View Full Version : KMV internal bellows repair

1-Jul-2013, 12:07
My KMV has suffered a small collapse of the internal bellows fabric. It only covers three pleats (?) up in the upper left hand region close to the back and is so small an area that so far, I have seen no problems in my exposures.

However, I want to stop this in it's tracks before a replacement is needed.

Right now, I'm thinking of some sort of glue that can be applied via a hypodermic type needle after piercing the interior fabric and then while it sets, holding the fabric in place with a splint system made from popsickle sticks shielded by plastic wrap so the whole thing can be extracted without damage to the fabric.

The question is, what kind of glue should I choose. And of course, does anyone have a better idea as I am definitely not locked into my own plan.



Henry Ambrose
1-Jul-2013, 15:57
Barge cement.


1-Jul-2013, 18:32
Thank you, Henry. I will look into that.

By the way, your architectural work is wonderful.


Jim C.
1-Jul-2013, 18:43
Tim are you averse to removing the bellows with frames and cutting some slits ?
I'n not familiar with how the bellows are attached on a KMV so removing may not be an option
but cutting some slits where the ribs are and spreading Barge or 3M hi strength sprayment
would be better than injecting, with the sprayment spray it on a sheet paper till you get a pool
and use a dental spatula or a thin flat tool to spread the cement in the dropped area.
Less soak thru vs injecting the cement.

1-Jul-2013, 18:48
Tim, if the repair doesn't pan out, a replacement bellows on eBay is $190.
I discovered a bunch of pinholes yesterday after using full bellows extension for the first time; I patched everything up, but it's only temporary.

1-Jul-2013, 20:41
Jim, I've had this camera for years and never looked into how the bellows comes off, so I will check that out tomorrow. It would certainly be simpler to handle and access without the rear section of the body in the way and No, I am not adverse to the slit method, I was only thinking that injecting might be simpler, if much less controllable as to volume and placement of the glue. I am certainly not locked into my own way of thinking on this at all. I just want to accomplish the repair so it doesn't deteriorate further.

Ari, thanks for the heads up on the replacement. I may well look into that if working through the repair is more than I think I can handle.

Thanks, Gentlemen!

2-Jul-2013, 04:48
If you use barge cement, do NOT get this stuff. You want the this brand but the yellow tube/can that contains the original formula. Search the blue stuff and you'll find tons of negative feedback.

Barge cement.


2-Jul-2013, 06:13
Thanks, Vinny. I am officially forewarned.

Jim C.
2-Jul-2013, 08:21
Tim, accessibility was the reason I was suggesting removing the bellows and the frames it's attached to
makes it a lot easier, fwiw, if Barge becomes a hassle obtaining Weldwood contact cement ( red label )
and or Wilson contact cement works just as well, easily obtained and they are flexible and should work just as well.

bob carnie
2-Jul-2013, 08:34
Is there a service company in NA that repairs bellows, film holders? I am completely useless at repair .
Right now I have about 10 8x10/4x5 film holders that need repair.

2-Jul-2013, 09:04

You might go to Carol Miller's web site for Flutotscamerarepair.com and access her large number of links. Some are dated, but there is a huge amount of info including contacts for types of repairs that she does not handle. There may well be some for exactly what you are seeking.

2-Jul-2013, 09:06

Weldwood contact cement has been a staple in my household since my Dad introduced me to it 50 plus years ago. When I was considering the injection method, that product din't seem viable, but with the concept of slitting the area to be repaired, it is definitely back on the table.

Thanks again for your thoughts.