Friday, August 02, 2013

AWFS Show musing - Part 3 - Who needs a box?

A few weeks ago, one of my students made a cool little table - it was the first piece of furniture that she's ever built! Can you tell she's pretty proud of it?  She lives out of state, and couldn't transport the table home, so she asked if I'd find a box and ship it home for her.

Which brings me to Part Three of my AWFS coverage - and this was one thing that really impressed me. As I was walking down one of the aisles at the show, I passed this booth. 


The booth was filled with this giant machine, on one end - a giant stack of cardboard fed into the machine. Sort of like one of the old dot-matrix printers.

The salesmen were really friendly - and knowledgeable - and explained that the machine made boxes - as advertised - on demand. 

Punch in the size and configuration of the box, and in a matter of seconds - the box was cut, scored, and delivered out of the other side of the machine.  Yes, seconds!

Here are my new buddies, entering the size of my box into the computer.

 Now they're taping the box together for me. 

And - here's the box back at my shop. In this case, I chose a telescoping two-part box, perfect for shipping her table. (They also made me a box that opened horizontally - and gave that one, to me, too - so that I could choose between the two of them.)

Someone at my shop suggested lining the bottom with a thick layer of foam, with holes punched into the piece to hold the legs in place. (Great idea, Kris!) I actually used a double layer of foam, it worked perfectly!

Ready to ship!

The local FedEx Shipping Center is just minutes from the school, so it was easy to drop the box off. When I brought the box into them - the clerk said - Wow, what a cool looking box!

Which begs the question - why aren't one of these Box on Demand machines in every single FedEx store? Yes, they're expensive, but damn - the concept is great, and the end result is a terrific product. I learned that there are other box making machines like this out there, but after checking out the competition at the AWFS show, I think this company has the superior machine. And it certainly has the best staff for demonstrating their product. (The staff at the other box maker's booth were douches, but that's probably best saved for another blog post.)

Thanks to Andy, Steve V and staff for helping me out - and good luck with your very cool machine. 

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