Here is my method for packing a portable typewriter. I realize many of you simply do not ship enough to warrant such packing methods/materials but the principle is the same. Large Air Paks pop, hard foam transmits vibration and newspaper flattens out(unless balled up tight). Foam nuts, even when they crumble, will continue to provide protection.
In this example I am using an LC Smith Corona Four. Even typewriters that lock into the base can/will come loose during shipping if not properly packed. Major cosmetic and mechanical damage can/will occur! I've received severely damaged typewriters of every brand and it's usually due to a lack of proper packing. Ebay sellers are the worst offenders so be sure to send them to this page and confirm they will pack properly before you bid/buy.
1. Move both margins to the center position. This will "lock" the carriage from moving left to right during shipping. Some models have a carriage lock and it should always be engaged during shipping although it may unlock during shipping if dropped. I use clean paper towel to protect the front and rear decals.
2. Use clean paper towel inside the type basket so the type bars don't fly around, jam or get damaged. I then cover the entire top of the typewriter with paper towel to protect the finish. Then cover with a folded sheet of 1/2" bubble wrap. Using plastic wrap will also hold the typewriter in place but is a pain for the customer to remove and can damage the decals. Don't "mummify" the typewriter.
3. There should be enough bubble wrap inside the case so that a little pressure has to be applied to close and latch the case. This will insure the typewriter can't move at all during shipping and is a very important step in packing!
4. Now it's time to wrap the case in 1/2" bubble. I like to use a 2-3" layer of clean bubble and secure it with tape across the middle as well on each end. This will create thick corner pads that will help keep the typewriter centered inside the box.
5. I'm using a 20" x 20" x 16" double walled box. When taping the box it is very important to tape all the flaps. This will make the top and bottom stronger and less likely to pop open during shipping. I use 3" filament tape with a 275 lb. shear rating. It's expensive but insures the box will remain sealed regardless of the way it's handled.
6. Now here is a little trick that can really help, especially with a heavy typewriter! I put about 3" of foam nuts in the bottom of the box. I then place a 20" x 20" (or size appropriate) cardboard divider on top of the foam nuts. This will give a spring like cushion and prevent the typewriter from settling to the bottom of the box during shipping. The worst thing you can do is have the typewriter sitting on the bottom of the box.
7. It's now time to fill the void with foam nuts. I use enough so that pressure has to be applied to close the flaps. Tap the inside walls of the box to insure the foam nuts have settled nice and tight prior to sealing the box. This is another important step!
8. Seal the inner flaps and the outer flaps making sure they overlap the bottom tape. I like to use 3" x 5" "Delicate Instruments" stickers and have gotten far better handling with them than with standard "Fragile" stickers. Use one on top over the tape seam(to show if the box has been opened prior to delivery)and one on all four sides. Again, they are double the expense of "Fragile" stickers, but I feel they are worth it.
Now your typewriter is ready to be shipped and you can rest easy knowing it will arrive in good condition. I've been using this same technique since 2006 and it's a proven system. It takes 45+ minutes to pack one but only takes a few minutes for the customer to open it. I spare no expense in making sure each typewriter I sell is packaged with precision, thought and care! You should too ;-)