Bellows repair

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wingasia
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Real Name: James McCue
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Bellows repair

Post by wingasia » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:43 pm

I have a bellows that is leaking air at the hinge. It is where the leather is laid over itself.
I have tried some leather glue from the local sewing shop, but it does not hold up under pressure.
Can anyone reccomend a superior leather glue I should use to seal up this leak?
Thanks
Jim :cry:
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awilde569
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Re: Bellows repair

Post by awilde569 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:53 pm

The best bet is probably to see if the maker will do the repairs for you, if that's not an option then I'd get some barge cement to seal that. May also be able to get away with seasoning the bellows too if it's not too major a leak.
Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity

tompipes
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Re: Bellows repair

Post by tompipes » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:09 pm

I'd say have the maker repair it if at all possible, or some one who makes a similar style bellows.

More than likely they'll have to strip the old glue off it, plus the glue you applied and re set the leather. It's just that different types of glue just adhere to each other well.

Another option would be to seal the whole bellows with a thinned silicone sealant. It could work well but I don't know about it's longevity or if the silicone would stick to itself after a while and then peel itself away from the leather. Latex has been known to do this.

Tommy

learnthegrip
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Re: Bellows repair

Post by learnthegrip » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:08 pm

I had really good luck with a product called Permatex Flowable Silicone Windshield & Glass Sealer. It's a low viscosity silicone cement that is supposed to wick into gaps in the windshield seal and fill them, and should be available at auto parts stores. I corked up both the intake and exhaust holes on my bellows while it was closed, then applied the Permatex to the outside of the gusset seam and pulled the bellows open to create a vacuum. I held this position for a few minutes and could actually see the Permatex slowly moving into the leak. After it cured for 24 hours, the bellows was completely airtight. Now, six months later, there is a very small amount of air loss, but not enough to interfere with keeping the pipes steady. I expect that I'll have to repeat this process again in the near future, and eventually will have to replace the gusset, but anyway, I always thought of it as a temporary measure to keep me going until I could get the gusset replaced. So far it's kept me and my 30 year old bellows going just fine.

Ken

outofthebox
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Re: Bellows repair

Post by outofthebox » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:27 am

A really good glue I have used is E6000. It is a very strong version of rubber solution glue, so it will swell as it dries to form a good airtight seam. Only problem with E6000 is it needs at least 24 hours to cure and you will need to find a way to keep pressure on the seam. It will also give off vapours for a couple of weeks - though if you are only using a little that shouldn't be so much of a problem. Just wear a paint mask while applying it.

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New Hudson Highlander
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Re: Bellows repair

Post by New Hudson Highlander » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:23 pm

My bellows are leaking but I cannot hear an air leak. What's the best way to find a leak? My maker is out of business (Uilleann Pipeworks of Boston) so I cannot send them back for repairs.
NHH

learnthegrip
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Re: Bellows repair

Post by learnthegrip » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:50 pm

Find the leak by smell—well not really smell, but your nostrils are very sensitive to air movement so if you cork up the exhaust, fill the bellows with air, and then squeeze while you pass the seams under your nose like you're trying to smell them, you can usually find the leak.

outofthebox
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Re: Bellows repair

Post by outofthebox » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:23 am

It is most likely that bellows leak around the inlet and outlet pipes. So that's where I would check first.

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