With printing complete, I began packing up Ted Greenwald’s Con Dot to ship to bookbinder-poet extraordinaire CJ Martin up in Colorado Springs from Austin, when I realized that I’ve always worked with local bookbinders. I was nervous that they would be damaged, or lost, and even considered driving them up there myself, but instead of renting a car, I asked Bradley Hutchinson for a few tips on packing and shipping printed sheets. I didn’t follow his method to the letter, as I would have had to order additional supplies from Uline, but here’s my semi-neurotic variation based on the materials I had in the workshop.
1. After confirming that the ink has dried to your satisfaction, carefully wrap and label the sheets in butcher paper.
2. Cut down corrugated cardboard so it hangs over the edge of the wrapped printed sheets approximately 2.5 inches on all four sides. In this case, I put about 120 sheets in bundles of three between cardboard.
4. Place the bundle inside a sturdy box that fits nice and snug, no wiggles whatsoever.
5. Put that box inside a larger, sturdier box and fill the void between them with bubble wrap, again, make sure it is tight and wiggle free. If I had more time, I would have bought slightly larger boxes and outer cartons, but I think that what I used should be sufficient. I threw in an extra layer of cardboard just to be on the safe side. Another step would have been wrapping the inner carton with plastic to keep the rain away, but I didn’t. Avoid using newspaper because the ink will get on the recipient’s hands and may accidentally get on your printed sheets, and if it does get wet or damp, you’ll have a mess on your hands. Again, Uline is a great place to order shipping supplies in general, but if you want to be eco-friendly and save a few bucks, check the classifieds periodically for clean moving supplies that are in good condition and start building a stockpile. And these, my friends, are my thoughts on cardboard and bubble wrap for the day.