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Thread: I made a bellows...

  1. #1

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    I made a bellows...

    I'm investigating materials to make bellows from, and found the following at a UK supplier: Point North/Profabric. In the photos below, the outer shell of the bellows is their NN1-09 neoprene coated nylon, and the inner is BTM-09 polyester microfibre. Both of these are two-layer fabrics with a flexible coat and the NN1-09 is completely light-tight (I don't know about IR). The BTM-09 is *nearly* light tight but I selected it because of the slightly brushed inside face; no specular reflections.

    The 'bones' of the stiffener: this is just 90gsm printer paper and it's not stiff enough, so I'll try again with 160gsm for the next one.

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    Five segments: the outer two will be overlapped somewhat.

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    The position of the bones marked with a silver sharpie on the inside of the outside - the smooth side goes out.

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    The outer shell cut to size.

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    Neil

  2. #2

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    Re: I made a bellows...

    I forgot to photograph the bones stuck to the centre three segments, but stuck the top on directly. The two outers I left unstuck (mostly!). The adhesive is Evo-stick spray contact adhesive.

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    The inner is marked to allow for a slight overlap at the corner, and cut to size. I should have moved it further from the corner... made the corners a bit tricky. The outer side definitely shouldn't be at the corner. The smooth side of the inner goes toward the outside to leave the soft side inside the bellows.

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    The bones then get added to the remaining side - the greaseproof baking parchment allows the bones to be rolled flat without sticking to the glue.

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    Neil

  3. #3

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    Re: I made a bellows...

    The outer shell is folded to match the overlap and glued; the baking paper stops the sides sticking together. Then the inner is stuck together at the flap along with the bones.

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    The bits of dust from the cutting board brush off.

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    Neil

  4. #4
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
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    Re: I made a bellows...

    Nice job, thanks!

  5. #5

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    Re: I made a bellows...

    Hmm. The picture thingy doesn't want to let me upload from the computer for some reason; I just get an empty window. I'll try again later to try and get the last four pictures in.

    Neil

  6. #6

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    Re: I made a bellows...

    Great Neil, keep updating the bellows making, I have heard that it's a task that can be accomplished by a "normal" human being, but it's better to see it then to hear about,

    Cheers,

    Renato

  7. #7

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    Re: I made a bellows...

    Aha! The system allows me to post images again.

    The tube is turned right side in.

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    Then the folds are started, using the stiffeners as references. The tiny bulldog clips hold the folds in place.

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    And finally, it sits under a weight for a few hours to set the pleats.

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    So there it is. Not perfect, but usable. The next one will have some slight changes: I'll use a solid frame to support the outer before sticking the bones on. That will guarantee the thing comes out square and the right size; this one is about a quarter inch rectangular at the fat end, down to not lining the bones up correctly. It will also mean I can move the seams further from the corner, which will simplify and neaten the bottom corners. If possible, I shall also find somewhere that can cut the bones by laser or something similar, and they'll be about twice the thickness for extra stiffness. However, I don't want to get too thick in the multilayer pile.

    As an aside - I got a sample of the equivalent red NN1-112 but it turns out to be quite transparent. Shame. However, there is a heavyweight coated fabric here http://www.profabrics.co.uk/collecti...ant=8358970883 which might do the job for those who want technicolour bellows - though it's half as heavy again.

    Neil

  8. #8

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    Re: I made a bellows...

    Neil, I've found it better to have the seam on an angle from the back to the front. That way the seam doesn't stack up thickness in the folds.
    I've looked at this product before for making my next bellows but I wasn't sure about the thickness, if it would be thicker or thinner than curtain liner material.

    chris

  9. #9

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    Re: I made a bellows...

    Yes, Chris, the next one will have an angled seam. I couldn't do it on this one because it lacked an obvious reference point and place to stick the bones.

    I've just measure the thickness of a pleat - i.e. two layers each of the outer, stiffener, and inner - and it's as near as the callipers can measure 1.0mm. Using thicker paper would raise that perhaps .05mm. I used curtain liner material for a previous attempt and it was much thicker: 2.1mm

    Neil

  10. #10

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    Re: I made a bellows...

    I followed this method:
    http://web.archive.org/web/201003271...l/bellows.html

    If you scroll down 3/4 of the way you'll see how he figured the angle. Hope this helps.

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