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I have had several requests such as what is the best way to pack mandolins safely. Below I share my packing method for what its worth. I have currently posted over 600 instruments, to all corners of the world, and have very little damage. 

When posting within or from Great Britain, I can offer some advice. Pack light, use plenty of bubble wrap, and go for small packet rate.


   First, select a box that is ideally wide enough, but not quite long enough to fit the instrument.

   You need to re-crease the corners at one end, thus making the end narrower, a little wider than the head, and the box longer, long enough for the instrument and then a bit.

   Trim bottom flaps to fit and tape up. Overlap the two bottom flaps for greater solidity if required.

The instrument should sit in the bottom with some space (5-10 cms) all round. (left)

   Next make the centre section to fit at the base of the neck. Allow feet to stick on the bottom and at the sides. (right)

   Tape in securely. This will help make the box more rigid longitudinally, and hold the mandolin in the centre of the box.

   Cut a slot in the centre-piece to take the neck. I often use a top piece to slot on top of this centre section, to keep packing around the body.

   Cut down the sides of the box, allowing enough room for packing below and above the mandolin. )I usually find 25cms deep is about right) Don't  cut the old top flaps off yet.


   Wrap the mandolin in at least 2 layers of bubble wrap. Next you will need flattish pieces of polystyrene. These will be placed under and over the instrument, either side, and at the tail and head.

   These are the high-impact protection. Sometimes I tape them to the box, sometimes to the instrument.

   Next, pack around the instrument to stop it moving around, and increase the structural integrity of the box. I use either crumpled newspaper, polystyrene pieces, plastic air-sacks, or a combination. You can fill the whole box, or just the body section.

     Overlap the two lid sections for greater solidity if required.

The corners are most vulnerable, you can re-enforce these if you like.


   Finally tape up the box with parcel tape, leaving no raw or cut edges. Almost all mandolins I can now pack up in a package of less than 2kgs, though this does take me about an hour.

Write the address on the box, not on a stick on label, which can get scraped off. Also write your own senders address somewhere in case of problems or non-delivery. The service used and level of insurance, will depend on the value of the instrument.