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Thread: Simple Travel Crate Idea

  1. #1

    Simple Travel Crate Idea

    Good Day Everyone,

    I wanted to share a method that my coworkers and I came up with for shipping materials locally. We called them Travel Crates, and they were loosely based on the NMAI method (reusable containers that could hold numerous pieces). On a tight budget, or for local shipping convenience, this method may work out well for some of you in similar collections move situations.

    First, we had produced a number of basic pallets - heat treated plywood and 2x4's that were 42" x 48" in size, and ordered large double-walled cardboard container boxes (with lids) to fit the pallets.

    We then attached 2" webbing, screwing this down near the edges with 3/4" screws and cup washers. We used 2" plastic buckle clasps on the end of the webbing as well.

    These boxes were lined with 2" ethafoam cut to fit inside the bottom of the container, and artifacts of numerous types could then be placed inside and soft-packed. We even introduced an ethafoam "grid" system to divide space inside the boxes.

    As you can see, we also produced "pillows" using poly tubing, packing peanuts and a bag sealer. We would also poke holes through the foam and add additional webbing straps to secure artifacts to the grid ( as shown below). We used boxes that had lids, as well as "telescopic" boxes for taller pieces. In these telecopic boxes, we could use foam to hold the top part of the box high above the artifacts packed inside. When we placed the top over the box, the grid would act as a stopper to prevent the box from touching the artifacts.

    These boxes also had access flaps, which we sometimes lengthened all the way to the floor in order to facilitate simpler access to the inside of the container.

    As you can see, these containers are easily labelled and easy to move with different types of pallet jacks. They can be safely strapped to the inside of a truck as well.

    In some cases, we even used the lids as bases to make packing large heavy objects easier.

    Anyway, just thought I would share this method with the group in case anyone needed a cost effective, adaptable and reusable moving system.


    Nick Clemens
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  2. #2
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Nick, thanks for posting this. This looks like a streamlined, practical system put together using readily available materials and one that could be very versatile. I suspect your version comes out considerably cheaper than commercially available versions.

    One thing I really do like is the use of commercial pallet covers (large cube shaped bags) both inside and outside of the kind of large boxes that you make to provide a more stable environment.

    These products are available from a number of sources. I am not in anyway endorsing the use of Uline. Many purchasers
    consider sourcing materials for use in their institution to be an expression of ethical consequence (why support companies that support political agendas harmful to cultural institutions?). Just sayin...
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

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