Rules - Must Read before Asking to Join!!

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Staff member
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Jun 29, 2014
This is the thread for the 2018 Pass Around Box Game. It is a continuation of the project which started back in May of 2015.


We start off with a medium sized flat rate box from the USPS. It has a substantially braced aluminum interior box which is filled with various odds and ends, doo-dads and goo-gahs, not to mention thing-a-ma-jigs and whatchamacallits (highly technical terms for various machine shop related items ). The box gets sent from one participant to the next and the next, with each participant removing items of interest from the box when it arrives, then putting other items in their place before sending it to the next individual. This box will circulate down the list until late December at which time it will be returned to the originator. It is a lot of fun with some nice surprises along the way! A new box will be started each year if the interest continues.

Here is a tracking link so everyone can see where the box is and where/when it's going next. This is a simple spreadsheet on Google Docs. Everyone can view it, however only @autonoz and @vtcnc are able to edit it. The entire history of where the boxes have been is listed there.

To have your name added, contact either @autonoz or @vtcnc by way of a Conversation (Inbox, upper right corner of your screen) simply say so and we will add you. Here is the information you must provide in the conversation:
  • Brief description of the equipment you have in your shop so that we can look ahead and try to include items that will fit what you have,
  • Your First and Last Name,
  • A current and VALID email address,
  • A current and VALID phone number,
  • Your mailing address
This contact information will be held confidential and only available to @autonoz and @vtcnc. This is necessary because if the box becomes stagnant while in your possession - one of us will contact you to figure out how to proceed. Participants need to request to be added to the list each time whether they have played in the previous year or not. Names do not cycle through or get added a second time automatically. If you want to be added again, let us know


Every project like this needs to have a few rules to keep everything on the straight and narrow, here they are:
  1. Items must be related to our hobby or it may be an item you made with our hobby.
  2. No items may be edible, alive, or alive in the past (leather is okay)
  3. No illegal items, hazardous materials, flammables, radioactive or strongly magnetic items - this is a USPS requirement
  4. Replace the same number of items as you remove if room permits.
  5. Consider the value of the items you remove and replace with comparable if possible. Just be reasonable.
  6. No bad mouthing items if they are not up to your standards, be respectful of the previous senders efforts.
  7. Photos of the items you keep should be posted in this thread. If you are unable to post photos, please post a good description of the items you kept.
  8. Do not take photos or create descriptions of the items you put into the box... The contents are meant to be a surprise for each participant.
  9. If the box is in your possession it is your responsibility to contact the next member below you on the list for his or her address.
  10. It is desired that the box is mailed back out no later than seven days after receiving it. This gives each person plenty of time to decide what to keep, restock, repack, and send it on. Life happens, we know, but PLEASE make an honest effort to follow this timeline and keep the box moving. If you feel that you will not have time to give the box the care it deserves when you receive it, please speak up ahead of time, and we will move your name down the list so that you receive it at a time that may work better for you.
  11. When the box arrives, please post an arrival notice in this thread. When you get it sent off, please post a shipping notice in this thread
  12. If the inner box needs repair, please do so before shipping out again. If it becomes too severely damaged, contact @autonoz or @vtcnc so that we can arrange for a replacement box.
  13. Repack the box carefully - add appropriate packing material to keep objects from moving around in the box. Please be sure to enter the date, your H-M screen name, city, and state in the enclosed log book.
  14. Avoid adding duplicate items. Things like duplicate drill bits, drill chucks and the sort are a good example here.
  15. If you find a broken item in the box, please remove it and do not put it back in the box. If you can remember to do so, let people know if you found a broken item.
  16. Avoid brittle or delicate items such as stones or carbide tools prone to breakage - UNLESS - you have a good way to protect the item from damage.
  17. Avoid soft, flexible items that could be crushed or bent in transit, things like bristle brushes or feeler gages - UNLESS - again, you have a good way to protect the item from damage.
  18. The cardboard outer boxes are free from your local post office. Please replace if necessary.
  19. Shipping will cost you $13.45 to send the box to the next participant. That is the only fee for participating.
  20. Be aware that there is a weight limit of 70 lbs on the box. Anything that fits inside up to 70 lbs ships for one flat rate. The box weight has typically remained in the 30 to 40 pound range.
  21. There are no guarantees that you will find anything useful in the box when it arrives, or that the items you keep will equal the cost of shipping. This is strictly for fun and does involve a bit of chance.
  22. This project is open only to members that live in the United States because the flat rate boxes may only be used there. Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other US possessions are not eligible.
  23. Any member can get on the list as many times as he wishes, but we are going to require that there are at least ten individuals on the list between your entries.
  24. If a member does not respond to a request for a shipping address within one week of being contacted, he will be skipped over. He can ask to be added to the list again at a later time.


Be aware that there are two different sizes of Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate box. We are using the box that has these dimensions: 11 7/8" x 3 3/8" x 13 5/8"

You can order the correct box right here:

You order the box online and your mail carrier leaves it in your mailbox for you. You pay for it online ahead of time and print the mailing label and within a day or so the empty box is delivered to you. Once you have it and pack it up you can go online and schedule pickup of your package by your postal carrier. All you have to do is tell them online when to pick it up and where the box will be (in the mailbox, by the front door, etc).
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