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Vinyl bellows preservation?

 
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After all the scraping, cleaning, touch-up, lubricating & everything else, my GVII is pretty much fit for service. And my attention moves to the bellows. Then I notice that they're vinyl and not leather... Leather I like, understand and know how to treat & repair. My only experience with vinyl is auto seats & dashboards... So here I am asking for some experienced opinions on what to use on the vinyl bellows to preserve them? My only thought is an "armour all" silicon type product since that's what I use in autos. But I've also heard this is not recommended on bellows (I forget where?).
So, any experienced suggestions on what's best for a vinyl bellows to keep it flexible and in good shape???
Thanks...
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jpmose



Joined: 29 May 2001
Posts: 164
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2002 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich,

I would go light on the Armor All if at all. I have owned several restored cars in the past and in these circles Armor All was considered a no-no due to the effects after long term use. Interior shops claim that it can harden with age, unless you continuously renew it. If you are like me, a few years can pass easily, forgetting to follow-up on things like this. A light application of silcone should do the trick, more for appearance than anything. I prefer the liquid silicone as some sprays tend to have additives such as alcohol, ect. The best thing for vinyl is keeping it out of the sun and clean from anything such as acid, salt, etc. that will cause damage. On bellows and other items that are cemented, oil based applicants can cause separation.

Best regards,

J. P. Mose

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Best regards,

JP Mose
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, years do pass rather fast...
First I've heard of amour all hardening? Never actually used it myself, but did use the STP product which I think is the same thing. As far as I know, they're all silicon oil based to just coat the vinyl. I haven't found anything that is supposed to rejuvinate old vinyl and I don't even know if that's possible? Luckily, I don't have to worry about that yet, but I'm hoping to find something that will keep the bellows flexible. Nothing ever really worked on dashboards and I couldn't find anything that even claimed to on the internet... There was one product I used 30 years ago from a friend. An industrial spray with an unknown name that just worked wonders on everything from vinyl to leather and even old paint. But I never did find out what was in it and certainly can't get any more now...
Maybe I'll just have to hope for the best? It's got to be 40 years old already and still going...
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jpmose



Joined: 29 May 2001
Posts: 164
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich,

Your dashboard is a good example....avoid the sunlight and contamination from dirt, chemicals, etc. If you covered your car from day 1 and covered your dash while your were driving it, I'll bet it would look close to new. Vinyl is basically plastic. I don't think there is any thing that reverses damage. But, the beauty of vinyl is its on-going strength if you meet certain conditions: Avoid sunlight and contamination from elements. The silcone will protect it from the elements. You can be in control of the sunlight. Of course, I am not suggesting that you avoid shooting in the sun. Just use common sense and your vinyl bellows will last for years. Since your Graflex view is 40 years plus and still holding up well, I think it speaks for itself!!!

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