ducksauz wrote:One option for the overflowing box problem is to split the box. That only leaves the question of how to do it. East/West? North/South? Just split it and send the forked box to the first person on the list? I'm not saying this is the solution, just tossing out an idea.
I can't say I'm a fan of this, though I can't speak for all. I think a second box isn't a bad idea, but shouldn't be split from this one. Is a larger box an option? The parts I'll be adding are smaller so maybe I can find a use for some of the bigger pieces to help with space once it comes to me. Any other ideas to this issue?
A larger box could be an option, but shipping costs would get more expensive and/or shipping times would get a lot slower. Priority Mail flat rate boxes give a nice balance between cost and shipping time and they're good for up to 70 pounds, so we don't have to worry about shipping cost variability due to weight. Once we go away from the flat rate boxes, shipping costs become variable based on weight.
Let's take a metrics driven approach to deciding what box to use for the 'solderable components' box.
Large Flat Rate Box - two sizes - $15.45
23-11/16" x 11-3/4" x 3" = 835 in^3 ( $0.019/in^3 )
12" x 12" x 5-1/2" = 792 in^3 ( $0.020/in^3 )
Medium Flat Rate Box - two sizes - $11.35
13-5/8" x 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" = 546 in^3 ( $0.021/in^3 )
11" x 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" = 514 in^3 ( $0.022/in^3 )
Small Flat Rate Box - one size - $5.35
8-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8" = 73 in^3 ( $0.073/in^3 )
Having used the small flat rate box to ship items in the past, I can tell you it's pretty darn small. It's also a complete PITA with regard to the way it goes together. While a bunch of solderable components on their own might fit well in a small box, once you account for anti-static bags for sensitive components, then that volume is going to fill up right quick. Also, given the fact that it's greater than 3X the cost per cubic inch, I think that the medium box is a better choice.
I'm for the box split. I think it should go like this:
Solderable Components Box:
* SMD and PTH components
* Small LCDs (e.g. up to 4 x 20 line character displays)
The Large Box:
* Power supplies
* Large LCDs (e.g. that 3x3" LCD you salvaged from a printer )
* Other random salvage items
Or folks can just take more stuff out of the box, but they might not end up using the items as quickly.
Also, since the box is on its way to me, I'm happy to do the split if that's what we decide to do.