Packing a Synth for shipping!

       I have told people so often how to do this. 60-70% of the time they just blatantly disregard what I'm saying and often something gets broken as a direct result. You expect shippers to toss things around. It's not the shipper's fault. It's your fault if you don't THINK through the process. Well these pictures make it easier to visualize a process that works well and is super economical. I plead that nobody try to be "creative" from now on with packages I am paying for the shipping on therefore. (By 'creative' I obviously mean 'straying outside the essential parameters herein')

STEP ONE: Get the materials together
Find a store that has recyclable packing materials. This stuff fills the landfills.       Don't be a degenerate and go down the store and pay an absurd amount to put MORE of it in the landfill! RECYCLE! Good materials you will need include.

  • A Good shipping carton made for something of comparable weight. Use common sense. Don't use a casio box to send a CS-60 or something. On the other hand you don't need to use the 1.5" thick cardboard that a guy used on mine :-). Overkill just costs more shipping weight.
  • Bedding foam and or bubble wrap. Notice I didn't say PEANUTS. Peanuts are WORTHLESS. They shift and on anything of weight just aren't worth having. And they're a pain to clean up :-)
  • Packing tape. The stuff that is very tough to tear but transparent.

    STEP TWO: Create "end muffs" for your keyboard.
          You want to totally enclose those sides with good padding! That's the key to a successful damage free delivery. Look at the example below.

          Notice that the knobs on this one are fairly close to the edge. On CERTAIN keyboards (Prophet 5 for example) you will want to use special end blocks. Do NOT mess around or you'll have a big repair bill with a broken off pot shaft when it arrives! This Korg Delta is light enough and there is just barely enough spacing on the knobs from the edge (and the joy stick moves freely. It will take a sideways bump from foam..) to where I'd say a wrap like this is good enough for the foundation. TIME took me like 4 minutes to create this side so in 10 minutes or so you should be able to have both ends done and be ready for....

    Reinforce and build up "end muffs".
          Notice in the picture below I've shown how we tape the foam together (or bubble wrap if it's a light keyboard without controls right at the edge.) sides of the ends....

    .. so that what you see in the furthest photo below does NOT happen. The person who sent this delta to me...I tried to explain this. But they just were too dense I guess to understand that the sides of the ends need to be protected too! And the shipper dropped it on end and I had to perform the functional repair you see. Sad to ruin nice gear for no reason. (sadly, this clown took no responsibility for the error). I've created something that should leave no doubt what I'm talking about with the visuals.

          When you have completed getting the ends prepared, on a keyboard like this I'd put a layer of bubble wrap taped over the entire 'muff' then put it in a good fitting box. That's it! NOTHING IN THE MIDDLE. Do not even THINK about it unless it's a very heavy keyboard that you don't think will sustain a drop without the middle supported somehow without sustaining structural damage! On heavier keyboards also you should put ABOUT THE SAME RATIO of padding and bubble wrap but use proportionally more. Delta only weighs 20 some pounds. A Jupiter 4 for instance weighs 45 or so I seem to recall. Double the thicknesses at least on it.
          Like I say getting a structurally stable box for the weight is crucial..but actually not AS crucial believe it or not as doing all the above. If UPS or whoever runs the box though with a fork lift...I don't care how thick the cardboard is there is going to be damage. Get the picture? You have to think about the things that actually happen. One shipping seemed to think the Farfisa was going to be on a sinking ship possibly! So he like taped the entire box and went to absurd lengths inside using spray foam, etc...and charged me too much and I had to ask for the money back because he forgot and left the chassis hooked in with ONE LOOSE BOLT. Inside much damage occurred of course. He reimbursed me. The guy who did the number on the Korg in the pic here never even said "I'm sorry".
          Anyway it's quite quick and easy to use a box cutter and tape to modify materials from larger shipping cartons from music or appliance stores to create a custom container. Again, use common sense and don't be in too much of a hurry not to pick better stuff up at your convenience FOR FREE. Let's stop wasting our environment AND resources just to think we are saving a few minutes.
          For keyboards that have knobs very near the edge, or, if you just happen to have a source on them, use edge blocks inside the "end muffs". This will create a distribution of pressure towards the EDGES of the keyboard but not so completely that they are more likely to get damaged themselves since the edge blocks supplied with many bass combo amps and the like, are designed for that purpose. Music stores often throw them away. Collect them if you plan to do any shipping so you have them when you need them. -Bob