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I will be sending a check out to you next week along with a print out of the materials and costs you suggest. Is there a special glue that I need to buy, or can I use a hot glue gun? (something I already have)
Well, the proper glue for all bellows work is hot 'hide glue'. It's cheap and easy to use but requires a double-boiler to make up each batch.
The glue starts as glue crystals. It's mixed 1:1 with hot water (exactly 145 degrees) until completely dissolved. Then it's applied with an appropriately sized brush while still hot. There is a fancy, rather expensive temperature controlled hot glue pot for $140.00, but a small double-boiler works fine. The trick is not to overheat the glue. That will break down the proteins and reduce the quality of the glue. It's $0.50 for two cups, more than you'll need. Much like hot glue, hide glue doesn't require clamps. It sets up in a minute and is workable in about ten minutes. It does need 12-24 hours to harden.
Now, I won't say a 'hot glue' gun won't work. There are certain jobs in bellow building where the glue gun works better. But there are precautions and techniques required to insure a good job the first time, since you rarely get two chances with hot glue. The primary problem is getting a good bond between the cloth and the glue. The glue bonds fine to the wood. Speedy glue application, quick compression of the glue bead and a certainty that the bead has been spread evenly across the width and length of the wood are the keys to a solid air-tight bond. An iron can also be used (sparingly) to reheat and spread the bead if it sets to fast to get a good 'Squeeze'. The bond is easily tested by trying to pull the cloth away from the wood after it has cooled. A medium setting/dry will be hot enough. Cotton is too high.
Last word of advice, then I'll be off. I can't over emphasize the importance of real-time testing of any procedure before you tackle the job for real.
Awaiting your order,
John A. Tuttle
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Since "Player-Care" is an internet business, I prefer that we correspond via E-Mail (click here to fill out the 'Request Form'). However, if I'm not in the middle of some other activity, you can reach me at 732-840-8787. But please understand that during the hours from 8AM-5PM EST (Mon-Sat), I'm generally quite busy. So, I probably won't answer the phone. If you get the answering machine, please leave a detailed message stating the reason for your call. Also, repeat your name and phone number clearly and distinctly. By necessity, I prioritize everything in my life. And, if you call and just leave your name and number, and ask me to call you back, it might be a day or two before I return your call. Why? Because I don't know why you want me to call and I might not be prepared to assist you in an effective and efficient manner. If you leave me an E-Mail address (which I prefer), spell it out phonetically. The more you do to help me, the more I can help you in return. Don't rush. You have four minutes to record your message.
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