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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts Packaging Ceramics for Shipping
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Packaging Ceramics for Shipping
MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7294
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2012-09-12 7:51 pm   Permalink

In the "Collecting" forum is a thread on Tiki Mug Misfortunes, the sad stories of being on the receiving end of broken mugs. It reminds me of the story about CheapskateTiki who needed to buy a birthday gift for his mug collecting friend. He found a rare mug marked down to $1 because it was broken in half. He figured he would send it to his friend who would assume he paid top dollar and it broke in shipping. CheapskateTiki bought the mug and asked the vendor to box it up for him, he mailed the mug to his friend. A week later he got a thank you card in the mail (remember those?), it read "Dear Cheapskate Tiki, thank you so much for the beautiful and rare mug. It was so nice of you to wrap the 2 broken pieces separately!"

OK, how about a thread on packing secrets to prevent breakage? You can't make a package bombproof, but as you read through the Mug Misfortunes it is full of broken mugs that were wrapped in a couple layers of newspaper or a single layer of bubble wrap - that just won't cut it.

I don't ship a whole lot of stuff but so far I have been lucky and haven't lost anything. I start with a sturdy cardboard box at least 4 inches bigger than my object in all directions. Then I cut 2 inch styrofoam to line the box on all sides. Styrofoam is available at your home improvement store in the insulation section for about $20 for a 4x8 foot sheet. A sheet will ship lots of packages, it cuts easily with a hand saw (outside ~ it's messy), and it's lightweight so it doesn't add to your shipping cost. It is a little difficult to transport a full sheet because is light and will fly out of the back of a truck. You can take a saw with you and cut it into pieces in the parking lot that will fit inside your vehicle if you want.


Here's a box with 2 inch foam on the bottom and sides. A piece of 1 inch blue foam is one one side to make it more snug and there is a piece cut to cover the top.


Wadded paper or bubble wrap is used to fill in any spaces so it doesn't rattle around. This bottle is smooth with no appendages or protuberances, but you can cut notches in the foam to make a piece fit if you need to.


I believe in lots of tape. I don't know if the people at the post office can actually read but I usually plaster FRAGILE signs on all 4 sides.

Now it will be really embarrassing if this bottle breaks on it's way to VampiressRN

Another method I sometimes use, especially with odd-shaped pieces is spray a box about one third full of expanding foam (GreatStuf), CAREFULLY cover the wet foam with a plastic trash bag, and set the object into the foam on top of the bag. The foam will expand and mold around the object. You have to be very careful that the foam doesn't expand up onto your object, it can be very hard to remove. Also, it may take a few days for the foam to fully set and you will probably need to top the object with a piece of 2 inch styrofoam. Next time I pack a package this way I will take some pics and put them here.

I know some people use a double cardboard box method ~ anyone else care to share their shipping methods?

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[ This Message was edited by: MadDogMike 2012-09-12 20:08 ]


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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6010
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2012-09-12 8:09 pm   Permalink

Mike, you always go the extra mile in whatever you do.

I find it amazing that most people don't know how to pack stuff for shipping
I was a shipping manager for a computer company many years ago & I can offer
some tips:

1. Do not use newspaper,It does not absorb the shock of impact!
2. Do use bubble wrap or packing peanuts (The peanuts being the better choice)
3. Double box your item.
3 Tape the sides as well as the folds in the box.

So the very best way to ship is place your item in a box big enough to fill with packing peanuts
then place in a larger box and surround with more packing peanuts, Tape the seams & sides with shipping tape.
Mark "Fragile" and ship it, UPS is not my first choice of shippers as they destroyed many computers
in my time as a shipping manager!


 
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VanTiki
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 1021
From: Hawaii
Posted: 2012-09-12 9:29 pm   Permalink

Mike - A thread in need if ever there was one!

I've been doing the same thing with Home Depot insulation sheet. It works like a charm. Only change is, I also double box. I buy a box just a tad bigger than the mug I am shipping, and one 2" larger on each side. I wrap the mug in a few layers of bubble wrap, and place it in the smaller box. Any and all voids are filled with peanuts. Large box gets filled with roughly cut insulation foam, and small box gets squeezed in. I pack everything tight so there is no shifting or rattling of the item. It has worked very well.

I can't stress enough how important double boxing it with ceramics, as well as NOT using newspaper. How important? Well, if you single box, or just use wadded up newspaper, the USPS will not cover any shipping damages, even if you have insurance on the item.

Henrik "VanTiki"

PS - I wanted to add that I slap a BIG day-glow FRAGILE sticker on all 6 sides of the box as well.
PPS - I also use the strapping tape with fiber in it to prevent the box from bursting or coming undone from rough handling. Pricey, but worth it for one-of-a-kind pieces
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[ This Message was edited by: VanTiki 2012-09-12 21:31 ]

[ This Message was edited by: VanTiki 2012-09-12 21:32 ]


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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 855
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2012-09-13 12:58 am   Permalink

Good post Mike.

I haven't sent many mugs myself (maybe 6-10) but they all arrived in one piece. I actually just sent another 5 yesterday so we'll see if they get to their destinations OK. I happen to work in despatch at my job so i have access to various size boxes and plenty of bubble wrap.

We have a particular box we use that we buy in bulk and that is what i've been using for my mugs. It has about 1.5" clearance top and bottom, and about 2" on either side. I wrap the mug in a couple of layers of bubble wrap and then pack out the whole box with more bubble wrap so that there is no movement at all, as Henrik does also. If i have peanuts lying around i'll use those.

I sent back home two large boxes whilst i was in the U.S. just recently. Both around 20"x18"x18" and close to 30 pounds each. Everything was wrapped in a thick layer of bubble wrap and squeezed in tight. Because of the amount of things i sent there was't much room to put additional packing material around everything. Fortunately all the mugs arrived in one piece, the only thing that got damaged was the plastic frames on two of Doug Hornes drawings i bought. They had a thin layer of b/wrap around and because they were flat they were placed on the bottom of the box, but they probably should have ben wrapped up with more. There was no damage to the artwork and thankfully the frames are easy to replace, unlike a collectible mug.

Both those boxes had 'fragile' stickers put on them but i've never used them on an individual mug. I really don't think that people pay attention to them anyway. With the amount of hands a package passes through before arriving at your home it only takes one to treat it rough to cause damage.

P.S. And don't use any of those plastic bags that are filled with air, they pop and become useless. An art gallery here who deals with a large and well known manufacturer has had several breakages occur because of those bags, even after requesting not to use them. One shipment had 11/15 mugs broken. That in a mug where there was only 150 mugs made in total. Yikes. Not good.


 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5038
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2012-09-13 07:55 am   Permalink

I say don't use newspaper because the ink will come off and stain or dirty the product.

I get the big box of shipping paper from U-Haul and use it as the first layer over a mug, and as packing material. This keeps it clean.

This is my Physics ideas on packing:
I do use paper to pack around the interior box. I do not want it to move. I am not concerned about cushioning. Your mug won't break because of lack of cushioning, but may because of cushioning. Why? Interia. If you pack it in there nice and tight, and it gets dropped off the top of the truck, the mug does not move and the impact does nothing but maybe dent the box. If you have some sort of cusion in there, then when you drop that box, your mug will move inside the box and part of the impact of that drop will be absorbed by the mug as it moves in the box and then stops somewhere.

It is just like the seatbelt. You want it tight. If there is a crash and your belt is loose and your body moves 6 inches from your seat and then the belt stops you, your body will be destroyed. If your belt is very tight, and your body moves 1 inch and the belt stops you, you get much less injury.

So the premise in packing is no movement.

At some point nothing matters, but, aside from the box being crushed or punctured all the way through, a good packing job will keep it safe.

For the
Mini Mai-Kai Mystery Bowls, we have a plastic bag inside to keep, and the bowl is inside a custom cut styrofoam package, inside a heavy box. That box is put inside a USPS box.
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Badd Tiki
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Joined: Aug 28, 2008
Posts: 370
Posted: 2012-09-13 08:36 am   Permalink

Yeah I learned the hard way, I sent my pele swap lava bowl out with only newspaper stuffed around it.

The package arrived crushed and the bowl was broken. I had it insured and USPS actually did cover it.

So I wrapped up another much better in bubble wrap and sent it UPS. The guy at the counter pulled it out and said it was wrapped good (several layers of bubble and all voids filled with bubble).
Still waiting to see how it arrives, but I may need to start being even more cautious.


 
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Tiki Kaimuki
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 821
From: OAKLAND, baby
Posted: 2012-09-13 3:06 pm   Permalink

THE most important factor for me is styro packing peanuts. I mostly wrap it in bubblewrap to keep the peanuts out. You need at least a couple inches between mugs inside and the walls of the box. I try to keep shipping costs down, so I don't double box. Luckily, I have only lost two mugs shipping this way so far and USPS insurance quickly paid for both. Always get insurance and write fragile on all sides.

 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6010
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2012-09-13 3:17 pm   Permalink

To reiterate, paper bad....PAPER BAD!

 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7294
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2012-09-13 3:38 pm   Permalink

I worry about foam peanuts. If you put a heavy mug in a box full of light peanuts, the mug will migrate to the bottom where it is protected only by a layer of cardboard. Seems like you need a way to compartmentalize the mug?
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6010
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2012-09-13 4:19 pm   Permalink

Mike,you can wrap the mug with bubble wrap then surround it with packing peanuts
make sure it is fully packed with peanuts,it will not go anywhere
double boxing is the very best way to go for ceramics
this is from someone who has shipped thousands of packages........


 
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3828
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2012-09-13 8:50 pm   Permalink

It is true, not just a legend
I have seen the super packing in person

This man known as mad dog HAND delivered a one of a kind table to me IN PERSON
That's right, handed me a box

And it was packaged in the style described above

MDM,
U da man...


 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5712
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2012-09-13 9:42 pm   Permalink

Great thread Mike...should help folks that don't take the time and/or go the extra mile to make sure the item will safely transit. I have sent many packages in my lifetime and certainly agree with all of Mike's intel.
How fun to see MY bottle getting wrapped...WHEEEEE!!! MadDog UDAMAN

I AGREE ON THESE GOLDEN RULES
1. Do not use newspaper,It does not absorb the shock of impact!
2. Do use bubble wrap or packing peanuts (The peanuts being the better choice).
3. Double box your item.
4. Tape the sides as well as the folds in the box.

I WILL ADD (JMHO)
5. Use Fedex or UPS, they are kinder to packages than the Post Office, plus they will pick up at your home so you don't need to lug it around to get it on the move.
6. Use a permanent black marker to address the package.
7. Pack it full of love...items will settle so fill all the empty spaces in the box.
8. Insure as appropriate.
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7294
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2012-09-14 09:32 am   Permalink

Thank you all for your comments, hopefully this thread will serve as a reference for future generations

Jon, I packed up the table before I knew who I would swap with ~ I thought I would have to mail it. Did you notice the memory foam in there also?

Marlene, your bottle is on it's way. If it shows up there broken DON'T POST IT HERE - just send me a PRIVATE message and I'll make a new one for you
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hang10tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2010
Posts: 3828
From: Las Vegas
Posted: 2012-09-14 09:50 am   Permalink

Mike
Did I notice the memory foam?

Yepppppp
We sleep on it now


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5038
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2012-09-14 10:11 am   Permalink

To be clear, I do use bubble wrap. But I use paper to hold the bubble wrapped piece in the center of the box.

A couple of more things:
Put addresses in the box too in case there is damage outside.
I tape down my labels to protect from rain and just plain falling off.


 
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