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How NOT to pack a sewing machine....

This is a factual account of a delivery of a sewing machine I received through the postal system. Anything I write here is simply my own personal opinion. My suggestions scattered throughout this document are drawn from my own personal experiences which I hope will assist you in the event you are ever called upon to ship a sewing machine.

The origin of this package for this purpose is not important, I've informed the seller of my disappointment in their packing and should I ever purchase another sewing machine from this dealer they will have to improve dramatically in the packing department.

Upon reviewing this document your first reaction will probably be to cast blame towards the post office. Quite the opposite, considering the packing of this rare and expensive sewing machine they (Post Office) did a wonderful job in getting this artifact to my place of work basically unscathed. I'm extremely pleased with the sewing machine as you will see.

I've chosen to provide links to most of the images. Images are fairly large and in consideration of slower connections I will allow you to make the decision whether to download or by-pass these images, however I believe it paramount for a full understanding of the packing process you should view each image as it is presented.

 

 

This is how I first seen the package sitting on my table, 2 perforations on the side was my first indication there might be a problem. Picking the carton up it didn't take long to realize the machine was free moving inside and when tipping the carton the machine immediately slid to the low side. Upon further investigation it was apparent the perforations were from the inside out, the machine kicking around definitely caused these holes.

Couple things I'd like to bring to your attention in the image. NEVER cover the shipping carton in thin easily removed kraft/brown shipping paper. This seller wrapped this carton and addressed its destination on the paper and then wrote his return address on the bottom on the kraft paper. Can you imagine if this carton were to get wet or really roughed up, the kraft paper would be torn away and lost with all hope of ever receiving this machine because all the shipping info was written on the paper. This was the only means of determining the packages destination..big mistake. Every package should have the address clearly marked on the carton, apply a packing pouch to the outside containing duplicate shipping information and then as a final precaution include an invoice or simply a tag affixed inside to the machine with the address of its destination.

This next image shows exactly how the contents appeared after I carefully cut the top off the carton. It is immediately apparent there is not near enough packing and the choice of packing material is wrong. Newspaper is a poor substitute for proper packing material as it pertains to this application. Sewing machines are very heavy and newspaper does not have the cushioning or stabilizing effect as a stiffer styrofoam product. I will give credit where credit is due, the seller used a double walled carton. It is a good idea to use a double wall box if you can purchase or find one, unfortunately in this case one side and the bottom were only single sided. Double walled cartons are not as important if you use hard/stiff styro to line inside of box. This image is just another shot of the carton with the lid removed taken looking directly down into it, this really gives you a better perspective of the free space in the carton. One can only image this carton and contents being shuttled through an automated sorting system tumbling over and over again.

This is where the sewing machine begins to show, I've pointed out in this image the sewing bed just peeking out from behind the newspaper. This is yet another huge mistake on the part of the seller. Never ship an artifact like this exposed to any contents used in the packing process. Leaving a sewing machine exposed like this opens up the possibility of foam becoming embedded in oil holes, chaffing of finish by unsuitable materials and a whole host of other problems which can arise. Worst case scenario is when in transit another package stacked on yours begins to leak or leach caustic chemical and this chemical finds its way on to your precious artifact. End result you may recover the cost through insurance, but far worse your purchase which may very well be an important historical artifact is lost forever. Wrap the sewing machine head in plastic, stick it in a bag and seal up the bag with tape, protect it!

Here is the machine with the 3 pieces of newspaper removed, this is all that was between the double layered top of carton and the sewing machine. Notice how deep the machine is situated in the carton.

If there is any doubt what caused the perforations in the carton have a look at this image, its obvious where the blunt force originated.

Remember the perforations on the carton, well now here is a shot of the inside from directly behind or inside of carton. This damage was caused from the needle and presser foot bar being thrown up against the inside, thank god these parts were not bent. Again I still have trouble understanding how this machine made it in one piece.

This is a shot of the entire packing material which was used with machine removed. This is unacceptable and should never be repeated.

This story has a good ending, my machine made it and I'm very pleased it did. I straightened out the bent spool pin and took this shot. Please use this document as it was intended, simply a guide to help you better understand and prepare should you ever have the occasion to purchase or pack one of these precious machines from our past.

Please feel free to direct any parties involved in packing a sewing machine to any of these documents in this series.

Thank You
Bob Bannen, former owner of sew2go

 

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 Home
Invention of the Sewing Machine ~ Canadian Sewing Machine Manufacturers
Sewing Machine Values ~ Singer Dates ~ Willcox & Gibbs Dates ~ Needle Threading
Shuttle Identification ~ Common Problems ~ Why Make Quilts? ~ Sewing With Children
Packing a Sewing Machine ~ Paint a Featherweight ~ Favorites and Links

 

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