We know there are the odd articles regards shipping Saxophones and other musical instruments, but none show you what we feel is the safest way to post one to avoid any damage in transit.
Please remember poor packaging is the foremost cause of damage to instruments in their cases whilst in transit, especially when they are old because the cases can be worn, the majority are ill fitting and allow too much movement inside.
We have been selling musical instruments for a while and sold a lot of Saxes, We always pack them in this manner and have never had one instrument damaged in transit- even by the worst treatment by couriers.
So here is our personal step by step guide with photos
Before packing a Saxophone always make sure you plug the neck socket, if you have the original plug this is fine but many do not and results in broken octave mechanisms and costly repairs. If you do not have one handy, a bottle cork can easily be modified.
We buy custom made boxes, they are made from recycled cardboard and impregnated for additional strength. They are also triple walled and biodegradable as nothing else shall suffice for peace of mind. To add, we are now also using biodegradable bubble wrap, peanuts or other eco void fill and recycled parcel tape as shown below.
The tape we use is Low noise, the reason being is it is tough as old boots, stretches well and as such you can pull it taught around the parcel, this only adds extra strength.
We place the a sheet of small cell bubble wrap within the actual case, sometimes doubling it up, then sit the sax on top of this. As you can see in this photo, we have used some polystyrene block though cork wedges are just as good, these are placed in-between the case or bell and keys Gently to stop them flapping around in transit:
Once the cased is closed, making sure, as others have indeed suggested that it is not too full so as to bend anything, but just enough to stop any movement inside the case.
We make the box up making sure not to just tape along the closure line, but three bands of tape in every direction, we then fill the bottom of the case with rough shredded cardboard as this offers maximum protection, is also bio-degradable and does not shift around like peanuts or bubble wrap.
Then roll the case up in around 6-8 ft of bubble wrap
and place the packed instrument within the box.
Then fill it tightly down the sides and fill to top:
After closing the box, as per above, wrap three bands around the case in
every direction, this really does help because parcels can become squashed and burst out at the sides, by placing these bands around it actually stops this from occurring.
Neat parcel and most of customers would say- courier proof!
We do hope this helps anyone posting a sax or indeed any musical instrument anywhere around the globe.
Here are the materials we use
Biodegradable bubble wrap, this particular roll is green but like the bio peanuts, they actually dye the mix, not all suppliers use the dye.
Recycled Parcel Tape