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Thread: How its Packed and HOW TO UNPACK - Hancock and Moore

  1. #1
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    Default How its Packed and HOW TO UNPACK - Hancock and Moore

    One of the reasons that Hancock and Moore always arrives in great condition is the way they pack their furniture. Here's a typical sofa pack that came in early this week. I thought I would document the unpacking procedure so you can see for yourself. This is the correct way to unpack one of these, and I've experimented with many methods over the past several years.

    Notice my tools I use. Yes, that's a cordless Sawzall to cut the crating boards!...and a cordless driver using a # 2 square drive bit. The only other thing needed is a box cutter. NOTE: The Sawzall is rarely needed, only on pieces where the stretcher is incorporated into the crating. IF YOUR PIECE HAS NO STRETCHER THEN SKIP TO POST # 4

    Notice that this particular piece was handled roughly by the freight company. The box at the lower edges is shredded, but the wood crating has fully protected the sofa.

    Steps to unpack:

    1) Flip box upside-down so the exposed base is UP.

    2) Cut the four box corners vertically to collapse the box, easing the sofa onto its back. This has to be done to take the weight of the sofa off the screws. Done right, the sofa sinks slowly and gently and comes to rest on its top.

    3) Cut around the wood frame horizontally and splay the box out.

    4) Remove the wood screws that hold the crate frame to the sofa. These are # 2 Square Drive screws, they are NOT a Phillips head screw.

    5) Use Sawzall to cut the cross members inside the stretcher base if your sofa has that.

    6) Remove the crating frame.

    7) Remove the packing material from the exposed wood and inspect the wood.

    8) Flip the sofa right side up, inspect. Remove all loose staples in the cardboard before making the flip to upright. DO NOT Pivot the sofa "Up" unless you have furniture pads underneath it or keep it on the cardboard, you may mark the leather.
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    Last edited by drcollie; 04-17-2023 at 08:51 AM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  2. #2
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    more photos
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    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  3. #3
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    I just had a customer and one of our forum members take delivery of his H&M Sectional via HDS and it was scuffed / lightly damaged because the delivery service unscrewed the sofa while the box was standing on end. You can't let them do that - because the piece 'falls' in the box when that happens. Also, the last screw holding that 150 lb piece will not be backed all the way out when the sofa falls, so it can tear things, including the leather, when that happens.

    I'm going to make this thread a 'sticky' to keep it at the top of the forum. When your H&M arrives in the box - no matter whom you bought your piece from or what delivery service brings it - refer back to these instructions. I've personally un-boxed several hundred H&M pieces. This is the RIGHT way to do it, and the only way to make sure it comes out of the shipping crate damage-free. You are within your rights as the customer to insist that the delivery company use this method of unpacking. They may moan and groan a little, but I would recommend you stand your ground and make sure they do it as in the steps above.

    Note that the Sawzall is not used for all pieces, usually only ones that have a stretcher-base. However a cordless driver to back the screws out, preferably with a #2 Square Drive bit is a must-have.
    Last edited by drcollie; 02-05-2019 at 05:20 PM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How its Packed - Hancock and Moore

    An update to this thread. I have unpacked thousands of Hancock and Moore sofas over the decades, and this is still the best way to do it. By using this method, there is no stress placed on the sofa itself and its a bit unorthodox, so should you ever take delivery of one and unpack it yourself, this is the best way to unpack without damaging your new piece.

    ToolsNeeded: Box Cutter, Cordless Drill, # 2 Square Drive Bit (you can buy this for $ 1 at Home Depot)

    The box may come to you on its end, like this:

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    Ease the box down, with the open end of the box facing the sky. Don't drop the box, if you do the packing frame will shatter. Ease it down gently. Once its on the ground, take your cutter and cut all around the box below the dotted line on all four sides. Pay attention to make sure your blade is not over-penetrating the box and contacting the leather on the sofa.

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    One you have it cut horizontally all the way around, make eight vertical cuts (two on each side of the corner) from top to bottom.

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    Now, splay the cardboard sides and ends you just cut. As you push them out, the sofa will slowly settle onto the top of the back. It will be fine like that, even if the top is exposed wood. It will go down very softly and look like this:

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    Now unscrew the # 2 square drive screws from the packing frame, use of a cordless screwdriver makes it much easier. If you don't have a # 2 square drive bit, a # 2 Phillips *may* work if you are careful and go very slowly on backout, however you are likely to either strip the head or break the screw with a Phillips bit. When all the screws are out (about 14 to 20) then remove the packing frame and set aside. Lift the frame straight up and do not drag it across the legs of the sofa.

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    Scroll to the next post as I can only attach five photos per post
    Last edited by drcollie; 03-25-2020 at 11:54 AM.
    Duane Collie
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    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How its Packed - Hancock and Moore

    Here's what the sofa looks like when upside down. Remove the tape and slide off the protective cover. Don't let the tape contact the leather, it can pull off the pigmentation on the hide if you do.

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    Leave the foot protector padding on until the sofa is turned over.

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    Roll or lift the sofa over to its upright position and you are all done, and ready to take inside or load into a truck, etc. It will not hurt to roll it forward, just make sure there is a pad down as you do to avoid marking the leather.

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    Watch out for the carton staples!! , they will cut you easily when you go to pick up the cardboard to put in the trash and can also tear the leather. Nasty things!

    If you see grey "paint" on your leather, that is gray washable grease pen, used when marking out the hides for cutting. Occasionally some gets missed during clean-up, just get a damp rag and it will come right off.
    Last edited by drcollie; 03-16-2021 at 05:17 PM.
    Duane Collie
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: How its Packed and HOW TO UNPACK - Hancock and Moore

    This is NOT how you want your Hancock and Moore Sofa to be unpacked. It's standing on end, and then drops when the last screws are released and gets dragged along the carton staples, which can then result in scratches or being otherwise marked. If you see your delivery team doing this, please stop them and instruct them to use the directions starting at Post # 4. Don't be shy!

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    And this is what can happen (customer-supplied photos of a recent delivery)

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    No one wants damages, especially since it made it all the way to your driveway unmarked. Don't expect delivery crews to know the right procedures, they handle all types of product and cannot know every method from the thousands of suppliers they deliver. My method works for no-damages unpacking and is easier to do as well.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How its Packed and HOW TO UNPACK - Hancock and Moore

    Staple marks from improper un-packing. This sofa was dragged over the staples on the inside of the carton.

    Remember folks, you have a say in how your furniture is handled and unpacked. Speak up if you don't like the way things are going. The men on the delivery truck may not be as "professional" as you are wanting them to be.

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    Duane Collie
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: How its Packed and HOW TO UNPACK - Hancock and Moore

    That sucks for the people receiving those recently, I just feel bad for them.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How its Packed and HOW TO UNPACK - Hancock and Moore

    What do you do when there is a scratch from unboxing brand new furniture? Do you note damages on the bill that they ask you to sign? It's a big deal to send it back.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How its Packed and HOW TO UNPACK - Hancock and Moore

    Options are to:

    1) Refuse Delivery

    2) Sign the BOL and note the damages, take LOTS of photos, and then get ready to find the repairman in your area. They will not know of anyone and you have to be proactive on it.

    3) Live with it. Aniline hides can have Conditioner rubbed into the area, that can mitigate a lot of it. Finished hides can be re-painted. Sometimes a small touch up is all that is needed.

    All are really avoidable for the most part. If comes from inexperienced help for the majority of it. Delivering furniture is grunt work, dirty, hot, heavy, sweaty work. It's a job no on aspires to, but it puts food on the table. As such, the level of expertise in handling is not very good in most cases. That's why I have this unpacking tutorial - so YOU know to get it out of the packing damage-free. 99% of any other store would never, ever tell you this because they would fear a loss of business from disclosing it. But I'm different, I want you to know, because Knowledge is Power. With that knowledge, you can avoid this kind of minor damage. I share what I know, and have learned in doing this since 1986, the good, the bad and the ugly. I always tell it like it is.

    Damage control is in everyone's interest. Yours, Mine and the Delivery Companies. It cost them hundreds of dollars to fix shipping damages, they don't want them, either. Turnover is so high for them on truck crews, they cannot possibly train everyone to be proficient in every kind of situation and packing product they see. And of course, mistakes happen, even with the best of us. I for example, nicked the leather on a new Sherrilll sofa last week when using a blade to open the wrappings (which are totally different than Hancock and Moore). Now I have to either ship or drive that sofa back to the factory to get re-leathered in that area, it's not repairable. Even with 37 years experience, and countless number of pieces I have unpacked (many thousands) even the old Pro catches a corner with a cutter now and then.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

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