Packing a mosaic for shipment

Mosaics are heavy and must ship in sturdy crates. I build mine from wood, and encase the mosaic inside with insulation foam.

Crate-002

This is how I packed “Mary’s Cheeks” for shipment last week. This is a glass only mosaic. Its dimensions are 45 x 75 x 4 cm and its weight 11 kg. (18 x 30 x 1.5″;  25 lb.)

 

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The crate and its cover

And here are the materials and tools needed :

Materials

  • Luan plywood (0.2″ thick )
  • 1 x 3″ whitewood boards
  • 1/2″ insulation foam
  • Wood glue
  • 3/4″ wood screws – or 1 1/2″ nails

Tools

  • Miter Saw – or hand saw.
  • Cordless drill with screwdriver bit – or simple screwdriver
  • Measuring tape.
  • Box cutter.
  • Hammer

The first thing to do is determine the size of the crate.

As I used 1/2″ insulation material, I added 1″ on each dimension to find the inside dimensions of the crate.

The mosaic being : 30 x 18 x 1.5″
It came up to : 31 x 19 x 2.5″

To figure out the outside dimensions of the crate, you have to add the thickness of the boards you are using.

I used 1 x 3 boards for the sides. Now, as (only in America) a 1 x 3 board measures 3/4 x 2.5″, I added twice the thickness of my boards (2 x 3/4″ = 1.5″) to get the outside dimensions of my crate.

Which were now : 32.5 x 20.5 “

This was also the size of the Luan panels for the bottom and cover of the box.

So I cut:

  • 2 boards 31″ long
  • 2 boards 20.5″ long
  • 2 luan panels of 32.5 x 20.5″

I built the frame from the boards, and used one of the luan panel as its bottom.

I secured the bottom to the frame with wood glue and 3/4″ screws.

 

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Detail of the assembly of the bottom to the frame.

 

I laid one sheet of insulation at the bottom of the box,

 

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1/2 ” Insultation foam

 

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I then laid the mosaic on top of it, protecting its sides with strips of insulation material.

 

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I covered it with a last sheet of insulation foam.

 

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And finally screwed the cover onto the frame with 3/4″ screws.

 

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Et voilà…

The crate itself was 10 lb (4.5 kg) and the whole package weighted 35 lb (16 kg). It shipped by UPS to New York State and arrived in perfect shape to its recipient, who had no problem opening it.

Note :  Because I am presently based in the USA I am working with local materials and provide dimensions in Inches (“). When I work in Europe the principle is the same, standard dimensions of wooden boards are slightly different and you’ll have to adapt if you live in a civilized country using the metric system (Basically, the rest of the world). You can easily convert knowing that 1 inch equals 25.4 mm.

  • Luan plywood is 0.2″ or 5 mm thick,
  • A 1 x 3 board would be 2.5 x 7.5 cm
  • 1/2″ insulation foam would be 12 mm thick

 

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