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pacemaker speed graphic: leather bellows?

 
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parny



Joined: 28 Mar 2002
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a nice pacemaker speed graphic w/ side mounted kalart rangefinder, and bellows in good shape. I'm thinking of treating them with a little neatsfoot oil, and then I looked at them closer and wondered if they were really leather, or some fancy vinyl substitute. What's most likely?

Thanks,

Philip
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are vinyl. Use Pledge, or just a damp cloth.

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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not just any Pledge, Phillip. LEMON PLEDGE is the official Graflex bellows treatment!
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jpmose



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

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep...I remember W.D. Service in So. Calif. using Pledge when I was in their shop back in 1980!

By the way Philp...I've been told that neatsfoot oil can be harmful on real leather bellows because it can cause damage to the glue. Something like Lexol is a better choice. Other may have further suggestions.

J. P.
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GregStaab



Joined: 12 Oct 2001
Posts: 20
Location: long Island NY

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used Mink Oil with great results on a number of vintage cameras. It's good for the leather covering as well as the bellows.
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parny



Joined: 28 Mar 2002
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lemon pledge, eh? I can manage that. It's interesting that the bellows, examined closely, has a texture that looks very much like leather -- lots of tiny variably spaced dimples.

Thanks for the thought on neatsfoot oil & leather bellows -- I'll look into the alternative you suggest.

-- Philip
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alecj



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 853
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the bellows are NOT leather, just look that way. We don't use the mink oil down here in Alabama. Too hard to catch those critters, and if you're lucky enough to get one, they SURE don't like to be squeezed for oil!
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RichS



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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thought I'd get rid of some more sense, or cents by offering it here...

Neatsfoot is fine for leather, but in very small quantities. I use a neatsfoot/wax conditioner that can be applied like shoe polish. Almost impossible to use too much as long as you eventually wipe off the excess. Lexol makes some very fine products with a great reputation, but I haven't used them myself... Never thought of the glue problem, but it hasn't affected me, yet... I'm sure either product would be bad if the bellows was 'soaked' though.

Pledge should be fine for vinyl or leather. But don't spray the bellows. Spray it on a cloth and wipe the bellows. Same problem with 'soaking', unless it's vinyl wich doesn't absorb.

As far as the bellows being leather or not. I have what I truly thought was a Pacemaker Speed and it's got a leather bellows. I have two Crowns about the same age and a bit older than the Speed. One with leather, one with vinyl. Oddly enough, it's the vinyl bellows that has completely separated, the covering from the bellows itself. Still folds, works and light tight, so I'm not worried about it, but it has an odd look... I'm going to check to see if my Speed is really a PM or not now, but I sure thought it was, and it's deffinitely leather! Of course there's no way to know if it's original or not?

And gettin that mink oil out really isn't all that hard as long as you have ear plugs. They can sure scream
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jpmose



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

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys,

I don't remember where I read this about the Neatsfoot Oil, but I know that it came down to waterbase versus oilbase...yes I do agree that light use will prevent problems (let's mention again that this applies to LEATHER bellows and not the VINYL bellows that the initial message was referencing). I have also read to too much conditioning will soften the leather to the point that it becomes weak and the leather will be prone to tear or holes/pinholes. My advise would be to research this subject beyond this forum and keep in mind that there are different forms of protection. Leather that is in good condition does not require a softening conditioner such as neatsfoot oil. A wax type conditioner will sit on the surface of the leather a protect it from the elements. This is a better alternative than softening since bellows are prone to a lot of movement. I remember reading that preservation of leather book bindings parallels bellows...again because of movement. Perhaps a "search" on the net will provide good advice. Lets face it, the owner of first edition classics are probabaly as fussy as us camera owners! That's my two cents. Take care.

J. P.
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bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2002 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My response probably triggered the Lexan/Neatsfoot discussions for LEATHER body and bellows! Some recient posts have suggested a drowning of sorts, by applying to much to the bellows! IF any of you fellows have applied to much Neatsfoot to a bellows, and ruined a bellows by soak thru, or a to soft condition--it is really surprising to me!! I have restored over 30 Pre-Ann, Ann, and pacemakers in the last 20 years, and have yet had either of these conditions happen---and I really apply Neatsfoot in quantity, and let it soak in for 30 minutes or so before wiping off the excess! Pinholes of coarse would allow oil to get onto inner cloth, but I always check bellows BEFORE application of anything! I have presently in my collection (5) 2x3 Speeds (includes(1)Pace),(3)1929 style 4x5 Speeds (1)top handle 4x5 Speed, (2) 4x5 Pace Speeds, and (1)4x5 Pace Crown---The oldest Speed(in my collection)I have had for 18 years, the newest for 8 years---every one of them have had the Neatsfoot treatment, and all have survived! Bert


[ This Message was edited by: bertsaunders on 2002-04-15 20:55 ]
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RichS



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

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2002 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very comforting to know as I had no idea what affect the oil might have on any glue used in the bellows. Although I would suspect that the glue would be water based which would be affected less by oil than a solvent based glue (I would think anyway?).
Do you use pure neatsfoot in liquid form or some mixture perhaps in non-liquid? I haven't seen pure neetsfoot ******* in quite a few years now? At least I feel safer now using my oil/wax mix

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bertsaunders



Joined: 20 May 2001
Posts: 577
Location: Bakersfield California

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

liquid neatsfoot---and it has never affected the glue in any of my cameras--I apply the oil with my fingers, and wipe excess with a clean cloth! Must mention that several bellows that I made, were glued together with "rubber glue" (Tandy leather brand)are still holding together, after about 18 years! Bert
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