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  1. #1
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    i found an excellent trick for such shipping. get a cardboard box-- appropriately oversized. get a can of the expanding foam that hardens. with box open, lay down enough foam to cover box bottom 1.5" or so.. let this layer begin to set up. you can smoothe it with a cardboard spreader that's used to control the layer thickness. enclose the item in a suitable plastic bag that is free of holes. assure that the bag is totally closed off. situate the bagged item onto the first foam layer. close the box and tape the top shut. cut a few 1/2" holes around the box ( just above the first layer). and cut a small 1/8" or so vent hole near the box top. squirt the foam into 1 or more of the holes. foam will expand, sealing itsself to the box walls and will totally immobilize the object. i've found this to work on ball vises and any manner of odd shaped stuff. give the foam a few (3-4) hours to set hard. you're set to go. be sure to warn the recipient how you packed the i tem. when the item arrives, very little problem for the foam to be cut away.

  2. #2
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    the crating is good, but takes xtra time to build. also adds to the weight & dimension. the foam way i have used numerous times is quick, adds very little weight, and you can ship in a nominally reasonable sized box. i failled to mention- when the foam expands, some will squeeze out a hole here & there. do this over some newsppaper. when foam comes out, let it set a bit, then wipe the excess off with a paper towell.

  3. #3
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    ...or if you let the foam dry, it trims very nicely.

    One bit of advice (from a handyman) - I've seen two different formulations of the spray foam. I forget the exact names, but one is labeled for doors and windows, and while it still expands plenty, will do so less forcefully. The other formula expands much more forcefully, and I would guess could deform the box during expansion. After they dry, I would imagine that either would provide the same protection. ...just one thing to look at when you buy your foam.

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    I have used the foam method when shipping knives that I could not afford to be torn open accidentally, then disappear. It is quick and insures that the contents stay with the container. Hard for carriers to claim it feel out. Fred
    Want to learn to engrave, "cut an inch a Day every Day" Jim Small
    Fred Marrinan

  5. #5
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    Jun 2008
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    vermilion, ohio (on lake erie) and Inverness, Fla.
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    The foam to use is called "minimally expanding foam". If you use the regular expanding foam it can blow the container apart and make a heck of a mess. Also, saving the contents of the can for another day is a exercise in futility as it hardens in the dispensing straw and valve which is impossible to remove.

  6. #6
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    doc: this has worked for a microscope. if all the air is sucked out of the bag, the foam gets in all the nooks & crannies.

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