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  1. #1
    Aurum's Avatar
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    Easy method of Bellows Repair?

    Does anyone have any experience or tips on this. I've got a No2 Autographic Brownie that I've been playing with, and it appears that this stirring from its slumbers has caused a few pinholes to appear in the bellows.
    The bellows themselves appear to be a loose weave cloth that has been impregnated with a resin type material. A good analogy would be like waxed cotton fabric.
    The pinholes have appeared on several of the folds of the bellows.

    Can anyone suggest something that I could apply to the cloth to seal it and make it light tight. Its got to be flexible enough to allow the bellows to move, yet robust enough not to flake off.

    In theory I could remove and replace the bellows, but I would like to keep everything as original as possible. The thing has survived the best part of a century already, so I'm not looking to gut it and bin it. Its earned some rights.
    "Flatter Me, and I May Not Believe You. Criticize Me, and I May Not like You. Ignore Me, and I May Not Forgive You. Encourage Me, and I Will Not Forget You."

  2. #2

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    hi there

    i followed in the footsteps of fellow appugger jeremy moore
    and mixed some india ink and elmers glue ( white glue ).
    i fixed a big bellows that way ... the glue is flexible and the ink is black.

    as always
    YMMV

    good luck!
    john

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    As John says PVA glue with black i8nk or pigment.

    But there's also a very thin black repair material you can buy in needlecraft (sewing, knitting etc) shops. It's very thin, very strong and has a excellent adhesive backing. I've used this on the inside of bellows to repair quite bad rotten corners and it is thin enough while still being lightproof to allow the bellows to compress normally.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Frank Szabo's Avatar
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    Bellows repair

    There's some stuff out called "Liquid Electrical Tape" that's intended to be painted on a surface - kinda similar to some other stuff intended to coat and insulate tool handles - "Plasti-Dip" is the name, I believe. This stuff sticks really well IF you first clean the surface. It comes in all manner of colors and paints on with a brush. Check out your local industrial supply place for it.

    This stuff will probably give your bellows another 100 years of life. I've got some corner repair to do to my old and beat-up 2D - that's the stuff I'll be using.

    As was pointed out by ntenny (post below), this goop is loaded with MEK - I believe it's basically neoprene in suspension and rather nasty stuff. Just use with plenty of ventilation.
    Last edited by Frank Szabo; 06-16-2008 at 12:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    ...

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Szabo View Post
    There's some stuff out called "Liquid Electrical Tape" that's intended to be painted on a surface
    This is the stuff I've used for bellows pinholes. It works quite well for small spot repairs. Just don't breathe the fumes.

    -NT

  6. #6
    patrickjames's Avatar
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    I haven't had too much luck with LET. I definitely second the Plasti-dip though. Let it thoroughly dry before you close he bellows though or it can stick.

  7. #7
    Rob Archer's Avatar
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    I've used 'photo opaque' and liquid rubber - the kind you get in cycle tyre repair kits. I patched up my Graflex Century Graphic about 2 years ago and the pinholes haven't reapeared yet despite regular use.

    Rob

  8. #8
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Szabo View Post
    There's some stuff out called "Liquid Electrical Tape" ... Check out your local industrial supply place for it.
    Home Depot or Lowe's should have this stuff.

  9. #9
    Aurum's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm thinking that PVA glue and some lampblack watercolour paint might be the way to start, purely for the reason that I have it already to hand from my excusions into modified gum bichromate printing, for when I want the hardcore lith look.
    I may try the solvent based stuff later if the PVA fails

    I'll report back on how it goes

    Now where are the fine artists brushes...
    "Flatter Me, and I May Not Believe You. Criticize Me, and I May Not like You. Ignore Me, and I May Not Forgive You. Encourage Me, and I Will Not Forget You."

  10. #10
    outwest's Avatar
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    The black Plastidip worked great on the bellows of a Kodak monitor. Just dilute it with about 15% of Naptha and brush it on in several thin coats, concentrating on the corners. Let it dry well and you are as good as new - maybe better.

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