© 2011 Fourtoes Wetplatecamera

And while I’m at it…

…I might as well strip down the Watson & Sons wet plate camera.

The original bellows is very brittle and split in several places, its also very short for the total extension of the camera. From what I can see it looks like a very thin layer of Moroccan leather backed with Buckram, very similar in technique to decent book binding.


Obviously, sheets of leather this size are going to cost an arm and a leg so I’ve been looking for alternative modern textiles.

I briefly toyed with the idea of Fablon, its light tight, waterproof and adhesive but I’m not sure how flexible it would be especially when I start folding and creasing it.

Good old Feepay led me to a company in Salford thats selling off rolls of leatherette in varying thickness and colours. I called in a got a couple of samples. One is thick enough to be used on its own and is 100% light tight, the reverse could easily be dyed black for the interior of the bellows. The second leatherette is much much thinner but is a little elastic and therefore not 100% light tight but as its so thin I’d have to use multiple layers so would solve that problem.


I’ve also asked for a sample of black Buckram book cloth to see if this would go well with the thinner leatherette. So hopefully I can start looking at actually making a bellows for this camera, then the Kodak Studio Camera, and then the 12×15 camera..etc etc


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