View Full Version : How To Remove A Bellows? Century Grand #7

18-Dec-2010, 12:49
I'm at the stage where I've removed all hardware from the camera and left with what you see in the attached photo. I don't see a way to remove the bellows though, I thought it might be held down by some brass tabs but nothing on the outside, and inside I don't know what to look for, the bellows is in good shape with no holes but it's dry. If i stretched it out I may break it. So what do i do next ?


18-Dec-2010, 13:02
Many bellows are just glued into place, so it's not always an easy removal process if you need to keep them intact.

I use a dropper (used for eye drops etc) with a solvent, start mild - meths (methylated spirits or Vodka :D) then possible Acetone, and gently tease apart.


John Koehrer
18-Dec-2010, 17:33
Hi Ian,
I do it the same way. After I apply the solvent though, I just stand back & say neener, neener, neener and they separate immediately. =-P

18-Dec-2010, 17:42
On my Century Studio camera, the bellows are attached to frames--which are screwed into the standards. Look behind the first fold in the bellows and I believe you'll find flat head screws that secure the bellows frames to the standards.

18-Dec-2010, 17:50
My Century 8x10 uses small tacks to hold the bellows in the back. In front the bellows is glued to a board that screws to the front standard.

18-Dec-2010, 23:04
oddly enough when i turned it on it's side this afternoon a tack fell out and it wasn't one of the tacks that hold the felt on the edges so we don't get wood rubbing on wood

i started to think that if it is glued & I can release it then what. I don't know if i'd have the skills to reglue when the time comes. So i thought why not just cut it out and when ready buy & install a new replacement. My bellows measures 12x12 and i looked on e-bay, saw plenty of bellows but none 12x12.

So is cutting it out possible the better way to go ?

19-Dec-2010, 04:51
One more thing came to mind.
My issue with finding if the bellows is glued or tacked is that i'll have to fully expand it and i'm worried that at that point is when I'll develop problems like cracking. All I have around the house is lemon oil for wood & silicone spray which I usually spray into a small container & then paint it on with an artists brush.

Would one of these work to make the bellows more supple after soaking in for a day ?

Steven Tribe
19-Dec-2010, 05:04
There was a recent thread on Century bellows replacement - one of the easiest to do.
Note that organic solvent glues are comparitively recent development - the glue used could well be a water based glue.

John Koehrer
19-Dec-2010, 10:59
If the bellows is leather, Neatsfoot oil should soften it easily.
Don't soak it use several very light applications of the oil.

19-Dec-2010, 15:44
Success !!!

The bellows is not leather. It seems to be fabric on the inside and maybe a rubber coating on the outside? but if it was simply coated I'd see the fabric weave through and I don't.

I figured I had nothing to lose so I painted on a light coating of silicone & let it sit for an hour, afterwards it became very supple so now I could extend the bellows and see that each end was held in place by a large wooden bracket secured by 10 screws. So I just unscrewed them all & presto !

It disconnected