Saxophones How to pack a saxophone safely

I know there are the odd articles regards sending Saxophones, but none show you what I feel is the safest way to post one to avoid any damage in transit. Please remember poor packaging is the foremost cause of damage to instruments in their cases whilst in transit.

Especially when they are old because the cases can be worn, the majority are ill fitting and allow too much movement inside.

We have been selling musical instruments for a while and sold a lot of Saxes, We always pack them in this manner and have never had one instrument damaged in transit- even by the worst known couriers.

So here is our personal step by step guide with photos.
We hope it is useful to you

Before packing a Saxophone always make sure you plug the neck socket, if you have the original plug this is fine but many do not and results in broken octave mechanisms and costly repairs

So here is my personal step by step guide with photos, I hope it is useful to you all.

Ok, some notes. I buy custom made boxes, they are made from recycled cardboard and impregnated for additional strength. They are also twin walled as nothing else except that of Triple walled shall suffice for peace of mind.

Packing a Musical Instrument 3.JPG

Packing a Musical Instrument 2.JPG

The tape I use is Low noise, the reason being is it is tough as old boots, stretches well and as such you can pull it taught around the parcel, this only adds extra strength.

I place the a sheet of small cell bubble wrap within the actual case, sometimes doubling it up, I then sit the sax on top of this. As you can see in this photo, I have used some polystyrene block, but usually use cork wedges, these are placed in between the case or bell and keys Gently to stop them flapping around in transit:

Packing Musical Instrument.jpg

As you can see, I have also used some very thin poly in front of the bell, bow* and neck plug area, I then cover the sax with the bubble wrap as so:

* there is not always room at the bow for this, but just behind the guard helps.

Packing a Musical Instrument 1.JPG

Once the cased is closed- making sure-as others have indeed suggested that it is not too full so as to bend anything, but just enough to stop any movement inside the case.

I make my box up making sure I do not just tape along the closure line, but three bands of tape in every direction, I then fill the bottom of the case with rough shredded cardboard as this offers maximum protection, is bio-degradable and does not shift like peanuts of bubble wrap.

Packing a Musical Instrument 4.JPG

I then roll the case up in around 6-8 ft of bubble wrap and place the packed sax within the box.

Packing a Musical Instrument 5.JPG

Then I fill it tightly down the sides and fill to top:

Packing a Musical Instrument 6.JPG

After closing the box, as per above, I wrap three bands around the case in every direction, this really does help because parcels can become squashed and burst out at the sides, by placing these three bands around it actually stops this from occuring. Neat parcel and most of my customers would say- courier proof!

Packing a Musical Instrument 8.JPG

Packing a Musical Instrument 7.JPG

Well, I do hope this helps anyone posting a sax anywhere around the globe.

Best wishes
Some of the 'plastic' peanuts are corn starch and are intended to be flushed away - they dissolve easily in water. As it'll bio-degrade easily, I think it's ecologically good, but may be wrong.
Some of the 'plastic' peanuts are corn starch and are intended to be flushed away - they dissolve easily in water. As it'll bio-degrade easily, I think it's ecologically good, but may be wrong.
Some may be but I think many are not, and seem to have a brain which causes them to go anywhere except where you want them. Try tipping a box full of them into a bin liner, I guarantee less than 50% will end up in the bin liner.

I do agree that bio degradable ones would be great, but how can you know which ones are?
Yes they do kind of dissolve, but through experience they lose their consitency in transit, after all the throwing and packing into vehicles they do become crushed and if you are ever in doubt, do what I have done, when visting realtives in Scotland, send yourself an empty sax case- pack it in a multitude of ways and uses several different couriers to see the outcome- you would not believe how some of them arrive.

This is why I use what I do as they have always arrive fine, the shredded cardboad is the most economical to buy, it last's longer, reusable, and bio degradable, when I receive a parcel with what I would cosnider as spent shredded cardboard, I just put it in my composter and it breaks down fine, I then use it on all my veggies and such- the compost must be good as had a 130LB Pumpkin last year!- though was an Atlantic giant :D
Although I much prefer anything degradable, for a foam like substance that is not horribly crumbly (like expanded polystyrene) it's worth trying polyethalene (aka ethafoam). It's the shinier stuff that you can bend a bit - you know it, it's the stuff they sometimes make cheap exercise mats from and is now quite common as a packing product.

I bought some for making a shaped insert in a mouthpiece case and for £12 free delivery I got 5 sheets 115cm x 40cm x 10cm so I have loads to spare now.
I once bought an old Conn stencil that arrived wrapped up in nothing more than a pair of old curtains with a bit of selotape holding the label on.....not a mark on it anywere! guess I was just lucky...
one of the best materials that you can use AROUND the case (and after you have been cushioning the horn INSIDE the case) before you put it in another , outer box, are egg boxes (6 or 12 eggs). They are lightweight and very robust, they will protect the horn inside and at the same time absorb any shocks. I collect our own used ones ( the best recycling is not throwing things away) and use them for my shippings but I guess they could be also bought,
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My wife has tenor sized nets in the kitchen and baritone velvets in the lounge!!! I could a complete wind section sent to Halifax with UPS if I could get the dining room drapes!
You could bend them around the bell and have a unique look! Also good for sound proofing if you tuck them in. Just nee a bell shaped pelmet.
Ok, some notes. I buy custom made boxes, they are made from recycled cardboard and impregnated for additional strength.

Can I ask where you buy the boxes? I'm having trouble sourcing a suitable box for shipping a tenor.
Locate a local printing shop. Buy three boxes and nest them together. it’s difficult to find a box this large unless you buy 25.
This is a full tenor case. Stuffing space about 3 inches on each end 3 inches on each side and better than 2 inches top and bottom of the case.
Try a removals firm or local shops may have something secondhand but if in good condition may be fine?



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