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Bellows repair

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Round 2 finished tonight. I was a little miffed to realise I only had one patch left to do, as I would have worked a bit later last time and got finished.


This time I tried a scalpel to skive the patch, and it worked well. For those interested in sharp pointy things, a Swann-Morton no 3 scalpel with a new 10A straight blade. I used a ceramic tile as a surface, raised on a book to give height and allow a flat hand angle.


With the point just off the leather the blade flexed enough to give a controlled neat cut about 3mm wide.

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I had a further problem last time. In cleaning one hole for repair, the edge tape lifted on one external corner and about 40mm either side. The cardboard edge had previously worn through, or something, and the edge was split and gaping.


The tape was stuck to the underlying original material and paper, which separated and remained stuck to the tape.

I skived some more leather to a thin strip about 10mm wide to bind the edges, and a patch for the corner, and a thin reinforcement for inside. Probably wasted as much leather as I used :(


For this I used a Stanley blade of the kind sold for carpet laying - well sharp and holds its edge, and a blade for a craft knife - the sort where you break the blade tip off when it gets blunt. These worked quite well, I used them in turn as sometimes one seemed to work better, sometimes the other. Just the blades - no holders. I was able to get the leather very thin.


The bellows tape cleaned up with water, and was stuck down again with contact adhesive (as were the patches). All clamped up tonight, tomorrow I'll find out if it all worked.


It has been educational and entertaining. I think I'd buy the commercial stuff if I wanted to repair a nice box, but I'd consider DIY to repair a cheap one.

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