Safe way to transport a grandfather clock

Move a grandfather clock

Safe way to transport a grandfather clock

It’s likely that you inherited your grandfather clock as a prized family treasure from earlier generations if you were fortunate enough to acquire one. It makes sense that, in this situation, you would want the antique clock to be passed down through the generations in good shape and undamaged.


However, moving will be a considerable challenge if you need to move. What is a safe way to move a grandfather clock? How can you move it to your new house without damaging the precise mechanism, exquisite finishing, or exquisite decorations on your priceless watch?


Whether your long-case clock is a family heirloom or just a priceless new addition to your home décor, you need to handle it with great care and adhere to several important guidelines that will help you properly prepare your priceless timepiece for moving to ensure its safety during the relocation process.


Continue reading to discover a safe way to transport a grandfather clock. To ensure your priceless belongings arrive at their new home undamaged, follow these sensible packing and moving instructions.

Things to consider when relocating your grandfather clock

First things come first. Before packing and relocating your grandfather clock on your own, there are three fundamental guidelines that you should follow. Remember that a floor clock is a specialty object, and transporting one from one house to another usually calls for extra caution.

A grandfather clock should never be lifted and carried without first being disassembled. It is necessary to remove the pendulum and clock weights before moving the clock, even a small distance. Do not touch the delicate parts of a grandfather clock with your bare hands. If you do, you run the danger of breaking the hanging pendulum or enabling the weights to swing inside the case, causing irreversible harm. Hire specialized movers who have a wealth of experience, the right packing supplies, and the expert know-how to handle and move your valuable clock safely. To avoid tarnishing the delicate brass parts or glass elements of the clock due to the oils that are naturally present on human skin, use a soft cloth or put on cotton gloves.

The following guidelines on how to move a grandfather clock by yourself should be properly followed if hiring professional movers is not an option for any reason.

How to take a grandfather clock apart so you may move it

A grandfather clock needs your complete attention and care when it is being prepared for relocation.


Opening the clock case’s front is the first thing you should do. Then, take the actions listed below:

Step 1: Take the pendulum out.

Moving antique clocks

Put a halt to the pendulum’s swing. Proceed with caution.

To extract it from the suspension spring that keeps the pendulum in place, grab it from the middle and raise it gradually. The pendulum should unhook easily; do not force it.

To stop the pendulum guide from shifting while being transported, wrap it with newspaper.

The pendulum itself should be packed in a well-cushioned, tightly-sealed moving box after being wrapped in bubble wrap or foam sheets.

Step 2: Take the weights out.

Grandfather clock disassembly and packing

If you have a chain-driven clock,


When the weights are about halfway to the top, pull the chains.

To prevent the chains from coming off of their sprockets during shipping, tie them together at the exact point where they protrude below the movement using twist ties or a small wire.

If the movement of your clock is cable-driven,


Place rolls of newspaper (about 2 inches in diameter) or blocks of firm foam (about 2 inches square) atop each pulley connecting the cables.

In order to have the paper rolls (or foam blocks) firmly jammed above the pulleys, wind up the weights one at a time until they stop. By doing this, you may maintain the wires’ tension, preventing them from tangling when the weights are removed.

Then, take the following actions to remove the weights from your grandfather clock:


Take the weights out of the clock by unhooking them from the pulleys.

To ensure you know where to put each weight when it is reassembled, mark the weights (L: left, C: center, and R: right). This is crucial since the weights aren’t all the same; typically, the biggest weight is on the right, and it drives the chime system.

To avoid scratching the brass case, wrap the weights in a soft protective material and place them securely within a well-padded, robust moving box.

Step 3: Tighten the chains and cables.
Packing tips for transporting a floor clock

After the weights and pendulum have been removed, you must ensure that the cables and/or chains do not tangle or snap back into the clock’s mechanism.


It is advised that you bundle the chains from top to bottom and cover them in bubble wrap or newspaper to accomplish this. Use twist ties or rubber bands to secure the bundle. By doing this, the chains and wires won’t tangle or bang up against the case’s sides, harming the finish.


An alternative is to position a piece of cardboard behind the chains or cables and secure it with tape; this will effectively stop the cables from misaligning, crossing over, or creeping up into the movement of the clock.

Step Four: Safeguard the chime rods
Packing tips for transporting a floor clock

Securing the hammers for the striking mechanism and the chime is also a good idea. To keep the hammers from swinging freely inside the casing and getting damaged, all you have to do is bend the matching levers. Next, insert some cardboard or bubble wrap between the hammers and the bells and tape it in place.


In order to prevent the chime rods on your floor clock from moving and slamming into one another during transit, you should also place some bubble wrap or foam cushioning in between the rods. Remember that the chime rods are extremely brittle and challenging to replace.

Step 5: Take out the ornamental pieces and glass shelves.

To keep the shelves within the grandfather clock from shattering, remove any shelves and wrap each one separately in bubble wrap and soft packing paper.


Remove any decorative elements from the clock as well, if at all possible (the majority are just basic dowels that should come out quite quickly). When packing the clock, make sure to add extra padding around any decorative components that are securely fastened.


For additional support, think about putting packing peanuts, a soft blanket, or crumpled paper inside the case.

Step 6: Lock down the access panels.

After disassembling the grandfather clock completely, replace the access panels and fasten them firmly with tape or locks. Remember to use packing tape to secure any windows or doors on your clock to keep them from opening and getting broken during transportation.


How do you move with a grandfather clock packed?

If the grandfather clock has been correctly disassembled (as mentioned above), packing it for transportation is not too difficult.

The following is how to pack a grandfather clock for moving:

After wrapping the weights and pendulum in soft wrapping paper, cover them with thick moving blankets (also known as furniture blankets). In order to prevent any unwanted contact between the weights during transit, pack each one separately. After securing the bundles with firm packing tape, place them inside an appropriately sized piece of sturdy cardboard.

Cut out cardboard pieces to fit each delicate section of your grandfather clock’s frontal glass portions. Then, place the cardboard cutouts over the easily breakable parts of the free-standing clock to protect them. To secure the cardboard protectors, use masking tape.

Secure many furniture blankets with packing tape after wrapping them around the clock. Use as many cushioning blankets as needed to give the valuable item an exceptional degree of protection, making sure to cover all exposed surfaces. Encircle the clock with two complete rings of tape near its top, one more in the center, and one near its base.

Give each box containing your grandfather clock’s components a label. CAREFULLY HANDLE AND FRAGILE.

Packing your grandfather clock in a specially made wooden crate is highly recommended if it is an antique or holds significant sentimental or financial significance. The crate will unquestionably guarantee the greatest possible protection for your priceless timepiece. To keep the box from shifting during transit, make sure you stuff any empty area with packing peanuts.

How to independently move a grandfather clock

Use a dolly to transfer your grandfather clock from your house to the moving van if you’re moving it yourself. The clock should be securely packed. When placing the box on the truck, tilt it as little as possible. To prevent the clock case from slipping, toppling, or sliding during transit, fasten it with straps.

A grandfather clock should always be transported upright if you are unsure of how to handle it. While it is possible to move grandfather clocks that are more recent lying down, doing so places undue strain on the glass parts and panels, increasing the likelihood of a break. Due to the weight of the movement and the way it is fastened to the case, older clocks must be set upright.

It is very dangerous to transfer your grandfather all by yourself due to his large size, heavy weight, and acute frailty. You are strongly warned against doing so. Make sure you have two or more trustworthy assistants to assist you with the packing and shipping of the long-case clock. Need help?

After the transfer, what should be done with the grandfather clock?

Carefully assemble the grandfather clock when you get to your new house.


Place your delicate clock on a stable, level floor. A grandfather clock may not function correctly if it is not well balanced; thus, you must adjust the clock as needed to make sure the base is exactly level.

Carefully take off the packaging and replace any detached parts, making sure that each is fitted correctly and placed where it belongs.

Before servicing, let the clock come to room temperature.

Set the timer to begin, and make sure it is precise. Verify the chimes’ accuracy and make any necessary adjustments to the moon dials.

Moving and packing a grandfather clock can be quite difficult. For this reason, to ensure that your priceless watch is in top condition following the move, you might think about having it serviced by trained professionals.