I have been working with a few customers by mail lately and I figured a number of other musicians do the same, especially those who don’t live near a shop. I think it is important to support your local bowmaker but a qualified technician isn’t always nearby or available. The following is basically the same simple instructions for packaging and shipping a bow that I give my customers. Always call the shop you are working with before shipping a bow. It’s important to go over packaging and shipping instructions with the shop you are working with, to discuss and schedule the services to be completed, and so the shop knows when to expect the shipment.
It is important to use an adequate bow case or PVC tube packed in a 36” x 6” x 6” rectangular double corrugated box or a 3” x 36” triangular box. Avoid using a tubular container of any type to ship a bow; triangular and oblong containers cannot roll and are therefore much safer on conveyors and roller ramps.
- Loosen the hair of the bow prior to packing.
- Wrap the bow in tissue paper and a thin layer of bubble wrap. The bow should be snug in the bow case or tube using additional small blocks of foam at the end to prevent shifting during shipment.
- Put your name and contact info on the bow case or tube.
- If using a bow case, place a strong rubber band around each end of the bow case for extra security. If you are using a PVC tube, tape the end caps with packing tape.
- Completely wrap the bow case or tube in a layer of bubble wrap and center the case amidst the packing material inside the carton. Avoid having the bow case too close to the sides of the carton. Packing peanuts can be used to take up any additional space. There should be no air space, and everything should be tight in the box.
- Secure the carton lids with plastic packaging tape. Please do not use paper, masking, scotch, or duct tape as these do not secure the package adequately.
If you have a valuable bow, confirm with your insurance company that they offer coverage during shipping. No matter what shipping carrier you use, there is roughly a 1% chance of a package getting lost or damaged in transit. You could add a declared value to the package, and may want to discuss your shipping options with the shipping company.
Homemade PVC Bow Tube
32” of 2” Schedule 40 PVC Tubing
2” PVC End Cap (x2)
If you are in need of services by mail and don’t have a bow case, I can provide a PVC tube and all packing materials to any continental US state for my customers.