NANFA-- Fw: Cheap an' Easy

B.G. Granier (
Mon, 3 Feb 2003 13:15:07 -0600

New and improved article.......

Use as you wish.

Cheap an' Easy
pping boxes, that is )

If you're like me, you're always looking for a good and cheap method of
shipping fish, plants and maybe other slimy, assorted critters! Well then,
listen up folks!

The Postal Store is the place for you! visit and look up the
shipping supplies, register, and go shopping for items like Priority Mail
boxes, stamps, shipping labels, insurance forms, packaging tape , etc. Of
course, the stamps aren't free, but most other supplies contained there-in
are! Order 25 of the Priority Mail boxes which measure 7" X 7" X 6", they are
shipped in a "collapsed" form in a larger box, and I'll repeat, that they're
free of charge. You simply form the box and tape the bottom seam and you're
just about ready to go!

Now you'll need some type of insulation to line the inside of the box.
Either use fiberglass batting material or the rigid foam sheets that are sold
at home-improvement centers. I bought a 4' X 8' X 1/2" sheet of "Dow" board
which is an insulating styrofoam that is sandwiched between two layers of a
clear plastic sheathing for about $8. This may sound like a lot of money, but
if cut properly, this one 4' X 8" sheet will be sufficient for quite a few
boxes! The sheets are cut with a simple razor blade or a utility knife into
the following dimensions:

2 pcs. 5" X 6"
2 pcs. 5" X 7"
2 pcs. 7" X 7"

The two 7" X 7" pieces form the bottom and top of the box, while the two
5" X 6" and the two 5" X 7" form the sides of the box.
They'll make a really tight box when inserted into the empty cardboard
container! To prove my point, after I had assembled my test box, I stood on it
with my 200 pound self and couldn't crush the box, even though I tried ! I
even danced an Irish jig on it and still didn't even faze it!

The inside dimensions of the insulated box are 5" X 5" X 6". This means
that smaller plastic bags are required. Since I ship lots of small fish (ie:
Heterandria formosa, Elassoma zonatum, and Dwarf Scarlet Badis ) I only need
small bags! I've been using Kordon Corp.'s "Breathing Bags" in the 4" X 8"
size for years! You simply form a "bubble" of water once the fish are in the
bag, squeezing out all air bubbles and then knot or rubber-band the top of the
bag. In my experience, there is no need to double-bag the animals, only
insulate the bags from touching each other by wrapping each bag in a couple
layers of newspaper before placing into the box.

If you kinda doubt the capability of these bags, I can attest to the fact
that I received a shipment of three-spined sticklebacks across the deserts of
the Southwest via United Parcel Service truck! The fish were enroute for 7
days and only had 2-3 D.O.A. fish from a shipment of a dozen fish. (This
shipment was supposed to go by air, but were somehow mis-routed.)

Now, I'll quit boring you with details and you can go to the USPS site and
order your "Cheap 'an Easy" shipping supplies! Don't forget to visit your
home-improvement center also!
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