Beseler 23C II, upper bellows detached from housing

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bisbonian

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I've been away from film photography for a few years and am trying to get back into it.

I have a Beseler 23C II enlarger which I bought used a number of years ago and have never set up, but now is the time.

While looking over the enlarger I am noting that I'll need to do a bit of cleaning, no issues there, but when I raised the upper housing to the 35mm level I found that the bellows is not attached and just sort of sits there.

What can I use to attach the bellows to the housing? I was thinking of using black electrical tape but that seems a little sketchy, is there some sort of magical adhesive that should be used?
 

John Koehrer

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Beseler recommended automotive weatherstrip cement when I had that problem.
 

john_s

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Some suggestions when I had the same problem:

(there was a url link here which no longer exists)
 

donkee

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I picked up some double sided trim tape from the automotive store. It did the trick on my 23C.
 

CJBo001

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I found that a large hose clamp from the hardware store worked very well - no need to mess with adhesives.
 

micwag2

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Besides looking horrible, tape won't last too long and I wouldn't use just any automotive weatherstrip adhesive. Some of the weatherstrip adhesives for automotive uses are not meant to have movement on them once they are cured. Meaning the weatherstrip stays put. Your bellows has some movement and could loosen from automotive weatherstripping adhesive. Here is a link to the post from when i got my 23C (there was a url link here which no longer exists) For re-gluing the bellows Pliobond was suggested. It stinks horribly for a week or so but it works fantastic for the job. Post pictures before gluing or taping so we can fully understand what you need to fix. Where the bellows goes onto the condenser lens (the round section) it is supposed to "float" on that. Mine had come loose from the end of the bellows where the negative holder is.
 
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bisbonian

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I think that my "problem" is not really a problem.

The bottom of the bellows is holding fast but it's the upper that is not.

I now understand that the upper is not supposed to be fastened and is supposed to float. However I think the bellows has been compressed for so long that when I raise the head up to the 35mm position the bellows does not come up with it and stays down, making for quite a big gap.

I'll look through the threads mentioned above but may have to put my bellows on some sort of stretching program so that it will do what it's supposed to.

Thanks for all the replies.
 

Ian C

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The circular upper end of the upper bellows has an internal felt ring that must be FORCED over the formed retaining lip on the lower end of the condenser unit (or the similarly shaped diffusion unit). This momentarily compresses the ring so that the upper end of the bellows can be pushed upward over the retaining lip.

Once this is done the felt ring expands to make a moveable light seal with the outside diameter or the condenser/diffuser housing.

When the lamp house & condenser (or diffuser) unit is raised as needed, the lip pulls the upper end of the bellows upward with it causing the folds to unfurl. The size difference between the smaller diameter hole in the felt ring and the larger diameter retaining lip on the tube of the condenser or diffuser unit keeps the upper end of the bellows above the lip.

As the lamp house is lowered the bellows folds close. If the lamp house needs to be lowered even further, the unit retracts downward into the upper end of the bellows to accommodate.

On page 4 of this PDF you can see the diffusion unit (same size and shape as the condenser unit) identified as item #2. The formed annular ridge on the outside of the cylinder is the retaining lip for the upper bellows.

http://www.jollinger.com/photo/cam-coll/manuals/enlargers/beseler/Beseler_DualDichro23_head.pdf

If the upper end of the bellows doesn’t stay above the retaining lip in normal operation, then the felt ring might have worn out or lost is resiliency and need replacing. Beseler might have the ring available. Otherwise a used upper bellows unit can be bought on eBay—usually with the upper negative stage plate glued to it.
 
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bisbonian

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Now I see!

My bellows has come unglued from the felt ring holder, I just didn't see that it was a separate part.

Now to go back through to find the best adhesive recommendations!

I really do appreciate all the help.
 

mklw1954

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I used 3M double-sided Super Strong Automotive Attachment Tape, 1/2" wide x 5 ft., available at an automotive supply store for $8-9, 3 years ago for this. It's easy to do, has held very well, and shows no signs of separating. I do prints from 35mm and 645 negatives so I move the upper bellows up and down regularly and there has been no problem. This roll of tape is twice as much as you need. I looked for the black version but they only had the brown/beige and it was fine because when you join the bellows to the metal plate there is really no thickness to the tape.
 
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