View Full Version : Question About Packing the Crate

06-14-2013, 11:27 AM
Hi, first post here, so forgive me if it is obvious. I am a painter and am building my first crate. This blog has been a great resource, and thanks for the tip on the #10 washer head wood thread screws. I read the post and was able to order some online here http://bit.ly/1abOGG6.
I am shipping a 6' x 6' oil painting on canvas (stretched over a rigid support). I used 3" Polyethylene (from ULINE- marketed as Plank Foam) to cushion the painting but have a question on how to best protect the face of the paining from and damage during transit. I was going to put the painting in a plastic mattress cover (something I have done in the past, but am sure is not museum standard) and pad the center of the crate top with Polyethylene foam to keep the painting in place. However I am concerned that any vibration or small shifting during the transit could cause the Polyethylene to rub and scratch the surface of the painting. If anyone has any advise or even a photo of how to deal with the padding or treatment of a painting surface/crate top when building a crate it would be much appreciated. How can I best protect the surface of the painting yet still keep the paining in place.

Many Thanks.


T. Ashley McGrew
06-15-2013, 05:00 PM
First question just to clarify - the painting you are shipping doesn't have a frame is that correct?

06-15-2013, 11:03 PM
Yes that is correct, no frame it is just linen stretched over a rigid support and stapled on the side.

T. Ashley McGrew
06-16-2013, 11:53 PM
Unframed paintings are often attached to something called a travel frame. Usually the painting is attached either directly from behind or with mending plates or on the high end with a kind of hardware called OZ clips. That way the paintings surface doesn't really need to touch anything. Given that you have already built your crate that may not be an option at this point. If the painting is dry you could wrap it in poly and put a layer of foamcore over the surface to distribute contact evenly across the surface and limit direct pressure from the cushions you have made. By the way from what I can discern from the photographs you have done a good job with your crate construction and especially your cushioning. People have a tendency to use too much foam - actually lessening the cushioning effect of the foam. As well the choice of 3" of foam is a very sound choice based on the best studies of such things (check out "Art in Transit" found elsewhere on the site). If you would like to discuss details directly with PACCIN folks don't hesitate to contact any of us by way of the contact information found on the "who we are" page. Current board members and virtually all of the folk in the emeritus section would be happy to help (that is what we are all about). As well if you would like to contact me directly you can do so at t.ashleymcgrew@gmail.com. Thanks for connecting with your "peeps". Almost all of us in the business are artists ourselves. Here's hoping your shipment is very successful on all levels. Ashley

06-17-2013, 05:18 PM
Thanks. That makes a lot of sense, and I have seen travel frames, kinda like a box within a crate, but never quite understood it till now. Same with the Oz Clips. I actually have some, just never realized what they are for and how they are to be used in transit. That helps a lot. The painting is dry so I will wrap with poly and I think it will be good, but I now understand the process better. Much appreciated.

Paul Pawlaczyk
06-25-2013, 11:13 AM
You sure you never built a crate before? Those photos of what you have look pretty good?

06-26-2013, 12:58 PM
Thanks. Never built a crate before, mostly just looked at images on google and here on the blog. I found it very enjoyable; a nice change of pace after finishing a painting. I am now working on a 2nd crate for a smaller painting 4' x 4' and have just completed a travel frame. The Oz clips are a big help because I can move a painting that is still wet between studios, and I never could figure out a safe way to do that before.