What Type of glue to recover Cuckoo bellows?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by timepast, Mar 17, 2017.

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  1. timepast

    timepast Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
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    Hi All; Which type of glue should I use to repaper cuckoo bellows.? I`ll be using the Tyvek bellows paper from TimeSaver. I assume that for old bellows one would use hide glue . But for the more recent made bellows would one use rubber cement, yellow carpenters glue, contact cement or what do you experts use ? I`ll be gluing Tyvek to wood. This cuckoo clock is just a mass produced clock . Thanks for any help.
     
  2. John P

    John P Registered User
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    Sep 17, 2010
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    I use white elmers school glue applied with a small artist brush.
     
  3. R&A

    R&A Registered User

    Oct 21, 2008
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    I use Titebond wood glue
     
  4. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    For the Tyvek, I use hot glue and a low setting on an iron ( if too high
    it melts the tyvek ). You can smooth it down and it is easier to patch
    any small air leaks near the corners. ( A model airplane mylar coating iron
    is easiest to set low but a cloths iron will often work ).
    Tinker Dwight
     
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Elmers Glue-All, about a spoonful in a bottle cap with a few drops of water.
    Willie X
     
  6. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    I should note that I use the hot glue because I hate waiting for glue to dry.
    No matter what you use, the end result must be air tight.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  7. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Jan 1, 2005
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    I go for Elmer's. Holds tight, dries soon, easy to work with.
     
  8. David S

    David S Registered User
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    One of the members at our chapter meeting put on a demonstration last year, recovering bellows and he used fish glue.

    David
     
  9. senhalls

    senhalls Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    Fish glue is the best . No waiting for glue to dry and fast tacking . But you can use anything and just ignore the next repairmans problems .
     
  10. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
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    No matter what you use, it must end up air tight. Even a tiny air leak
    will reduce the effectiveness. I always test to see how slow the top will
    fall by putting my palm or finger over the outlet hole.
    I like to not disturb the original bottom to flute connection ( it also
    must be air tight ). I usually replace the material with the bellows
    still attached to the flute. It is a little clumsy compared to doing it
    separate but then I can test all the pieces together.
    I also pull the wires out of the top while working on the bellows.
    Some don't.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  11. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Related to bellows but not clocks. One of my clock clients asked if I would repair the bellows on their Player Piano. It is the combo type that can be pumped by foot or from an electric motor and play unattended. The bellows are a multi fold variety and are torn in a couple of places but not totally bad. I am thinking of patching the tears with Tyvex glued over the gaps and onto good areas of the existing bellows. If that does not work they will need totally new material which I think is goat skin. Any experience with these? I have done some work on pianos and large bellows for other applications but never on a player piano. They said no one else in the area will talk to them about it and after I repaired the bellows on their cuckoo they asked if I would give this a try.
     
  12. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    You can hear a pin drop.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  13. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Well it is broken now, and no one else wants to try and help them, so if it was me I would try the patch first. Shouldn't make it any more broken.

    David
     
  14. BLKBEARD

    BLKBEARD Registered User
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    Nov 15, 2016
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    I think I would opt for replacing the entire bellows for a paying customer. While I might repair the splits with tyvek or what ever else that seems to work on my own bellows, I don't feel it's good policy on a customers machine.

    While writing this I browsed a couple of player piano sites such as this.

    http://www.pianoproservice.com/Player.html

    If you haven't already, you might want to check a few of these before you commit to the repair. My cousin's significant other is a piano repair professional. I'll see if I can get in touch with her later today and see what her thoughts are. (if she even services player piano's ) I'll let you know. Her advise will be strait advise and not web-sales hype.

    It sounds very interesting and tempting to take on. If you go for it, I'd be interested to follow your progress.

    For those who say it doesn't belong here, We'll just refer to it as a Cuckoo Clock Music Box on Steroids.
     
  15. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    Thanks for the link and the encouragement. I would love to hear any options. I have not committed to the job yet, but the closest repair shop is three hours away on the other side of a mountain range. The last time I worked on an organ was in the 60s and that was a standard pipe organ in a church. The player pianos are quite different so it will be a challenge if I decide to try it. "Do no harm" will be the main rule.

     
  16. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    I don't see how the Tyvek patch could hurt anything, particularly if the only other option is replacement.
     
  17. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    I have found a retired teacher who taught my kids in high school near here who restores organs as a hobby. I have turned the project over to him to consider. If he won't do it then I should not consider it either.

    I did not realize that Fish Glue should be kept in the refrigerator except for small amounts to be used within a month or so. I had given up on it some time ago because a bottle never got used up before it went bad. Researching the options on this at least taught me that tidbit. I will go back to Fish for the cuckoo bellows - it works very well when fresh :)
     
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