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Thread: Cushioned Feet for Crates

  1. #1
    Member JasonO's Avatar
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    Cushioned Feet for Crates

    Some crates showed up in the basement with what looked like "airbag" cushioned feet.


    I looked them up and found this: (http://www.apgcases.com/skid%20mate.htm). They look like a great solution to helping with vibration.

    Jason

  2. #2
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
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    These are available from a variety of sources these days, but they were exotic items when they showed up in MasterPaks catalogs many years ago. Folks used to call them Clown feet I think.
    They never caught on all that well in museum crating circles but largely I think due to them getting a bad rap.
    Two traditional criticisms. "They get knocked off too easy" and"I have seen them go flat" both can be true but mostly due to misuse or misconceptions about their use.

    The first (getting knocked off) is absolutely right - if you empale them with a forklift tine you can knock them off. Of course this can and does happen with wooden skids also. The difference is when the hit occurs it transfers less impact on the contents of the crate with a skid mate than with something glued to the box. In fact it is not uncommon to see where the fork punchers the "donut" without knocking it off.
    A couple of problems when this happens have to do with application and availability.
    They are designed with threaded t-nut like hardware built in to them. The problem is that if you install them that way with the bolt attaching from the inside of the crate - access to the bolt is usually covered by liners/padding etc ... making it a real pain to replace (plus from the purists point of view by drilling through you have "compromised the micro climate)". The solution some folks use is just to lag bolt them in from the bottom.
    The thing is, it is a lot like public transit - it's usefulness is proportional to its availability. Just like you are less likely to take a bus when you have to wait thirty minutes than when you only have to wait 7, if you have to place an order to get ahold of skidmates and then wait - the process is much more of a hassle than if you have them handy ...and most people don't. If local suppliers keep them in stock you are lucky.
    All that said I would rather lag in a new skidmate (with the black ring added) than to have to chisel away wooden remains of wooden skids glued to the crate and interspersed with broken drywall screws. Been there, done that - too many times.

    The other problem - being crushed - has a lot to do with using them well. Many institutions and companies don't want to invest in stocking a variety of weight capacities so they tend to stock one color and just use it when it is not appropriate. If you are going to try and get away with that I would suggest going towards the stiffer weight capacities. Even if you loose out on getting the optimal cushioning effect it will still be worlds better than having a solid skid underneath. Don't take my word for it take a couple of empty crates - one with traditional skids, and the other with skidmates and drop them a foot onto the concrete and check out the difference.
    Another thing that people don't always realize is that if you are calculating the wieght capacities precisely and someone decides to stack the crates, the whole deal is out the window for the bottom crates. I have seen them crushed that way a couple of times.

    These are not for everybody but used correctly they have their place. I partularly like them for odd sized storage pallets. A sheet of 3/4 ply and four (or often five one in the middle) skidmates and you an instant pallet. On heavier pieces double up the ply and you retain a nice flat surface on the bottom that is much nicer that a battened one if you are forking it up on shelving etc...
    Thanks Jason.
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

  3. #3
    Member JasonO's Avatar
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    Hey T.A. , thanks for the practical experience! In my current position I do not often build crates, but it sounds like they are nice if used correctly.

  4. #4
    Member Gallagher's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post on this topic; I always wondered if they would help and looking at the drop tests most of them seem to perform very well.

  5. #5
    bubblegum
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    I've visited this link and it's down..unfortunately!

    These are available from a variety of sources these days, but they were exotic items when they showed up in MasterPaks catalogs many years ago. Folks used to call them Clown feet I think.
    They never caught on all that well in museum crating circles but largely I think due to them getting a bad rap.
    Two traditional criticisms. "They get knocked off too easy" and"I have seen them go flat" both can be true but mostly due to misuse or misconceptions about their use.
    I've also heard concern on easily 'knocked off',practicality wise better choose other option!

  6. #6
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
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    As I mentioned in the quote you use they are available at masterpak also if you are having problems with the link Jason mentions (works fine for me).
    If you have valid input about this product or can provide alternatives that we may not be aware of I think the folks that visit this site are very open to your insights. If you don't have solid insights or experience to share or valid questions to ask then you are probably on the wrong site.
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

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