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How to Move a Grandfather Clock

by Dusty Rhodes | Aug 26, 2021

Grandfather clocks are a valuable and beloved piece of furniture. Their ornate design and sentimental value make them a treasured possession. Oftentimes, these beautiful clocks even become family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation. That’s why, if you are planning a move, you want to carefully consider how you will move your grandfather clock. Moving a piece of furniture like this should not be rushed, and proper steps should be taken to preserve the integrity of the clock. With the right tools and techniques, you can move this valuable piece of furniture on your own. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the proper way to safely move a grandfather clock.

 

1. Gather the Right Tools and Supplies

Having all of the tools and supplies on hand will simplify the process and help you to avoid shortcuts that might otherwise cause damage to your clock. The following supplies will be needed to disassemble and move your grandfather clock:

  • Two strong adults (You should never attempt to move a grandfather clock alone. They can weigh over 200 pounds and require special care when transporting.)
  • A moving truck or portable storage container
  • Furniture blankets
  • Padding
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Utility dolly
  • Cotton gloves
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Moving boxes for the parts
  • Grandfather clock moving box

2. Familiarize Yourself with the Clock

Although every clock may look a little different, they all have the same basic parts. These include a pendulum, a set of hanging weights, chains or cables, as well as glass panels. If you have never moved your grandfather clock, you may not be familiar with all these different parts. It is important to understand how the clock works so you can protect all of these important parts.

3. Disassemble the Clock

Every grandfather clock should be disassembled before it is moved. Failure to do so will likely result in damage to the clock. Follow these steps for disassembling your clock:

 

1.Remove the glass panels

Your clock will likely have a glass panel covering the face of the clock as well as two glass panels on either side. While wearing cotton gloves, remove these glass panels and set them aside for packing.

 

2. Tie chains to prevent tangling

Before removing the weights, you want to reach in the clock and secure the ends of the chains (or cables) with packing tape. This will prevent them from getting tangled when you remove the weights.

 

3. Remove the clock weights

While wearing cotton gloves, carefully reach inside and unhook each weight. Check to see if the weights are labeled underneath. If not, you will need to label them L, C, and R (left, center, right) for correct reassembly. As you remove the weights, wrap each one in bubble wrap for added protection.

 

4. Remove and wrap chains

Now that the weights have been removed, take out the chains and wrap them in bubble wrap to keep them protected while in transit.

 

5. Remove the pendulum

Make sure the pendulum is completely still and then gently unhook it from the pendulum guide at the top. Lay the pendulum on a soft moving blanket and carefully wrap it in bubble wrap before placing it in a secure moving box.

 

6. Protect the chime rods

The chime rods are extremely fragile and failure to protect them could cause them to snap. To avoid damage, place bubble wrap between each chime rod and secure it with tape.

 

7. Remove the top of the clock

If possible, disassemble the top of your grandfather clock and gently place it on a moving blanket. Wrap the face of the clock with bubble wrap and secure it with packing tape. Wrap the rest of the top with bubble wrap and then wrap the entire top with padding for additional protection.

4. Wrap the Body of the Clock

Now that you have removed all of the individual parts inside the clock, it’s time to wrap the body of the clock. Use moving blankets to wrap the entire body, making sure no parts are exposed. Secure the blankets with packing tape. Just be careful not to let the packing tape touch the surface of the clock, as this could damage the clock. You will also want to pack the entire wrapped body of the clock inside a grandfather clock moving box.

 

5. Move the Clock

Now that your grandfather clock has been securely packed, it’s time to move it to the moving truck or portable storage container. Keep in mind that a moving truck has a steeper ramp than a portable storage container, which can make it a bit more difficult to load. Thanks to its ground level loading, a portable storage container can be easier and more convenient.

 

With the help of another strong adult, carefully slide the dolly underneath the grandfather clock and tilt it back slowly. One person should be controlling the dolly while the other is handling the clock from the front. Once the clock is on the dolly, secure it with moving straps. Carefully, load the grandfather clock and secure it to the side of the moving truck or portable storage unit using moving straps. This will prevent it from shifting during transport.

6. Unload and Reassemble the Clock

Once you reach your destination carefully move the grandfather clock to its new location inside your home. Do not unpack the clock until it is in its final resting place. Carefully unpack the clock and the interior parts. Reassemble the clock while wearing cotton gloves. After assembling the clock, wind it and start using the pendulum.