fancy shipping crate

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Forum topic by dscheidt posted 07-19-2019 12:15 PM 293 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 73 days

07-19-2019 12:15 PM

I work in large building, which has many tenants. I make a point of looking at what’s being tossed, as there’s sometimes surprising stuff. Today, by the dumpsters, was a disassembled shipping crate; it caught my eye because it was clearly a hardwood plywood. Inspection turned up a label, indicating 9mm sapele, poplar core. Pretty nice faces, probably A2 or the like grade, probably 1mm thick.

This seems excessively nice for a box that’s going to be used once, even if it’s for an air shipment of something expensive (it’s got to have been expensive, given the stated weight of 160kg, the origin (UK) and the destination (an auction house)). Is the savings in weight compared to pine plywood worth the increased cost? Or are the relative costs just different in the UK?

5 replies so far

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112 posts in 1007 days

#1 posted 07-19-2019 01:08 PM

I doubt there’s a significant weight savings, but I can think of two possibilities for springing for that kind of plywood in a shipping crate going to an auction house. 1) No voids. If something gets damaged in transit, the first thing an insurance company is going to challenge is the quality of the packaging. 2) Could be low VOC. That may be a requirement for shipping artwork.

So, did you salvage it?

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381 posts in 798 days

#2 posted 07-19-2019 01:27 PM

Good man! I also worked for many years in a large building with 132 business tenants. You can believe I was always on the prowl for usable lumber these lunkheads threw out fairly regularly. To the wife’s dismay. I got a LOT of good stuff from the dumpsters there. (Although she still uses a couple of the brand new Pottery Barn lamps I fished out one fine day) Hell, I even got a brand new claw hammer outta there once, which still had the stickers on it.
Back to your question though, Theart has got your answer square on the head. The wife is from New Delhi, and we ordered a sitar (i.e. Indian 16 string “banjo”) from India. Took me forever to get that damned crate open, and it had to be done carefully so as not to damage the instrument inside. The plywood was sub framed with strips of some kind of Indian hardwood.

-- OleGrump

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6 posts in 73 days

#3 posted 07-19-2019 03:18 PM

So, did you salvage it?

- theart

Of course. good thing I drove yesterday (I usually ride my bike.) It’ll yield picees about 3.5 wide and 3.5 long, once I take the reinforcing strips off. One will be smaller or two pieces, there’s impact damage. I had to make a trip back in the evening, to get the bottom, which is 11 ply 3/4, of unknown construction, with three 2X4 (actual size) runners made of some moderately dense moderately hard wood I do not recognize.

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3236 posts in 2873 days

#4 posted 07-19-2019 04:59 PM

In parts of Western Europe the most economical lumber comes from Northern Africa – Mahogany and the like.
It is quite possible that this was the wood that was most feasible to use for this purpose where the crate was made.

Weirdly, if you travel, you may see woods that we consider semi-exotics being used like so much common timber elsewhere.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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1334 posts in 2405 days

#5 posted 07-19-2019 05:22 PM

It might be just what they had at the time. Easier and cheaper to use a nice piece of plywood that is out on the dock that to run out to the lumberyard to buy a less expensive sheet.

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