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Bellows leather care care

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Just got an old Lachenal 48b EC up and running . The bellows were mucky on the outside and stiff. They were pretty good on the inside, linen hinges were in excellent condition . I cleaned the leather with lanolin / beeswax Hide Food, and that freed them up beautifully. Airtight and now quite free. They've got quite a suck on them when held against a flat surface!


How often do you folks recommend I redress the leather, to maintain suppleness?



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I Guess that the answer is basically you don't.


the oils and carrier media soak into the leather, under the glued joints and weaken the bellows assembly. it taints decorative papers as well. The waxy residue attracts dust and grime makings matters worse. The lanolin you used could well have started the problem. The beeswax and lanolin will make repair very difficult as glues will not like to stick to the contaminated surface.


Just keep bellows clean and frequently articulated, preferably by playing. 

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Getting on for 50 years ago, when I picked up my Anglo from Crabb's, he recommended Neatsfoot Oil annually.

Have ideas moved on since?

I'd be grateful for any feedback as I'm not long back with concertinas and bought a pint of the oil just to be prepared.


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