Japan Middleman-Stage One Packing Example... LONG POST!!


Senior Member
May 11, 2008
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Udonitron asked to see our packing procedure so here it is.

Each guitar is custom packed depending on several factors including: where it going, it's shape, it weight, whether or not it has a hard case and yes, how much it costs.

Below is what I call "Stage One" packing and is what a typical mid cost Les Paul would get. The guitar being packed below is an Ibanez AM200 (the case is a mite bit bigger than a normal LP case but not much). Stage One packing is a new, single, heavy duty box with abut 240 sq/ft of bubble wrap and close to one full roll of tape. More than enough protection and we have never had guitar packed this way arrive damaged. Maybe 2000 or so sent like this. All internationally.

Please notice the end product is no longer shaped like the box it started out as. We morph the box at the top to give a much larger protective area around the vulnerable headstock area. This virtually eliminate any chance of a "whiplash" break and also stiffens what would otherwise be somewhat vulnerable flat front and back.

Oh, yeah, I follow what I like to call the "pad, lillypad, lillypad, pad" technique and this is the "flower head" variation.

OK..on to the pics:

The case.

A little extra headstock support. Almost certainly not needed but we do it anyway. Oh, I forgot to snap a pic
of the body but if I had, you would see a small bit of bubble wrap to keep the guitar from sliding around at all in the case.

Case wrapped in bubble wrap. 5-10 layers.

Box assembled.

The pad. This about an 8x4ft piece, folded twice then over and over so it is about 24 layers thick. This is pushed to the bottom of the box.

Pushed to the bottom.

Lillypad. Another 8ft piece folded twice. This will sit on the top of the empty box and the guitar will be pushed into the box.

guitar going in

In some more. Notice the lilly pad filling in the extra space, thus keeping the case
snug in the middle.

Almost there

In all the way. Padding added on either side to keep the case squarely in the center.

This is another 8x4ft lillypad. It is modified to hang down the front and back of the case. No need to cushion the sides any more at this point.

Long lillypad pushed down along the sides. Notice the box beginning to bend out at the center. This is what we want.

Another lilly pad, shorter this time.

That same pad folded up and in. Again, no need to worry about the sides.

Finally an 8x4ft pad.

Pad in place and doubled up. At least 30 layers of bubble wrap here on the top. Notice the center of the box is bulging out now.

Some custom cutting make the box fit the padding.

Some tape.

Sides slit down a bit to form the "petals" of the "flower head". Petals are taped down changing the shape and integrity of the top of the box. No chance of whiplash break.

Seen from the top.Imagine that tiny little headstock encased in all that protective goodness!!

Complete. Notice the EMS label is affixed and then taped on for good measure.

For the record this weighed 9.3 kilos when finished though I forgot to weigh the case/guitar beforehand so take that for what it is worth.

Also,this is not a one off for show. This is how we ALWAYS do it.

There is a "Stage Two" which is basically the double boxed variation. We can do this on request but keep in mind that it will add 2000 yen to the packing fee and it will add to the shipping cost. In most cases it is plain overkill.

If the guitar is super expensive or oddly shaped it might get Stage Two for free.

Basic rule of thumb is we will never send a guitar out underpacked.


Psychedelic Stoner Rock
Aug 26, 2009
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Yowza that Explorer must cost a dime or two to ship!
It looks like you are shipping a small dining table haha.
Cheers man

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