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Fireplace bellows

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Project by Jim Finn posted 05-30-2010 07:53 PM 5194 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have made many (50) of these functioning and decrotive fireplace bellows over the past 20+ years. I make them of wood from pallets mostly. I inlay the tooled leather on the front and turn the handels and nozzle end on a lathe. They are 15” long and 7 ” across.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website> craftingcouple.com





11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117203 posts in 3694 days


#1 posted 05-30-2010 07:54 PM

wow Jim this bellows is really elegant very well done

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2670 posts in 3039 days


#2 posted 05-30-2010 08:29 PM

Yes ,I do the leather tooling myself and inlay it onto the face of the wood. I started out carving these directly into the wood but found I could get a LOT more detail with tooling leather and can do it a lot faster than carving. I used to take me about 6-7 hours carving and I can do one of the leather tooling pictured in about an hour.
Thak you for your kind coments guys.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website> craftingcouple.com

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3369 days


#3 posted 05-30-2010 08:56 PM

Wow, I love your work awesome job on those bellows. I bought a plain bellow at a garage sale and i have it in my work shop to blow of dust on my equipment. I had never thought of making those cause i also do leather work and lathe work i have the stuff to make one i never thought to try. Fantastic work and thank for the posting.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2670 posts in 3039 days


#4 posted 05-30-2010 09:39 PM

Thanks. I cut the two pieces out and then screw them together and turn the whole thing in my lathe. I used to carve all of it but found using the lathe to work well. Fitting the flexable leather part to the wood is the trickest part for me. Not too bad though. I use a 30-30 shell for the nozzle and glue t into the wood. when you want to try making one email me and I can send you directions and drawings on how I do this if you like.
I have added more photos of other bellows I have made in the past.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website> craftingcouple.com

View velo_tom's profile

velo_tom

123 posts in 3133 days


#5 posted 05-30-2010 09:43 PM

Beautiful job!!! I have a bellows I use to stoke the fireplace with but it’s too small to work well. Now you’ve got me thinking about building a bit bigger one. I guarantee it won’t look as good as yours.

-- There's no such thing as mistakes, just design changes.

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 3891 days


#6 posted 05-31-2010 02:19 AM

Very nice. Thanks for posting.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View TJ65's profile

TJ65

1381 posts in 3166 days


#7 posted 05-31-2010 11:42 AM

Lovely, I can understand why you would decorate the leather instead of carving it into the wood, with time being a factor. The varying crafts that you have used gives it personality.
I also like the designs that you have chosen are they specifically leather designs?

-- Theresa, https://www.facebook.com/derrymore/

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2670 posts in 3039 days


#8 posted 05-31-2010 02:26 PM

Many of the leather designs pictured here are made for leather tooling but the candle design I got from a coloring book and the Viking is from the Minnasota Vikings logo I got from a window sticker. I just enlarged these images to fit the bellows. I know a guy that uses a bellows like these to help get his charcoal going for his Bar-B-Q

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website> craftingcouple.com

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1676 posts in 3005 days


#9 posted 07-07-2010 01:53 PM

Hi Jim.

I’ve been doing leatherwork for abot 43 years now, and teaching it on and off for close to 40. I really love leather and wood combined in a single project!
I’d like to offer a couple of suggestions if I may.
Try painting on a couple of coats of Feibings Resolene acrylic finish just on the carved area, then (once it’s dry) use your antique. Makes the carved design really “pop” and doesn’t take much additional time.
Where your leather crosses behind the half handle, you could cut a shallow saw kerf across and inset the edge of the leather with a little glue. A little neater looking. Just don’t cut too deep or you’ll be rea\placing the handles. ;)

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2670 posts in 3039 days


#10 posted 07-07-2010 03:40 PM

I have been just covering the whole bellows, leather and all ,with a few coats of Deft brushing Lacquer. I do not know what you mean by “Use your antique”, Good tip on getting the leather across the inside of the handles. I have to try that.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website> craftingcouple.com

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1676 posts in 3005 days


#11 posted 07-08-2010 12:51 PM

An antique finish is available from Tandy and is used to dye the background a contrasting colour to the carved areas. It is applied much like a wipe on poly, but it will colour ALL the leather if you don’t seal the areas you want to keep natural first. For that, I use ?Resolene, an acrylic clear leathyer finish, applied with a small brush.
Pick up a small bottle of each and experiment with them. I think you’ll like the results once you pick up the technique. The Tandy folks can give you some pointers on using them too.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

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