PDA

View Full Version : Glue For Bellows



JJLouis
12-Apr-2013, 12:13
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.

mandoloid
12-Apr-2013, 19:41
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!

Tin Can
12-Apr-2013, 19:53
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.

vinny
12-Apr-2013, 20:43
Pliobond is what I've heard come up

DannL
12-Apr-2013, 20:45
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.

93257

Tin Can
12-Apr-2013, 20:52
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.

Jim C.
12-Apr-2013, 20:59
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.

DannL
12-Apr-2013, 21:09
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.

Tin Can
12-Apr-2013, 21:24
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!


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.

DannL
12-Apr-2013, 21:46
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.

Tin Can
12-Apr-2013, 22:09
Ha!, you are as bad as me, any excuse to add a tool or resource.

Last time I knocked some 30 year old wall base off cement, it was hard and dry. Really not a good test for bellows. I will pick some up soon also.

Lowes is far, Home Depot and Menards much closer. Maybe I should check Grainger for truly industrial strength. They are actually closest, they love to give me funny looks when I 'will call' a $5.00 gizmo.

I had a Calumet C1 fully stretched for a week, and was amazed the bellows did not loosen. Glue testing before sale...


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.

jose angel
13-Apr-2013, 02:38
Years ago I glued a new bellows following manufacturer`s recomendation; it was contact glue, neoprene based, the one used by shoemakers. Probably the easiest to find glue in any place.
Never have had a problem in this years, hot and cold weather, it looks like the first day.

mandoloid
13-Apr-2013, 04:20
A shoe glue is a good tip to follow up on (Shoe-Goo?). They are amazingly strong and flexible. The super glue idea is not entirely uninformed as it bonds well to both metal and fabric . It does dry hard (like many glues) but since the aluminum is somewhat "crispy" as well, that did not seem an issue. You would want to apply it accurately to make sure it goes only on the point of contact with the metal though. BTW, JJLouis, how many inches or millimeters do you have to repair?

DannL
13-Apr-2013, 10:55
I did a check at Lowes this morn, and the adhesive labeled as "Wall Base" adhesive is definitely "NOT" the same material as the wood flooring adhesive I use. But, that doesn't mean it wouldn't work. I noticed a dried example, and it has the consistency of dried epoxy.

Tin Can
13-Apr-2013, 11:02
Thanks!


I did a check at Lowes this morn, and the adhesive labeled as "Wall Base" adhesive is definitely "NOT" the same material as the wood flooring adhesive I use. But, that doesn't mean it wouldn't work. I noticed a dried example, and it has the consistency of dried epoxy.

Andrew O'Neill
13-Apr-2013, 11:33
Contact cement worked well for me when I was building my bellows.

IanG
13-Apr-2013, 12:30
Contact cement worked well for me when I was building my bellows.

Contact adhesive is the correct glue, it's also known as Impact adhesive and the word cement used instead of adhesive in some parts of the world.

A big differance is some are water based and others solvent based but once dry have similar strengths. There's a move away from solvent based adhesives because of abuse by solvent sniffers :D

Ian

Jim C.
13-Apr-2013, 14:17
A big differance is some are water based and others solvent based but once dry have similar strengths. There's a move away from solvent based adhesives because of abuse by solvent sniffers :D

Ian

The sniffers are probably what caused Krylon to discontinue the old Ultra Flat Black spray paint.
Anyone who's ever used the old formula knows what I'm talking about. ;)

Ari
13-Apr-2013, 16:07
Plio-bond is the bee's knees.
I used for a couple of Technika bellow repairs, and it works perfectly.

Tin Can
13-Apr-2013, 16:10
Is there more than type, a quick search, showed some low VOC, that can't be any good right?

How about this. http://www.amazon.com/W-J-Ruscoe-P612-Pliobond/dp/B001001S1E/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_1



Plio-bond is the bee's knees.
I used for a couple of Technika bellow repairs, and it works perfectly.

JJLouis
14-Apr-2013, 20:22
Hi everyone! Thank you all for your responses. I've done some more research and it seems like contact cement is the way to go; Plio-Bond being a brand of contact cement. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2013, 09:15
Gosh, some of you guys are sure trying hard to ruin your camera! What you want is Barge Cement, the same thing shoe
repairmen use for leather and rubber. It remains pliable under a wide variety of conditions. It is used like a contact cement,
as is it's wimpy second cousin, Plio-Bond. But don't use regular contact cement or some goofy construction adhesive that goes brittle in a matter of weeks.

Tin Can
15-Apr-2013, 09:56
Drew, this is why we are asking. Installing new bellows is not cheap and the first time for me will be nerve wracking. The wrong goo, can ruin a week, not just a day.

I would love even more tips, on how to exactly do it. I have several cameras that need bellows. I even have the replacement bellows, but until I am confident in glue and procedure they will wait.

I have worked with all kinds of contact cement and I never liked any of them. 3M Weather strip adhesive is pretty strong, but, I never trust it. I replaced aa unreplaceable window in my van with a homemade lexan window and fastened it in place with double sided 3M Weather strip TAPE, and that stuff is really sticky, but I doubt it is the first choice of anyone for bellows.

I am amazed at the job, someone did replacing bellows on cameras, I know do not have original bellows. No trace of the sticky glue and those bellows are stuck very well.

I am sure I am not the only one that is awaiting advice. As we all know there are few camera shops doing this repair anywhere in the world.

Thanks for the tip on Barge Cement, non-drying would be a good feature.



Gosh, some of you guys are sure trying hard to ruin your camera! What you want is Barge Cement, the same thing shoe
repairmen use for leather and rubber. It remains pliable under a wide variety of conditions. It is used like a contact cement,
as is it's wimpy second cousin, Plio-Bond. But don't use regular contact cement or some goofy construction adhesive that goes brittle in a matter of weeks.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2013, 10:11
Randy - 3M makes so many different products that it's bewildering. The problem is finding them, or even navigating their
hopelessly convoluted website. Products are distributed thru multiple divisions which don't speak to each other; and there are
some remarkable adhesives in tech divisions which you simply won't find in any home center or hardware store, not will you
find anyone at 3M able to answer questions. I do 100K per yr with them here, and told them I could triple that business if
anyone could help us navigate the product maze. Even that kind of money didn't get their interest, and I eventually gave up on them. But good ole Barge Cement it tried and true, and readily available. Read the instructions and follow them. I've only
repaired bellows, never made em. But I have ordered custom bellows from some outfit in Florida with satisfaction.

Tin Can
15-Apr-2013, 10:43
I even have a tube of Barge, but never used it yet on Mission Critical jobs.

Thanks!



Randy - 3M makes so many different products that it's bewildering. The problem is finding them, or even navigating their
hopelessly convoluted website. Products are distributed thru multiple divisions which don't speak to each other; and there are
some remarkable adhesives in tech divisions which you simply won't find in any home center or hardware store, not will you
find anyone at 3M able to answer questions. I do 100K per yr with them here, and told them I could triple that business if
anyone could help us navigate the product maze. Even that kind of money didn't get their interest, and I eventually gave up on them. But good ole Barge Cement it tried and true, and readily available. Read the instructions and follow them. I've only
repaired bellows, never made em. But I have ordered custom bellows from some outfit in Florida with satisfaction.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2013, 10:46
Always test on something of less value first, regardless ...

IanG
15-Apr-2013, 10:49
Gosh, some of you guys are sure trying hard to ruin your camera! What you want is Barge Cement, the same thing shoe
repairmen use for leather and rubber. It remains pliable under a wide variety of conditions. It is used like a contact cement,
as is it's wimpy second cousin, Plio-Bond. But don't use regular contact cement or some goofy construction adhesive that goes brittle in a matter of weeks.

That's what all contact/impact adhesives (cements) are designed to do :D (well the ones I've come across).

Ian

Tin Can
15-Apr-2013, 10:50
Of course. Some people think all I do is test...But I have worked in Chem and Material test labs all my life. Testing becomes a habit. I will test some Barge today and check it for 30 days at least.



Always test on something of less value first, regardless ...

Ari
15-Apr-2013, 11:11
Is there more than type, a quick search, showed some low VOC, that can't be any good right?

How about this. http://www.amazon.com/W-J-Ruscoe-P612-Pliobond/dp/B001001S1E/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_1

That's the stuff!
But I'm not sure what VOC means.

Tin Can
15-Apr-2013, 11:27
VOC means Volatile Organic Compounds, the poisonous stinky solvents that make it work good.

For MY bellows I would chose high VOC and use it under a vent hood.



That's the stuff!
But I'm not sure what VOC means.

Drew Wiley
15-Apr-2013, 11:56
Yes, Barge will get you high, or blow up your shop if you light a ciggie ... good ole high-VOC stuff. And Ian - there are many kinds of contact cement. Most of them are intended to be firm. You wouldn't want to glue down Formica and have it wiggly or peel up, would you? Shoe glue, on the other hand, is intended to remain flexible. The problem with high VOC liquid in certain cases, esp in hot weather, is that it will attack vinyl and potentially melt it. I don't know if any camera mfg is such a skinflint
as to use thin vinyl on actual camera bellows. I would outgas and eventually go brittle itself. I have seen vinyl used for aftermarket compendium lens shades.

mandoloid
16-Apr-2013, 09:07
This thread is still rolling and since I have another bellows project in my future I thought I'd make some phone calls on the subject. I called Leather Supply House (www.leathersupplyhouse.com) in NJ and talked to Mike. He was very helpful and said they use a glue he referred to as a PVCE glue. Flexible, durable, and somehow reversible (repairable). He didn't know what the E meant in the PVCE but said that they sell the stuff along with a great supply of leathers for bellows. BTW, he mentioned using felt for the stiffeners which is a good tip if you are looking to build a really flexible bellows for your wide movements. I also talked to Jose at Calumet who was generous with his time as well. On Cambos he uses a product by Loctite called "Vinyl, Plastic and Fabric", right out of the hardware store. Evidently a kind of contact cement. "just be sure to give it 4-5 hrs to dry" he said. So that's enough info for me to go on as far as the glue. Does anyone know what thickness or weight is best for a camera bellows?

vinny
13-Jun-2013, 07:49
So, after looking into Barge cement I quickly found lots of negative feedback on the new stuff (minus toluene) in the blue tube. The yellow stuff is still available from a few places.
http://www.filmtools.com/bargecement1.html Apparently, the stinkier the better.

Tin Can
13-Jun-2013, 08:14
Thanks!

I will order some good old toluene Barge.

There is a big movement to remove all 'dangerous' chems from consumer store shelves.

Yesterday, my upstairs neighbor got a new water heater, they used one heck of a lot of PVC glue, I was choking all day. The fumes seek ground level, and she complains about my darkroom odors, yet, I don't have a functional main darkroom yet, it's all in my well vented bathroom. and I don't use acetic acid...

She also uses oil paints which are not the most pleasant.