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#1
Old 06-28-2007, 08:53 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 12,098
Where do I get a box big enough to ship a guitar?

This is turning out to be a more difficult item to find than I thought. I need a box at least 15" X 6" X 40" to ship a guitar (it's encased in a gig bag). Preferably not too much bigger than that either, because the Post Office will charge it as being oversized.

The Post Office doesn't have boxes that big, Target didn't have them, where else should I look?
#2
Old 06-28-2007, 09:00 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,700
Try a local guitar shop -- they will have both boxes, and suggestions to help ensure your instrument arrives at the other end in one piece.
#3
Old 06-28-2007, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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A friend of mine got a box the right size for free by asking someone at the local guitar store if they had any extra boxes; chances are any guitar stores in your area will have some extra boxes, but of course, they might not necessarily be willing or able to give them away--that'll depend on store policy, how friendly the staff are, whether or not they know you, etc.

You can also order guitar shipping boxes from ULINE; these are pretty popular, but the downside is that you have to buy a minimum of five and they're over $6 each, so it might not end up being cheaper than using an oversized box and paying the additional fee.
#4
Old 06-28-2007, 09:18 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole
This is turning out to be a more difficult item to find than I thought. I need a box at least 15" X 6" X 40" to ship a guitar (it's encased in a gig bag). Preferably not too much bigger than that either, because the Post Office will charge it as being oversized.

The Post Office doesn't have boxes that big, Target didn't have them, where else should I look?
Could you go to a shipping center, like one of those UPS stores? The idea of their commercials seems to be that they can ship anything.
#5
Old 06-28-2007, 10:27 PM
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Location: Tysons Corner, VA, USA
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I think the suggestions about going to a guitar shop and a shipping store are the best. You could also try the Container Store if there's one near you, or a moving and storage place like U-Haul or a self-store facility. But I think the other suggestions are better.

I would be a little nervous about shipping a guitar in a gig bag. Make sure you get the proper insurance. If this is an irreplacable instrument I wouldn't do it. You might not get any scratches, but you could get the neck broken clean off.

Once I was visiting a local vintage guitar shop and they had a big sign up saying, "UPS Has Broken Our Last Guitar!" Apparently they had bad luck with them and stopped using them, although today their web site still shows UPS as one of their shippers.
#6
Old 06-28-2007, 10:30 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole
This is turning out to be a more difficult item to find than I thought. I need a box at least 15" X 6" X 40" to ship a guitar (it's encased in a gig bag). Preferably not too much bigger than that either, because the Post Office will charge it as being oversized.

The Post Office doesn't have boxes that big, Target didn't have them, where else should I look?
You're in LA? Go to Box City. Every kind of shipping box you can imagine.
#7
Old 06-28-2007, 11:03 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 12,098
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbo
You're in LA? Go to Box City. Every kind of shipping box you can imagine.
Awesome. One of those locations is right down the street from me. I'm going tomorrow. Thanks.
#8
Old 06-29-2007, 09:20 AM
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Ontari-ari-ari-o
Posts: 1,031
Good idea with the guitar stores!

I was going to suggest making your own. Find a couple of pieces of flat cardboard and cut and fold your own. Unless this is something that needs to look professional, that might be sufficient. You can make it slightly oversized so you can stuff in some sort of padding...maybe line it with Styrofoam...or expanded polystrene...a quick look around the back of a furniture store should provide you with enough materials.
#9
Old 06-29-2007, 10:29 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,700
One nice thing about the guitar shops is sometimes they will have shipping cases as well as boxes, especially if they've just had in a new lot of guitars themselves. And indeed, the guys in the shop will have suggestions about the best way to ship so that you get a guitar at the other end, and not a box of matches (as noted by CookingWithGas)

I've got help shipping a number guitars this way (through helpful shops) since 1981, across the US and also from London to the United States. One of the guitars I had sent abroad was an old Spanish/classical guitar which I had just acquired that didn't have any sort of case.

I took it to a shop I know in Cranborne St near Leicester Square, and they had both shipping cases (that is guitar-shaped, heavily padded, latchable cases the new guitars come in) as well as the big rectangular boxes to put the shipping cases in.

There is, unfortunately, a risk you'll run no matter how you ship; I have a friend who's been in the music business since 1964, and he swears that 'Fragile' on an instrument package means 'toss this flight-becased guitar from the hold of an airplane onto the tarmac and then drop a 12 x 4 Marshall amplifier (also in its flight case) on top of it.'

Remember to loosen the strings a bit if the instrument is going by air at any point.
#10
Old 06-29-2007, 12:20 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: KCMO
Posts: 11,117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Boods
Remember to loosen the strings a bit if the instrument is going by air at any point.
A longstanding and oft repeated piece of advice, but not necessarily correct. See here (under general precautions) and here, (4th post from the bottom, quoting manufacturer's statement). I've also seen a similar pronouncement from another manufacturer (Guild?) that I cannot find now.

It's hard to sort out because so many sources very stridently and authoritatively say to loosen the strings, but I'm not sure they have anything to back that up besides "I've always been told...." And apparently not all manufacturers agree - Ovation recommends loosening strings. Probably the safest bet is to get the official word from the maker of the guitar in question.

There is rather universal agreement that the headstock should be as well immobilized and padded as possible. I understand that a lot of broken guitars result from shock to the headstock. I would venture that if this is properly secured, string tension is probably not an issue.
#11
Old 06-29-2007, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,700
I loosen mine as I play classical guitar (nylon strings), and got tired of finding broken D and A strings at the other end (sometimes I think Ds break if you look at them wrong! Ditto the fourth course on my gut-strung lute). I usually lower the strings about a quarter step both to prevent string breakage, but also in case they tighten up to avoid pressure and warpage on the neck, since none of my classical guitars have truss rods in the necks.
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