Some people swear by the practice of storing reels of tape as un-flanged "pancakes" on a hub. There
are some well-documented benefits to this practice, from cost-saving to possibly avoiding damage if
the box is dropped and flange is mangled badly enough to damage the tape-pack. Well, let me tell you
a tale ...
Names deleted because this was told to me in confidence. Suffice to say, these tapes are valuable
and not replaceable.
Tapes were archived on hubs, mistakenly shipped overseas and mangled on the way back in transit.
Badly mangled. It will be lucky if there are not unrepairable problems in parts of tape containing
music. This would not have happened if the tapes were on reels, although the mangling was bad enough
that the reels may have been bent. The owners of the tapes correctly blame the shipping company but
I would argue that it's a lesson in just how brutal shippers can be, especially if a communications
problem of lower-level employees gets something sent overseas and back.
My take-away was that if one is to ship tapes as boxed-pancakes, one needs to take extreme measures
to keep the tape-pack rigid and protected. I would even suggest rigging something up using a metal
film can. Certainly don't use decades-old cardboard boxes, even if they are grouped in large box and
surrounded by rigid packing material.
-- Tom Fine