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fool proof packing

updated wed 5 jun 02


potter on mon 3 jun 02


This is a fool proof very fast way to pack all smaller pots and the beauty
is you can still what you have, never have to search or unwrap anything. I
pack up a leave in 30 min every time. This was posted in CM a few years ago
and also Mel had it on his web page for awhile.

Tired of cracked mugs and teapots, and being the last one packed up at the
end of the craft fair? Over the years I have developed a system of packing
my wares to protect them during transport to and from craft fairs and to
make packing and unpacking a breeze. Take an ordinary stackable bread tray
(borrow them from your local wholesale bakery supplier) and line the bottom
with a 1/2" piece of foam carpet underlay. Then take a piece of 4" thick
foam, and cut it to fit snugly inside the bread tray. Next we need to cut
holes in the foam. The best way to do this is to find a clean tin can of
the desired diameter with one end removed. Then, drill a small 1/4" hole
in the exact center of the other end. Fit a 1/4"x1 1/2" bolt through the
hole from the inside of the can and secure with washers top and bottom and
two nuts (one will tighten on the other, stopping them from becoming
undone). Leave enough of the bolt sticking through the outside of the can
to attach to a drill. Now, using a bench grinder or similar tool, create a
serrated edge on the open end of the can. This can act as a saw to cut the
necessary holes in the foam. Once you have sawed (drilled ) your holes,
leaving enough space between them to ensure your mugs won't bang together,
cut a slit on the inside of each hole perpendicular to the circumference of
it. This is for the handles of the mugs. Each bread tray should hold
about 25 mugs or similar size items, and they can be stacked up to six

There are many different thickness' and densities of foam, and they can be
cut and stacked in an endless variety of ways and shapes. You may want to
make your own taller containers rather than use bread trays, and create
layers of foam packing in them, i.e. Rubber Maid plastic tote
boxes. Another tip: since most foam comes in 4'x8' sheets, it is best to
leave it intact, draw your patterns, drill your holes, and then cut the
sheet into smaller pieces. This makes drilling the holes much easier and
safer, as the foam tends to become unruly in smaller pieces.

Bryan Hannis
Just Earth Pottery
Valemount, BC

Sheron Roberts on tue 4 jun 02

Some one may have already=20
mentioned this, but just in
case, if you carry mugs to
a show nothing beats the
sectioned boxes you get
from the liquor store. This
boxes are sturdy, designed
for glass to begin with, and
come in various sizes. I cut
cardboard squares from old
boxes and stack mugs in each
section with a cardboard divider
between each one. You can
pack many mugs into one box,
depending on the size of your
mugs. Larger boxes work well
for smaller bowls also. For really
large pieces I use the rubber material
used under rugs to keep them from
sliding. This stuff hugs the pots and
allows no movement when stacking.
Sheron in North Carolina