Alex Smith Repair Shop
What is the Best Way to Ship the Shopsmith Headstock ?
To insure that your shopsmith head stock is safe during shipment, I have developed this guide to help you achieve that. You have several options when it comes to shipping the head stock to me for repair:
Note 1: Before you ship it, remember to remove the quill handle and any accessories such as drill chucks, lathe centers, arbors etc. See a typical picture of headstock ready for shipping.
Note 2: For an easy way to remove the shopsmith headstock click here
A- The UPS/FedEx store (let them do it):
Most of my customers ship it using the UPS or FedEx store where they use double box with enough fillers of some kind to make sure that the head stock is protected and more important that it is not going to move inside the box during shipment. This by far the fastest option. The UPS/FedEx store people will do all the work for you including shipping. The cost average about $20-$30 for the service plus the shipping cost.
Alert 2020 Update: Due to the current situation we have found some shipping stores are charging way more. So shop around!
B- Do it yourself using the double boxed method:
This is the best way to ship the headstock and save some money. Get two heavy duty boxes at the local Lowe’s. Get the blue medium size Heavy Duty 18 X 18 X 16 and the green large size like 24 X 18 X 18. Wrap the head stock with plastic air bubble which you can find at at Lowe’s also. Place the head stock into the medium size box and fill the box with old news paper so that the head stock don’t move. Close the box and place it inside the large box and fill any empty space with old news papers etc. Now you can ship the box using UPS or Fedex ground. The cost for the boxes is about $7 and your time. I think you can do it and save some money. This is not rocket science. I should know!
C- We use Instapak for shipping the headstock back to you:
After years of testing different options for shipping the headstock back in a safe and cost effective way, I selected the Instapak shipping solution. Instapak® foam has unique cushioning properties that protect the headstock by holding it firmly in place during shipping.
Below is a description and photos of how we package and ship the headstock back to you:
We start by warping the headstock with shrink wrap to keep all the parts together. Notice that we have placed a 1/4″ thick 2″ X 14″ strip of wood on top of the headstock to protect it from any damaged during shipping.
Using a heavy duty double wall box size 18″x 18″x 16″ we place a dense foam in the base of the box where the headstock will sit. If you are going to do it the same way, make sure the box is the heavy duty type double wall as shown in the picture. You can get the box from Lowe’s or many shipping and packaging places. Even lows and Home depot.
The headstock is placed upright inside the box with the speed dial facing forward and it is leaning backward a little bit.
Two instapak bags get placed in front and in the back of the headstock. The instapak expand to form a mold around the headstock protecting it and holding it in place.
We then fill any void left in the box that the instapak foam did not fill with additional filling materials like shipping paper or air bubble. Then the box is sealed and the fedex or the UPS label is placed on the box. Now the box is ready for shipping back to you.