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How to remove Bellows from a Burke & James 5x7 view camera?

 
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Mickey



Joined: 04 Oct 2002
Posts: 11
Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently aquired a 5x7 Burke & James view camera. It's in fairly rough shape so I want to clean it up and either finish the wood or paint it. I belive that the bellows are glued to the wooden frames. Does anyone know a good way of removing the bellows without damaging them? They appear to be in good shape with no leaks so I'd like to keep them if possible.

Any tips on restoring this would be greatly appreciated.

[ This Message was edited by: Mickey on 2002-11-07 17:44 ]
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Les



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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's rare that a company would permanently glue their bellows in, but I wouldn't put it past B&J (Broke & Jamed)

remove the back and take a goood loong look around the inside of the rear frame, usually the bellows are glued to a lightweight frame and the frame is screwed into to the camera. The screws may be covered by a flap of bellows liner fabric so poke gently with an artist's /dentist spatula or butter knife.

As to the finish. If it's painted grey then I suggest D&L hand cleaner to deep clean the painted surface. Wipe on rub around wipe off with tissue or soft paper towel. After it's cleaned, a coat of Johnson's paste wax or your favorite brand of car wax wouldn't hurt.

If it's finished then I'd use either V&HP Naptha and cotton balls or the D&L cleaner again, but with cotton balls. You can use almost any furniture cleaner, but its mostly V&HP naptha and a nice scent. After it's dry, wax

Because you can''t remove the rear frame from the brass yoke without drilling out a brass rivet, I suggest polishing the brass with nevr dull. Try to avoid liquid brass polish as it can get on the wood . Nevr Dull won't be the fastest, just the safest.
To keep the shine, coat with Goddard's shine keeper. It's not permanent but it is effective. Just remember these were NEVER to be polished like a brass door knob. They were simply bright (but matte) brass.

This information comes from three years as a Conservation Technician at the Henry Ford Museum and 30 years of polishing the brass on my father's 1912 Buick.

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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3196
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2002 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mickey,
The bellows on my B&J Commerical Field 4 X 5 were definately glued on. They seperated from the plastic front standard from normal movements! I used Mostenbolckers Liftoff #2 on the rear where they were glued to the wood standard.
With the standard laying on its back, I applied the liftoff around the edges and let it soak for about 1 minute, I then turned it over and applied the liftoff to the rear edge and let it soak for another minute.
Next I started pushing on the bellows away from the rear standard until I found a weak spot where they were comming loose form the standard and gently pulled them loose from the standard. The stays of the last pleat only came out of the bellows but will be easy to reinstall when and if I get back to finishing the project.
after some experminting I used Jasco paint remover to remove the LEAD based paint and a plastic putty knife. 80 grit on an orbit sander or 100 grit on a palm leaves a surface that is SLOW to take stain. B&J usually used MAPLE to the best of my knowledge.
Charles

and you may find this link of interst.
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/burke-james/restore8x10.html

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[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2002-11-08 18:59 ]

[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2002-11-08 19:09 ]
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Mickey



Joined: 04 Oct 2002
Posts: 11
Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2002 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips. I'm eager to strip the paint off and either stain the wood (depending on the condition) or re-paint it.

I need to replace 3 of the 4 (or all 4 to get a matching set) of the large knobs on the large back frame. My camera only came with 1. Would anyone know where I might obtain suitable replacments? I realize an exact match would probably be difficult and expensive to find. I'm not sure how to tell exactly what size I need so if anyone knows the measurements and could give them to me I'd appreciate it.

I managed to find this link while searching the forum:
http://www.mscdirect.com/IWCatSectionView.process?Keyword=Y&RestartFlow=t&Merchant_Id=1&p_section_Id=323&Section_Id=323&p_product_type_Id=139&ShowProductList=t&SelectedAtt.length=0&pbegin=0&pcount=15&NameVector.length=0&View.x.x=63&View.x.y=11

I would like something with a knurled rim.
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3196
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're good ol' 1/4-20 and at least plastic knob ones can be found at hardware stores.
Charles

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