Can your time capsules be engraved?
Yes! You can order any time capsule lid to be engraved via the laser engraved marking method. This is a high quality indelible marking that lasts hundreds of years. Lids of the cylindrical time capsules can be laser engraved, but you also can choose a very simple character engraving (no logos or images). Due to equipment limitations, we cannot do simple engraving on the box time capsules.
Note for 2023: Until our company store is completely moved from our current location, we cannot do personalizing of time capsules (engraving on the lid) or custom metal plaques. This is temporary.
Can you bury your time capsules in the ground and be sure it will keep all moisture and corrosion out?
Yes. All of our time capsules, unless otherwise noted on the product (e.g. the Indoor Sally 3x12 Time Capsule #35121) can be buried in the ground safely. Each of the time capsules comes with easy to follow instructions for extending the life of the seal.
Are your time capsules inner or outer dimensions?
All of our Box Time Capsules go by inner dimensions, so the 12 x 12 x 16” Gemini, for instance, measures exactly that on the inside. Cylinders are best assumed to be outer dimensions. Our cylinder time capsules measure, in outer dimensions: 6 x 24”, 5.5 x 22”, 7.75” x 9”, and 3.5” x 11-3/4”. Please call our office with any questions.
What material and what grade are your time capsules made of?
Both the Box Time Capsules and Cylinder Time Capsules are made of 304 Stainless Steel.
What is the difference between the two Box Time Capsule designs you have?
Both are made of 304 stainless steel. The simple capped Box Time Capsule, our Model 4200, is essentially a lid and a body that fit together snugly with just enough clearance for the sealant to be applied. The bolted Box Time Capsule, our Model 3000, is a more complicated design that includes a 1/2” flange that is machined for bolts to be inserted blindly – no moisture or air can seep through it. This flange has a machined groove and our formed silicone o-ring fits exactly to properly seal the lid when all 12 bolts are applied. For up to 75 years storage, you should consider the simpler design; for 100 or more years, you should consider the bolted design.
About how many sheets of letter sized paper will fit into a 12x12x24” Time Capsule?
If no other enclosures are used, you can fit 5,335 sheets of a 20 lb paper (we used Permalife® for this test), into our 12x12x24 Neptune Time Capsule Box.
Our city has several 10" x 13" x 3" archive boxes that we want to place inside one of your bolted time capsules. I would like know the exact diameter of the circle opening, and know if this size archive box will fit through the opening.
The first part of your question is easy. Our 12" x 12” bolted capsules have an opening whose diameter is 9.25"; 14" x 14” ones have an opening diameter of 11.25"; and 16" x 16” time capsules have an opening of 13.25" in diameter.For the second part – as to whether your box will fit through the opening – you would need at least the 14x14 size Bolted Time Capsule. Here’s how we figured this answer. Work with your smaller two dimensions. The 12" bolted TC (diameter of 9.25”) would accommodate up to a 8.75" box of 3" thickness; the 14" TC up to a 10.8" x 3" box; and the 16" TC up to a 12.9" x 3" box. In your case, for the 10” x 3”, the archives box will fit into the 14" bolted capsule opening of 11.25” diameter.
Is a vault necessary if we need to bury our time capsule?
No, although there are sometimes reasons for doing so, such as for physical and mechanical protection from earthmoving equipment, as well as some protection from earth movement. If you construct a vault, or use a pre-fabricated one, pay attention to how it drains. As for placement, the time capsule should not receive more water than usual, such as would placement in a garden setting. In the same vein, never wrap our time capsules in plastic. The plastic will hold moisture to the metal, and instead of protecting it, it would hasten corrosion over time.
Why aren’t your stainless steel time capsules as thick as the aluminum ones sold by other companies?
Stainless steel is a stronger material than either aluminum or copper, and this, in addition to its superior corrosion resistance, makes it a preferable material for time capsule fabrication. Simply put, you don’t need as thick of a wall with stainless as you do with aluminum. Less of it is eaten away over time.In 1998, we had a professional assessment of our time capsules. He offered the following additional technical information as it applies to the 14x14x24" bolted size time capsule, but the information also applies to our other sizes. In answer to why we make our side wall thicknesses .075" and not .25" thickness of 304 stainless steel:"A time capsule buried in dry soil will not experience an even pressure distribution, as it would if it were suspended in a liquid or a gas. With the capsule oriented vertically, the primary loads would be exerted on the top and bottom. Side loads would be insignificant, unless the soil were to become saturated with water and unstable. I assume you are not putting it in that kind of an environment. Our 14x14x24" bolted time capsule can withstand loads in excess of 200 lbs distributed over each of the 14x24" sides without significant deflection. In addition, it can sustain a vertical load well in excess of 10,000 lbs distributed over the top surface.
"Can you get more items into a box than you can a cylinder?
Yes! Let’s compare the area of each shape. It’s just a little more than ¾ in the example below. You figure a cylinder’s area using the formula pr2h, where pi is 3.14159, r is the radius (half the diameter) and h is the height of the cylinder.You figure the area of a box by taking Length times Width times Height (LWH), where L is the length of one side, W is the measurement or width of another side, and H is the height of the box.Taking an example, a 12”x12”x24” cylinder has an area of 3.14159 times 6” times 6” times 24”, which equals 2714 cubic inches. The same size box has an area of 12” times 12” times 24” or 3456 cubic inches. And practically speaking, archives materials such as documents and books fit better into boxes. You will have less wasted space, in most cases.
How do I figure the amount of oxygen absorbers I need for a time capsule?
First, you need to calculate the amount of air that will remain in the capsule after you've filled it. Let's say your capsule is 8"x10"x18". You see it is rather full except for 1" along one side and 2" on top. Take 1"x18"x10" and add the cubic amount you get from the top, 2"x8"x10" (180 cu. in + 160 cu. in. = 340 cu. in of air remaining in your capsule).Now, you need to convert it into milliliters (ml). Use a chart, or conversion table, (or most online search engines) or figure it out directly. To calculate manually, multiply the 340 times 29.6 (ml), which equals 10,064. Divide that by 1.8 cu in to get the volume of air in terms of ml--that leaves 5,591. The calculator gives you 5572 cc, which = 5572 ml. Don’t worry about the differences, just round up to be safe. We’ll use 5600 in this example.Next, not all air is made up of oxygen. To estimate the amount of oxygen in this air, take 1/5 of 5600 (oxygen content in air is about 20%) and that leaves you 1,120 ml of oxygen to treat.Next, consider the packet size. Let's say you use the 1000 cc size (1 cc= 1 ml) so you simply divide the 1,120 by 1000 to see how many of that size packet you'll need. Take the whole number and round up to the next whole number. 1120 divided by 1000 leaves 1.12, so just order 2 packets of 1000. It just happens that we provide 2 packets of 1,000 cc oxygen absorber for the 10x8x18 Earth Time Capsule. We figure the amount to give you based on the capsule being ¾ full. Then we round up.Having more absorbers than you technically need is okay, and better than not having enough. Just place the amount of absorbers provided into the time capsule before you seal it up.
Do you include anything in the Box Time Capsules that you don’t in the Family Time Capsule Cylinders?
All time capsules (except the indoor Sally 3x12) come with a sealant kit and desiccant, but we do not provide Oxygen Absorbers for the Family Time Capsules unless you get that option. The reason is that many families do not bury their time capsules, and many will add to it over the years. Most Box Time Capsule users do bury or place their boxes for lengthy periods, however, so we do include the Oxygen Absorbers for those.
Which makes a better Plaque, Aluminum or Bronze?
Since our plaques have a lifetime guarantee, our answer is, “Whichever one you prefer.” Many people prefer Bronze for their memorial plaques, due to its excellent aging properties and its patina color that it develops over time. With bronze, the coloring of your letters would be a gold or yellow coloring. Aluminum Plaques are also popular, however. The color of your letters with aluminum would be a silver or gray color. We recommend a coating on the plaque. For harsh environments, you can specify the coating be applied to both the front and back of the plaque.
Why does the artwork for a plaque or engraving need to be a certain format? What do you mean by ‘vector’? Why can’t I use a web picture, a Word file, or a *.jpg file?
Pictures for the web and those embedded into a Word file are not of good quality, but even a high quality *.jpg or *.tif is still not vector art.Vector art, or "vector-based art," is a technique that creates paths and points in a program such as Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, or CorelDraw. It is often the original program that created your logo or art. Such a program keeps track of the relationships between these points and paths. Vectors are any scalable objects that keep their proportions and quality when sized up or down. They're defined as solid objects, and can be moved around in full, or grouped together with other objects. You create vector art by using a vector illustration program.
When you submit artwork to us, it must be:
- Black-and-white, and
- In a vector-based file, and
- Have no grayscale and no screens
Acceptable file formats include:
- Adobe Illustrator - up to Illustrator 15 (CS5) *.ai (preferred),
- orCorel Draw – X5 or below *.cdr, or
- Certain *.eps and *.pdf files are acceptable, but only if they were made in vector format
Fonts: Unless we can find a similar font or unless it is a standard one, any special fonts should be converted to curves or outlines.
Of course, we can do modifications or touchup using our program in many cases, but if it requires time (and it usually does), it must be charged separately. We can also recreate a logo or artwork for an additional charge. When in doubt, send the file to us and ask.
What about polyethylene zip bags for protecting items?
They are better than nothing, but don’t expect them to do much. While the uncoated polyethylene isn’t harmful to your items when properly stored, all polyethylene is limited in its protection abilities. People expect too much from its protection. People hear stories about plastics lasting forever, hurting our landfills and so forth. Naturally, they think their items will last inside of them forever. Not so. Be prudent in your use of plastics. We have decreased the amount of plastic bags in our preservation kits recently. You can still use them (and use any that are in our kits or packaging) for segregating things inside the container that you might not have better enclosures for, or for an outer enclosure for the good paper envelopes, for instance.