Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 70,963   Posts: 1,558,389   Online: 840
      
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Bellows Repair

  1. #1
    Pragmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Bath, NY
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    598

    Bellows Repair

    Thought I would post this as a method and make it easier to find for those who regularly confront pinhole and wear problems.

    Most of the problems with camera and enlarger bellows occur at the corners of the pleats. Due to the movement of the bellows causing expansion and contraction, it is difficult to apply "stick-on" solutions. The following is something I have used successfully many times and works with smaller maintenance type problems. Bellows with holes that Bubba could drive his truck through require stronger measures or more likely replacement of the unit.

    1. Clean all extraneous dust and accumulation from the surface of the bellows.

    2. Use a denatured alcohol swab to gently touch up each corner pleat for a fine cleaning. Be careful not to dissolve any coatings, and allow the bellows to completely dry before moving on to repair.

    3. Get a container of Plasti Dip. This stuff is in a long thin can and is intended for coating tool handles with a no-slip rubberized coating. It will be necessary to transfer the contents of the can to a container that has a screw on lid, for the provided lid will allow the material to dry up when stored.

    4. Tools and additional materials required are a small artist's brush and a solvent such as Goof Off, Toluene, or Xylene.

    5. Place a small quantity of the Plasti Dip is a bottle top or something about this size. Drip a little solvent into it while stirring to slightly thin out the mixture. This is important for penetration and flexibility.

    6. Extend the bellows outward to its furthest point. Brush a small quantity onto every corner tip and pleat edge (at the corners). The entire vertical pleat may be coated, but only do this if there are apparent wear problems. Allow to tack dry, about 15 minutes. You may have to add more solvent to your mix to keep it thin.

    7. Repeat this step at least three times to ensure a good solid coat that will remain flexible. Fold the bellows inward about half way, being careful not to do it so much that the edges contact each other, or are really close together. Apply one last thin coat to each tip in this position and let dry for at least one day.

    8. Rack the bellows in and out a few times to ensure that the repairs are solid and flexible. If one pops open, return to step 6.

    9. Spray a small quantity of Dry Silicone spray on your paint brush, and lightly apply to each place on the folds that have been coated which could come into contact with each other when the bellows is fully compressed. This will prevent sticking.

    Voila!
    Patrick

    something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...

  2. #2
    DBP
    DBP is offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,885
    Images
    34
    I use a similar approach, but with liquid electrical tape, which I keep around for other reasons anyway.

  3. #3
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rural NW Missouri
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    1,831
    Black liquid acrylic artist's paint is readily available and can be well brushed into the bellows liner for a repair that doesn't add any bulk to the bellows.

  4. #4
    Gustavo_Castilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Bryan Texas
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    890
    Images
    143
    any recomendations as to where to find bellows material?
    Gustavo Castilla
    We are not moved by things ,
    but by the views we take of them.
    Epictitus.
    My site
    My flicker page
    Facebook
    Contact

  5. #5
    battra92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Shooter
    Medium Format
    Posts
    217
    Quote Originally Posted by Gustavo_Castilla
    any recomendations as to where to find bellows material?
    To make new bellows? I think some use black out shade material and I've heard you can even use the black bags found in the boxes of B&W paper.

  6. #6
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Carolina, USA (transplanted from Seattle)
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,845
    Some online leather suppliers can supply thin bookbinding leather at quite reasonable prices. This is on the heavy side for bellows, but will work (especially if dampened to set the creases after initial folding, before pressing). It's actually cheaper than blackout cloth...
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  7. #7
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Rural NW Missouri
    Shooter
    4x5 Format
    Posts
    1,831
    Recently I bought a few yards of red lined vinyl at a Hancock's Fabric store. It is thick, about .028 inches, and almost opaque. It will be a while before I'm ready to use it, but it should do fine for new construction. It looks elegant.



 

APUG PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



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