Step 3: Making a Bellows

you really dont need a bellows for a pinhole camera any light tight box will do
but a bellows gives this camera foldabilty , multiple focal lengths{like a zoom lens} and just looks so cool.
now im not going to go into microscopic detail on how to make a bellows cause ive already done that here..... http://www.instructables.com/id/EDITKGPCR7EP28788U/ ....but i did take some pictures and also came up with an alternate method to score the fold lines.

heres a quick rundown of the steps
the first step is to cut the sheet of bristol board into 4 equal sections.
then you need to score parallel lines in it one half inch apart (this is to make it easy to fold)
then you decide if you want straight or tapered bellows{stick with a straight one until you have made at least one}.
measure how big your bellows needs to be and make your sides one half inch less than you need {the folds will take up the rest..there is a real danger of making your bellows too large for the box}
lay out two adjacent sections side by side 1/2 inch apart but with the lines matching.
using the hockey tape {this is the trickiest bit} carefully cover the joint between the sheets keeping them parallel .
then turn the sheet over and tape the other side of the joint so you should have two sheets with a 1/2 inch gap covered in cloth tape{duct tape will not fold up correctly but it can be used in a pinch}.
now join the third and fourth sides to the others in same way.
when its time to close the fourth side to the first place the tape on one side from the bottom or inside of the sheet gently position the other side then when its right and aligned press it down and put the last tape on top .
now what you should have is a square box about 11 inches high by 7.5 inches wide and 9.5 inches wide.
next you need to fold over one of the top edges turn the assembly 90 degrees then fold the next top in the opposite direction from the first one. once you have folded all the way around start on the next line down and fold it in the opposite direction from the fold above{i suggest you practice first or read this http://www.instructables.com/id/EDITKGPCR7EP28788U/ } much better detail there really

the new way i had of scoring the lines involves the paper cutter in the pictures
it has deep slots at 1/2 inch intervals that are square with the top bar . by holding the sheets onto the cutter i was able to score the lines using a dead ball point pen as a stylus{the pen came back to life during this step and i made a mess over myself lol].
i dont think its likely many people will have such a thing but i thought id mention it
arryns2 years ago
Here is the camera I made, thanks to your bellows instructions. The set that is currently on the camera was our first rough attempt. The bellows on the table is our second attempt. I am currently in the process of rebuilding this camera and taking the craftsmanship a bit more seriously. This was a "proof of concept," but it worked perfectly the first time. I will upload photos of the camera with our new bellows.

The next time I build a camera, I will document for this site.
lennyb (author)  arryns2 years ago
very nice.
never thought to use a floral on them.
nice work
arryns2 years ago
I tried out this method for making a bellows for a large format 8x10 camera and it worked like a charm! I was very skeptical that I would have the patience or ability to fold this well, but I have now added cloth to the bellows in a daring bid to "get fancy" with it. Thank you for posting this! I ended up building a fully functional camera because I was able to make custom bellows. Without this instruction I never would have thought to make one myself.
lennyb (author)  arryns2 years ago
im so glad you found it usefull.
you didnt by any chance make an instructable of your build did you?
i for one would like to see a picture of your camera.
thanks for looking