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Hey guys, I recently acquired this gorgeous old bellows. Unfortunately I know nothing of its history but it certainly isn't a new tool :).

The leather needs a bit of conditioning and it needs a new handle. The leather I am fine with but would anyone have any ideas for attaching a handle?











Thanks :)!

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I can't tell from the pics if that is a double chamber/great bellows or just a big single.


If it is a double-lunger, there is a picture here that clearly illustrates the intended set-up:


Boonesborough blacksmith bellows

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My obsurvation on that is that there is not evidence that it ever hand a handle and I would be reluctant to advise that you put any on it. I think that those bellows were probably secured to a bench and a rope was attached to it and run up over a pulley so that when the rope was pulled the top board was raised and the bellows collapsed went the rope was released.


Doug Lester

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Thanks very much for the info, I really love how everyone here is so knowledgeable and so willing to help and answer questions :).

Had a feeling that the holes in the center board were for mounting, and that link showed me how. Will be moving house soon so I should be able to set everything up to have the bellows set up in pretty much the same way as the Boonesborough blacksmith.

Thanks again.

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When setting up your bellows consider the height you want the handle/arm. It needs to be at a comfortable height so that you are not straining to reach it, but so that it is also getting in the way of you or your work (considering that your work might be a long bar that might get in the path of the arm if it is mounted too low). In the link provided I would suggest that they have put their arm at exactly the wrong height, being too high to be comfortably pulled on directly, and too low to attach a pull chain.

In this country (the UK) smiths often put a cow horn on the end of the arm, as they provide a nice smooth and surprisingly ergonomic grip (the downside being that they are pointy and usually around head height!).


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