Wrapping Boxes for Preservation


Howdy all…
What is recommended to wrap boxes for the purposes of preservation. I asked this same question on the old forum. It was suggested I used GBC Clear View. That stuff is too think to bend and fold around little 22 boxes.
A collector suggested the cellophane material that florist use and that it can be bought either at a craft store or eBay.
So basically I am looking for an archival clear wrap for boxes. What do you all suggest?



I like shrink wrap. It comes in tube or folded sheet form on long rolls. It is pretty thick stuff probably similar to what you are looking at. A heat strip “sealer” gizmo sorta like a paper cutter is used to seal the shrink wrap. (Wrap and sealer can be purchased from large office supply places- but not the local chains like Office Max) A sealer will be under $100- [much less if you can find a used one and replace the heat strips at about $10!] and a huge roll of wrap will last almost forever at about $50) A heat gun (momma’s hair dryer if she is not around) is then used to blow hot air around the edges and it will shrink the material to a tight fit. I cut a small pices off at a corner before using the heat gun to allow trapped air to escape. Work around the sides then do the to of the largest part of the box, and then flip it over and finish the other side. The wrap will overheat occasionally and result in a hole in the wrap requiring it to be done over.
Some people say that shrink wrap will crush or distort boxes. Maybe that is the case for very delicate boxes, or some types of wrap but I have not seen any detrimental effects.
The heat is not too bad, and the mass of the ammo in the box (if a full box) should prevent any problems metling lubricants or things like that.
The shrink wrap is pretty rugged and can be cut open if desired with no damage to the box or contents.
Works for me, and I recommend it .


I highly recommend going with the plastic that you think is too thick. For a fraction of the cost of the shrink wrap setup, you can pick up a paper cutter. I use the cutting edge of my paper cutter for folding the plastic. I fold one side, mark using the box as a guide for the next fold, then fold it and so on until the box is wrapped. I tape the ends. The results are quite impressive. Not only do you get a clear container, but should you accidently drop the box, the thick plastic protects the box from any damage. Also, the shrink wrap cannot be used on a box that is falling apart, but the thicker plastic is perfect for these, as it holds the box together. The shrink wrap in many cases would crush such a box.


Have found on my few empty rare 22 boxes that cutting a piece of styrofoam for the inside and then shrink wrapping the box it will not be crushed. Have not observed any bad effects from the insert. According to the hobby store where it was purchased the styrofoam is neutral.


I use precut shrink-wrap bags…they’re pretty cheap at Paper Mart. Somewhere in the black hole of my garage is a small impulse sealer, but if you have a Food Saver that will work too.

Trim the bag as close to the box as you can with the sealer. You’ll have some excess but this will shrink up. Poke a small hole in a corner (I use a small-hole paper punch), then pop it in the toaster oven for no more than 15 seconds at 350 degrees.

It takes some practice but is well worth it. If you have a lot of boxes I would recommend getting an impulse sealer like this one. It will help trim the plastic close for a good fit. Too much excess results in a wrinked wrapper.

I have done hundreds of boxes this way, for about a $50 investment (not counting bags).