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Done! Saving A Jeffries Bellows


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After replacing more than half of the gussets and nearly half of the valleys the project is nearly done. Doesn't look like much but she is airtight and about to become beautiful!

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Last step is to apply the beautiful Jeffries papers that the Dippers provide.

 

 

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Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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Ken,

You are the administrator and I'm confident in your judgement. With the number of pictures I used I found it necessary to spread the allowable download memory over four separate topics. Perhaps I could have accomplished the same with one topic and three subsequent posts? :blink:

 

I'll keep repairing concertinas but leave the intricacies of the cyber world to you. :lol:

 

Thank you for your hard work and expertise. ;)

 

Greg

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Greg

Nice work, as always.

Do you treat the old leather, that you have not replaced, with anything to improve its appearance? Black Resolene, perhaps?

 

Another question: Tandy Leather Weld: Is this water soluble when fully cured?

 

AFAICT it is a "vinyl acetate ethylene copolymer" adhesive and, although water based, these are not usually water soluble when cured. So, can you reverse these joins with moisture after a few days or are they glued together forever?

Thx. Don.

Edited by Don Taylor
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Hi Don,

Area to be treated has a lot to do with which product to use. On the scuffed Tidder bellows (Tidder seems to have used sheep/lambskin which does not have the wear resistance of goat) I first applied a black dye and then followed with a coat of Kiwi Scuff Coat which probably has the same acrylic base as Resolene.

 

I think the idea is to get an appearance improvement with using the least amount of product.

 

For any area that gets a lot of flexing like valleys and gussets I use Fredelka compound. Again the watchword is use the LEAST possible product to get the job done.

 

Pardon the repetition but I've seen too many bellows RUINED by migrating oils like mink oil and neatsfoot oil which can penetrate through the leather and then cause

the underlying card to delaminate. Once that happens the bellows folds no longer "march in line" and can even seemingly go in different directions. "Talking puppets"

(talking puppet heads) is what Rosalie Dipper calls the condition. Sometimes a bit of relief can be gained by injecting glue into the separating card or replacing the hinges.

But severe cases don't have an easy fix and bellows replacement may be necessary.

 

One more caution for any folks looking for an easy way to break in bellows: To my knowledge the best and only safe way to make a stiff bellows more supple and easier to play is to do just that: play the thing! And sometimes your playing will improve along with the bellows ;)

 

Best,

 

Greg

 

PS. The Leather Weld glue is like most pva products. Heat and water can loosen it a bit but I would not call it easily reversible. However, applying more glue does seem to help dissolve existing glue and once the piece is removed and the area cleaned then glue and new leather can be reapplied.

Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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PS. The Leather Weld glue is like most pva products. Heat and water can loosen it a bit but I would not call it easily reversible. However, applying more glue does seem to help dissolve existing glue and once the piece is removed and the area cleaned then glue and new leather can be reapplied.

 

People in the violin making world tell me that vinegar will soften PVA glue. I've never had a reason to try it though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Firstly. Well done on the bellows overhaul, the result justifies the effort.

 

I never recommend leather treatments. Other than perhaps a bit of shoe cream on rubbing surfaces. You make bellows non repairable, non glueable, as well as ending up with all the results outlined above.

 

Dave

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