View Full Version : Bellow building

12-Jan-2009, 09:16
Hi, I'm doing now the tricky job of building an asymmetric, tapered bellow.
I'm wondering right now if anyone of you has experience in building bellows.

I would love to have some answers to my material questions:

- do you use leather-cardboard-cotton or cotton-cardboard-cotton?
- I found a cotton/polyester mix in black, very thin, not vulcanized, but appearently totally lighttight. Any opinions on that?
- is an outer layer in leather highly recommended?
- glues: leather-carboard? Sparyglue? Vynil glue? Bookbinder glue? Any ideas?
cartboard-cotton? Same questions...

Thank's for any comment on that!
It was big fun to derive the mathematical and geometrical issues of the bellow....


Andrew Tymon
12-Jan-2009, 11:21
Hi Torsten,
I built a tapered 8x10 bellows out of window blackout fabric( it's what they use use to line curtains in hotels). The glue I used was called fabri-tac and I got it at the same place I bought the fabric. For the ribs I used old manilla folders cut on a rotary trimmer and it was lined with some black cotton fabric. Before you start building, try a mock up of a few pleats and let it dry- this way you will see if the glue stiffens up when dry and how folding the bellows will be when completed. I always build two bellows at a time- then if I screw one up I don't have to start from the beginning again! The only thing I didn't like about bellows making was the gluing of the ribs- it's like watching paint dry-boring:).

good luck and have fun