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 individually hand carries it from pick up to drop off……. you’ll need to wrap your bed adequately to insure it’s well being. The main 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 damages occur, through shipping, it’s the castings that usually suffer the most. Why???? Because antique iron beds have 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 ridiculous hit’s and upending falls, without being hurt? It’s because they’re youthful and in shape. What happens to your old Aunt Betty when she falls down? She probably breaks her hip or damages something that takes a long time to heal. It’s because she’s gotten up in years and her bones are brittle.
Such is the same situation with cast iron. When it’s initially poured at 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 considerably. Don’t get me wrong…….they’re still incredibly 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 best respect or care. This is not a blanket statement……… some companies are really conscientious. Others seem as though they want to see just how much misuse your boxes can take.
So cover 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 off the back of a truck or falls over.
Now once you’ve secured foam blocks on all the castings and “hitches”, how do you possible find a box to fit it. Great question……. actually easy answer……. a mattress box from any moving supply company like U Haul or any “box” company. Good heavy 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 safe 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 inexpensive stuff. Use the tape with fibers running 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 very reliable and have a great network that makes it possible for you to track your shipment with them. Remember……a discount shipper gives your bed, bargain basement treatment.
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.
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