Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sturdy shipping tube for art

Since my last post, I've moved to Cambridge, MA. The movers damaged two "ink on parchment" (thangkas) I had, and the only repair person I could find is in New York City (btw, it's Alan Farancz Painting Conservation Studio and they do great work). I couldn't find a decent crate to ship the pieces in, and I also couldn't find a larger diameter shipping tube (so the art wouldn't be rolled too tightly), so I made my own:

I made this:
  1. Start with two foot section of six inch pvc pipe
  2. Get a 6" pvc pipe cap, use hacksaw to reduce the depth a bit, just to save a bit of weight and make it less lopsided-feeling. Glue pipe cap on pipe with pvc cement.
  3. Cut three pieces of cardboard circles to form cap at other end. I used wood glue to stick them to each other offset by ~60 degrees so that they support each other.
On the inside, I added foam and used some stiff paper to fill the middle and provide structure so that thangkas didn't collapse on themselves. I rolled everything up using a few layers of thin bubble wrap. Total cost was << $50. The tube itself was $16. Hopefully this is helpful to anyone else who is trying to figure out how to make a sturdy shipping tube.


  1. Suoer random; this is a question about your water bottle post from way back when. Do you still use the Duran bottle? Has it held up? Any updated recos? Thanks!

  2. The Duran bottle has been great. Recently I dropped my second one of them, which broke, and I moved, so decided to use steel for a while till things settle down. There is something comforting about steel, knowing you can bang it against anything and the worst it'll do is get a dent. I do want to go back to glass at some point.