Now that you have decided to have your radio repaired, your final task is to prepare it for its trip.
Several possibilities exist for packaging, depending on what you are sending for repair. I'll try to cover them all.....Should you have any unanswered questions after reading this page, just drop me a line and I'll do my best to set things straight.
The following instructions may seem like a lot of work, but the half hour spent on a proper packing job will ensure that your radio arrives safe and sound.
BAKELITE or WOOD TABLE RADIOS
These small 4,5 or six tube sets are probably the easiest sets to prepare for shipping. A few "MUSTS" apply.
You MUST be sure that the works of the radio...the chassis, speaker and dial glass...are firmly attached to the cabinet. No rattling should be evident if you give the radio a good shake.
You MUST be sure that the tubes are firmly in place in thier sockets. If thay are, they should survive their voyage safely.
If the set has a plastic or rubber cord and is coming to me for an electronic restoration, you might as well cut off the cord at the back of the cabinet. This will make it easier to pack the radio. If the set has a cloth covered cord please leave it intact,,,some cloth cords are an important part of the radio circuit that are better left attached until I can have a look at tham.
If your radio has a large glass dial scale, you would be best to tape a piece of heavy cardboard over the front of your set to act as protection should your packing materials be pressed too tightly.
Now that everything is safe and secure, find yourself a piece of large cell bubble wrap and roll your radio up in it. A couple of layers would be best. Now, find yourself a heavy gauge cardboard box at least 6 inches larger than your wrapped radio, on all sides. Using foam packing peanuts, center your bubblewrapped radio in the box. Don't skimp on the peanuts! Once the box is securely taped closed you should be able to shake it vigorously with no movement of its contents whatsoever.
TOMBSTONES OR CATHEDRALS
These larger wooden cased sets require some additional preparation prior to packing.
You MUST be sure that the works of the radio...the chassis and dial glass...are firmly attached to the cabinet. No rattling should be evident if you give the radio a good shake.
You MUST be sure that the tubes are firmly in place in thier sockets. If thay are, they should survive their voyage safely. The tubes in these radios are, generally speaking, larger and more expensive to replace than those in the smaller table radios. If there is any doubt in your mind that they will stay in place during transit it is best to remove them and wrap them individually in bubble wrap or even multiple layers of newspaper.
The safest option in regard to the speaker is to remove it from the radio and package it separately in a small cardboard box. Most tombstone and cathedral radios are designed with somewhat intricate woodworking features and fretwork on the front of the cabinet. While this looks nice, it offers very little support for the somewhat heavy speaker, which is generally attached directly behind these features by means of four or five small screws which pass through the front of the cabinet.you are able to remove these screws the speaker should pull back from the inside front panel for removal. In many cases, the speaker is attached to the chassis of the radio by means of a removable plug. If so, the speaker can be unplugged and boxed in a suitable cardboard container. if the speaker cannot be unplugged, a piece of cardboard should be attached to its front to protect the paper cone, and it can then be wrapped with bubble wrap taking care not to damage the paper cone through the holes in the back of the speaker frame.
You can now take some crumpled newspaper and gently stuff the interior of the cabinet above the chassis. be aware that some radios will have small coils of fine wire mounted on top of the chassis. These can be easily disturbed if care is not used. This packing will prevent any tubes that may come loose from their sockets from being damaged. If you have already removed the tubes from the sockets and wrapped them, you can place them amongst the crumpled newspaper in the radio's interior. Be careful not to damage the grill cloth which will be fastened to the inside front panel. The speaker, either boxed or wrapped, will still be hanging out the back of the radio.
Find yourself a heavy gauge cardboard box just large enough for your radio, and speaker(the wrapped or boxed speaker can probably be tucked partway into the radio cabinet amongst the crumpled newspaper). try not to leave much empty space around the radio. What little there is can be stuffed with crumpled newspaper or packing peanuts. Seal this box and place it in a second box leaving three to 4 inches of empty space on all sides. Using foam packing peanuts, center your small box in the larger box, and pack the empty space with foam peanut's. Don't skimp on the peanuts! Once the box is securely taped closed you should be able to shake it vigorously with no movement of its contents whatsoever.
If you find it absolutely necessary to ship a tombstone or cathedral radio without removing the speaker, it must be packed for transport face down in whatever boxes you use. the weight of the speaker, combined with a rough handling, has in many cases resulted in the speaker being forcibly torn from the wooden radio front causing severe damage.
CONSOLE RADIOS or CHASSIS WITHOUT CABINETS
A chassis without a cabinet, or one removed from a too large to ship console should have its underside covered. Some are already covered with a steel plate, but those that are exposed should be protected, if even with that piece of thick cardboard. The best protection for shipping is offered by double boxing... using an inner box just large enough to contain the chassis tightly, and an outer box of sufficient size to allow for three to 4 inches of well compressed packing peanuts on all sides. In most cases I will require the speaker in order to perform my service on the chassis, so the outer box can be of sufficient size to hold both the boxed chassis and the boxed speaker, with sufficient packing material to keep them separated.
Should you be shipping me a turntable, just use common sense in your packing. An unmounted turntable and will have numerous protrusions on both sides, so cushion the mechanics well to prevent possible bending and breaking.
FROM YOU to ME....................
Now that your radio is packed, you're ready to send it to me. I will send you my shipping information via email.
My carrier of choice for both receiving and sending is the good old Post Office.
I find the Postal Service to be the most economical carrier and every bit as safe, if not safer than the various courier companies (FEDEX, UPS, DHL). The couriers have a nasty habit of charging huge brokerage fees on international shipments, and since I'm in Canada, receiving a package from the U.S. can be a costly proposition....Most couriers will have provisions for the shipper (you) to pay brokerage fees at your end. Should you feel the need to use a private courier as opposed to the Post Office, be aware that I will not accept a parcel with brokerage fees attached. Be sure to pay them at your end.
When using the Postal Service for international shipping, the only possible extra charge will be a fifteen percent surcharge on the insured value of your parcel. This is collected by Canada Customs on an infrequent basis and I will pay it at this end, and add it to your invoice. I will supply you a receipt for the charge.
When filling out the Customs Declaration at the Post Office, under "Detailed description of contents", you can write something like: "Vintage Radio for Repair....Will be Returned Following Repairs". This seems to keep the number of surcharges down.
Once you have shipped your radio, drop me an email so I know its on its way. I'll let you know when it arrives.