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TOPIC: Smallpipe bellows

Smallpipe bellows 3 years 5 months ago #26

My smallpipe bellows are not working as efficiently as they used to ( not completely airtight)
I plan to treat them with a mixture of neatsfoot oil and beeswax but I'm not sure of the mix ratio and required amount. Can anyone enlighten me on this procedure? All comments/info gratefully received. Thanks, Ian Crossan.
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Re: Smallpipe bellows 3 years 5 months ago #27

  • stewart323
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I can't offer any immediate advice but I am hoping that the June issue of Common Stock will have a feature on bellows maintenance.
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Re: Smallpipe bellows 3 years 5 months ago #64

  • dirdum
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There's a section on bellows maintenance in MORE POWER TO YOUR ELBOW. The companion volume, THE WIND IN THE BELLOWS, is also a must-have. They are published by the LBPS and available for order elsewhere on this site.

It could be the clack valve. Make sure it's working properly before putting stuff inside the bellows. Also, check the bellows leather. I've seen bellows that were made of inferior leather or leather that was rotten from oil that no amount of beeswax and neatsfoot oil would make air tight. YMMV, but in my experience if you need to season your bellows then you probably need a new one. A good bellows with two layers of leather, sown, with a clack valve that closes immediately, is expensive, but well worth the price. It's not worth it to have an inferior. Do yourself a favor and get it out of your life. :-)
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