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neilestrick

How I Pack Pots For Shipping

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Here's a series of photos showing how I pack a lidded vessel for shipping. The whole idea behind this is to create a double box type of package without actually using two boxes.

 

First I prepare the pot by putting a couple of layers of thin foam packing material between the upside down lid and the pot. Then I cover the piece with either bubble wrap or paper, whichever I have handy, and tape it up tight so the lid can't move. The bubble wrap/paper is just there to keep the tape off the pot. I do not ever use bubble wrap as a packing material. It's overpriced, and you have to use many layers of it for it to be effective. Foam sheets are cheaper, and do a better job of protecting lips and edges.

 

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Then I put 3 inches or so of packing peanuts in the bottom of the box, followed by a sheet of cardboard. This, and all of the cardboard pieces I will be using, are there to keep the pot from migrating though the peanuts as the package gets jostled about in the shipping truck, as well as provide another layer of protection.

 

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Then I start adding peanuts. Once they reach about halfway up the pot, I put in the side baffles. Again, these provide a big flat surface that can't migrate through the peanuts, ensuring that the pot stays centered in the package.

 

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I continue filling with peanuts until they are about an inch above the pot, then add a final piece of cardboard to the top.

 

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Then I add more peanuts above the top cardboard baffle. Notice how they are mounded up higher than the box. This is so that I can compress them down as I tape up the box, so everything it nice and firm. During shipping the peanuts will settle a bit, so if they're not packed in super tight you'll end up with a loose packing job. Movement is what breaks things during shipping. If nothing can move, nothing will break.

 

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So there you have it. Piece of cake. I've always got odd sized boxes laying around that aren't suitable for shipping pots, so I cut those up and use them for the inner baffles. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

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Thanks Neil!  That looks great, but oh, how I hate being on the receiving end of tightly packed peanuts.  They pop out and go everywhere and stick with static cling to everything.

 I wish there were a packing material that worked as well but without the unruliness.

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Thanks Neil!  That looks great, but oh, how I hate being on the receiving end of tightly packed peanuts.  They pop out and go everywhere and stick with static cling to everything.

 I wish there were a packing material that worked as well but without the unruliness.

 

The corn starch peanuts are not nearly as clingy as others. I typically use those, but I've got a good supply of free peanuts that I'm going through right now.

JLowes likes this

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good news for all you shippers who might be close to a vehicle body shop.  the new parts of car bodies, doors, etc, come wrapped in a very sturdy bubble wrap that is stuck to a heavy plastic.  my neighbor works at one and today i got a sheet of it from him.  i do not ship but i do put soft stuff inside cardboard boxes to move things.  it will be great as a shock absorber and protect stuff just fine.  it is more like a heavily insulated blanket.  and almost the size of a blanket.

 

heard about it at the holiday sale and that potter ships so much stuff that she had 45 things to pack once the sale was over.  she has a successful etsy shop.

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Marcia Selsor likes this

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I pack with paper, roll ends from the local newspaper. The important part  is to crumple up the paper. I put a layer around all sides of the box as I pack in the pottery wrapped in multiple layers of paper that is also crumpled up. The box must also be able to withstand the weight, not be overpacked ( fit inside the box and closed without bulging ) as well as be able to withstand other boxes pilled on top of them. If I figure it can not withstand being dropped 3 feet I pack it better.

I packed for a moving company and as long as all plates etc had paper between them that were good, also filled the boxes to capacity but not overfilled.

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Lately I've been shipping out a lot of porcelain effigy pipes, which have a lot of fiddly little bits, and seem particularly vulnerable to breakage.  I ship these mainly by priority mail, and I pack them by using sheets of foam insulation from one of the big box home improvement stores.  You can cut and snap the 1 inch stuff easily with a razor knife, until you have enough pieces to fill the box, which takes only a minute..    I mark and cut out a pocket to fit the piece in the central sheets, and as Neil says above, if the piece can't move, it won't break.  Unless someone runs over it with a road grader.

 

It seems cheaper and more secure than peanuts.

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While were on the subject of packing... Double boxing is now scientifically proven!

 

My son double boxed his egg for his Physics class at school. The box was attached to a parachute that failed every time.

The Physics teacher was convinced that it would fail. He was a bit perplexed, it was his first time seeing something double boxed.

They dropped the egg 3 times from various heights and the box hit hard but the egg survived every time.

 

Thanks to every one here at the forum for my sons A

Pugaboo, TallTayl, Surubee and 2 others like this

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While were on the subject of packing... Double boxing is now scientifically proven!

 

My son double boxed his egg for his Physics class at school. The box was attached to a parachute that failed every time.

The Physics teacher was convinced that it would fail. He was a bit perplexed, it was his first time seeing something double boxed.

They dropped the egg 3 times from various heights and the box hit hard but the egg survived every time.

 

Thanks to every one here at the forum for my sons A

Sounds like the physics teacher need to get out into the real world more

I think there is a name for it but after driving 700 miles today I cannot recall what it is?

Mark

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His teacher lives a sheltered life. I would think a good teacher would continue to learn and pass on some of these fancy new ideas, but there will always be people who don't like change.

 

I tried to find a name, no luck with that, but from a layman's point of view there seems to be basic two-body and three-body Physic's math that will back up the concept of double boxing.

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i bet it is the same thing that happens when a  car hits one of those striped plastic or rubber barrels on the highway to protect workmen.  they are filled with sand so the force is dissipated by each grain of sand hitting another.  the force is reduced so much that damage to the car or people in it is minimal.

 

the same thing allowed me to bring home a mexican low-fire pot after it had rattled around in my car unbroken.  when my aunt, who had tried on many occasions to bring one home safely, saw that i had packed it with Tide detergent, she almost smacked me because she had not thought to do that. 

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