Packing & Shipping Your Iron Bed
June 6th, 2012

What is the best way to pack and ship your antique iron bed. The first thing to remember is that your bed isn’t a mirror that needs to be bubble wrapped with  Styrofoam peanut’s. It’s thick wall steel tubing and heavy cast iron castings. But……with that being said, there is a degree of fragility to it that needs to be taken into account. Unless you’re shipping your bed with some “white glove” company that “blanket wraps” and personally hand carries it from pick up to delivery……. you’ll need to wrap your bed appropriately to insure it’s well being. The biggest thing to remember is to be sure and “cushion” all the corner castings with foam blocks or any kind of foam rubber you can get your hands on. When damage occurs, during shipping, it’s the castings that usually suffer the most. Why???? Because they are old cast iron that over a 200 year period has become brittle to some degree. Here’s an analogy for you………..

When you’re watching football on TV, do you ever wonder how the players are able to take such violent hit’s and upending falls, without being hurt? It’s because they’re young and in shape. What happens to your old Aunt Betty when she falls down? She probably breaks her hip or damages something that takes forever to heal. It’s because she’s got up n years and her bones are brittle.

Such is the same situation with cast iron. When it’s initially poured in a foundry into a sand cast mold, as all iron beds were back in the 1800’s, it’s as strong as it can be. But over the years the molecular makeup of the castings changes somewhat. Don’t get me wrong…….they’re still incredible strong. But they will tend to break if not padded properly. Freight companies are famous for not treating boxed items that go into trucks, with the greatest respect or care. This is not a blanket statement……… some companies are extremely conscientious. Others seem as though they want to see just how much abuse your package can take.

So wrap all your larger castings with foam blocks and tape to hold the blocks on. Also do this to the “hitches” that your side rails attach to. It’s important these are padded in the event the box is dropped of the back of a truck or falls over.

Now once you’ve wrapped foam blocks on all the castings and “hitches”, how do you possible find a box to fit it. Good question…….actually easy answer……. a mattress box from any moving supply company like UHaul or any “box” company. Good thick cardboard is all you need. Once you get the appropriate box for the appropriate size bed frame, put in as much padding as you can find….everything and anything to keep it secure inside the box.

You may need to “score” the box with a razor blade knife, to be able to bend it in the right place to fit around the bed. Now all you have to do is tape it shut using good strong packing tape. Not the cheap stuff. Use the tape with fibers runing through it for strength.

Once all boxed up you can now call a company that will actually come to your house and pick it up. I use FedEx Economy Ground. They are extremely reliable and have a great network that allows you to track your shipment with them. Remember……a bargain basement shipper gets your bed, bargain basement treatment.

Packing and shipping a bed isn’t “rocket science”, but good common sense will go a long way to insuring your bed will arrive in one piece.

I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website


to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.

I also invite you to take a look at our company  Face Book page for multiple photo albums on Custom Finishes, Canopy Conversions and a comprehensive “Before & After” King Conversions album.

Cathouse Antique Iron Be#B1BE56

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