Update to Shipping Suggestions for Booksellers

by Craig Stark

#114, 11 February 2008

Sealing the Multi-D Box with Hot Glue

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Several months ago I recommended an ingenious box manufactured by Packaging Control Corporation - the Multi-D.

Everybody I know who's tried these things loves them. The process of packaging books with them is exceptionally fast, they provide significant protection against damage, they freeze books in place, three available sizes accommodate most any size and thickness of book, and they're reasonably priced. Who could ask for more?

Well, maybe one little thing. If you use tape to seal them, you may have experienced occasional problems with them popping open en route to their destinations. The likelihood of this happening seems greater with heavy and/or thicker books because gaps open up if the packages are lifted by the edges:

The additional stress this creates on the taped seam can be enough to break the seal, and who wants the contents to be exposed even if it doesn't break? This can be overcome to some extent by wrapping additional tape vertically around and near each end or by wrapping tape horizontally across the inset ends of the package, but I'm not fond of either solution - the former because it doesn't close the gaps much and the latter because the tape at the ends spans an open cavity and can be easily broken. Not to mention that tape is expensive and, in this case, time-consuming to apply.

Anyway, I started thinking about other possibilities, sort of left it as a question in my mind, and one day last week when I was packaging some books, I opened the door to a storage cabinet to pull something out and saw my hot glue gun lying inside. Bingo. Given that cartons manufactured in industrial contexts are often sealed with hot glue, it seemed at least like a good possibility - and some experimentation was definitely in order.

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Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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