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Thread: Glue For Bellows

  1. #31
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Glue For Bellows

    Yes, Barge will get you high, or blow up your shop if you light a ciggie ... good ole high-VOC stuff. And Ian - there are many kinds of contact cement. Most of them are intended to be firm. You wouldn't want to glue down Formica and have it wiggly or peel up, would you? Shoe glue, on the other hand, is intended to remain flexible. The problem with high VOC liquid in certain cases, esp in hot weather, is that it will attack vinyl and potentially melt it. I don't know if any camera mfg is such a skinflint
    as to use thin vinyl on actual camera bellows. I would outgas and eventually go brittle itself. I have seen vinyl used for aftermarket compendium lens shades.

  2. #32

    Re: Glue For Bellows

    This thread is still rolling and since I have another bellows project in my future I thought I'd make some phone calls on the subject. I called Leather Supply House ( in NJ and talked to Mike. He was very helpful and said they use a glue he referred to as a PVCE glue. Flexible, durable, and somehow reversible (repairable). He didn't know what the E meant in the PVCE but said that they sell the stuff along with a great supply of leathers for bellows. BTW, he mentioned using felt for the stiffeners which is a good tip if you are looking to build a really flexible bellows for your wide movements. I also talked to Jose at Calumet who was generous with his time as well. On Cambos he uses a product by Loctite called "Vinyl, Plastic and Fabric", right out of the hardware store. Evidently a kind of contact cement. "just be sure to give it 4-5 hrs to dry" he said. So that's enough info for me to go on as far as the glue. Does anyone know what thickness or weight is best for a camera bellows?

  3. #33

    Join Date
    May 2006
    grand rapids

    Re: Glue For Bellows

    So, after looking into Barge cement I quickly found lots of negative feedback on the new stuff (minus toluene) in the blue tube. The yellow stuff is still available from a few places. Apparently, the stinkier the better.

  4. #34
    Randy Moe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Glue For Bellows


    I will order some good old toluene Barge.

    There is a big movement to remove all 'dangerous' chems from consumer store shelves.

    Yesterday, my upstairs neighbor got a new water heater, they used one heck of a lot of PVC glue, I was choking all day. The fumes seek ground level, and she complains about my darkroom odors, yet, I don't have a functional main darkroom yet, it's all in my well vented bathroom. and I don't use acetic acid...

    She also uses oil paints which are not the most pleasant.

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