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Thread: Glue For Bellows

  1. #1

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    Glue For Bellows

    Hi everyone! This is my first post and I apologize if it's already been addressed elsewhere on this site. I've been purchasing a large format camera piece by piece over the last few months. I have almost all of the components that I need. My question is, can someone tell me what type of glue I should use to attach the bellows to the frame? The 4x5 Cambo that I purchased already has a bellows on it, but it's starting to come undone at one corner and I would like to reattach it.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Glue For Bellows

    I'll take a stab at this. Mind you I'm only brain-storming here for you. Any wooden camera w/fabric or leather bellows could be repaired with a with a good wood glue such as Titebond or even hide glue. I'm assuming your Cambo frame to be metal (aluminum?) in which case you might try one of the super glues if you only have to touch up a corner. Reversibility would not be a problem as you could always use a razor blade to re-separate the bellows from the frame if you needed to re-do it. Alternatively, try calling one of the recommended camera repair shops around the country Calumet (?). I can't offer any other names for off the top of my head but a quick search should get you some phone numbers. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Glue For Bellows

    I am not sure that is the best answer, but points for trying. I want to know the answer also. I am sure there are a few options. I 'heard' contact cement, but what kind and how, I sure don't know. Soon I want to replace a bellows and at $200 and up, I would rather not mess it up.

    I also hate contact cement, very messy, and hard to use for any other project I have tried.

    Super Glue is often not very super.

    Let's wait and see what comes along.

  4. #4

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    Re: Glue For Bellows

    Pliobond is what I've heard come up

  5. #5
    DannL's Avatar
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    Re: Glue For Bellows

    My favorite glue for just about everything was found because I needed to glue down some Parquet wood flooring in a bedroom. I purchased a tub of Universal Flooring adhesive at a local home improvement center. Technically I would call it heavy-duty rubber cement. It states on the tub that it is non-solvent based. It has a semi-pleasant smell and the consistency of margarine. I spread a layer on both surfaces to be glued using a flat artist brush, let it set for a minute, and then clamp them together to dry for a day or two. Being rubber, the surfaces can be separated at a later date by forcing a wedge between the surfaces. But, under normal conditions the adhesive holds exceptionally well. Plus it cleans up with water. You may be able to wrangle some from a local contractor.

    I used this adhesive to install a new bellows in my Sands & Hunter Exhibition, and to make repairs on several other plate cameras over the years. It works like a dream.

    Attachment 93257
    "Photography is a marvelous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, an art that excites the most astute minds and one that can be practiced by any imbecile." Nadar, 1856

  6. #6
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Glue For Bellows

    Sounds like a good goo, how is the shelf life? I don't mind having too much, if it doesn't dry up in a year or 10.

  7. #7

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    Re: Glue For Bellows

    Never use superglue on bellows, or anything that is fabric, the glue will wick into the
    fabric of the bellows and make it nice and crispy rigid, not what you want for something
    that's supposed to bend.

    Use contact cement, Pliobond is one brand, Weldwood ( red label, my preference ), or Barge.
    clean the undone area as best you can with a little acetone or alcohol, apply the contact cement
    to the bellows and the frame with tooth pick if it's a small area, let dry then press together.

  8. #8
    DannL's Avatar
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    Re: Glue For Bellows

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Moe View Post
    Sounds like a good goo, how is the shelf life? I don't mind having too much, if it doesn't dry up in a year or 10.
    Randy, if you are referring to the Wood Flooring adhesive, I've been sourcing adhesive from the same tub for about ten to twelve years. The jelly jar pictured is about 4 years old now. If it's sealed in an air-tight container it really shouldn't dry up. I'd say it stores really well. Though, it would be hard to justify buying a tub full.
    "Photography is a marvelous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, an art that excites the most astute minds and one that can be practiced by any imbecile." Nadar, 1856

  9. #9
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Glue For Bellows

    Thanks, I was referring to your suggested glue. I do all kinds of things with this type of glue. I will look for some. I used to use a proprietary automotive contact adhesive that was purchased by Loctite and discontinued along with our entire unique line of chemicals. A disappointing loss of technology. I need a replacement.

    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fart View Post
    Randy, if you are referring to the Wood Flooring adhesive, I've been sourcing adhesive from the same tub for about ten to twelve years. The jelly jar pictured is about 4 years old now. If it's sealed in an air-tight container it really shouldn't dry up. I'd say it stores really well. Though, it would be hard to justify buying a tub full.

  10. #10
    DannL's Avatar
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    Re: Glue For Bellows

    Lowes online lists several products that are referred to as Universal Flooring Adhesives. If it is a non-solvent and water clean-up type, then I'll bet its the same type. The product listed as "Wall Base" adhesive might be the same stuff in a smaller tube package. If I see some, I'll pick it up to do a comparison.
    "Photography is a marvelous discovery, a science that has attracted the greatest intellects, an art that excites the most astute minds and one that can be practiced by any imbecile." Nadar, 1856

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