View Full Version : Making a Bellows
I'm looking for info on making a bellows. I've seen Doug's page (from Ontario, his last name escapes me) which is very helpful but I'm looking for mor e insight before I jump into this project. Any help, links, articles would be g reat.
Jeff Rivera Blue Jay, CA
Rob "John Henry" Rothman
Not long ago, View Camera magazine had an illustrated article on the subject. S orry, I don't remember the month offhand.
Jeff, Rob Rothman was correct, View Camera Magazine did print a how-to article on bell ows making. It was in the July/Aug 1996 issue. If you cant find a copy at your local library, you can down load the article from the magazine for a fee. www. viewcamera.com I used this article to make my first bellows to replace the worn bellows on my 8 x10. The article is fairly easy to understand, but you might have to interpolat e a little, as I did. It is worth looking at. My first bellows took me about a week of evenings to finish, it was well worth it! Let me know if you need help, or get stuck
There is a guy in Marin County, just across the bridge north of San Fransisco wh o sells shutter and bellows material. I cannot think of his name, but I think I originally saw it in Shutterbug. He also sold a book on bellows making. As I remember it is rather expensive, like $30 or so. Maybe someone else will read th is and remember his name.
I've read and studied Doug's page (from northern ontario) and it was very helpfu l. In fact, I made a bellows last week for a 4x5 I'm constructing. the finished product, although not in use yet, looks quite good and I'm betting it will last a long time. I used Doug's basic process (with great thanks to him :) ), with pa per and bristol board, but added a cloth liner inside and 3 coats of rubberized black paint to the outside. The material ends up a little heavier than commercia lly constructed bellows, but is just as good. I would suggest you start with a r ubberized cloth as your skin (with bristol board for ribbing) and a matt black l iner. The rubberized paint for the outside will ensure lightproofing and increas e durability. Hope that helps, if you want any more info, please contact me.
I made bellows for a 4x5 camera using the light-tight paper wrapping used to pro tect Kodak enlarging paper. The 'paper' is a sandwich of thin metallic plastic b etween black and white paper. (The bellows, in fact are shown in the article on Cibachrome photography, Petersen's PhotoGraphic, February, 1980, and as of today , 18 years after making them, they are still working fine!) I put the white side out (to reduce absorbing heat from sunlight) and the black side in. The only question is: does Kodak still make that great wrapping paper? If not, p lastic wrapping might be okay if it has a matte finish. (I have made hexagonal l ens shade bellows of plastic paper, which is great stuff since it is so thin.) Good luck.
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