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Bellows making materials, which Bookbinding tape?

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After reading Bob Tedrow's excellent webpage about it,



I began pricing the materials needed to make a bellows. Too, it is not clear which width of tape one should select. Judging from the size of his billets, after trimming, 1 1/8", I am guessing the tape size at 1 inch.


But when I saw the price of the Bookbinders' tape Bob recoes, had to look further because I am not rotten rich with money, and, sure enough, on Amazon came up with an alternative.


Bob's reco; from Talas



What I found on Amazon;




Too, considering most folks having a go at bellows making will be doing just one to start,  150 feet is way too much while 15 yards, 45 feet, is about right.


I am curious, how do other makers deal with this issue? Do we go for the more expensive solution, or elect to follow a popular Bookbinder path?


Thank you for your expert suggestions.





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I use about 20mm wide strips for the peak and valley hinges. The strips that connect the bellows frames to the end cards are the depth of the frame + about 10mm. I use a thin but very strong linen cloth sold in the UK under the "Fraynot" brand; presumably you can find something similar locally. I cut the strips on the bias (i.e. at 45º to the warp). I attach them using rabbit skin glue brushed onto the cards, trying not to get any on the hinge part of the cloth.


On one set of bellows I tried something that looked similar to your second link. It had a rubbery glue already applied to the tape. It was a pain to use because it stuck instantly to the card and couldn't be repositioned, and the resulting hinges were quite bulky and stiff compared to what I normally use.

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I have just started on my first set of bellows and have gone through a similar process to keep the costs down as far as possible. I've had to compromise quite a bit, but have got all the bits now.


The cambric tape I bought came from a retailer of preservation equipment here in the UK, priced at £8.95 for 9 metres.



It gets much cheaper if you scale up. We don't have the same options on UK Amazon as you do in the US, and would have to pay import/shipping cost to import.


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