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Thread: Packing and shipping Altec 416 woofers

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    Packing and shipping Altec 416 woofers

    I'm ready to pack and ship two 416 woofers to Bill at GPA for reconing. I'm wondering if others who've shipped two woofers can share packing wisdom.

    I'm planning to fasten both onto a plywood approximately 18" x 36" x 3/4" side by side. Is there a better way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRS View Post
    I'm ready to pack and ship two 416 woofers to Bill at GPA for reconing. I'm wondering if others who've shipped two woofers can share packing wisdom.

    I'm planning to fasten both onto a plywood approximately 18" x 36" x 3/4" side by side. Is there a better way?
    IMHO you are just asking for trouble shipping both woofers mounted onto a single piece of plywood.

    It becomes harder for the shipper ( + the guy in the truck ) to manage such an unwieldy ( & heavy ) package.
    - Also, shipped costs typically go up dramatically past a certain all-in dimension ( L+W+H ).

    The plywood facing for cone protection is a good idea > but I would ship them in separate boxes.


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    Thanks for that, Earl. I was unsure about putting both in the same box either. Your feedback makes me more sure to send them separately.

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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Because it takes up space and adds weight and provides no cushioning, I don't use plywood except for protecting cones that are irreplaceable, and not always then. If you want to use plywood, 3/4" is way too much. You will pay to ship that weight.

    Much depends on what materials you have available and that is conditioned by what you are willing to buy.

    For two 15" woofers I would buy a 16x16x height needed box for each (usually 8 inches) and a 20X20x height needed outer box.

    Wrap each woofer in a kitchen can size garbage bag. This will make for tricky handling, but it keeps packing dust off surrounds.

    In the bottom of each woofer box goes 3/4" to 1" of cushion, sheet styrofoam insulation or styrofoam peanuts under 1/4" plywood or masonite. Directly on the bottom cushion, each side of the box is protected by a 4"x12" or so heavy cardboard folded on the long axis of symmetry to prevent the rim perforating the box. Set the woofer in cone down. Then I make a collar to hold the magnet/housing in place--that's where almost all the mass is. You can make this of sheet styrofoam or cardboard. Sheet styrofoam is cut to fit to the sides of the box. Cut a circle out of its center the diameter of the magnet/housing. Use tactically placed bits of packing tape to hold it in place. If using cardboard cut a square 4" larger than the box. Clip a 2" square out of each corner and prefold a 2" flap on each side. Using a compass draw at center a circle the size of the magnet/can and cut diameters in it like a pie; six pieces of pie is a good number; eight is a little better. Leave the slices of pie attached at the outer edge and fold them up. Press this down over the magnet/can while easing the side flaps into place. Try to do this without creasing the cardboard anywhere: use a few pieces of tape to hold it in place. On top of the magnet/can tape enough cushioning material to fit up to the closed flaps of the box top. Now the woofer is protected agains direct impacts and sharp jolts and won't rattle around in your container.

    In the bottom of the outer box put some cushion; peanuts are OK. Center one woofer box in there and then the other directly on top of it. Fill the gaps between the inner and outer boxes including the top; again, peanuts are OK. Crumpled butcher paper works too. I would usually put a sheet of light cardboard under the top flaps just to make that nice closed feeling.

    I haven't actually checked, but I think making one box instead of two pays for, or nearly, the extra size of the outer box.

    Some might think these measures are excessive, but the fact is my approach is modeled on what manufacturers have done with the new woofers I've bought. I like one box instead of two because things happen. I also think a large box is less likely to be thrown. I get nice notes from people who buy woofers from me, and I like that.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    Dave, would you face the woofers in the larger box so it's face-face? I'm trying to visualize your description of packing sequence. I think I see it and it avoids the weight of plywood I had in mind. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRS View Post
    Dave, would you face the woofers in the larger box so it's face-face? I'm trying to visualize your description of packing sequence. I think I see it and it avoids the weight of plywood I had in mind. Thanks.
    I don't put the woofers face to face. I don't pack for Armageddon, just some jouncing, being tossed and dropped.

    I understand the question, but with the inner boxes packed as I described I don't think it is a good idea. I think a force that would push the magnet of the lower woofer up into the cone of the upper woofer would make the box look crushed, and it probably would be split somewhere. The same force hitting a magnet housing would probably break a strut. The box would look mistreated, and carrier would be responsible. I could be wrong, of course, so if you are concerned about it use your own ideas. As I said, 1/4" plywood or Masonite is a sensible measure, if combined with some cushioning.

    The described method is good for alnico Altec's. I shipped 1500Al-1's to Iceland this way and got one of those nice notes. Ferrite JBLs I would ship in larger individual boxes and reenforce the sides of the boxes with more of the sheet styrofoam insulation.

    Do what makes sense to you.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    I just remembered. Some people use expanding foam in a plastic bag that shapes itself around the woofer in the box. Then cover the cone with stout cardboard. Easy peasy. I went looking for the stuff once and did not find a reasonable price that didn't require buying by the gross or something.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    There's no way I'd ever ship a woofer without having it bolted to a piece of plywood, and I think it's poor advice to suggest it. The same goes for packing peanuts, that stuff should be banned.

    When I ship them, I bolt them to a piece of 1/2" plywood, face/cone down. Your box should be at least 2" larger than the outside diameter of the woofer. Cut the plywood to fit, round off or clip the corners. Place a piece of 1" sheet foam between the plywood and bottom of box, also cut to fit/fill the entire box in one piece. Then take remaining 1" sheet foam and line the sides of the box. Do 2 opposite sides first, then cut/fit the other 2 so they hold the first 2 in place. Next comes the first piece of sheet foam on top, which rests on the side pieces you just squeezed in and cut out to fit around the magnet. Follow it up with one last piece of foam over everything and seal up the box.

    Do 1 box/woofer. Request that the reconer repacks using the same way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emilime75 View Post
    There's no way I'd ever ship a woofer without having it bolted to a piece of plywood, and I think it's poor advice to suggest it. The same goes for packing peanuts, that stuff should be banned.

    When I ship them, I bolt them to a piece of 1/2" plywood, face/cone down. Your box should be at least 2" larger than the outside diameter of the woofer. Cut the plywood to fit, round off or clip the corners. Place a piece of 1" sheet foam between the plywood and bottom of box, also cut to fit/fill the entire box in one piece. Then take remaining 1" sheet foam and line the sides of the box. Do 2 opposite sides first, then cut/fit the other 2 so they hold the first 2 in place. Next comes the first piece of sheet foam on top, which rests on the side pieces you just squeezed in and cut out to fit around the magnet. Follow it up with one last piece of foam over everything and seal up the box.

    Do 1 box/woofer. Request that the reconer repacks using the same way.

    FWIW, (Speaker) Dave does instruct the OP to place the bagged woofer on top of masonite or 1/4" plywood which in-turn rests on and is cushioned by, 3/4" - 1" styro-foam sheet ( or foam peanuts in place of the sheet foam ).

    It's worth mentioning ( IMHO ) that since this is going to GPA ( with their own particular form of corporate ADHD ) one needs to avoid making the reloading of the boxes too much of a "science project" .


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    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    You might want to ask Bill if he could send you a couple of the shipping boxes he uses to get your woofers there safely. You never know he would probably be more than happy to give you a hand getting them there.

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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    ship woofers separately

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRS View Post
    Dave, would you face the woofers in the larger box so it's face-face? I'm trying to visualize your description of packing sequence. I think I see it and it avoids the weight of plywood I had in mind. Thanks.
    I agree with those who suggest sending the woofers separately.

    In the event that a box is dropped, the heavier it is, the more likely something will get damaged.

    Think of it like this....stand on your kitchen counter-top and jump to the floor, not great for your knees and/or ankles but you'll be fine. Next, stand on your kitchen counter-top with your wife piggy-backed and jump to the floor, good-bye knees and/or ankles...

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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilime75 View Post
    There's no way I'd ever ship a woofer without having it bolted to a piece of plywood, and I think it's poor advice to suggest it. The same goes for packing peanuts, that stuff should be banned.

    When I ship them, I bolt them to a piece of 1/2" plywood, face/cone down. Your box should be at least 2" larger than the outside diameter of the woofer. Cut the plywood to fit, round off or clip the corners. Place a piece of 1" sheet foam between the plywood and bottom of box, also cut to fit/fill the entire box in one piece. Then take remaining 1" sheet foam and line the sides of the box. Do 2 opposite sides first, then cut/fit the other 2 so they hold the first 2 in place. Next comes the first piece of sheet foam on top, which rests on the side pieces you just squeezed in and cut out to fit around the magnet. Follow it up with one last piece of foam over everything and seal up the box.

    Do 1 box/woofer. Request that the reconer repacks using the same way.
    Belts and suspenders:

    No manufacturer uses plywood as far as I know. They ship a lot of speakers; the numbers and experience tell them what's necessary.

    Your method of fitting plywood directly to the inside wall of a single box is a bad idea. Another problem with plywood is that it does not absorb shocks but transmits them to the driver. Fitted as as you describe the plywood can receive external shocks and transmit them directly to the woofer, possibly causing a shifted magnet. Fitted that way it can breech the box with certain kinds of lateral impacts, especially if you are doing nothing to control the mass of the magnet structure directly. That's one reason I do that.

    I've received a used JBL ferrite woofer attached to 1/2" plywood. The plywood and the frame were both broken in the same place. Some mishaps will wreck anything.

    Except in the case of irreplaceable cones plywood is strictly a matter of preference-- that is, whatever it takes to make you feel secure. Half-inch, like 3/4 is overkill. If you find it's necessary, maybe there is something wrong with the rest of your method.

    I could have said I don't like styrofoam peanuts and they should be banned, but why bother, except to parade your sense of yourself. I use them because they come to me in packages, and using them is better than putting them into a landfill. Butcher paper comes to me also, much less often, but I recycle it immediately, because I think it's a fire hazard.

    Other than that, I think if you reread my posts looking for similarities instead of emphasizing differences, I think you will find we agree on a number of things.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speakerdave View Post
    . . . . I shipped 1500Al-1's to Iceland this way and got one of those nice notes. . . .
    Come to think of it, I have to take this back. They came to me double boxed in one box, but I decided it was too much of a box. I shipped them in individual double boxes. I did get the note, though.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts. I now have good feel for what to do. It's little daunting to send such heavy and delicate item across country so I thought to consult with the experienced on this forum. Thanks again.

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    For 15" woofer use oversize box (inside 18-20 x 18-20 x *). Fit same size x 1 or +" high density foam sheet (green stuff) in bottom; place a same size sheet on top with center circular cutout the diameter of frame; place woofer in box face down**. Now add a sheet or two of the same size foam sheet cutout to cushion the magnet structure and secured in place. Top off with another sheet or two and close box. Woofer is now cushioned from shifting in any direction inside box by foam. Mark/label box "FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE" and insure fully.

    *height of woofer + extra" for the foam under and on top.

    ** Put woofer in heavy duty closed plastic bag before placing in box is a good idea also.
    40+ years of sacrifice...and for what???

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