How to repair a pump organ bellows

Updated July 18, 2017

A restored pump organ -- also known as a reed organ -- is not only an attractive piece of furniture; it can also bring beautiful music to your family and friends. A common problem with old pump organs happens when the sheepskin material on the air bellows becomes dry, brittle, and cracked from the repetitive pumping action. Thankfully a broken bellows can usually be repaired with a small investment of time and money.

Cut out the damaged bellows material with a utility knife, removing material all the way to the wooden frame if necessary.

Stretch a piece of new lambskin over the area to be replaced, with the smooth side down. Draw a line on the lambskin around the outside edge of the hole, leaving about one inch of overlapping material. Cut the new lambskin along the pencil mark with scissors.

Apply a bead of wood glue or hot melt glue around the edge of the hole. Press the new lambskin firmly into position. Allow to dry thoroughly.


Hot melt glue is preferable to wood glue, if you are covering folds or creases, because the hot melt glue, if liberally applied, can prevent air from leaking through folds in the creased areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Lambskin
  • Scissors
  • Wood glue
  • Hot melt glue
  • Hot melt glue gun
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About the Author

James Werning has authored books and articles on various websites. His scripts have aired for more than 15 years on radio stations across North America. He is a small business owner and a world traveler with a master's degree in communications from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.