Wood shipping thoughts! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Wood shipping thoughts!

Wood is one of my favorite things to collect but when I do, I always run into problems of shipping it. It seems to be just a catch-22 of finding nice wood at really low prices but then the shipping blows it away.
I like big tanks and so use big wood. Big wood tends to be too long to fit small or medium flat rate boxes. So the solution seemed to be collecting small wood which many favor.
But that also is often too long and way too brittle to fit a box. Then there is the packing problem which seems tougher to solve with small branchy type wood. Seems simple. Just stuff the box with junk paper? Wrong! a box stuffed with paper will often arrive crushed down with broken wood inside. That does not make anybody happy.
Short of building a solid box inside the shipping box, does anybody have a suggestion on shipping light weight wood that doesn't run the price of shipping too high to be worth the effort?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2014, 12:16 AM
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Hey plantedrich, I know you commented on my post about driftwood, my advice to you (this is what I do when I ship driftwood) would be soak the driftwood for about 2 days. After it is done soaking you can wrap it up in a garbage bag. This keeps the limbs semi-flexible when shipping. The problem is still trying to find a box to put it in..... Depending on how big the piece is you can you the large flat rate boxes.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2014, 09:17 PM
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I've seen packages with polyurethane foam used to protect the contents. I imagine filling a box with the Great Stuff would be fairly expensive, but you might be able to find a cheaper source, especially if there is a plastic supply place near you.

Maybe wrap the wood with plastic (saran wrap, bubble wrap, or even old shopping bags?), stick it in the box, maybe keep it off the corners/sides with chunks of styrofoam, and then put in the polyurethane foam.

Might be hard to get it back out after that, so maybe put the foam in individual bags or something.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2014, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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The idea of foam is one that appeals as it can fill in and around all the little twigs and branches without breaking them. I would never try to ship somebody a piece that was still green enough to bend so foam to cushion had been considered but that is where the cost begins to come in again. If I were large enough to buy the big filler, the cost could go down but for a small piece, using a $4 can of foam per piece blows the price.
$15 shipping
4 foam
$1 for profit blows a $5 stick into a $25 loser!

I like the challenge of sorting out the wood, but for shipping, it just has me beaten so far.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 05:33 PM
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Not sure with this for wood, but I have shipped vintage glass wrapped first in tissue then in bubble wrap, then filled around with those inflated stuffers that I save from my Amazon shipments and all good!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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I may just be over sensitive to shipping loss. When I look for weeks for an item and then it arrives broken, it really puts me off. I collected model RR engines at one time and they are the sort of thing that breaks reasonably easy. They also are nearly impossible to replace so that shipping damage is really a heartbreaker.
Shipping heavy wood is not much problem as they don't crush but the small stuff that I collect and would want to ship is almost always fragile so that box crushing would totally ruin it.
I recently got an icemaker bucket shipped. But when it arrived, the FedEx guy asked me to open it as he assumed there might be damage from the box condition. We got by as the plastic was up to the flexing but had it been small wood, it might have been a total loss.
Had I been a buyer and received a box of wood like that, I would have been sad, very sad! I'm not too concerned on my rep as a seller but I certainly don't like the idea of shipping a box of disappointment!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-29-2014, 07:05 PM
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This is especially true if it's a unique piece(and what piece of driftwood isn't ?)
but in my experience only the branchy pieces get crushed. The chunks/broken off
solid pieces of limbs etc seem never to end up in a crushed box.
It's one of those things wher if the box is not crushed you could just put it in there without anything around it, but if it's crushed you can put it in a wood box to no avail.
They broke a two piece rod blank I ordered into a four piece rod blank one time.
And you may have seen this coming...it was a closeout and no other ones were left in stock for a replacement. I resolve this by using bubble wrap or penuts I saved from shipments to me. And then the final touch an enclosed receipt(how do you spell that?)
which is for enough to cover the extra shipping if a second shippment is needed
if they do crush it. They have insurance but likely it doesn't cover the second shipping.
But the invoice(spelling problem solved) I send does cover the extra cost.
I am NOT ok/w current insurance practices. My truck was wrecked by a person
and my insurance company picked it up under the "uninsured" part of the policy.
BUT...they said it was too old to repair and just paid me for the blue book value.
How do you get reliable transportation for $1100 ? So now I have a two tone truck
that looks like a circus rolling down the street because that was all I could pay to have done out of what they gave me. Every dog has his day..believe it.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2014, 03:05 AM
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I'd reach out to Tom Barr and see how he ships it. I don't think there is anyone else who ships more wood than him.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 01:39 AM
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No anyone who works in a hospital/lab?

They get stuff in big styrofoam boxes (with fitting cardboard boxes), and the bigger ones are quite sturdy.

It's probably quite a bit more weight, but it could protect the wood.

Or possibly building crates out of 2x2 and 1/4" or 1/8" plywood? 2x2 frame, plywood panels. Though that would increase the weight (and shipping cost) quite a bit as well.

Or maybe you could just place some stronger bits of lumber taped/zip-tied to the driftwood to create a reinforced 'skeleton' to protect the outer branches and stuff? Not sure how easy or effective that would be to do.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-31-2014, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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When I was doing a lot more wood projects the idea of a wooden box seemed to fit for a time but then when I run out of wood, the thought of buying wood to ship wood is not going to work as well.
I'm thinking it is just not a thing to worry with too much. All things considered, I just loaded all the remaining wood up and took it down to the corner shop. It was a quick easy sale and got it out of the soaking tub so I can stop mowing around it.
Thanks for the suggestions but I think I'm going to put this idea back on the shelf?
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