Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

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wombosi
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Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by wombosi » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:21 pm

I'm curious how risky it is to ship a guitar across the US, or from western CA to the US, in the middle of winter?
I imagine the guitar could be essentially outside (unconditioned space) for the better part of a week.
Seems like a scary thing to contemplate shipping even locally when warm outside!

Thanks.

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robin loops
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Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by robin loops » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:31 pm

Depends on how you ship it. Some methods have climate controlled trucks but don't know if you pay a lot for that.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

albert-canuck
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Location: Fisher Branch, Manitoba

Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by albert-canuck » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:05 pm

I have a flamenco guitar coming from California to Manitoba, Canada by USPS and Canada Post. When it arrives (hopefully next week) I am going to have to let it not only warm up before I open the box but also let it acclimate to the new lower humidity. My 10 string Ramirez classical guitar (also from California) had a wavy top behind the bridge for a couple weeks before it evened out on it's own. It is completely flat now with no issues.
2004 Luis Sevillano Flamenco
1979 Ramirez 1a 10 String
1992 Paulino Berbabe M50
1968 Taurus model 56
2005 Dan Lankford 8 Course Renaissance Lute
2008 000 Bertoncini
2005 Breedlove C25 Northwest Classic
old German Lute Guitar

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:34 pm

wombosi wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:21 pm
I'm curious how risky it is to ship a guitar across the US, or from western CA to the US, in the middle of winter?
I imagine the guitar could be essentially outside (unconditioned space) for the better part of a week.
Seems like a scary thing to contemplate shipping even locally when warm outside!

Thanks.
If it will during the shipping stay in a cold weather with low humidity, it's a big risk to do it. Maybe best to ask some reputable shops in the US or the maker for advice.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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bear
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Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by bear » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:23 pm

Guitars are shipped in all climates at all times of year by small mom and pop retailers and larger music instrument dealers and manufacturers. I prefer to be cautious, spring is nice, so is overnight or second day.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Giustina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

MaritimeGuitarist
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Location: Saint John, NB

Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by MaritimeGuitarist » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:33 pm

Years ago, when I was young and foolish, I purchased a classical guitar (around $1500 US dollars--over $2000 CDN) in the middle of January from a reputable seller from California on e - b a y. I was living in Northern Ontario at the time. When the guitar arrived, I immediately noticed spider web cracking all over the finish--every inch of it. Though I told myself I could live with this, it wasn't long before the guitar developed a major crack all the way from the top to the bottom of the rosewood back of the guitar. Repair estimates from a local luthier were upwards of $400 as the crack was wide enough that he would have insert an additional piece of rosewood to fix it.

I can't say for sure that these problems were due to the weather or poor construction (the guitar was built by an fairly unknown luthier), but I have never had a guitar shipped to me in the winter again. Nowadays, I would never buy a guitar without being able to try it first anyways.

albert-canuck
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Location: Fisher Branch, Manitoba

Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by albert-canuck » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:01 am

I just got my Flamenco guitar and as you describe it too has finish checking in it. I contacted the seller in California and he admitted that it had a little bit of checking but not bad before he sent it. I suspect the cold temperature here in Canada didn't help it any, especially the 10 day wait in customs.

The checking isn't very noticeable unless the guitar is viewed at an angle in bright light from about 1 foot away. I just wish it wasn't there as the guitar looks essentially new otherwise. Hopefully no cracks develop but all is fine so far.

I have had other guitars shipped in the winter with no problem but I won't be taking a chance like this again. It will be summer time for shipping if I buy another and probably from Canada to avoid the customs frustration.
2004 Luis Sevillano Flamenco
1979 Ramirez 1a 10 String
1992 Paulino Berbabe M50
1968 Taurus model 56
2005 Dan Lankford 8 Course Renaissance Lute
2008 000 Bertoncini
2005 Breedlove C25 Northwest Classic
old German Lute Guitar

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:22 pm

albert-canuck wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:01 am
I just got my Flamenco guitar and as you describe it too has finish checking in it. I contacted the seller in California and he admitted that it had a little bit of checking but not bad before he sent it. I suspect the cold temperature here in Canada didn't help it any, especially the 10 day wait in customs.

The checking isn't very noticeable unless the guitar is viewed at an angle in bright light from about 1 foot away. I just wish it wasn't there as the guitar looks essentially new otherwise. Hopefully no cracks develop but all is fine so far.

I have had other guitars shipped in the winter with no problem but I won't be taking a chance like this again. It will be summer time for shipping if I buy another and probably from Canada to avoid the customs frustration.
Hi Albert, good to hear that it arrived just fine. You mentioned the 10 days in custom and it reminded me of my own experience. Out of curiosity, I'd like to ask how much you had to pay to for customs?

My guitar had to stay in custom warehouse for about 2 weeks where the humidity was about 30%. How humid is your city now?
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

albert-canuck
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Location: Fisher Branch, Manitoba

Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by albert-canuck » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:09 am

Luckily I did not have to pay duty as the guitar was made in Mexico and Canada still has a NAFTA agreement (darn Trump). I did have to pay $170 in sales tax and an extra $30 for a handling fee to Canada Post who I already paid $150 for shipping from the U.S.

Relative humidity outside right now is 81% but the temperature is -14 C so it is still dry. Inside it is 33% and 21 C which is also dry but I haven't seen any ill effects on the guitars. No protruding fret ends or changes to the tops. My flamenco guitar has very low action (like 2 mm for the first string on the 12th fret) and there is no buzzing or intonation problems.
2004 Luis Sevillano Flamenco
1979 Ramirez 1a 10 String
1992 Paulino Berbabe M50
1968 Taurus model 56
2005 Dan Lankford 8 Course Renaissance Lute
2008 000 Bertoncini
2005 Breedlove C25 Northwest Classic
old German Lute Guitar

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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:14 pm

albert-canuck wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:09 am


Relative humidity outside right now is 81% but the temperature is -14 C so it is still dry. Inside it is 33% and 21 C which is also dry but I haven't seen any ill effects on the guitars. No protruding fret ends or changes to the tops. My flamenco guitar has very low action (like 2 mm for the first string on the 12th fret) and there is no buzzing or intonation problems.
Great!
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

MaritimeGuitarist
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Location: Saint John, NB

Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by MaritimeGuitarist » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:51 am

Really glad to hear that your guitar made it to you relatively unharmed! My fingers are crossed that your guitar lives a long and crack-free life.

albert-canuck
Posts: 72
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:13 am
Location: Fisher Branch, Manitoba

Re: Shipping guitars across country in winter - risky?

Post by albert-canuck » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:36 am

Thanks!
2004 Luis Sevillano Flamenco
1979 Ramirez 1a 10 String
1992 Paulino Berbabe M50
1968 Taurus model 56
2005 Dan Lankford 8 Course Renaissance Lute
2008 000 Bertoncini
2005 Breedlove C25 Northwest Classic
old German Lute Guitar

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