Postal nazi -shipping oil coated parts?
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  1. #1
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    Default Postal nazi -shipping oil coated parts?

    I took a typical order of some parts i make (collet set for Oliver woodworking mortiser) to the PO yesterday and got the normal "anything perishable, hazardous, etc, etc...)

    Me-No.
    What is it?
    Steel machine parts.
    Do they have oil on them?
    A light coating to keep them from rusting.
    You have to wash it off. We have other customers that ship parts but they wash & dry them before shipping.
    I washed the machine oil off, dried, lightly dabbed with LPS#2, individual baggy wrapped, then plastic bubble wrap + tape, then all in larger sealed baggy, then more bubble wrap into box.
    We can't ship it, it's flammable.
    I've been shipping parts like this for over 20 years. To summarize, you'd prefer people go with FEDEX or UPS?
    Let me check with supervisor. (wait) She said i have to look up in regs. (watch, wait)

    No, I don't think we can take them. You have to clean the oil off the parts. They might go on an airplane, and the oil would be considered flammable.
    LPS #2 is not flammable, and what about the cardboard box you provide?
    Sorry.
    Me (shrug) leave.

    If they aren't starting to use them yet, someone is asleep at the switch - there should be VOC sensors at any air shipping point. So I don't want to just take them to another PO, lie, and have them confiscated.

    What do you guys do?

    Any "non-oil" approved inhibitors?

    smt

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    The clerk is an idiot

    get an online account do all the postal purchasing online and either leave them for your postman or bring them in and drop them on the counter

    I have never had any such conversation.

    My clerk asks the normal question and I reply Nope Nope Nope as I walk away and she slides things in the bin


    there is no such rule about washing parts

    crazy

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    I ship oil samples USPS on a regular basis. About 4 oz of used diesel engine oil would make a heck of a mess if squished. The lab supplies pre-addressed shipping bottles, with an enclosed shipping bottle.

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    Hey SMT,
    Man did you piss in her wheaties ? The "clerk" is just making that up. The offending oil has to be in liquid form of a specific volume not just a coating on parts. Does "she" have the hazmat/msds sheets on lps ? What a goof. Ask her if anyone ships cosmetic products.. That's the real gripe of the 'in house' mail carrier in these parts.. Go to another PO.. PO clerks get full of themselves from time to time and really become petty tyrants.. Play it back to her.. ask for the regs in writing. Don't accept her "interpretation" of said regs.. Ask for the postmaster ( or mistress as it may be )
    I'll pass this along to the 'in house' mail carrier and you'll probably get some more detailed info..
    Stay safe
    Calvin B

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    Postal Nazi about says it. I'd complain to the supervisor, noting that all commerce in the US will halt if a light oil coating (wrapped as you did) isn't allowed. Amazon regularly ships oil itself, any oil-based paint contains oil, auto parts are almost always oil coated, wax coatings (flammable) are extremely common, even fingerprints contain oily fats. Every appliance has oil on its sliding parts. Every printer . . .

    Ask if they really want a news story . . .

    Our own post office has clerks who range (A) from exceptionally good (fast, helpful, cheerful) to (F) pissed off, slow, anal retentive, and anything but helpful. Fortunately, our carriers have been absolutely terrific - actually calling me when they have a parcel too large too fit our (pretty large) boxes and waiting for me to pick it up (our neighborhood's boxes are two miles down the road). Saves a trip to the post office -- and the chance of dealing with clerk F.

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    Just ship them at another PO. They are concerned w/ bulk quantities of oil that could actually catch fire. If parts coated w/ oil would be a problem to some sort of "VOC sensor", it would have come up as a topic here at PM I am certain!

    USPS is a govt entity, driven by regulation & bureaucracy, not a profit motive. The employees are just drones doing what someone in Wash DC, who doesn't have a clue, told them to do. I would just bag them in plastic and not worry about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen thomas View Post
    I took a typical order of some parts i make (collet set for Oliver woodworking mortiser) to the PO yesterday and got the normal "anything perishable, hazardous, etc, etc...)

    Me-No.
    What is it?
    Steel machine parts.
    Do they have oil on them?
    A light coating to keep them from rusting.
    You have to wash it off. We have other customers that ship parts but they wash & dry them before shipping.
    I washed the machine oil off, dried, lightly dabbed with LPS#2, individual baggy wrapped, then plastic bubble wrap + tape, then all in larger sealed baggy, then more bubble wrap into box.
    We can't ship it, it's flammable.
    I've been shipping parts like this for over 20 years. To summarize, you'd prefer people go with FEDEX or UPS?
    Let me check with supervisor. (wait) She said i have to look up in regs. (watch, wait)

    No, I don't think we can take them. You have to clean the oil off the parts. They might go on an airplane, and the oil would be considered flammable.
    LPS #2 is not flammable, and what about the cardboard box you provide?
    Sorry.
    Me (shrug) leave.

    If they aren't starting to use them yet, someone is asleep at the switch - there should be VOC sensors at any air shipping point. So I don't want to just take them to another PO, lie, and have them confiscated.

    What do you guys do?

    Any "non-oil" approved inhibitors?

    smt
    .
    astro kote is mineral spirits and asphalt or tar. it dries to a wax like coating. basically so it stays put and wont drip off in a hot shipping container.
    .
    lemon pledge furniture polish often used to clean and apply a wax that dries to touch. obviously if you touch furniture you dont want stuff to come off on your hands.
    .
    some is slow drying but normally 1 to 8 hours later its dry, depends on how thick applied like paint if too thick single coat it takes longer to dry than 2 thin coats

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    When you get to a certain age, checking for colon cancer involves mailing a tube of poo to a lab to look for blood n stuff. Sooo Supervisor... shit's ok, but a light coat of oil is not? (Just one example of many that popped into my head...)

    Silly clerk.

    L7

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    Quote Originally Posted by morsetaper2 View Post
    Just ship them at another PO. .
    That's what I did a few years back, …… my nearest Post office got a new clerk - a right jobsworth etc etc etc, so with the next nearest only a couple of miles down the road I took them there, with no problem at all, …..only for the owner of the 1st Post Office's franchise (it's how it works in the UK) to eventually ask me why I no longer used him etc etc.

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    Cheapo spray paint.

    When it get's to it's destination, spray some carb cleaner or thinner on them to
    dissolve back off.

    Or just go to another post office, I had a flat rate box taped up into a
    football, clerk didn't want to take it.

    No problem, was driving past another PO next day, stopped in, went right out
    with no problems.

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    there are rust preventatives that dry to touch so it dont come off when touched than its not oily
    .
    they are normally asphalt tar or wax based and a solvent like minerals spirits which dries. basically paint does not remove later when it has dried but tar or wax will easily come off with rag and mineral spirits. i do it all the time clean it off

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  20. #12
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    The reason to get an account do it online is they do not worry about some things[not this, it is ridiculous] They have your account number and address

    the other is it is cheaper

    and you don't have to wait in lines to ship things that will fit in the mail slot[small flat rate, flat rate envelope]


    [python]
    no one expects the Spanish Inquisition
    [/python]

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    I have noticed that all the carriers now ask what you are shipping, yet most are clueless, the last one went like this

    employee: What are you shipping?
    me: a Yamaha Servo Driver
    employee: Is that a motorcycle part or a musical instrument?
    me: its a servo driver
    employee: So is it a motorcycle part or musical instrument?
    me: it is a servo driver for a motor
    employee: So its a motorcycle part?
    me: No, it is a servo driver for an electric motor
    employee: So its for an electric motorcycle?
    me: NO no, just put industrial electrical part down on your damn form
    employee: Well you don't have to get snippy about it
    me: you should not ask questions you will not understand the answer to

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    Cool

    Why are you guys trying to impose logic on a basically illogical situition??
    Most you will get is a headache!

    Peter
    (Who is 3 months from retiring from a gubbermunt job. Mostly because my forehead hurts)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    I have noticed that all the carriers now ask what you are shipping, yet most are clueless, the last one went like this

    employee: What are you shipping?
    me: a Yamaha Servo Driver
    employee: Is that a motorcycle part or a musical instrument?
    me: its a servo driver
    employee: So is it a motorcycle part or musical instrument?
    me: it is a servo driver for a motor
    employee: So its a motorcycle part?
    me: No, it is a servo driver for an electric motor
    employee: So its for an electric motorcycle?
    me: NO no, just put industrial electrical part down on your damn form
    employee: Well you don't have to get snippy about it
    me: you should not ask questions you will not understand the answer to
    I learnt a long time ago, when it comes to dealing with bureaucracy it's best to be as vague as possible

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    A long time ago, I looked at bringing Mobil1 Engine oil as check-in-luggage on a flight out of the USA. I researched the regs. Got a letter from the airline in advance of the trip saying it was OK (to show to unknowing desk clerks if needed). No problem.

    More recently I declared a 2 bottles of whiskey in a crate to be shipped by road in the UK and then by sea. The first road carrier refused to take the crate because it was "dangerous goods". Bollocks. Even after quoting the regulations that classify spirits are only classified dangerous if more that 1000 litres, they wouldn't take it.

    Sometimes people just MSU (Make Sh!t Up).

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  27. #17
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    My PO has a big bin for boxes. I just drop them in. Of course, they need to be well packed as there is a four foot drop and a reverberating "thunk" when it hits the steel bottom. But the bin does not ask any questions.

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    I use the USPS online shipping/payment thing (Click-N-Ship). You check a box that says the contents are legal to ship. The carrier picks up the package next time she brings the mail. Nice and easy.

    I remember back around 1975 I did a favor for a guy and mailed a 200 year old Japanese matchlock long gun to him in Texas. Think cardboard tube about 66" long and 6" diameter and weighing about 10 pounds. I took it to the post office and the clerk asked what was in it. I was not sure about whether there was an issue with mailing a black powder muzzle-loading gun, so I told him it was a Tanegashima. He said, "What's that?" I think I spun a line about it being difficult to explain ancient Japanese cultural symbols of power to a Westerner. He took my money and mailed the box. Tanegashima (gun) - Wikipedia

    Larry

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  31. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EPAIII View Post
    My PO has a big bin for boxes. I just drop them in. Of course, they need to be well packed as there is a four foot drop and a reverberating "thunk" when it hits the steel bottom. But the bin does not ask any questions.
    they set that up at our PO then tore it all out

    told us we can cut the line anytime we want or ring the bell fro the manager

    not sure what happened there, i think people were putting things in there expecting them to get shipped fro free or something

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    all the postal regulations are online

    Know before you go

    Shipping Restrictions | USPS

    343 Flammable and Combustible Liquids (Hazard Class 3) | Postal Explorer

    Gasoline is a definite no go but the flashpoint on that stuff is way safer than diesel fuel and lighter fluid


    What is it?
    Steel machine parts.
    Do they have oil on them?
    NO

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