The tuba is the largest of the low-brass instruments. It is usually made of brass, which is either unfinished, lacquered or electro-plated with nickel, gold or silver. Despite its size, a tuba can be successfully shipped by following proper packing precautions to ensure that it arrives in its destination without any damage and in good working condition.
An improperly packed tuba faces the risk of scratches, dents and broken parts due to impact during transit, not to mention tarnishing when exposed to moisture. Here are some tips on how to properly pack and ship a tuba.
After cleaning the tuba, insert a small inflated beach ball inside the bell to help absorb shock in case of a fall. Air bags and bubble wrap can be used instead of a beach ball.
Wrap the tuba in several layers of large bubble wrap, paying close attention to the bell and the conical tube as these parts are most prone to damage due to impact. Make sure that all parts are covered and well padded. Use tape to secure the wrap in place but only apply tape on the plastic material and not on the instrument itself to avoid damaging the finish.
Get a sturdy cardboard shipping box that is large enough to accommodate the wrapped tuba a provide extra 2-3 inches of space on all side, top and bottom for packing materials. Fill the bottom with a layer of packing peanuts or air-filled packing pillows. To prevent mess, pack peanuts in plastic bags and use them as you would air bags so they don’t scatter all over when the package is opened.
Lay the tuba over the packing materials, in the center of the box. Fill the box to the top with more packing materials, making sure that the tuba remains in the center of the package, away from the sides, top and bottom of the box. Close the box and shake a little to see if there is movement inside. Add more packing materials as necessary to eliminate any movement.
Close the box and seal with heavy-duty packaging tape. Also secure the bottom flaps with tape to prevent the box from bursting open during transit. Address and label the package and take to the post office or shipping company.