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 Please ensure your bakelite is packaged well before posting...
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:23:31 PM on 3 August 2020.
Austfox's Gravatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 27 May 2016
 Member #: 1930
 Postcount: 12

Not a happy chappy! 8-(

Adding another AWA Champion 4 to my collection, but it was not packed well and did not survive the trip. It was posted in a box only slightly larger than the radio, with a styrofoam sheet on one side only. It has obviously been dropped during transit, rear case and 1 valve smashed. Disappointed that it had survived in relatively good condition for almost 70 years until this past week.

My suggestion is if you are sending fragile bakelites in the mail, please use either a double box (box inside another box with some cushioning between the two), or a much larger box with plenty of bubble wrap and surrounded by those peanut foam thingies!

Lucky I have a spare ivory rear panel to make this unit good.

AWA Radiola 429M

 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 11:28:40 PM on 3 August 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1895

I have a lot of experience packing delicate equipment like bakelite radios and servers to survive post or courier delivery. Peanut foam does NOT work because the item will, with vibration in travel, vibrate through them and come to rest on the bottom of the box.

There is a much better way.

You need:

1. A box about 50% bigger all round than the item.
2. 2 large plastic garbage bags
3. A large can of urethane gap filler foam.

Put 1st bag in the box and half-fill it with foam.
Put the radio or whatever in so that it nestles into the foam-filled bag, sinking into the foam and occupying a space in the middle of the box.
Take radio out and let the foam set.
Put radio back in. Place 2nd bag on top and fill the bag with foam. Close the box and place a weight on it so the box doesn't open as the foam expands.

Once the foam sets you can open the box and you'll have a custom moulded double protective shell that can be re-used.
Urethane foam is very good at absorbing energy from drops, etc,

 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 11:59:42 PM on 3 August 2020.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4330

A lot of domestic water pumps are packed that way, where it impractical to have custom moulds.

Really handy stuff, I have seen it in tube frames as it stops it rusting from the inside, this workshop has it sprayed on the walls, its great for frustrating rabbits by pumping it into their holes, stopping floats sinking & much more.

One gun cabinet is bolted to a North wall as well as the floor, but there are gaps behind it & near the top. Things can fall behind it, so sort of plastic bags were created such that the foam would not stick to cabinet, or wall. That eliminates the space, offers more heat protection and is easily removed if needs be. Well worth thinking about for others.

The old package testing joke was mark it "Fragile": Then send it: "British Rail". If it survived, it would likely survive a nuclear holocaust.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 4:09:26 AM on 4 August 2020.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6334

When I have posted radios in the past I have always double-boxed them. I used several layers of bubblewrap around the radio in the first box and a blend of rice beads and shredded paper in the outer box. Every parcel arrived safely and Ebay feedback confirmed this.

I once sent an AWA Big Brother to Melbourne. It was double boxed but the inner box was made of thin plywood. In cardboard, one heavy thud to the side of a cardboard box that size would wreck the radio, padding or not. Any radio with a cabinet made of more than one piece of bakelite is vulnerable. AWA Champions, Kriesler Plum Puddings and Beehives, etc. An Astor Harbour Bridge on the other hand, you can almost use them as stepping stools.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 9:33:50 AM on 4 August 2020.
GTC's avatar
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5997

Another approach, to lessen the chance of damage, is to ship the chassis and case separately -- both double boxed, etc, but this assumes that the sender knows what he/she is doing.

These days it's a safe bet that every parcel will be tossed into/out of planes and vans along the route and I tell sellers to assume that will happen and to pack the item accordingly.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 10:16:12 AM on 4 August 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1895

The urethane works by deforming under high G forces and absorbing the energy.

Consider the issue of shipping rack mount video servers with 24 or 36 hard drives. These, with several redundant power supplies, are very heavy and very delicate. True, the drives are often shipped separately but packed in a similar way.

When an object of a certain mass is accelerated due to gravity (i.e. dropped) it acquires kinetic energy. When it subsequently meets an immovable object (e.g. concrete floor) that energy has to go somewhere.

The trick is to have the energy released slowly. So the carton stops, the radio continues moving by compressing the urethane foam until it is decelerated to a stop some milliseconds later.

A similar technique is used in crash helmets. I have a son who is most definitely still alive today because of such a helmet.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 10:53:53 AM on 4 August 2020.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Every Item I sell or ship, I use fish shop and fruit shop poly boxes. Never had a breakage ,touch wood! ...I've sent thousands of items over the past ten years using poly.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 11:02:28 AM on 4 August 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1895

Polystyrene foam is OK if it's a good fit around the item. The aim, as well as to increase the time over which the energy is dissipated, is to maximise the area. High point loads will shatter bakelite and bend server chassis....

 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 11:17:33 AM on 4 August 2020.
Irext's avatar
 Location: Werribee South, VIC
 Member since 30 September 2016
 Member #: 1981
 Postcount: 398

If you have all the pieces that cabinet is repairable.
Have a look at some of David Tipton's youtube video's.
He's repaired a few broken cabinets very successfully by glueing with JB Weld and reinforcing them with aluminium bracing.
Undetectable once done.
He's a magician.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 11:37:31 AM on 4 August 2020.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

There is also a cost and time issue here,
Most customers want low shipping costs,so this means you can't be out of pocket on time or cash. Farting about all morning to ship a parcel is not cost efficient and if you have 20 parcels to ship ,your talking a major time loss and time is money. This is another reason I use poly , it's free, so a little time can be added at no loss.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 12:05:41 PM on 4 August 2020.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1895

Pete you are absolutely right of course.

Apart from servers at work I've only had to use that technique for Highly Collectable radios that I shipped to the US and Holland. Sold on Ebay to fund the vet bill for our cocker spaniel (sigh...)

I recall getting a couple of new oscilloscopes (back in the days when they had a glass bottle in them) that were packed that way.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 12:28:40 PM on 4 August 2020.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Some of these eBay customers become irate regarding shipping costs. you can't add a buck without them thinking you're dishonest.
It's stupid, They buy a $500 item and then they want it shipped in the cheapest nasty pony express.
I had a rule with all my items.
Registered post only and I had this policy written on every sale , " if your not happy with your item in anyway ,I'll refund your money !

Having that policy increased my sales by far as it gives people confidence .
Only once did I refund a large costly item.
I was delivering a Teak sideboard I had sold for 1800, as I was getting it out of the van I slipped and fell. I gave the damage sideboard to the customer and I gave him his 1800 back in cash.
He went on to buy many items off me over the years.... Business pays with this old fashioned attitude . People want quality items and quality service. .


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