View Full Version : marks on bellows

7-May-2016, 19:44
I know what seams look like, and typically seams are on the bottom. But I have noticed a trend of twin lines running down bellows and I don't know what they are for. They look more like creases. This image, previously posted here, shows the lines on the bellows, and I have a 6x6 folder with a replaced bellows that has the lines down the top. Are the lines a decoration? Do they serve a purpose?


7-May-2016, 20:11
I've seen those marks on other bellows, and have wondered the same thing. The insides of those bellows do not show any seams. Perhaps they're made using ultrasonic welding, and those are the resulting marks?

7-May-2016, 21:08
Unless you can detect threads or some sort of layered bellows bonding behind those lines, I would say they are primarily decorative.

7-May-2016, 21:37
I think the embossed lines are mostly decoration, to give a more "finished" appearance to the bellows, but I suspect that it might have helped in mfg to have some reference lines while folding and QA to give a visual reference as to where the folds would start, and if the folded bellows were up to spec...

I find them helpful when giving a set a last ditch taping job, as a reference for the new tape line...

It is amazing to see, that in the old days, the "finishing touches" that were added by the makers that really cared... Someone was taking apart a turn-of-the century piano, to find beautiful golden floral pinstriping on the inside where no one (except maybe a tuner) would see...

Steve K

7-May-2016, 22:28
Oh, and let me add, the lines to be concerned about are (usually) on the bottom of bellows...

On my Technika III, I noticed some lines that were appearing slowly, and realized that they were from slight contact with the camera rail inside of the body shell, and were slowly abrading the outer folds (where the leaks will be be)...

It can happen elsewhere, (like under struts etc), or anything that comes close to bellows while folded/folding/unfolding... (Sometimes just one little spot...) Inspect your bellows from time to time for this...

Steve K

8-May-2016, 05:17
The lines I'm talking about cannot be wear marks. They must be decorative, although it makes sense that maybe they are alignment marks for folding.

9-May-2016, 18:00
I have a couple of cameras from the 1920s and they have that too. Clearly decoration.

Kent in SD

16-May-2016, 10:49
These are lines put on with a branding iron to hide the joins in the leather when they are applied in pieces rather than one whole piece, even when they were made in one piece these lines were applied as decoration