Part IV – The Red Bellows
Well I am proud to say I have the Red Bellows installed and the camera is at a functional stage and nearing completion of the amount of restoration I will be doing to it. I was screwed (literally for a bit) as I tried to determine what length and type of screw used for the attachment of the rear bellows frame to rear standard. I have scoured the Net for information and have been horrified by what some people are suggesting (NAILS !) nails and glue and other forms of attachment . . . but I let logic dictate my next move . . . After a very close inspection, and receiving the bellows with its frames installed in the bellows I concluded that a No.2 x 5/8″ brass screw would do the job of securing the rear bellows frame to the rear standard. I also found that in my rural neck of the woods that a great deal of Hardware Store hopping would have to be done. So in the spirit of search and obtain I turned to the Net once again to solve the Screw issue and bought a box of No.2 x 5/8″ brass screws. With a few measurements I pulled the two standards off and put the bellows through the rear and sandwiched the rear – bellows – front on top of my desk. the front standard had screws and I removed them before hand. I began by screwing down the front bellows frame to the inside of the front standard, once I had the top and bottom screws in and it was stable and not going to move I then turned my attention to the rear bellows frame and rear standard. I attached the rear film/viewing frame and flipped the camera over on its back and now had access to the rear bellows frame and screws. By attaching the film/viewing frame this allowed the rear bellows frame to rest squarely against it and be held in place by the pressure of the compressed bellows making it easy to insert the screws all around whilst the bellows frame was square against the rear focus/film frame. Once I had four screws in each side of the frame I removed the rear film/focusing frame and put in the remaining screws.
The whole process of installing the bellows took less the one hour to complete, the hardest part is pulling the bellows up and away from the sides of the front bellows frame to install the remaining screws into the holes which are covered by the first fold of the bellows. After all the screwing around was finished I daubed a bit of black acrylic on each shiny screw head.
I hope that others who may be contemplating the same adventure as me or just replacing a bellows that they gleam from me some usable information. The bellow is NOT nailed to the frame, it is glued & stapled or in times gone by upholstery tacks where used to attach the bellows to an inner support frame which is then attached with appropriate length screws to the outer frame . . . at least in the case of this model Kodak 2D which was made as best as I can judge by its serial number on the rear standard to be the late 1920’s (about 1925-26).
This project has been a real lesson in the construction and working of these early wooden view cameras, an experience I have immensely enjoyed so far. I have yet to mount a lens and test a few shots to see the fruits of my labor but that will come soon enough. I have just a few more items to finish before I take her on her maiden voyage (with me anyway) as once again photos are made with this beautiful camera.
Took a few and made a quick temp lens board (1/8″ Birch plywood, two layers, always good to have some around for things like this) to test a few lenses and maybe make a shot later on, but for now here it a shot of the board with a Fuji – 240 A mounted . . . it has ample coverage for this camera.
- Leather handle
- lens boards
- lens board adapters
- lenses lenses lenses
- film holders
- paper negatives
- to obtain a wooden tripod block & rear rail
Oh and a good coat of wood polish to the wood and well be off to taking photos before ya know it.
For now it is ready for field trials.
* Updated 02/23/2016, added photos of screw installation and a quick lens board with lens to test the camera.