how to ship a guitar

Shipping a guitar can be a fraught process at times, as guitars are fragile and irregularly shaped. It is therefore imperative that guitars are packaged correctly before being shipped. Sending a guitar without it being packaged correctly may result in the guitar developing cracks, splinters or some other form of permanent damage.

Preparing a guitar for shipping

Correctly shipping a guitar means making sure that the three parts of a guitar, the box the guitar will be shipped inside of, the guitar case and the guitar itself are packaged right.

Packing a guitar

Secure all movable parts, these include the slide, capo and whammy bar. Anything else that shouldn't be in the case needs to be removed. Doing so will help prevent moving parts from causing damage, such as scratching the guitar when the item is in transit.

disassembled electric guitar

Untie the strings, this is especially important if the guitar is being shipped without a protective case. Loosing the strings will be reduce headstock pressure and mitigate the danger of the strings snapping whilst on the move.

Cover the headstock with protective covering such as bubble wrap and make sure that it's tight, either with sellotape or rubber bands. This will help to protect the tuners.

Place some newspaper or some other form of protection in between the strings and fretboard. The will stop them from hitting each other.

Packing a guitar in a case

Always ship a guitar inside of it's case, shipping one without a case constitutes taking an unnecessary risk. Packing a guitar inside a case will give the guitar extra protection during transport.

Store the guitar inside a strong and durable case and not inside of a gig bag. A gig bag does not offer the level of protection that a guitar case will provide when the item is in motion during shipping.

guitar case

Fill the space inside the guitar case - between the guitar itself and the case with material such as bubble wrap or inflatable air cushioning, doing do will minimise the chances of damage. Extra care should be taken to cover the guitar neck as this part of a guitar can be damaged with ease when the guitar is on the move. After the guitar has been packed it should be shaken a little. If you hear that the guitar is still moving around stuff the case with more filler.

Packing The Guitar Case

Use a robust and firm box to pack the guitar case. Once placed, fill in the gaps between the guitar case and the box with protective filler such as air cushioning or bubble wrap. Try to make sure that the guitar case fits snugly. Shake the case and if you hear that the case is moving around add more protection. Polyethylene foam cut into blocks or planks is a ideal solution for this.

taping box

Once you have confirmed that there is no more noise coming from the box when shaken - close and seal the box with a high quality packaging tape and then your guitar is ready to be shipped!


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written by shahzad.akram

27th July 2020

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