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Thread: How to package a F.W. machine for shipping?

  1. #1
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    How to package a F.W. machine for shipping?

    I am on the verge of buying a F.W. machine in Oregon, the problem is, I live in Southern California.
    How should it be packaged? What is the best way to ship it?

    HELP!!
    Marie

    You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.
    A smile is something you can't give away; it always comes back to you.

  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    Bonnie Hunter over at www.quiltville.com has had some bad experiences with shipped machines. You could try emailing her for some pointers?

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Wrap it so that it can be dropped from a significant height and not damaged. Seriously. I've had 3 bad experiences with mailed machines. And the common factor in all of them was terrible packaging. Bubble wrap the heck out of it. Make sure all attachments and foot control are similarly wrapped and not able to fly about the box. Make sure the machine is packaged tightly in the box and is stationary in the box. If you hear it move about, it's not safe.

    It may be worth the cost to you, to have it professionally wrapped and shipped by a shipping store. It would be insured and if there's any damage you won't be out anything.

  4. #4
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Thanks ladies! I was thinking that she could wrap the machine in bubble wrap. Wrap the foot in bubble wrap, same with the attachments. Then wrap that in bubble wrap, put in a box with peanuts, then put that box in another bigger box with more peanuts. So double box it.
    Over kill??
    Marie

    You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.
    A smile is something you can't give away; it always comes back to you.

  5. #5
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    not overkill. I make medieval armor and have a LOT of experience with making things absorb impacts..

    Double boxing is a KEY element, the other is restricting movement.

    The idea double box is that the outer box takes all of the destructive impacts and the inner box hold the internal parts isolated from those shocks.

    The most damage occurs when the inertia of a 25+ piece of iron starts moving and then stops suddenly, any slack or "wiggle room" will let that inertia build up and cause damage when it stops moving.

    (Kinda like the old "when jumping off of a building it is not the fall that kills you ,it is the sudden stop at the end")

  6. #6
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grama Lehr View Post
    Thanks ladies! I was thinking that she could wrap the machine in bubble wrap. Wrap the foot in bubble wrap, same with the attachments. Then wrap that in bubble wrap, put in a box with peanuts, then put that box in another bigger box with more peanuts. So double box it.
    Over kill??
    Sounds Good. Instead of using peanuts I'd try for foam or strips of insulation board. Your first box can shift if only peanuts are used. I usually buy a pack of 6- 3/4"x 16" x 48" insulation board for $8 at Home Depot and cut to the thickness I need. I don't pack solid foam so newspaper or peanuts fill in the non support parts between box 1 and box 2. Lot's of good ways to pack but that's the general idea. Good Luck.

    Jon
    Last edited by jlhmnj; 01-28-2013 at 11:11 AM.

  7. #7
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    TALK TO THE SELLER before you buy it. Doesn't matter what we say
    Google "how to ship a sewing machine" and then TALK TO THE SELLER.
    Some sellers are simply uninterested and think locked into its carrying case is enough protection.
    It takes about an hour to safely pack a machine and not everyone is willing to do that and just charge straight postage.

  8. #8
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    I shipped a Featherweight to my Grandson's wife in December via Fedex. I used a LOT of quilt batting remnants to firmly enclose the machine in the case. I then packed it in another box with bubblewrap. At the Fedex store I had them pack the box into another box with more bubble wrap so the sewing machine would not have a chance to move. It arrived safely without damage. I don't trust the post office. To me it was worth the extra expense to ensure the sewing machine arrive without damage.
    Sweet Caroline

  9. #9
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    I HIGHLY recommend this method. I've sent this link to many sellers to help ensure my precious machines make the trip safely.

    http://www.april1930s.com/html/packandship.html

  10. #10
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    I've had two different FW shipped to me through eBay. One of them came with a broken bobbin winder and the other one (my white FW ) arrived with the spool pin snapped off!! On a FW, the spool pin is permanently attached to the little piece of metal that hold it so I had to find a replacement for it but could only find one for a black FW.

    Both the bobbin winder and the spool pin doo-hicky are removable to prevent damage from shipping but most sellers wouldn't think to take them off.

    ETA: Here is some good info on packing a FW.... http://www.sew2go.com/fwpacking.htm
    Last edited by cabbagepatchkid; 01-28-2013 at 06:51 PM.
    ~~Cathy~~

  11. #11
    Junior Member DianaSwi's Avatar
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    remove spool pin... foot...push down bobbin winder..wrap fold up bed before folding up..wrap entire machine in bubble wrap..put in case and pack it tight with bubble..wrap all cords and foot pedal seperate..remove light bulb..wrap outter black case with bubble and put that in a box..then put that in another box..so its double boxed..and tight with bubble...goos luck-
    Diana Swihart-MI

  12. #12
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    When I had to ship my Viking back to the seller for servicing I took it to the UPS store and had them to package it. It cost me $25 but then it was guaranteed if something happened during shipping. The seller paid for the shipping and it was shipped thru UPS since they packed it.
    Judy

  13. #13
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Thank all of you so much for your help! I'm bought the machine from a retired nurse in Oregon. My sister who lives in Portland will be shipping it to me. I can count on her to follow the directions. Tons and tons of bubble wrap, padding, and a double box with more padding.
    I will let you know how she does. . . . . please keep your fingers crossed.
    Want to see her picture? and yes, she looks that GOOD!!!

    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/art/3570680779.html
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Grama Lehr; 01-29-2013 at 09:53 AM.
    Marie

    You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.
    A smile is something you can't give away; it always comes back to you.

  14. #14
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    Beautiful FW. She'll arrive in great shape with above packing and care.

    Jon

  15. #15
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Haha....I thought you were asking if we wanted to see your sister...lol

    Your FW is so pretty.

  16. #16
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    Lovely machine, lucky you. I hope to get one some day but right now all our money is going to CA treartment for my husband. Co-pays the last month have been bad and it is only going to get worse as we are just getting started. Let us know how it arrives and I am sure your sister will do a great job packing it. Enjoy!!

  17. #17
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    The most important thing to me is that the foot controller NOT be placed on the machine's bed. It will scratch it and the rest is obvious. Double box, bubble it to death, and restrict movement to a minimum. Good luck. ..PS...have it insured.

  18. #18
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    oh i saw that ad on Craigslist! glad it's going to a good home - it looks like such a beauty and you got a great price! that's about what i spent for mine and it was from the east side of Portland, but ones like this typically go for about $500 there. great find. enjoy it!

  19. #19
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    Reimburse the shipper for taking it to a UPS store and having them pack it. If it arrives damaged it is their baby and they have to make it right. I got one machine dumped in a box with a bunch of styrofoam peanuts and it was badly damaged. Otherwise make sure it is in a sturdy sewing machine case and then carefully padded with lots of bubble wrap and tightly wadded paper. It's a crap shoot when you get a shipped machine. It should be marked FRAGILE on every side, top and bottom too. Believe me the post office and/or shipping company shows them no mercy!

  20. #20
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Does anyone else remember when a forum member bought a FW from ebay and the seller slapped the address label right on the FW's carrying case and sent it on it's way :0

  21. #21
    Super Member kydeb's Avatar
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    I bought a FW from New York - I'm in Kentucky. The gentleman I bought it from was the BEST packer ever!!! He wrapped the FW in bubble wrap inside of the FW case. It was VERY snug - couldn't move a fraction of an inch. He then wrapped the FW case in multiple layers of bubble wrap and put it in another box with additional packing material. It couldn't have moved a fraction of an inch! I have never seen packing like it!! Safely delivered just like he drove it to me himself. I was thrilled after hearing all of the horror stories! It's all a matter of taking your time and doing it right! Good luck!!
    Debbie in Kentucky
    kydeb.wordpress.com

  22. #22
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbagepatchkid View Post
    I've had two different FW shipped to me through eBay. One of them came with a broken bobbin winder and the other one (my white FW ) arrived with the spool pin snapped off!! On a FW, the spool pin is permanently attached to the little piece of metal that hold it so I had to find a replacement for it but could only find one for a black FW.

    Both the bobbin winder and the spool pin doo-hicky are removable to prevent damage from shipping but most sellers wouldn't think to take them off.

    ETA: Here is some good info on packing a FW.... http://www.sew2go.com/fwpacking.htm
    That's how I pack a Featherweight too, I learned how from that website, have shipped 8 machines and never had one damaged in shipping. My customers complain that it takes forever to get into the machine, it took me about 2 hours to pack it. Remember any thing that moves inside the box can cause major damage. Everything has to fit tightly. I put an empty thread spool; either Gutterman or Madiera, one of the long skinny ones.
    I've also packed a very heavy Pfaff 260 using this method and it arrived in CT undamaged.

    Sharon W.
    Last edited by purplefiend; 01-30-2013 at 02:01 PM. Reason: added text

  23. #23
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    Sorry. Bubble wrap cannot withstand the G forces generated in shipping. I have had 2 machines nearly destroyed in shipping to me. The best one of three was in styrofoam. A sewing machine man stated to place plastic sheeting around the machine and pour plastic foam liquid around them to fill the shipping box. That would leave no room to move. The bentwood cases fare the worst. The spool pins poke through them and the bottoms are beaten to pieces in shipping. I have had to replace all the dowels and repair other damages with epoxy. They can be repaired, but it is expensive, time consuming and intrusive. The best one was sent in a styrofoam cooler with rounded corners, very thick. They wedged styrofoam pieces in the harp of the machine and between the foot controller and cord. They then taped all this with plastic tape and placed itin the outer styrofoam with wedges of the same material. It arrived without any damage. I saved this packing in case I neeeded to mail a machine somewhere. Bubble wrap is false security. If you could find a thicker and beefier version, it may work, but just know the machines are heavy iron and not be underestimated in their destructive power when loose in a box.

  24. #24
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaMiller View Post
    Sorry. Bubble wrap cannot withstand the G forces generated in shipping. I have had 2 machines nearly destroyed in shipping to me. The best one of three was in styrofoam. A sewing machine man stated to place plastic sheeting around the machine and pour plastic foam liquid around them to fill the shipping box. That would leave no room to move. The bentwood cases fare the worst. The spool pins poke through them and the bottoms are beaten to pieces in shipping. I have had to replace all the dowels and repair other damages with epoxy. They can be repaired, but it is expensive, time consuming and intrusive. The best one was sent in a styrofoam cooler with rounded corners, very thick. They wedged styrofoam pieces in the harp of the machine and between the foot controller and cord. They then taped all this with plastic tape and placed itin the outer styrofoam with wedges of the same material. It arrived without any damage. I saved this packing in case I neeeded to mail a machine somewhere. Bubble wrap is false security. If you could find a thicker and beefier version, it may work, but just know the machines are heavy iron and not be underestimated in their destructive power when loose in a box.
    I love the idea of a strofoam cooler!!! Carol is having a hard time finding a box, to pack the machine into. Thanks!!
    Marie

    You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.
    A smile is something you can't give away; it always comes back to you.

  25. #25
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaMiller View Post
    Sorry. Bubble wrap cannot withstand the G forces generated in shipping. ...... it may work, but just know the machines are heavy iron and not be underestimated in their destructive power when loose in a box.
    I think the key difference here is "loose in a box" Bubble wrap works VERY well if the piece is packed well enough that it cannot move. The issue that I have found is when people treat bubble wrap like magic wrap.... "I wrapped bubble wrap around it twice.." is not going to cut it.

    The issue that I have has with hard foam/styro is it was packed so tight that the shocks were transmitted directly to the unit inside.

    I have had damaged items that were packed in bubble wrap, foam, expanding foam, and even a custom made wooden shipping crate.

    Failure to isolate the object from movement and insulating it from transferred shock is the key to a getting a damaged machine.

    Dual boxing and dense packing of soft insulators is the best approach that I have found.

    Another trick that I ask my shippers to use is to turn the box upside down and shake it before they ship it. If it moves, redo it.

    FWIW

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