Kodak pocket no 3 - Removing the bellows

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by delphine, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. delphine

    delphine Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    London (UK)
    Medium Format
    Dear all,

    I have several models of the No 3 Kodak pocket, which, for the record, was one of the very cameras taken on-board of the famous Shackleton's Antarctic expedition. Anyway, I am on a DIY mission: I need your help. :rolleyes:

    The Kodak pocket No 3:

    I am trying to make the perfect working No3 Kodak out of my three bodies:
    - One body has beautiful immaculate red belows
    - One body has immaculate leather body
    - One body has superb mechanism with its original cable release with beautiful wooden rail plate, and frontal plate which can be tilted.

    Switching the mechanism and cable release is peace of cake, I have already dismantled it.
    I am torn over the below. *nervous laugh*

    The below is held to the wooden frame of the body by some sort of metal claws that are part of the body and clamped back onto the below. It does look like they would not bend without breaking if I was trying to open them (somehow) to release the below.

    I suppose that I could go wild and experiment with the poorest below of the three bodies, however, I am reluctant to do so as it is the one which is on the immaculate leathered body, and which eventually I'd like to have working when I am finished. So I want to make sure that I end up with a below on it. :rolleyes:

    I hope that it is not too confusing, but if anybody had a suggestion/idea on how I could go about removing and fitting the new below with minimum damage, I would appreciate it very much.


  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Apr 3, 2004
    Aurora, Il
    Multi Format
    I believe you have identified the problem. The bellows is held in by the claws that you've already spotted.
    They are fragile but taking care to not bending them too much should be OK.
  3. brofkand

    brofkand Member

    Aug 9, 2008
    North Caroli
    Multi Format
    Is there any way you can take the metal clasps OFF the wooden frame (ie, are they attached with small nails or something)? I've never seen a pocket no 3, so I don't know. If you can, you can heat them up using a torch and cool them off so they won't be work hard and brittle. They'll bend much more easily and won't snap.

    Just be careful. Are these cameras expensive? Maybe you could find another one just to experiment with....but with metal this old, I'd imagine annealing would be the only option to be sure they won't snap.