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Bob McCarthy
4-Jun-2010, 15:03
I am in the process of a swap of this bellows for a lens. Both parties are good guys and I'm trying to do the right thing.

The photo attached is the bellows in question that in all other ways is in fine shape. The new buyer pointed out two small cuts he found in the bellows. One cut is 1-2 mm in length, the other is estimated at 2-4 mm. I don't have a clue how I missed this before shipping but I want to do the right thing.

Question, is this a simple and permanent repair and what is the best way to repair it properly.

It is on an 8x10 Sinar bellows.

Thanks in advance,

bob

John Schneider
4-Jun-2010, 16:18
Buy some Liquid 'Lectric Tape (vinyl encapsulating compound for wire splices etc.) from a home/hardware/electrical/boat store. Extend the bellows and apply a light coat to the holes, dabbing the compound in the void. Check it for light-tightness the following day and repeat the application if necessary. Allow to fully dry a week or so before folding. This protocol has worked dozens of times for me.

Bob Salomon
4-Jun-2010, 17:15
The only right way is to replace the bellows.

IanMazursky
4-Jun-2010, 17:16
I second the liquid electrical tape. Its fantastic for small repairs on damaged bellows.
Ive even used it as a preventative measure on some bellows dabbing it in the corner folds with a toothpick.
I would caution that depending on your climates temp and humidity it may take some time to fully cure.
You don't want to close the bellows and find them stuck together the next day.

Another option that i used a few times is black acrylic paint from an art store.
Its actually is pretty good for minor repairs. Toothpick or q tip application is very easy.

Mark Carstens
4-Jun-2010, 19:47
Nice to know that there's more than one way to skin a cat...or repair a bellow for that matter.

Useful info, John and Ian! And bob...you're a good egg, mccarthy! :)

~Mark

Bob McCarthy
4-Jun-2010, 19:57
Thanks Mark, hopefully it works out fine. If not let me know, I'll make it right.

bob

Mark Carstens
4-Jun-2010, 20:06
I know you will, Bob. No worries here. :)

~Mark

sean mcentee
4-Jun-2010, 20:24
I'll add one final touch to the repair is to lightly dust the repair with talcum powder just to prevent any accidental sticking.

Lightly, and locally. I use black wetsuit cement and it worked well.

Steven Tribe
5-Jun-2010, 02:38
When it is only the corners - full 2" tape down all four corners is the best solution. For folding type cameras you have to be careful that the extra compressed width still allows for complete closing. The surface of the bellows has to be "primed" to ensure a good seal.

archer
5-Jun-2010, 04:10
Dear Bob;
Fabric paint is a permanent fix and is especially good on leather and vinyl. It can be found in any well stocked fabric store. I buy it from Joann Fabric. It comes in 1oz squeeze bottles and has an extremely fine applicator tip. I have used it on the leather upholstery in my collector cars for fine cracks in the leather seats and it can be applied up to 1/4 inch thick and it is indestructible. It takes 24hours to cure and it can be mixed to match the exact color. It's the dirty little secret most collectors use on their Concours cars when getting ready for a big show.
Denise Libby

IanG
5-Jun-2010, 04:57
I'll second the use of Acrylic paint it remains flexible once dry, andis actually almost the same as the fabric paints that Denise is suggesting. I also use it for re-light-proofing shutter curtains and making new shutter curtains as well as bellows material.

There was also a very thin self adhesive tailors black repair cloth made in Holland that was light-tight which I used inside the bellows of a Speed Graphic to ensure a perfect repair, unfortunately the manufacturer ceased trading last year. But there may be something similar available in the US.

Ian

Michael Roberts
5-Jun-2010, 05:06
Dear Bob;
Fabric paint is a permanent fix and is especially good on leather and vinyl. It can be found in any well stocked fabric store. I buy it from Joann Fabric. It comes in 1oz squeeze bottles and has an extremely fine applicator tip. I have used it on the leather upholstery in my collector cars for fine cracks in the leather seats and it can be applied up to 1/4 inch thick and it is indestructible. It takes 24hours to cure and it can be mixed to match the exact color. It's the dirty little secret most collectors use on their Concours cars when getting ready for a big show.
Denise Libby

Like Denise, I've had good success with fabric paint from Joann's. Glossy black works well for the outside of synthetic bellows; flat black works well for the inside. Withstands high temps and flexing w/o any cracking. It works so well, I painted an entire 60 year old Crown Graphic bellows with it and it has held up for several years.

Iga
6-Jun-2010, 23:37
Hi !
Could you please send a link to this paint at Joan.com ?
Thanks,
Igor.



Dear Bob;
Fabric paint is a permanent fix and is especially good on leather and vinyl. It can be found in any well stocked fabric store. I buy it from Joann Fabric. It comes in 1oz squeeze bottles and has an extremely fine applicator tip. I have used it on the leather upholstery in my collector cars for fine cracks in the leather seats and it can be applied up to 1/4 inch thick and it is indestructible. It takes 24hours to cure and it can be mixed to match the exact color. It's the dirty little secret most collectors use on their Concours cars when getting ready for a big show.
Denise Libby

cdholden
7-Jun-2010, 17:31
Nice to know that there's more than one way to skin a cat...
~Mark

Way #53: Try a cheese grater!

It's nice to have a light tight bellows, but it's even better to know you can do it for less than $10 to repair, rather than the cost of replacement.

Nathan Smith
7-Jun-2010, 18:57
Hi !
Could you please send a link to this paint at Joan.com ?
Thanks,
Igor.

Yes, please do - lotsa glue choices here: http://www.joann.com/joann/search/searchall.jsp?keyword=glue

Michael Roberts
7-Jun-2010, 20:14
Hi !
Could you please send a link to this paint at Joan.com ?
Thanks,
Igor.

http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?CATID=cat3773&PRODID=xprd821468

http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?CATID=cat3773&PRODID=xprd77905

IanG
8-Jun-2010, 03:24
Way #53: Try a cheese grater!

It's nice to have a light tight bellows, but it's even better to know you can do it for less than $10 to repair, rather than the cost of replacement.

New bellows can cost you about $10 a set if you make your own. I know because I've just made some for my quarter plate camera and am about to make a large set for my whole plate monorail once I return to Turkey :D

Ian

Michael Roberts
8-Jun-2010, 08:46
Ian, the bellows you made for your quarter plate look very nice. What materials are you using?

IanG
9-Jun-2010, 05:37
Michael, it's hard to describe, but it's like a black polyester liner cloth used for women's clothing.

It isn't light tight but I use a trick to make become light tight that I've been using to repair shutter curtains, with acrylicl black paint.

With shutter curtains I apply the acrylic to one side, then with a cloth work it into the curtain taking off any excess, when dry i do the same with the other side. I've made new curtains the same way.

For the bellows, I make the inner liner the same way as the shutter curtains but on one side I leave a painted coating of acrylic as well, usually 2 coats, this side is the one glued to the ribs & outer lining. For the outside cloth I only apply acrylic to the inner side. If the acrylic is water down it's to thin and soaks through the cloth patchily.

2 metres of cloth and the acrylic black paint was under 10/$15 and I have enough to make two large sets of bellows. The material looks similar to the cloth used on my De Vere bag bellows which Camera Bellows (now Custom Bellows) made for me in the mid 70's.

Ian

Mark Carstens
13-Jun-2010, 21:43
I dabbed some fabric paint on the larger of the two wear points today...looks promising. I'll post pics once it's cured. Ironically, that one wonky pleat not withstanding, the bellows look almost new. A cautionary tale, I guess...careful how you fold and store your bellows. :p

Also, I like the taped corner reinforcement idea, Steven, but it looks harder to achieve without things getting ugly. For future reference, how does one go about doing that properly?

Thanks for the pointers, guys!

~Mark

Steven Tribe
14-Jun-2010, 02:04
The earlier image I posted in this thread was a custom-made new bellows for an 8x10 cycle poco made up with 4 separate sections so the use of tape was very necessary.
I have also used the system with an old one piece bellows in situ. I enclose a photo of a repaired tapering bellows on a German Bentzin stereo 13x18 tailboard without the bellows being removed. This is a paper type of bellows and the 4 edges were completely delaminated and frayed. The system with joining strips is quite common from new on Continental tailback cameras. Again, I must warn that the extra thickness can make for difficulties in folding cameras where the space allowance has been designed for the original thickness of the bellows. 5cm tape is just the right width for this operation.

Mark Carstens
17-Jun-2010, 13:31
Thanks for the extra pic and explanation, Steven!

I've attached pics of the "patched" bellows. The repair seems flexible, and yet, durable.

Hey..wait..where is it? (circled in red). :p

~Mark

jonathan_lipkin
29-Jul-2010, 20:02
I just bought a used Toyo field camera which had some wear at the corners of the bellows (same areas circled above). I picked up some wetsuit repair cement similar to https://www.amazon.com/Profile-Design-Wetsuit-Neoprene-Repair/dp/B001FB18WM

Worked like a dream. Application was a bit tricky as it dries very quick, but after two coats the repair has held up quite well.

Steven Tribe
1-Aug-2010, 12:37
Sorry Mark I didn't see your posting in June. As the rest of the corners seem to be in good condition I think you did the right thing. Corner strengthening is best for bellows when the delamination of the inner/outer materials is obvious.

Mark Carstens
1-Aug-2010, 12:56
No worries, Steven. What you provided is still useful information for myself and anyone else who prefers to find a fix before venturing a replacement.

Maris Rusis
2-Aug-2010, 00:10
Bellows repair? 3M #850 black polyester tape; very black, very thin, ultra-flexible, very strong no-bleed no-creep adhesive, won't decay, rather expensive, but otherwise perfect.

I have covered an entire camera bellows, enlarger bellows, and compendium lens shade bellows with this stuff without noticeably bulking up the original pleats or reducing flexibility.

GPS
2-Aug-2010, 04:04
Bellows repair? 3M #850 black polyester tape; very black, very thin, ultra-flexible, very strong no-bleed no-creep adhesive, won't decay, rather expensive, but otherwise perfect.

I have covered an entire camera bellows, enlarger bellows, and compendium lens shade bellows with this stuff without noticeably bulking up the original pleats or reducing flexibility.

Indeed, Maris, using a thin tape is the only intelligent method to repair bellows. Of course, one can also use the tape on the inside of the bellows, something that is nice on historic cameras when you don't want to show the repair.
Using cements, thick glue fluids etc. is just asking for future troubles - the victory is short lived, for obvious technical reasons...

bbauer
12-Sep-2010, 18:12
does anyone have a source for the 3m tape in 2" widths that's shorter than 72 feet?

My google search found plenty of vendors for the 72' length, and all of the other colors except black for the shorter lengths they stock.

bob

MarkWNY
27-Dec-2010, 18:00
The bellows on my 1989 Master Technika is starting to get some fine cracks on the sides of the bellows. I don't believe that there are any light leaks yet. Should I think about replacment? Is this just cosmetic and not really a problem? Is there a preventive maintenance I should be performing?

Thank you,
Mark

DrTang
27-Dec-2010, 18:19
I've used black gasket sealant before - seems to work okay for pinholes anyway

Bob Salomon
28-Dec-2010, 02:48
The bellows on my 1989 Master Technika is starting to get some fine cracks on the sides of the bellows. I don't believe that there are any light leaks yet. Should I think about replacment? Is this just cosmetic and not really a problem? Is there a preventive maintenance I should be performing?

Thank you,
Mark

Time to replace before you lose a shot. Repair simply does not work. Call Marflex 252 652-4401 for detils regarding replacing the bellows. They are the Marflex service center.

GPS
28-Dec-2010, 03:17
What technically ignorant people do not realise is the fact that if pinholes developed in a relatively firm bellows material, by its frequent sharp bending, then they will even easier develop in much softer non resilient materials like gasket sealants, thick paints etc. That kind of materials is not at all capable of staying intact in a role and conditions they were not conceived for.

MarkWNY
28-Dec-2010, 08:29
Thanks Bob for the speedy reply. I'll give them a call.
-Mark