In a post related to buying a "new" tandem, or having a 3rd party LBS ship a tandem, I said I had a picture of my tandem and its packing job, pretty much as I received it, to post. The picture is attached (presuming that I followed the BF directions properly ...)
A few highlights:
Box with seats, etc. in it was under the boom tube, and pretty much full width of the big box. This kept the captain's chainring up and away from the bottom of the big box.
Forks had a spacer between them.
Plastic cable ties were used liberally to hold things in place.
Tubes "wrapped" with pipe insulation.
Ends and edges of things like stem, cranks, etc. packaged / padded / buffered.
Not pictured, but helpful: a few pieces of foam and/or big bubble wrap taped to the inside of the big box, in places where bike might jostle against the big box.
I was very pleased with the condition in which the bike arrived after its trip halfway across the country via FedEx ground.
Box is a tandem box which seller got from his LBS.
Similar results can be had by splicing regular bike boxes (checking to make sure that you are within any size limitations from your shipper); ideally, doubling the boxes for extra durability/redundancy with the layers of cardboard and strapping tape.
The history of my bike is a little bit more obscure. I responded to a message on the T@H list which said basically "my friend has a LeMond tandem that he wants to sell." I recognized that this was something unusual, and started the process of purchasing.
As I'm told, the seller / builder worked/works? for Trek and this bike was built to try out some various ideas. It's got the basic geometry of a mid-90's Trek T100/T200, but the main tubes are Reynolds 853 instead of True Temper. I think they were having a bit of fun, and applied LeMond labels on the frame. There might be a few more similar studies in steel out there ...
and that is "the rest of the story", as Paul Harvey would have said