View Full Version : Cleaning the inside of the bellows

30-Nov-2003, 11:54
The 5X7 is ready to go. I've decided it is way to cold to refinish and if I wait to use it until I get that completed I will never use it. so I am now in posession of a working but ugly 5x7. My only concern is the bellows interior. I bought the bellows from a guy who had it sitting in his shop. I assume by the amount of dust inside the bellows it was fully extended. I know this will be a problem but cannot figure a way to clean it thuroughly and I do not want pin holes in my negs. Should I just wipe it with either tack cloth, or a damp cloth? Would an air compressor do any damage? A new bellows is out of the question right now.

Thanks in advance

Bill Jefferson
30-Nov-2003, 12:16
Hi Mark,

Vaccuum to remove the dust. good luck

Alan Davenport
30-Nov-2003, 14:58
The air compressor can damage it if too much pressure, but if you have the compressor you might be able to reduce the pressure to where it's safe. I would suggest first blowing as much dust out as possible, either with the compressor or canned air, then use a barely damp rag to wipe the surface. Finally, vacuum thoroughly. By this point, most of the remaining dust is probably going to stay put, so no worries.

30-Nov-2003, 19:49
After blowing and vacuming use duct tape as a "tack cloth" inside the bellows to pick up remaining bits of dust and junk.

Bruce Watson
3-Dec-2003, 08:27
I find vacuuming the inside of a bellows difficult, and I suspect not as efficient as I would like it to be. I use a damp wash cloth to pick up the majority of dust. The next day (or sufficient drying time later) using a tack cloth to "finish" is probably a good idea.

Note though that every time you extent it, you pull in dust. Every time you change lenses, you open it to dust. It'll never be "dust free." As a result, I clean before the "big" pictures or big trips, and try to minimize the exposure to the atmosphere, but I can't obsess over it (like I used to, sigh).