Friday, January 18, 2008


Shipping is a necessary evil. I like to weld because I like to work with metal. I didn't choose to be a woodworker. On the bright side at least a shipping crate doesn't have to be perfectly square, so any circular saw will work. I had to ship more than 5 separate shipments to Korea. Korea only allows wood from other countries that is either hardwood, or manufactured wood. It taught me to only use sheets of OSB to make the entire box. This saves me money, and reduces the tools I need to use. Take one sheet, and cut it into thirds (32"), clamp those three pieces together and cut out 2" strips of wood, getting 3 at a time. These strips can be screwed together for framing, or broken into pieces for stabilizing your artwork so it cannot move - at all. That's the trick. If your item cannot move, then you do not need to fill it with packing. I use saran wrap to make sure the important moving parts cannot move, securing with a bit of tape.

With a sculpture that sits on the table, I make the base first, with plywood. Then set the sculpture on the plywood, and secure each leg, and necessary framing, so it cannot move in any direction. Then make the rest of the wooden frame. Before adding the sheets to the rest of the sides, add more supports wherever necessary to the top of the piece so it cannot move either. Once secured, add the outside sheets to cover, adding sheer strength to your box, and your done. Don't worry that the strips you are using for to make the box are not connected very well. Once the sheets are added to the sides, they hold everything together. I use 1-1/4" drywall screws, and when needed 2-1/2" bright deck screws. Used liberally, you should have no troubles with shipping your piece of art.

If you plan to ship often, then make up these two simple items. A "fragile" template so you can add it as many times as you like, easily : )

Painting around the arrow will leave it's profile, pointing wherever you like. This one is easy. Take a small triangle and a short narrow piece and screw them together with a third piece on top. If you use a screw that is longer than needed, the top of the screw will provide a convenient hand hold.

The sculpture in this box is #72 - Now In: Kentucky

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