Tagged: Instrument Shipment
January 16, 2019 at 12:43 am #686
To Whomever with knowledge/experience:
I am anticipating shipping my Grenadilla wood Moeck tenor and Mollenhauer soprano recorders from Florida to Massachusetts, (approx. 1,400 miles via aircraft), for re-voicing/repair in the near future.
The soprano has a substantial hard case, HOWEVER, the 35+ year old tenor has no such case. I anticipate shipping these two instruments together, via FedEx, UPS, or USPS, which I would assume would transport via aircraft.
1. What is the best way to pack the tenor recorder, (along with the soprano), short of purchasing a dedicated case for the tenor Moeck?…what kind of shipping container would safely store said instrument(s), insulating/cushioning them from rough handling as well as potential crushing?
2. Would there be a concern regarding very cold air temperatures at altitude in the storage compartment of an aircraft, and/or on the ground in Massachusetts…?…
Any other concerns that I have not considered?
Thank you in advance for your consideration/suggestions/advice!
Tim K.January 17, 2019 at 3:46 am #688
Hi Tim– When shipping recorders by air, the important things to remember are to keep them insulated and to keep them air tight. The insulation is to keep the inevitable temperature change from happening too quickly. Cold in itself is not the enemy–rapid temperature change is. The air tight packaging is to keep the recorders from drying out–something that is bound to happen to the air in an airplane’s unheated cargo hold. So, if you have a hard case, place the instrument in it, and if you don’t have a hard case, place the instrument in its soft case (or some substitute). Then wrap each packaged instrument in a couple layers of bubble wrap (more layers if the bubble wrap is thin) and seal thoroughly with packaging tape so that there are no open gaps. This procedure ensures both insulation and air tight packaging. Then place the instruments in a cardboard shipping box with enough packing peanuts or bubble wrap to ensure a complete separation from the box. The recipient will then allow the instruments to sit in their box and packaging for a while (up to a few hours) in order to slowly acclimatize them to room temperature before unpacking them–something you should also do when you get them back. –Dick– p.s. Before you seal the box, make sure that all of your info and directions are also inside the box–an easy thing to forget when you’re totally involved with the bubble wrap and tape etc.January 17, 2019 at 4:22 am #689
Thank you for your sage advice, you did confirm a concern I had regarding cargo bay temperatures, however, I did not think of it in terms of rate of temperature delta over time…nor did I consider the humidity/drying-out issue. I WILL oil the recorders very well prior to shipping, but also heed all of your advice!
In addition, I am wondering if there is some sort of commonly available container in which I can place the tenor, (which lacks any substantial case), such that it is rendered crush proof, short of buying a hard case. I am considering a length of schedule 40, or 80(?), PVC plumbing pipe…(3 or 4 inches in diameter?…), and lining that pipe with bubble wrap…and could even purchase end caps to “seal” the system…Might be overkill, however, better than under protection…?…(Perhaps the pipe concept would be an even better container for the soprano than its dedicated but relatively uninsulated/sealed hard-case?
Tim K.January 18, 2019 at 4:14 am #691
Hi Tim– While I think that the PVC pipe idea would certainly give protection against crushing, I suspect that it would also be overkill. As long as your outside box is large enough, the recorders wrapped and sealed as I mentioned, and centering the recorders in the outside box so that they are totally surrounded by at least 2″ of bubble wrap or packing peanuts on all sides, then you and the recorders will be perfectly safe. I have had recorders sent to me in the dead of winter that were packed this way–and they came through perfectly. A sturdy cardboard box that is totally filled with non-compressible packing material is remarkably resistant to being crushed even slightly. That said, the only problem you might encounter would be from some shipping agency (like a UPS store) that would refuse to insure your package unless they had packed it themselves (for a fee, of course). If you go directly to a UPS, FedEX, or USPS office, you shouldn’t encounter any such difficulties. Then there is the matter of the repair shop deciding how to pack your instruments for the return shipment. They would, of course, pack the soprano in its recognizable as such case, but the PVC pipe might accidentally not be recognized as a tenor case after it had been lying about there for a few days or so. Not to say that they would intentionally lose it, but a hunk of pipe is … well … a hunk of pipe after all. You might then, after all is said and done, check out how your recorders are packed when you get them back. All the best. –Dick–January 20, 2019 at 12:32 am #692
Well, I think the PVC is an excellent idea – if something in the aircraft cargo hold fell in the cardboard box, it could be crushed. I would also consider a Styrofoam box inside a cardboard box for insulating properties. And best of luck to you – I always worry when shipping anything.
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