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Help With Making a Shipping Crate for a Double Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jbalou02, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. jbalou02


    Mar 8, 2010
    Hi, I've sold my '64 Kay C-1, and am going to ship it via freight. I'm going to build my own shipping crate, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions they could give me on proper techniques to ensure a safe trip. Thanks!
  2. Here are some ideas:

    First make sure you understand your insurance. Just because you declare a value does not mean the shipping company will pay it if there is damage. I saw a bass that was "professionally" packaged with foam and a shroud for shipping in an upright position, it had tilt indicators, and it did not help, it got a fork lift tang thorough the upper bout (obviously not upright at that time) and the shipper still would not pay the declared value.

    If I were shipping I would use a specialized door to door carrier and ship it in it's soft case on its side, strapped to the side of the truck or however they recommend and rely heavily on human kindness. Search TB on Greyhound (but don't use Greyhound), MollyKay provided a link or two to specialized shippers as I remember.

    But that was not the question - the container for common carrier. IMHO:

    You don't know which direction force will be applied. You have to consider inertial drop forces as well as penetration. I would not trust cardboard boxes or loose-fill peanuts. I would shoot for shipping on its back with "UP" markings on the container.

    Use a 2x2 framework with 1/4" plywood bugle-head screwed to it at 3" OC for a shell. A six sided box is very strong. It would be about 4" over-sized all around (the body) and in that 4" would be Styrofoam secured in position and shaped to fit the bass contours to provide a cushion in all directions. Support the bass body mostly at the joint where ribs meet plates. Support the base of the neck and the box/scroll in all directions. Do not place support at the belly or back.

    I would remove the bridge and sound post. Mark both ends of the position of the sound post so it can be reset. Pad or remove the strings so they will not rub the fingerboard. At the least loosen the strings to 1/4 tension so the neck is not stressed forward.

    Good luck.
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Perhaps some of the bass shops mentioned in these threads that routinely ship in crates will offer some advice.
  4. Gary Lynch

    Gary Lynch

    Nov 18, 2008
    Sonoita AZ
    Upton makes a lightweight yet sturdy crate. My bass arrived from East Coast to West Coast intact. They may share their design?
  5. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    J, what are the details of the shipment? Going from where to where?

    Others like me who ship basses often can give you some useful tips, but the bottom line is nothing is safer than the back seat of your car. Can you drive this to the buyer?

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