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MMD > Archives > June 2007 > 2007.06.24 > 02Prev  Next

Packing Piano Rolls for Shipment
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  Unfortunately, Tom Hutchinson's experience is not all that
uncommon when it comes to old music rolls (pre-1940).  Generally
speaking, the roll boxes have no 'strength' because of age.  This makes
them quite vulnerable to crushing _if_ the box in which they are shipped
is not adequately strong.  However, to a great extent I disagree with
his method of using bubble wrap and newspaper as packing materials.
In my experience, avoiding the use of such packing materials will help
reduce the incidence of damage.  Here's why.

Any package that has "soft spots" is prone to damage, and once the
damage starts, the packing tape will get stretched, which leads to
even further damage.  In a sense, it's a bit like the levee in New
Orleans.  Had the levee been strong enough to just allow water to flow
over it, there would have been no catastrophe.  However, once 'the box'
started to fail, the rest became history.

My advice is to eliminate all empty spaces inside the box with
materials that are stronger than the contents (in this case, old music
rolls) inside the box.  This eliminates soft spots and helps maintain
the integrity of the box.  With old rolls, I also add a double layer
of cardboard on all of the interior surfaces of the box unless I can
buy a double corrugate box, or two boxes where one fits perfectly
inside of the other.  Here again, I can't stress the importance of
making the box strong and the contents inside 'tightly fit'.

Also, a good quality strapping tape, with nylon strands, is a must.
For overseas shipments, I use three lines of tape around the length
and width of the box.  (The placement of the label should not be a
consideration.  Leaving it to someone else to do something logical is
asking for trouble.  Remember Murphy's Law: Things will go wrong in
any given situation, if you give them a chance.)  My two cents...

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

(Message sent Sun 24 Jun 2007, 16:24:41 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Packing, Piano, Rolls, Shipment

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