Sunday, April 24, 2016
Sunday, April 10, 2016
I recently purchased a used Toyo 45A 4x5 field camera from Robert's Camera in Indiana and upon testing it I discovered the bellows had pin holes. I tried to use spray on stop leak but the leaks were all over and the additional thickness of the spray prevented the camera from closing. I called Roberts and they discounted the camera $100. I then found on eBay a place in Hong Kong that made replacement bellows for $92.00 and free China ePacket shipping. The shipping took longer than I would have liked (like 3 weeks) but it arrived in good condition as described. The problem was that it came without mounting plates so I had to removed the old mount plates and mount/glue them onto the new bellows. The new bellows is made larger than the old one so it required some trimming to get it the right size and gluing the trimmed bellows to the old mount plates. I ended up using gel crazy glue for this part. The whole job sounds pretty simple but was harder than I thought and at one point I wondered if I'd ever get it all back together again.
This is what the old bellows looked like after removing the mount plates. You pretty much destroy the old bellows getting the plates off of it.
A view of me glueing the mount plates to the bellows. I used gel crazy glue and found these small spring clamps that were very useful. In the end I got it all back together, its not a job for the faint hearted and there is a lot of detail work trimming the new bellows to fit the plates.
Completed job, ready for field work! I used this eBay vendor to buy the bellows: ecbuyonline2008