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Doctor Valve
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Brass Instrument Specialist
Expert Service for
Trumpets, Cornets, and Flugelhorns
Lemont, Illinois
708-482-8153

Shipping a Trumpet, Cornet, or Flugelhorn

With few and very rare exceptions, the safest (as well as less expensive) way to ship your trumpet, cornet, or flugelhorn is generously cushioned in a separate box, and NOT in a case. (In almost all instances, if your horn arrives at the Doctor Valve shop in a case, it will be shipped back to you separately.) A carefully prepared instrument, cushioned in a 5 to 6 layer bubblewrap pillow and nestled TIGHTLY in a doublewalled box will survive most anything.

The "old" packing directions have been relocated to a separate dial-up friendly page and we now have a NEW slideshow page with better pictures and a special guest packing assistant. Download size is about 600KB, approximately 1.5 minutes on dial-up, less than 20 seconds on broadband.  Please see either (or both) of those pages for some detailed pictures and instructions on how to pack your trumpet for safe shipping.

Necessary Materials

  • A double-walled box, approximately 24" x 8" x 12" for trumpets
    24" x 12" x 12" for flugelhorns
  • 25 to 30 ft of 12" wide 1" bubble (large bubble) bubblewrap
  • for flugels, 2 bubblewrap "pillows" and 2 bubblewrap "cushions" for either side of the box
  • 2 twister-ties, pipe-cleaners, or poly bands
  • tape

Detailed Instructions - With Pictures

For instructions plus pictures, you may see the "old" directions (with Steve wrapping a trumpet) on the dial-up friendly page or the new slick presentation with our "guest packing assistant" on the broadband slideshow page.  To open either of these in a separate window, click the appropriate button below.

       

Shipping Charges

The invoiced shipping charges on services which include instrument refinishing (replates or instrument overhauls) is $90.00. This consists of insured shipping of your instrument to and from the platers as well as insured Express Mail return shipping of your horn to you.

The invoiced shipping charges on services which include valve plating (valve overhauls or valve restorations) is $65.00. This consists of insured shipping of the valves to and from the platers as well as insured Express Mail return shipping of your instrument to you.

The invoiced shipping charges on services for an instrument which does NOT require a trip to the platers is $55.00 for insured Express Mail return shipping to you.

If your case needs to be sent back to you separately, the invoiced shipping charges will be $20 to $35 for Priority Mail, depending on distance.

I enjoy meeting my clients, so if you live near Chicago, or your work or travels bring you to the Chicago area, you are welcome to save yourself the delivery and/or return shipping charges. Please email or phone first if you plan to deliver and/or pick-up your instrument at the shop.
 

NEW! Doctor Valve Safe Shipping Kit
In an effort to help my clients pack their instruments in the best possible way, I have a shipping kit available.

The worst packaging jobs I've seen were the most expensive for my clients. While the "pack and ship" retail outlets may do a fine job with some items, it seems many of these folks don't have a clue about how to safely pack a trumpet.

To address this issue, I am offering the "Doctor Valve Safe Shipping Kit." The kit for a trumpet or cornet is $20 plus actual Priority shipping ($8-$25), for flugelhorns it is $24 + actual Priority shipping ($8-$25.) The kit has everything you need to safely ship your trumpet, cornet, or flugelhorn, and is made up of:

  • extra-strength double-wall box ($8-10 value)
      the trumpet box is 24" x 8" x 12", the flugel box is 24" x 12" x 12"
  • 25-30 feet of 12 inch wide large-bubble bubblewrap ($8-10 value)
  • two poly-bands for securing slides
  • easy-to-follow instructions are HERE
  • flugel shipping kits also include 2 bubblewrap "pillows" for the top and bottom and 2 bubblewrap "cushions" for the box.
  • Priority Mail shipping to your location is additional($8 to $24 depending on distance)

At your local post office, to ship the horn to Lemont, it will cost $30-$50 for the total of the distance based Express mailing fee, and insurance, depending on the distance and dollar amount of insurance.


To purchase a trumpet shipping kit, please call the office at 708.482.8153, we'll calculate the postage, and you may pay by credit card, paypal, or mail a check.

Shipping your horn to the shop

I recommend shipping via Insured Express Mail.

If getting to your local post office isn't convenient, good alternatives are Insured UPS* Second Day Air or Insured FedEx. I haven't had a problem with any of these specific shipping methods, however, be sure to insure your horn for its full value.
 
* I do NOT recommend shipping your horn via regular ground UPS (with other packages which can weigh up to 150 pounds!) The cost savings do NOT outweigh the increased possibilty of an injured horn.

Doctor Valve
479 5th Street, Lemont IL 60439-4115
voice: 708-482-8153, or
 

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