Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Building a crate

Above is a worksheet for designing a shipping crate. This was designed by my clever wife. I posted this some time ago here. I needed to build a crate today, so I photographed the process, for you. I began by filling in one of my crate maps that makes it easy to do the math, and avoids the screw ups that for some reason are really easy to do building crates. I then took it to my local big box retailer, and had them cut to the right size for me the two pieces of luan plywood and I found two eight foot 1 by 3's. The whole show cost me about twenty five dollars.

I threw them in the back of my car and when I arrived home I took them to my basement workshop.There is the crate map filled in and sitting on the luan.

Here I have cut the 1 by 3's with a handsaw. I could have used my table saw or chop saw but since they were small and I only had four cuts to make, it seemed easier just to do it by hand. Elapsed time, perhaps ten minutes. I did this by marking them off with the luan, no tape measure.

Here is my battery drill , I have put the luan onto the sides and ends with ordinary drywall screws. This makes a real tough package and it looks neat and professional. With all that is moving around the country this week I want my painting protected on its journey.

Below is the crate ready to accept the painting. I suppose it is twenty minutes of work . I am no carpenter and this is a crate, not a Sheraton highboy. But it will do for my purposes.

The painting I am shipping is a 30 by 40 and it is on oversized stretchers. If I had a frame the box would have to be deeper but since this is just the painting the depth is only 2 and 1/2 inches which is the width of a 1 by 3.

Tomorrow morning I will put the painting into the box and and secure it with some packing materials and screw the top on, again with drywall screws. I called my favorite shipper, ADCOM at 1.800.622.1147, but they told me, as I suspected that they could save me lots of money on a group of crates but not as much on one. So I called FEDEX and arranged a pickup with them for tomorrow. I like to use express shipping for paintings. They are valuable and I think they get better handling.

Tomorrow, back to 18th century etchings.


Billy Guffey said...

Hey Stape. I want to thank you for that first post regarding the crates. I used your technique and built a crate that held 18 (eighteen!!!) small, framed paintings. It traveled about 1200 miles and arrived intact and undamaged. I ended up using a 1x10 for the sides. A big, sturdy crate that weighed about 45 lbs.

Although, UPS wouldn't ship it and insure it. They said they would ship, but wouldn't pay out if damaged. I won't use them again. I used USPS and it went fine.

mariandioguardi.com said...

So Stapleton, is the usual agreement between an artist and a gallery for he artist to assume the shipping cost to the gallery and the gallery assumes the cost of returning the painting to the artist (in the event that it doesn't sell, that is)?

PS. I'll be gone for a week and I'll be back.

Philip Koch said...

I am packing crates right now to send 22 paintings 3000 miles out to Washington State for a show at the Clylmer Museum of Art. Some of the pieces are pretty big- 42 x 78" and are on masonite panels so they are heavy. It's a good thing I have a professional staff of young half-starved artists who live on cots in my basement to do all this heavy physical stuff. Oh wait, that's my fantasy, I'm doing it all myself. Ah the glamorous life of the sawdust chewing artist!

innisart said...

Do you add the paintings to your home insurance before shipping? UPS did allow you to insure your artwork (since they own their own insurance company) but I see Bill said they wouldn't cover his art, so they may have gone the way of Fedex. Fedex only covers up to $300. They won't go above that on "Unique, irreplaceable items."

Deborah Paris said...

Wow- that diagram makes my head hurt. Also makes me appreciate my husband- we have a division of labor- I paint them, he crates them.

Billy Guffey said...

I should clarify what the UPS lady told me...She said they would give me insurance, but that the package "will probably be damaged in shipment, and we won't pay on the insurance." She said the only way they would pay is that if each painting was packaged, and shipped, separately with 3 inches of packing material all the way around. And she wasn't nice about it either.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Boy, thats a heavy crate. I hope you put handles on that.I f you use a w3ooden crate you seldom have damage.

Stapleton Kearns said...

that's the theory anyways, In practice I usually show up in person to bring and retrieve the paintings.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Do you build crates like mine. I enjoy building them if I don't have to do it every day. I have two cats for staff.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I believe he answers and clarifies below. Incidentally Innesart has a great blog found at http://underpaintings.blogspot.com/

Stapleton Kearns said...

Then your husband is more crateive than you.

Philip Koch said...

Stape- yes I use the same basic idea, with some reinforcement crossbars on the larger crates. Maybe I should look into feline staff as you have done- I hear they're good with cat boxes.