Jump to content


Photo

Alternatives To Traditional Bellows

bellows origami diy frankenstein

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Magnus

Magnus

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norway/Ireland

Posted 07 May 2017 - 05:55 AM

Hi everyone

I have really gotten excited about playing traditional music these last few years and ended up buying an old english concertina when I wanted to try on a new instrument to learn. I have been an active and touring musicican for years and years and have gotten fairly used to fixing and maintaining my instruments so i felt confident that I would be able to put the concertina back together or atleast make an informed guess as to when to leave it in more capable hands. The bellows where pretty much dust and torn apart in a very rough way. Even if I knew how to properly make bellows im not sure if restoring the old bellows would have been anything but naive and it crumbled in my hands as I was assessing the damage.

 

I decided to make my own bellows using origamifolding because it seemed so much easier. So i bough a relatively thick piece of paper/cardboard and strengthened the inside with a layer of Bobbtape and the outside with gaffatape (it was never meant to be anything other than a trial so i disregarded the design and looks entirely.

 

I am happy to say that it plays wonderfully. The only thing im noticing is that theres a different force required for push vs. pull but i read about how thats a thing other bellowmakers are figuring out too so i dont think that this is something related to the origamifolding as much as it is about me being an amateur. Also i can feel it evening out after hours and hours of playing. It would be fun to have some experienced players try it out and tell me how it compares to normal bellows but for me it feels pretty much the same (i have an irish concertina with working bellows that i bought at the same time since im playing irish tunes and wanted the different notes on the push and pull also) but my frame of reference ends there.

 

What I would wanna start a topic about is if there have been other endeavours into other types of building parts for the boxes

or if anyone with more knowledge and experience would be open to giving me some pointers. All help is appreciated!

 

In closing i feel like pointing out that im not of the opinion that the instrument is in any dire need of improvements at all and that i was and am reluctant to tinkering too much with these old boxes given my lack of knowledge. I think however that learning by doing really works and I havent done anything irreversible to my instrument so i think im in the clear.

 

- Magnus



#2 nicx66

nicx66

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:upstate ny

Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:06 AM

Photo on 2-8-16 at 12.59 PM.jpg this is an origami bellows that I made based on existing designs, though for practical application it would indeed have its own set of difficulties, particularly the gussets. This design has been used to create lightweight, collapsible homeless shelters http://www.cardborigami.org
 
One advantage is that the bellows could be constructed with one rectangle of material, which leaves you with a standing seam running the length of the bellows. This could be remedied by adjusting the shape that you start with from a rectangle to a rectangle with jagged sides. I apologize if this sounds confusing. I have never been good at describing 3-D concepts in print. Another way to construct this design would be to start with individual diamond shaped pieces and hinge them together. I have a feeling that this would reduce the stress that using a single piece of material causes and may eliminate the need for gussets, providing that the hinges are flexible enough.   Here is a link to the thread I started, however mine is just for fun. http://www.concertin...8539&hl=origami

Edited by nicx66, 07 May 2017 - 09:21 AM.


#3 wayman

wayman

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 232 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Sheffield, UK

Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:35 AM

Here's a great video which might offer some ideas and further strength to the concept of origami bellows:

http://www.thisiscol...origami-artist/

 

I think it's a great endeavor and something worth pursuing; it might turn out to be practical and efficient, and just as functional as traditional bellows, with some further revisions and consideration to materials! And if not, at least it's a rewarding pasttime and fun and rewarding in its own way :-)



#4 Don Taylor

Don Taylor

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1103 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:28 AM

The Origami man is amazing!

But here is another technique for making bellows that are quite similar to our kind of bellows:
https://youtu.be/6maMPxFX_H0

This is a sped up version of the bellows making process, svarzara has some other videos where he goes through each step of the process.

These are four sided bellows for a large format camera. I think that the same technique could be used for 6- or 8- sided concertina bellows, but I am curious to hear what the experienced bellows makers have to say.

#5 Mike Pierceall

Mike Pierceall

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 453 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern California U.S.A.

Posted 07 May 2017 - 12:01 PM

Replacement bellows that you can install yourself are readily available and not terribly expensive.  It sounds like you have the skill to do the installation even if you choose not to build a set from scratch.  Of course, I'm all for experimentation, and sometimes innovation comes from the need to improvise. 



#6 Dana Johnson

Dana Johnson

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 663 posts

Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:12 AM

The Origami man is amazing!
But here is another technique for making bellows that are quite similar to our kind of bellows:
https://youtu.be/6maMPxFX_H0
This is a sped up version of the bellows making process, svarzara has some other videos where he goes through each step of the process.
These are four sided bellows for a large format camera. I think that the same technique could be used for 6- or 8- sided concertina bellows, but I am curious to hear what the experienced bellows makers have to say.


I don't know if they still do, but Stagi went through a phase of this sort of gussettless bellows on some anglos. I didn't look at the inside to see what their backing card looked like, but I expect it was similar to the video. I didn't think much of them, and while they fold up, I don't think there is anything stopping them from opening up completely, since that is the starting condition before the folding process. This also makes them vulnerable to collapsing with a hard draw. ( this doomed my wife's old Stagi even with it's cheap gusseted bellows. ). An ordinary gusseted bellows can't open beyond it's construction shape since doing so stretches the gusset beyond its original size. I am no expert with origami, but I think any bellows that starts with folding a tube is vulnerable to returning to that shape. For English concertinas, this may not be a problem for most people, but given forceful playing on an Anglo, it could cause problems. People have had centuries of experience with bellows making, different types for different purposes. Because of the lack of opportunity for leaks, the folded one piece designs are initially attractive. ( I made my first bellows that way but it would pop out or collapse when any real force was applied ). Given the large amount of work that goes into a traditional concertina bellows, if other simpler methods were practical, I'm pretty sure they would have been used widely.
Dana

#7 Don Taylor

Don Taylor

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1103 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:34 AM

Thanks for this Dana, a persuasive argument against gusset-less bellows.

I guess that they would be just fine for the intended application: a lightweight bellows mounted on a large frame camera's rails. Probably better for that application than gusseted bellows which would be harder to make light tight.

#8 Magnus

Magnus

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norway/Ireland

Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for all the replies!

 

The argument against gussetless designs is a good one and made itself apparent to me when I tried out different ways of folding with thinner fabrics. A fix that atleast feels proper for now was to add an additional `reversed` fold on both ends that would have to unfold entirely before the bellows could be opened up beyond what is structurally sustainable. On its own and definitely when mounted in the frames it has enough strength to stop the bellows before the folds can pop out and it feels pretty absolute and unyielding. It would be interesting to make a mental note to see if this strength disappears as the push vs pull evens out since this is due to the fabric becoming more lenient and broken in and also I havent tried to destroy it by playing to heavy or rough and im sure there are player who would be more demanding in the way they work the bellows. so i suppose im not arguing against the fact that traditional bellows are tried and tested and still around for a very good reason as much as im saying that allthou everything Dana Johnson says is true in theory it hasnt made itself apparent in these bellows because of measures i made against it happening. I did not know about the stagi gussetless designs and will look into that to see if there are things i will avoid or adapt into my own endeavours and a few of the youtube links are also new to me. So again, thanks for the very helpful replies.

 

I am considering getting a proper set of bellows and the prices for those are definitely not bad at all. It was neat however to be able to put something together that worked and to bring it on the tour im on now instead of coming home to a package waiting in the mail. It ends up being more practicetime for me and theres nothing like the trial by fire-esque realities of bringing something on tour. If it holds its own on the road its good for most places. It should perhaps be noted that im not touring in a band where i play the concertina but it gets played whenever i have time between tour-duties and that ends up being one or two hours per day even if it isnt actually on a stage.


Edited by Magnus, 08 May 2017 - 11:12 AM.


#9 wayman

wayman

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 232 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Sheffield, UK

Posted 09 May 2017 - 10:09 AM

A suggestion, partly in jest, but perhaps something could come of it...

 

To keep origami bellows from opening up completely, have a string or rubber band of proper strength and durability, connecting the two ends, running inside the bellows. This sounds silly and might be wholly impractical or disruptive to the player, but on the other hand ... something along these lines might work....



#10 nicx66

nicx66

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 147 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:upstate ny

Posted 09 May 2017 - 01:14 PM

One of the difficulties I found with the design that I used (and indeed most collapsible origami) is that many use a twisting motion to collapse and open fully ,minimizing stress to the paper. This twisting motion is impractical for a concertina, however when I adjusted the design to collapse without a need for twisting, the model started to form its own gussets in the middle of the valley folds. 



#11 Jody Kruskal

Jody Kruskal

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1590 posts
  • Location:New York City

Posted 10 May 2017 - 11:10 PM

Hey Magnus, sounds interesting. How about a photo?



#12 Magnus

Magnus

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Norway/Ireland

Posted 11 May 2017 - 05:38 AM

image1.jpg?etag=W%2F%22cc71-59143e31%22&image3.jpg?etag=W%2F%22824d-59143e3a%22&

image4.jpg?etag=W%2F%22b205-59143e40%22&image2.jpg?etag=W%2F%22b77f-59143e1e%22&

here are some pictures that i took for friends and not really to document the process. But they tell a story i suppose!

if things still are unclear i would gladly answer questions. I decided to start putting pictures on my bandpage

http://lyngfarer.com...tinastuffs.htmland these pictures are there now.


Edited by Magnus, 11 May 2017 - 05:41 AM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: bellows, origami, diy, frankenstein

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users