Ian, off the top of your head can you say what the thickness was of the three layers of material and stiffeners all added up? With all that in there it sounds quite heavy duty. I'd be worried about them compressing in to a small enough space. Obviously they made it work, but with every set of bellows I've made they are always happier extended rather than folded.
The original De Vere bellows seemed thicker than they are, and they aren't heavy. They are back in the UK so I can't give a better uea or photograph a cross section.
The rigidity seems to come from the way the three layers and stiffeners are glued together. They were tatty and leaked when I bought the camera in 1976, and I had some bag bellows made by Camera Bellows who had made the originals so had the patterns. The camera is a whole plate monorail with half [late & 5x4 backs and the bellows were only just usable with the 5x4 back.
The cloth I'm using will make the thickness slightly less, and lighter, but still as rigid so I'd expect the bellows to compress more than the old ones. That's based on the two other sets I've made so far.
I guess I could glue up some off-cuts tomorrow & measure the thickness, 2& 3 layers of cloth.
Ian, don't go out of your way, I'm moving pretty slow on this project, and the bellows are near the end.
I need to do this anyway, I brought the material here to Turkey in early June to make new bellows for the De Vere, so I can sell it when I return to the UK in about 5 weeks :D
Originally Posted by tim k
It's a 5-10 minute task to cut some fabric & stiffeners & glue them up to test the two thickness and rigidity, I need to finally decide whether to go double or treble thickness before I start printing out the pattern & making the stiffeners.
It'll take longer for the glue to dry
Sounds great, it will be interesting to see what you come up with.