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MMD > Archives > January 2005 > 2005.01.26 > 07Prev  Next

Sealing Bellows Leaks
By Todd Augsburger

[ Conrad Bladey asked:

>> Has anyone used latex based or something like that in "fix a flat"?

Conrad,  First, I'd like to point out that I consider any sealant on
organette bellows to be a temporary repair.  The better option is to
restore the organette.  They're not complicated to rebuild, and new
bellows cloth and appropriate glue is readily available.  And, if
you're looking for a magic solution like "fix-a-flat", forget it!
Something sprayed inside the bellows would be a disaster, and there's
no pressure to force a sealant into place anyway.

On the other hand, I have temporarily sealed organette bellows
material in this manner: I purchased Durabond Lexel Sealant, and
diluted it to a thin consistency with naphtha.  It may take several
hours to adequately dissolve the mixture, so I usually keep a small
sealed glass jar with the thinned product.  According to their web
site, "Durabond Lexel Sealant is a co-polymer rubber based sealant."
It has excellent adhesion, flexibility and strength, and dries quickly
to a clear, non-tacky finish.

I brush the thinned sealant in a very thin coat over the entire
bellows, and let it dry for a few hours while the bellows is in its
expanded position.  If there are cracks at the folds, or any visible
damage, I give it an extra coat in those areas.  Do _not_ apply to
anything other than the cloth, as it might be difficult to remove from
wood or other parts.  And be sure to observe appropriate cautions as
it's quite flammable.

The result is that I have a couple of instruments which play adequately
while waiting for their rebuild.  And therefore I can enjoy them a
little more!

Todd Augsburger - Roller Organs

(Message sent Wed 26 Jan 2005, 14:27:12 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Bellows, Leaks, Sealing

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