Packing Shipping
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Packing & Shipping
            1. Phonograph records                       4. Dictation belts
            2. Recording tapes                             5. Packing material
            3. Wire recordings                             6. Shipping

1. Phonograph records. Place discs in proper sized paper sleeves. If not available, separate them by textured paper towels of more-or-less the same size, making sure they don't crinkle up, causing uneven pressure when you press the stack down. Newspaper is a distant second choice.

Put these into a stack of 6 or so between two pairs of sheets of square corrugated cardboard the same size or slightly larger and strapped over the edges with package tape.

This unit (or multiples thereof) should be placed in a box cushioned on top and bottom with styrofoam (see below), and particularly snugly down each of the four internal sides.

Use plastic peanuts, etc. to fill at the very bottom and top. They act as shock absorbers. It is important that there is enough packing material so the records don't move around.

A further degree of protection is to then put your record box inside a larger one with padding or peanuts filling the empty space- perhaps an inch or so on each side. As an old 78 record collector, that's how I ship internationally.

If you have glass based records or suspect you may, the box inside box strategy is much preferred.

If you have 16" diameter records, you'll have to go to a box store or scrounge well. The glass ones are particularly vulnerable to breakage, but the others should not be allowed to slide around or their packaged groups move at all. Double box, if at all possible.
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2. Recording tapes. If the tape is in tape boxes, cushion them moderately. Tapes without snug-fitting tape boxes should be wrapped in bubble pack or the like to keep them from unwinding during shipping.

Check your post office for appropriate size Priority Mail boxes. Though not breakable to the extent records are (the reels and cassette shells crack and chip off), I suggest suspending them box inside box in case a carton of magnets ends up inside the same mail bag your stuff is being shipped in.
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3. Wire recordings. Wire reels with or without their boxes. A considerable number can fit into a video tape shipping box which then can be placed in a larger carton. As with tape, I suggest suspending them box inside box in case a shipment of magnets ends up inside the same mail bag.
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4. Dictation belts. Pressing down dictation belts is not a good idea. The seams this makes causes thumps and skipping. Pack loosely in a box- take up some but not all slack, leaving some room for them to be oval- they won't break. Once again, I suggest box inside box against the very unlikely event that someone else is sending a magnet in the next carton. If your belts are translucent, they are embossed and this precaution is unnecessary.
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5. Packing material. Your post office's Priority Mail service supplies free boxes so long as you ship Priority, which I advise.

Their Number 8 is 14" x 14" x 6" and is good for records 12" in diameter and smaller.

Their number 7 box is 11-3/4" x 11-3/4" x 8 1/4"and is good for records 10-1/2" in diameter and smaller.

The record shipper's secret friend is styrofoam insulation sheets which come 4 feet long, about 15" wide and " thick. They cut easily with a pocket knife. My local lumberyard chain sells them at about $ 5.00 for a pack of 6 sheets.

Bubble wrap (bigger bubbles are better) takes more box space than the styrofoam so the size of disc the box will hold with adequate cushioning is reduced- the 10" go into the 14 x 14s.

Remember- these audio heirlooms are usually priceless to you and valueless to others. Pack them well- it's far easier than hassling with insurers later.

Wide strapping or duct tape can then be used to close the box. Staples has a reasonable variety. After applying the address label, put clear tape over it so the ink won't run if it rains on the package. Be sure to put a copy of my work or estimate form inside. Include your name, address, email address and what you'd like the CD to say. Name spellings are very helpful, back to top]

6. Shipping. I use Priority Mail which gets the package through the system reliably and quickly. FedEx is quicker and probably safer but more expensive.

Stay away from UPS. They ship much heavier stuff together with your box, and even the best packing may not withstand a 150 lb. carton falling on it. Their insurance breakage restitution policies have become stiffer and unpredictable.
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smolians@erols.com         Phone:301-694-5134

Smolian Sound Studios

1 Wormans Mill Court

Fredereick, MD 21701

 


This site 2001 Steven Smolian. rev.2