E Gerber Comic Boxes-How High is too High?
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Funny question, maybe not so funny.  Does anyone have any direct experience as to how may boxes high I could stack my full boxes from E Gerber? I'm thinking at least 4, but does anyone have any mid to long term observations as to whether these particular boxes hold up to crushing from overstacking?  I'm hoping to go 5 or 6 high. Thanks in advance.

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I don't have direct experience with those boxes, but 6 seems high and I would not fel comfortable stacking that high. It's also a pain to access anything below the top row.

Have you considered Drawer Boxes? They can be stacked that high because they're structurally rigid and the weight gets distributed on the outer drawers, not the actual boxes where the comics are stored. Plus you can pull out any box easily. I use them myself and they're great. 

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Years ago I had my comics in storage for awhile and I stacked them in two layers, but I set the top boxes perpendicular on the bottom boxes. That said, I would avoid stacking them at all if you can.

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If I didn't have the E Gerber buffered acid free boxes already, I would definitely go with the drawer boxes.  Those E gerber boxes weren't cheap and I would rather not abandon them. I think I have about 40 of them at $15 a pop. 

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While I have never stacked them, here is some science that will help answer your question.

EGerber's website says all their boxes are made out of 200# corrugated cardboard.  In the cardboard industry this measurement is normally referred to as 200# test.  The measurement refers to the amount of pressure necessary to puncture the material.  In other words, it would take 200# of pressure on a blunt instrument to poke a hole through the sheet.  Obviously, this is not typically a problem for collectors.

The correct measurement for stackability is called the ECT rating -- for Edge Crush Test.  That measurement determines how much weight in pounds per inch that it takes for the material to collapse.  But there are some rough equivalencies.  250# test usually rates at about 33# per inch.  (Keep in mind that this is linear, supporting the weight of a cube.  In practical terms long boxes made of 250# test will support a little under 100#, which is 2 long boxes of comics.  So we can assume that 200# test is somewhat less than that.

You can get around this slightly by stacking the boxes in a cross pattern, that is 3 boxes going one direction and the 3 on top perpendicular to that direction.  This is because strength is focused on the corners of any box (The same principal as the corrugation).

DrawerBoxes get around this math because the shells have an ECT rating of 44# per inch as certified by the manufacturer.  They use the strongest papers in the hobby.  And they add to it an inner support sleeved with an ECT rating of almost 80#, for a total support of 124# ECT.  They are specifically designed to be stacked whereas long and short boxes are not.  A full long DrawerBox weighs 42#-50# depending on whether the comics are older on newsprint or newer on slick paper (Slick paper is heavier).  Since the DrawerBoxes stress test at over 280#, 5 can be stacked on top of the bottom one for total of 250#.

Hope this helps and I haven't bored you with the math.

 

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You have absolutely not bored me with the math.  My background is in chemical engineering, and this is the exact type of info that explains things precisely. Thank you.

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My understanding is that acid free boxes provide no benefit, that only the bag and the board do. It's the acidification of the comic that matters, not the box containing them.

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17 hours ago, CatskillMike said:

If I didn't have the E Gerber buffered acid free boxes already, I would definitely go with the drawer boxes.  Those E gerber boxes weren't cheap and I would rather not abandon them. I think I have about 40 of them at $15 a pop. 

I have a lot of them too. They are VERY strong. Problem is that they are so short. Therefore, take up a lot more space when you have a lot of books. 

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I stacked boxes years ago by putting a "shelf" between them. Plywood, 1"x8" board, whatever, so that the weight of the upper boxes is spread out across the lower ones -AND- so that you can slide individual boxes out to work with them (like Jenga). :grin:

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