RE: [Hallicrafters] Packing and shipping

    Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 14:21:32 -0400

    From: Barry Hauser

    To: "Gary Harmon" , [email protected]

    I didn't want to beat this subject to death, but better the subject than our Halli's and other gear. Gary has some excellent points here and I've learned something too.

    1. The worst shipment I ever got -- bent chassis, chunk actually broken off a thick panel -- was in a U-Haul box. But that was their "Light Duty" version. I have to underscore Gary's point about buying the right one. Most of these cartons are not designed for UPS or USPS shipping, but for people packing their own stuff and hand carrying it to the trailor or truck they rented.

    2. I was the one who mentioned the strofoam builder's board earlier. The type I was thinking of is white often with a thin plastic vapor barrier. If the blue type that Gary mentions is what I vaguely remember, that would be superior. The white styrofoam is not particularly resilient -- no recovery to it. It will absorb shock but will not "rebound" much. I believe that blue foam is the springy stuff. If that's what it is -- go for that.

    3. Separate shipping of tubes and knobs is a good idea, and unobtanium glass dials as well. Sometimes you can put that in the same shipment if there is enough space inside the radio. Wrap them in bubble wrap and secure them inside. Too awkward? Send it separately as Gary recommends.

    I save all of the good packaging I get as a set, so that the foam fits the outer and inner carton. Many BA's are close enough in dimensions to use again and again. The outer carton will need to be patched up and reinforced. Again, difficult to find just anywhere, the best tape for that is reinforced paper tape. If you want that tape, you might have to special order it from the office superstore or specialty catalog.

    This thread has become the best info source on packing I've seen. Once it has played out, someone should assemble these posts into a FAQ somewhere, possibly on the site. Remember, the SX-28 you save could be your own and your mileage will vary. ;-)


    At 06:31 AM 7/31/99 -0500, you wrote:

    Some more personal comments.....

    I have recently shipped a 110 pound Globe Champion 350 to IL, a Hallicrafters 100 pound HT-41 to ND for Canadian pickup and two boxes totaling about 190 pounds of old Pioneer stereo gear to MI. The first two arrived with no problems and the last two are still in route. With heavy BAs the answer is simple. Both UPS and U-Haul sell heavy duty boxes but you gotta make sure at U-Haul that you buy the heavy duty ones. I believe it is called their TV/Microwave box. Boxes are about $1.25 cheaper at UPS but at $5-7 either place not a bad deal. Someone mentioned the dense blue siding foam at Home Depot (about $8 for a 4x8 sheet. Exactly what I use. For the 100 pound stuff I put two layers in the bottom, whatever it takes on the four sides and two final layers on the top. Easy to cut and use. Tubes, meters, knobs, etc., get mailed separately. Another benefit of the UPS box is that the sides near the top have several indented marks which allows you to easily close the box at the proper place instead of forcing you to fill the box with packing. A nice touch. Finally, the cut foam and box can easily be reused again and again.

    This is a great thread since I think I may like the packing and shipping better then the collecting. :o))))


    Gary H. Harmon, Jr. - K5JWK

    [email protected]



    -----Original Message-----

    From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]On

    Behalf Of [email protected]

    Sent: Saturday, July 31, 1999 3:51 AM

    To: [email protected]

    Subject: [Hallicrafters] Packing and shipping

    By, I learned a lot about packing and thank everyone.

    It seems that one of the most important things we can do is talk to the person we are buying the radio from and discuss how he/she is going to pack the item. I just bought a one off the auction site and offered to pay the seller extra if he packed it extra well. He took me up on it. It probably would not hurt to let the seller know that you would rather that the seller take his time in packing the item than rushing the item out to you. We are all in such a hurry most of the time that the sellers may cut corners thinking that saving time is what we want.

    Finally, when it comes to us packing, it looks like the old saying "Do the very best you can at everything you do" should be the motto. Sit back, take a deep breath and say to yourself: "What can I do, even if it is a pain and even if it costs me an extra $20.00 and a trip to Home Depot, to make sure this wonderful old radio is packed to survive an atomic blast?" Especially with our Hallicrafters, this is our responsibility as the insurance money doesn't really cover the ultimate loss.

    Thanks to everyone. Joe.


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    Re: [Hallicrafters] Packing and shipping radios


    Mon, 16 Aug 1999 21:40:46 -0400

    From: Barry Hauser

    To: "William L. Howard" , [email protected]

    Hi Bill:

    Best way to pack a radio depends on its weight and size, but I'll assume you mean one of boatanchor proportions, or even as little as 20 lbs.

    First -- That foam stuff. I picked up a can thinking that I might use it the way they pack with Versa-Pak or Insta-Pak injected foam. However, the label stopped me. This is "DAP-tex Insulaing Foam Sealant". EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE LIQUID AND VAPOR. This needs plenty of ventilation and curing time and is not intended to be completely enclosed, the way it would be in a carton. I'd stay away from it. It's also questionable as to how much bulk you get out of a can. The foam is intended to fill gaps and doesn't necessarily have enough body or resilience to support weight or absorb shock. My recommendation is to forget it.

    The best stuffing to use that's commonly available is styrofoam builder's board. This is intended for use in insullation and usually has a vapor barrier -- thin sheeting -- one one side. Usually about 1 1/2" thick. Use a double wall corrugated outer carton. Line it with two layers of the styro board on all sides. Wrap the radio in clear plastic. Don' t use an opaque garbage bag -- you'll wind up grabbing it the wrong way packing it in or on arrival unpacking. A few layers of saran wrap work well. This protects against moisture, but also protects against "fallout" from the stuffing getting into the works where it can melt when the radio is powered up.

    The inner carton should ideally be double wall, but can be single. Line this with one or two layers of the board. Depending on the shape of the radio, you can get away with peanuts, but almost all of the time, styrofoam peanuts are NO GO. They allow the radio to shift in the box and don't have enough substance to them. If you have trouble finding two boxes that fit, the inner carton can be cut and "spliced" to fit. If you can't find a suitable double wall carton, get two single wall boxes. Cut one of them into panels that exactly force-fit into the other one to make it double wall. Then line it.

    Case particulars make a difference. If the radio is a rack mount or out of its cabinet, that presents extra challenges. Raw panel edges will cut through the foam. An open chassis may need some extra props. Does the radio have locking tube shields? If not, tubes should be pulled and wrapped in bubble wrap or flexible foam. Anything else that can pop out when dropped (rightside up or down) should be removed and wrapped. Does it have high density heavy components on a lightweight chassis? Like a heavy transformer? That may call for bracing. Depending on the radio, it may call for "detailing" with pieces of cardboard around the edges of an exposed panel, or internal bracing with cardboard, foam, bubble wrap, etc.

    Tape is important. The best is the reinforced paper tape which is available at places like Staples and Office Depot, etc. This has threads criss-crossing through it. It's the kind you have to moisten with a sponge. Two layers on all seams of the outer carton should do it. To give the cartons more strength, glue the flaps closed with a hot melt gun. If you can't find the reinforced paper tape, get the heavier guage plastic type and some plastic strapping/filament tape, which looks like masking tape, except that it's shiny and has threads running through it lengthwise. You don't seal seams with that. Put it on first at right angles to the seams. Then cover all corners with the box sealing tape. (UPS doesn't like filament/strapping tape exposed on the corners -- it can unravel and get caught in their package mashing equipment.)

    The advantage of the styrofoam builder's board is that when tightly fitted to the cartons, it add's strength to the package while absorbing shock. It's recovery (bounce back) isn't all that great. The ideal stuff is the very dense polyurethane foam, like the type hard drives are packed in. But it's difficult to find pieces big enough.

    Bill, one thing to keep in mind when packing -- Pack defensively. There's no such thing as overkill. A few extra minutes and dollars spent won't be remembered. Damage will be memorable. Actually there is one form of overkill -- wooden bases. Some have the idea -- probably from appliances -- to make a wooden frame and bolt the radio to it. This is not suitable for UPS shipment unless that frame has extra foam underneath it. Products that are bolted to wood this way are intended for regular truck shipment. Problem is that the shock of dropping goes directly to the radio with a vengeance.

    I've seen the results of all kinds of packing, with some disappointments. Even the "lucky" ones show that, wherever a short-cut was taken, there were ominous signs. So I always take the time to "spread the faith", hoping that the more people know about packing, the better. Insurance is mandatory, but is no panacea. UPS will frequently counter claim that the packing was inadequate. Damage is difficult to assess unless a total loss. I'm sure that most of us would rather the radio arrived undamaged. It's a shame that something that has survived 30-50 years intact in our now disposable society, can be wrecked in a heartbeat over a few days in transit.

    Hope this helps. I can step off my soapbox now and go back to whatever it was that I was doing. ;-)


    ---- updated August 18th 1999 ---

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