Shipping a trombone

Post Reply
BuffaloBones
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2021 10:37 pm

Shipping a trombone

Post by BuffaloBones » Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:18 pm

I'm not sure if this is the best place to post this but here goes.
Well it is with great excitement that I have purchased a Yamaha 691 that is near Dallas, TX. I hope that it's everything that everyone says it is.

However, the seller is apprehensive about shipping it. They don't want to be responsible for any damage (who would?). It has a hard case. I was thinking, bubble wrap the hard case, put that inside a lamp box and that ought to do it?
Would UPS do that service? He really doesn't want to do any of the packing. Unfortunately I cannot do it myself.

Or, alternatively, anyone know horn players in the Dallas area (he's in Grapevine) want to make a few bucks to pack and ship it?
User avatar
Burgerbob
Posts: 2406
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Location: LA
Contact:

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:19 pm

Horn in the case, then in a good size box with packing peanuts for filling. Enough that the case won't move inside the box.
User avatar
although
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:02 am

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by although » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:08 pm

Yep, several inches of peanuts all around the case, packed in tight. I've received two horns and a case like that. It worked just fine.
CalgaryTbone
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 1:39 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by CalgaryTbone » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:11 pm

I had some stuff packed at a Mail Boxes, etc. store (is that still the name, or have they merged with UPS?). Anyway, send the seller some instructions to pass along to the shipper. I like to add some bubblewrap in the bell - make a cone shape that inserts into the bell so it can't move forward if the box is dropped.

Yamaha cases are pretty well made, so that should help a lot.

Jim Scott
brassmedic
Posts: 508
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by brassmedic » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:37 pm

Every horn I've ever seen that was smashed was shipped inside a hard case. I think it's actually more dangerous than shipping it with no case. The reason is, when they drop the package (notice I said when, not if), the case will stop suddenly when it hits the ground, but the horn will continue moving, and slam against the end of the case, crumpling the bell. If you are going to do this, I would strongly recommend getting as much bubble wrap around the horn inside the case as you can, and making sure there's a styrofoam cone or rolled up bubble wrap inside the bell to stop it from slamming against the end of the case. And, as already mentioned, as many packing peanuts in the box around the outside of the case as you can get in there, so it can't shift around AT ALL. I would not trust a UPS store to do that kind of wrapping. They don't know what they're doing.
Brad Close Brass Instruments - brassmedic.com
User avatar
Burgerbob
Posts: 2406
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Location: LA
Contact:

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:51 pm

brassmedic wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:37 pm
Every horn I've ever seen that was smashed was shipped inside a hard case. I think it's actually more dangerous than shipping it with no case.
:idea: I do prefer to ship a horn without a case. Cheaper and safer if packed correctly.
User avatar
spoink47
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:01 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by spoink47 » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:11 pm

I read somewhere that FRAGILE stickers actually asking for targeting - but there are others, something like GLASS - that will help. In addition, the more padding the better. I'd get another box the entire case could fit in and fill that with packing peanuts or popcorn or something.
Good luck! :)
Posaunus
Posts: 1696
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:54 pm
Location: California

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Posaunus » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:38 pm

brassmedic wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:37 pm
... shipped inside a hard case. I think it's actually more dangerous than shipping it with no case. The reason is, when they drop the package (notice I said when, not if), the case will stop suddenly when it hits the ground, but the horn will continue moving, and slam against the end of the case, crumpling the bell.


Happened to me. Thanks, USPS. :horror: Thought I'd packed it carefully, but Postal Service managed to massively crumple the bell. Fully insured, but that was useless. USPS made it extremely difficult to file a claim, then their best offer was to take the trombone away and reimburse me for the insurance amount, rather than repairing the trombone. In my case the recipient wanted the trombone, so I had him ship the bell back to me (UPS), had the bell uncrumpled (thanks to John Sandhagen :good: ), and returned it to the buyer (UPS). Fortunately, it all worked out, though not without a great deal of consternation and wasted time.
mrdeacon
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 2:05 am
Location: Los Angeles, California

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by mrdeacon » Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:46 pm

It's amazing how poorly people pack instruments. I once received a trombone with no case loose in a box of packing peanuts and another time (from a major brass shop) without tape on one end of the box!

Brad gave some great suggestions. Really just be smart about wrapping it. As Brad said you MUST have something literally inside the bell and the horn needs bubble wrap in the case. If the horn is just loose in the case there's a huge chance the bell will arrive crunched. You want the horn packed so it doesn't move and when you shake the box you shouldn't hear any sound.
Rath R1 2000s, Elliott XT
Bach 42B 1977, Elliott XT
Holton TR185 1968, Elliott XB
Holton 169 1965, Elliott LB
Minick Bass Trombone 1980s, Elliott LB
hornbuilder
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by hornbuilder » Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:51 am

Agree 100% with Brad. Make sure the horn can't move inside the case, and that the bell rim cannot come into contact with the end of the case.

I had a client send a trombone packed in it's case (with no additional padding inside), and then 2 layers of bubble wrap around the case. That was it. No box, just a bubble wrapped case. Yes, the bell was crunched.
Matthew Walker
Owner/Craftsman, M&W Custom Trombones, LLC
Bass Trombonist, Opera Australia, 1991-2006
User avatar
SwissTbone
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:40 pm
Contact:

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by SwissTbone » Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:31 am

brassmedic wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:37 pm
Every horn I've ever seen that was smashed was shipped inside a hard case. I think it's actually more dangerous than shipping it with no case. The reason is, when they drop the package (notice I said when, not if), the case will stop suddenly when it hits the ground, but the horn will continue moving, and slam against the end of the case, crumpling the bell. If you are going to do this, I would strongly recommend getting as much bubble wrap around the horn inside the case as you can, and making sure there's a styrofoam cone or rolled up bubble wrap inside the bell to stop it from slamming against the end of the case. And, as already mentioned, as many packing peanuts in the box around the outside of the case as you can get in there, so it can't shift around AT ALL. I would not trust a UPS store to do that kind of wrapping. They don't know what they're doing.
Agree! If you have to use a case for shipping, make sure the trombone cannot touch the case when moving around. Bubble wrap. A lot... But also make sure there's still some wiggle. If you pack it up too tight, it isn't good either.

Than same procedure for the case inside the cardboard box.

But shipping without case is safer in my opinion. Then you can put as much Bubble wrap around the horn as you want and really make sure it doesn't make contact with anything hard.
ƒƒ---------------------------------------------------ƒƒ
Like trombones? Head over to https://swisstbone.com/ to see some great vintage and custom horns!
User avatar
soseggnchips
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:28 am
Location: UK

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by soseggnchips » Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:50 pm

I can see how shipping a trombone without its case would protect it against being dropped or thrown, but would it not leave it much more vulnerable to being crushed or bent? (put in the van first and then heavy things piled on top of it, for example.)

I did a brief stint working for the postal service many years ago, so I'm under no illusions about the abuse packages get subjected to - to be honest, I consider it a minor miracle anything ever arrives in one piece!
User avatar
SwissTbone
Posts: 773
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:40 pm
Contact:

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by SwissTbone » Thu Jul 22, 2021 1:30 pm

soseggnchips wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:50 pm
I can see how shipping a trombone without its case would protect it against being dropped or thrown, but would it not leave it much more vulnerable to being crushed or bent? (put in the van first and then heavy things piled on top of it, for example.)

I did a brief stint working for the postal service many years ago, so I'm under no illusions about the abuse packages get subjected to - to be honest, I consider it a minor miracle anything ever arrives in one piece!
Hm. Maybe. I never saw a good condition cardboard box being crushed. They can support some weight. Then of course... if somebody uses a box that's already made it through 3 shipping, some rain etc... then all bets are off.

I use new boxes nearly exclusively. If I re-use a box than because it's still I perfect condition.
ƒƒ---------------------------------------------------ƒƒ
Like trombones? Head over to https://swisstbone.com/ to see some great vintage and custom horns!
CalgaryTbone
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 1:39 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by CalgaryTbone » Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:52 pm

Check out Ilan Morgenstern's "Trombone shipping" video on YouTube. I used his method to ship a horn without a case for some repairs.

It involves putting a round cardboard tube within the box - I went to Home Depot and bought a cardboard tube for making cement footings. It was a bit longer than the box I was using, so I had to cut it down to size with a utility knife. Very rigid cardboard, without too much added weight. If you size it right, it's a snug fit within the box, and you bubble-wrap the instrument and use lots of styrofoam peanuts. I also put piece of cardboard between the bell and slide (that were bubble-wrapped separately, to make sure that they couldn't shift within the box and make contact with each other. He suggested "bell up" and that worked well this application. I made a cone of bubble wrap to place in the bell to protect it, along with a few pieces of it between the lid of the box and the instrument. It made a round trip, Calgary - Toronto without a scratch

Unlike the box, the cardboard tube should be able to make multiple trips if you can find a spot in your basement until the next time you need it.

Jim Scott
Bach5G
Posts: 1449
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Bach5G » Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:03 pm

I’ve only ever had one problem. A kid put the case (trombone inside) in a shipping crate with just a thin wrap of bubble wrap around it. Otherwise, the case was free to rattle around inside the shipping crate. Naturally the bell got crunched. The kid accused me of dropping the horn.

Fortunately, the bell was repaired inexpensively without any visible damage.

I recently shipped a bass trombone across the country (Vancouver - Toronto) in a gig bag surrounded by lots of styrofoam chips in a generous sized box. It survived without damage.
Posaunus
Posts: 1696
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:54 pm
Location: California

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Posaunus » Thu Jul 22, 2021 5:18 pm

CalgaryTbone wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:52 pm
Unlike the box, the cardboard tube should be able to make multiple trips if you can find a spot in your basement until the next time you need it.
Jim Scott
Basement? What's a basement? :idk:

Most homes here in the southwestern U.S. are built on ground-level concrete slabs! I had to build a loft in my garage to provide space for what was once stored in my previous (non-California) basement. :cry:
CalgaryTbone
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 1:39 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by CalgaryTbone » Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:01 pm

The basement is where I store all those horns I say I'm going to find more opportunities to play, and all of that music that I intend to practice someday.

Jim Scott
User avatar
spoink47
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2021 11:01 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by spoink47 » Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:06 am

Yes, a garage is something which is more often used to store equipment. Never heard of keeping instruments in a basement. Isn't it too dry/wet for safe storage?
whitbey
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:44 am
Location: Rochester Michigan North of Detroit.
Contact:

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by whitbey » Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:53 am

I recently shipped a horn. Towels in case. Case in box. Box in 2nd box.
The oddity was the UPS store wanted to repack the horn if I bought the insurance. My home owners covers it. They did not repack.
Edwards Sterling bell 525/547
Edwards brass bell 547/562
Edwards Jazz w/ Ab valve 500"/.508"
Conn 34H Alto
Bass Bach 50 Bb/F/C dependent.
Cerveny oval euphonium
Full list in profile
CalgaryTbone
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 1:39 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by CalgaryTbone » Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:12 am

spoink47 wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:06 am
Yes, a garage is something which is more often used to store equipment. Never heard of keeping instruments in a basement. Isn't it too dry/wet for safe storage?
Very dry climate here - not too much worry of moisture problems. I've never heard of issues with spaces that are dry for brass instruments, but woodwinds and strings do need to add some humidity to keep their instruments from developing cracks.

Back to the topic, I really liked the cardboard tube insert for the shipping box. It felt very solid, but the weight for shipping was probably a bit less than using a case.

Jim Scott
Bach5G
Posts: 1449
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:10 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Bach5G » Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:16 am

Someone once suggested using several of those foam noodles (swimming) to surround the case and then fill the voids with styrofoam. Might be seasonal (spring/summer).
WGWTR180
Posts: 663
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:32 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by WGWTR180 » Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:09 am

Noah Gladstone shipped me a bass trombone in a hard case. Packed properly WITHIN the case and around the case inside the shipping box the horn showed up in perfect condition. I have sent many instruments without cases. So far 100% success rate arriving with zero damage.
ithinknot
Posts: 236
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:40 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by ithinknot » Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:58 am

CalgaryTbone wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:12 am
Back to the topic, I really liked the cardboard tube insert for the shipping box. It felt very solid, but the weight for shipping was probably a bit less than using a case.
Agree with all the above re case dangers, but bear in mind that some services price on the basis of 'dimensional weight', in which the dimensions of the box generate a theoretical weight based on some standard density, and you only pay more if you exceed that threshold. In practice, even a bass trombone in an old woodshell coffin isn't as heavy as the theoretical package of the same dimensions, so reducing weight doesn't save any money.

But sometimes it does - so you have to read the fine print or play with the price calculator tool to establish what's going on.
brassmedic
Posts: 508
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:07 pm
Contact:

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by brassmedic » Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:19 pm

soseggnchips wrote:
Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:50 pm
I can see how shipping a trombone without its case would protect it against being dropped or thrown, but would it not leave it much more vulnerable to being crushed or bent? (put in the van first and then heavy things piled on top of it, for example.)
If it's packed correctly I don't think that's much of an issue. You need A LOT of bubble wrap. The good kind with 1" bubbles, not the useless kind with tiny bubbles (isn't that a song?). If you get enough bubble wrap around the instrument, it simply deflects when pushed. Then the box must be bigger than the instrument so that there is space all around it, and that space must be tightly filled with foam peanuts, not a couple pieces of wadded up newspaper tossed in loosely (yes, I've seen that). I pour some peanuts in, push them down with my hands, then add more and repeat. When you're done, you would be able to throw the box across the room and that instrument won't move an inch inside the box. You would easily be able to sit on the box and do no damage.

Or a lot of people build internal partitions of heavy cardboard or even wood. That's also good if done correctly.

I'm not saying it isn't possible for the horn to get damaged, I just think it's MORE risky if it's in a hard case. Most of the damage I've witnessed is from some sort of a blow, not from crushing.
Brad Close Brass Instruments - brassmedic.com
Mamaposaune
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:48 pm
Location: Central Jersey

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Mamaposaune » Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:09 pm

There are some excellent ideas here, and I just wanted to add a few more. Years ago I shipped a nice vintage 6H in it's original Stratoliner case, I thought I did an exceptional packing job. There was a cone in the bell; bubble wrap filled the case so the horn couldn't shift.
I also surrounded the case with tightly packed peanuts so it couldn't shift around within the (sturdy) box.
However, the beautiful Conn arrived damaged. The buyer took me to task for not using peanuts in the box, I assured him I had. However, the USPS had managed to damage the box so badly that all the peanuts spilled out, and the bell end of the tank-of-a-case was also damaged, as was the bell of the horn.
Fortunately I had before-pictures, and after a lot of persistent but soft-spoken pestering, the P.S. did make good on paying for repairs and a "replacement" case.
Now, I pack cereal boxes full of peanuts to fill in the space between the case and the box, so they can't spill out.
I have also found those pool noodles that are available at Dollar stores to work great - they can be cut to just the right length to stuff in the bell, and fill in the spaces in the case.
User avatar
Kingfan
Posts: 850
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:32 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Kingfan » Fri Jul 23, 2021 4:59 pm

I shipped a King 3B in a coffin case inside a padded box (golf club boxes from U-Haul work well, BTW). It got dropped at some point and the bell crumpled. The UPS insurance was useless - they said I needed to prove I had 3 inches of peanuts, bubble wrap, or other padding, which was hard to prove once the box was opened, even though the recipient was a professional trombonist and said it was properly packed. I'll mention at this point a case like this has a compartment for the bell section but nothing securing it from shifting around in the compartment. I think they said if the store had packed the horn the insurance would have been honored.

I bought a King 7B bass and the seller did nothing except wrap the case in brown paper. No padding inside or out. The bell section is held from shifting by a slot holding one of the valve tubing braces. It got from Texas to Ohio in perfect condition. Go figure.
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing! :D
Greg Songer
Getzen 400, King 2B and 3B-F DE LT101/LTD/D3
King 4B-F Bach 5G Megatone gold plated
King 7B King 1-1/2 G
Doubler
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:56 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Doubler » Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:41 pm

I wonder if insuring the package affects the care/abuse with which it will be treated. I often photograph and always insure shipments and no claim has been made so far. Luck?
Current instruments:
Olds Studio trombone, 3 trumpets, 1 flugelhorn, 1 cornet, 1 shofar, 1 keyboard

Previous trombones:
Selmer Bundy, Marceau
Posaunus
Posts: 1696
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:54 pm
Location: California

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Posaunus » Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:26 pm

Doubler wrote:
Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:41 pm
I wonder if insuring the package affects the care/abuse with which it will be treated. I often photograph and always insure shipments and no claim has been made so far. Luck?
Yes, Luck.

I got shafted by USPS who damaged an insured trombone shipment and made it impossible to collect insurance claim. :weep:
User avatar
Doug Elliott
Posts: 1700
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by Doug Elliott » Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:18 am

Yes, if you can't produce a receipt showing how much you paid for the item, in effect there's no insurance. I've had that problem too.
WGWTR180
Posts: 663
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:32 pm

Re: Shipping a trombone

Post by WGWTR180 » Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:55 am

For FWIW my recent shipper of choice has been Fed Ex using their home delivery option. I'm done with the USPS.
Post Reply

Return to “Instruments”