue tho ...

    (;
    nick

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    near Ottawa, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by nick mulder
    Are you considering the possibility of making your own ?

    I've made one so far, they are a hassle and you need (lots) of time and patience but it is totally achievable / add another string to your bow etc... (;

    The difference between a working bellows and a working and *also* good looking bellows is the issue tho ...

    (;
    nick
    Yup - while this is new territory for me, I have my mind set for a lenghty DIY project (of course, I would love just to buy a new one from one of the few remaining makers, but my current cash flow is a tad futile at the moment).
    I know what you mean by having a working bellows AND good looking too.

    Going for genuine maroon bellows sound like mission impossible, but I would be perfectly happy with a more modern and more easily available material if the colour is reasonable close. Something akin to the Canham bellows material (whatever it is) but in a reddish tone would make me a very happy camper . BTW, the inner layer still seems to be in decent condition, just the outer leather layer is shot.

    And for the Ansco - vinyl paint it is - the forum has spoken

    Chris
    [SIZE=1]Tiptoeing through life's grand theater - and falling down flat.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    Dave Parker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,049
    I have made bellows from a material, that is vinyl on the outside with at thin cloth backing that we can find at our local fabic shop, it is thin enough to bend easily and what I do, is buy and equal amount of black pellant, which is a thin material and available in many different colors make your ribs than make your bellows inner core with the pellant, then cover with the thin vinyl and do you folding to attain your bellows, I would definately spend some time practicing with some heavy brown paper until you figure out he easiest way for you to do your ribs and folds.

    Dave

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    near Ottawa, Canada
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    215
    Quote Originally Posted by Satinsnow
    I have made bellows from a material, that is vinyl on the outside with at thin cloth backing that we can find at our local fabic shop, it is thin enough to bend easily and what I do, is buy and equal amount of black pellant, which is a thin material and available in many different colors make your ribs than make your bellows inner core with the pellant, then cover with the thin vinyl and do you folding to attain your bellows, I would definately spend some time practicing with some heavy brown paper until you figure out he easiest way for you to do your ribs and folds.

    Dave
    Dave,
    this sounds like a really good solution; do you know by any chance what this vinyl material is called? I am heading into "the big city" tommorow, and might stop by a fabric store. Please forgive my ignorance (english is only my second language), but what is "pellant"?

    Thanks,
    Chris
    [SIZE=1]Tiptoeing through life's grand theater - and falling down flat.[/SIZE]

  10. #10
    Dave Parker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    4,049
    Pellant is a material, they use to back dresses and other flowing skirts and such, it is a bit heavier than the outside material it goes under to give shape to a dress, I have always used the black color, and actually even without the outside covering, it is still very good bellows material, you might be able to make your bellows out of this material, then use the vinyl spray that Rich recommended to cover it and come up with a good looking and usuable bellows.

    Have fun in the Big City, I know what you mean, I only make it to the Big city about once a year..

    Dave

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast


 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin