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Bellows making - joining the 'peaks'

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much depends on the construction materials and method, you will know when the bellows have given up and decided to behave! I also do not put  them under extreme pressure in the clamp immediately, I just slowly tighten the screw a little more every time I walk past. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've had the bellows in compression for about a week, on and off, and it seems to be doing the trick. They have reduced in length considerably to about 6 inches, with a little springiness left in them. Once I have fitted the top and end runs they will be going back under compression.


Thanks for all the help.




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  • 4 weeks later...

Any updates on the bellows?  I’m on about my 8th bellow set and my last one was really springy.  I think the issue was not having it fully opened when I glued the gussets on.  



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Hi Seth


I have finished the bellows, apart from new chamois for the ends.


They have compressed down quite well but are tight - you have to use some effort to open / close them, and they don't open as far as they should. They certainly won't fall open at the moment. I don't know the reason, other than they may have been left to dry too long on the jig after the top run linen was glued on. I used hide glue for the linen, and it is possible I used too much or it was too thick? For all the leather work I switched to rabbit glue as this was being recommended by some expert makers.


The previous period of compression I gave them just prior to fitting the leather did the trick in bringing the size down, and when I I put them back under compression they will be shut tight when I take them out.


The attached picture shows them in their current 'relaxed' state


I am exercising them daily and once the ends are fitted they will go back under compression. I am hopeful that with use the tightness / springiness will reduce.






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