patching holes in bellows : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi everyone Sorry if this has been asked before BUT.. what can I use to patch some small pinholes in an old MPP red bellows.

Have a good Christmas (I have no legal department) and for those not celebrating have a good time anyway.

-- Bob Ashford (, December 23, 2001


I have sucessfully repaied bellows , leather belows , by using leather from old gloves or wallets, Be sure the leather is very thin and very clean. If you have to patch over a fold in the bellows the use a part of the leather that has a fold or introduce a fold to the leather before you glue it down, that is fold the leather and calmp it in the folded position , completely folded over between wood for a day or so, I use Pliobond glue and I follow directions, I cleans all surfaces with alcohol and let it dry then put the glue on both surfaces etc...., The secret to a really good bellows fis is to be sure to clamp the partch to the bellows , I get out the bandsaw and cut a clamp that matches the exact spot ont he bellows that I am patching so the clamping force will be the same frm the inside and outside, Then I clampt the patch on after it is positioned and let it sit for a day to be fully dry. I have not had a patch doen this way let go yet. Yur could looke for read leather gloves to match the bellows. Merry Christmass

-- ed (, December 23, 2001.

Hi Bob, I patched the entire bellows of an ancient Elwood 8x10 enlarger with black gaffer's tape. Basically the entire bellows is now made of tape. It works great because it is extremely flexible.

-- Sandy Sorlien (, December 23, 2001.

Ed has the right approach for a permanent fix, but Sandy is right about using gaffers tape when you need a fix in a hurry. I have seen posts on this forum where some have used a plastic goo to repair bellows. Look in the archives and you may get some good tips.


-- Doug Paramore (, December 23, 2001.

I read about this, but can't remember where. Used the stuff that they coat the handles of tools called Dip-it. Seems like a liquid rubber.

I found it at Home Depot as well as Menards. Comes in several colors, Iused black around $6 a can. You paint it on in layers or do what I did, paint the bellows inside and out with several coats. I used black.

Once you open the can you have to put the rest in another container as the can does not re-seal that well, I used a jar and it is still good after about 6 months. It not only worked for worn cracked bellows with many light leaks, but also used it to patch large holes in another camera.

-- Shannon (, December 23, 2001.

Thank you everyone for your replies. If I can find the paint on rubber that would be great but I will consider the patch stick and clamp method.

Have a great few days and remember family is forever. Bob.

-- Bob Ashford (, December 23, 2001.

Try acrylic paint - available at almost any art store. Acrylic paint forms a flexible film and has worked well for me. Good luck, DJ.

-- N Dhananjay (, December 23, 2001.

I`ve had remarkable success with urethane cement, used to patch wetsuits. Try your local dive shop. Merry Christmas...

-- Steve Clark (, December 23, 2001.

I have use two succesful methods on cloth bellows. both are relatively easy and work quite well. On old folding cameras I use Elmer's School Glue with a few drops of India ink, applied with cotton tip swabs (Q-Tips). The glue is water soluable. It is flexable when dry and does not effect the opening and closing of the bellows. On an old B&J Grover monorail I used fabric glue (from the fabric store). The brand I have is Beacon Fabri-tac. It is acetone base and clear so color must be added and must be oil or simular base. It is best applied with a stick. This glue is flexable when dry so it too does not interfere with the funtioning of the bellows.

-- Howard Anderson (, December 24, 2001.

Oops! Make that neoprene cement, still found at dive shops. Steve

-- Steve Clark (, December 25, 2001.

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