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Bellows corners and crimping tool

ArtMustel

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Hello. I have a small project with one of my accordions, I want to replace about 8 metal bellow corners that are missing. I 'm going to replace some gussets too, and I'm ready to order these parts, however I don't have a crimping tool for the corners (and a dedicated crimping tool for this task is way too expensive). Is there any other tool, hack, suggestion, that can help me to install those corners properly? Thanks in advance!
 

Glug

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I use smooth jawed parallel pliers:

I measure the thickness of an old corner with a digital micrometer (usually 3mm ish) and squash the new corner until it measures the same.
Then I put a 1mm feeler gauge inline with one arm of the corner but 3mm away from the edge (so it's on the 'skirt') and crimp it again.

Seems to work, the few times I've had to remove the new corner (over crimping) it's been quite difficult.
 

Ventura

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i have a crimping tool, i think from deffner... cost about $25

i used to use a nice medium offset channelock brand needlenose plier, which could reach
around and crimp the edges while not touching the rounded corners at all
 

debra

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What you need to do is to "flatten" the corner, which you can do with pliers, and then you need to go past the outside of the corner and crimp the "inner corner" (for lack of a better term). I use a small bolt cutter to crimp that part. (Careful to not actually cut but just crimp the metal corner. In the accordion repair course we also learned to finish off with hammering on the corners of whole bellow stack (bellows separated from the treble and bass side of course).
 

ArtMustel

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Thank you for your responses, now I believe I will be able to replace those corners. Btw, the dedicated crimping tool I found online costs near $100.00 (usd) including shipping...way too much for a one time project.
 

JIM D.

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debra

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This subject was covered on a thread here in the past. I posted on the procedure & tools required.
If I find it I'll post it.
...
Good suggestion. The pliers need to be "parallel", otherwise they put all the force on the outer rim of the corner instead of on all of it. My trick with the mini-bolt-cutter is also to crimp the inner curve a bit more, giving the corner more strength to really grip the cardboard (+fabric) of the corner.
 

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