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How to Move a Grandfather Clock

One of the toughest possible questions that arise when moving to a different home is how to move a grandfather clock. Fragile and sensitive are the words that must be repeated to movers several times while they carry this object that you may have inherited from your grandfather. Most of the damage that happens to old grandfather clocks occurs during moving out, simply because they haven’t been taken care of properly. The cost of repairs of such clocks can be very high, so make sure you pack everything right.

So, when you decide to move out, you need to have a plan for moving such fragile items to your next home and make a checklist for your relocation expenses. It can be tedious and costly, but it is worth taking some time to have everything ready, instead of risking some serious damage. You would want to have something to remind you of your old home inside your future place, and what better thing than antique clocks.

Since we don’t want you to risk anything, here are several tips on how to pack and move this precious memory, made of wood and glass. Simply follow our handy guide, and everything will go smoothly.

First Step – Choose How to Move a Grandfather Clock

Before you start doing anything, it’s important to learn how to move with your most precious items. There are many ways to transport and pack delicate and fragile items, such as your grandfather clocks. You should consider all the conditions and choose the least painful and stressful way. For example, the item may have to be carried through a flight of stairs from the second floor, in which case it will take at least two people and possibly a platform moving device, depending on the weight of the object. Of course, the elevators are great, but in case you don’t have one in your building, think of the right steps to transfer it.

How to Move a Grandfather Clock

A Guide on How to Disassemble: Remove the Pendulum and Weights from the Clock

Just like with packing dishes, wrapping your pots and pans, or carefully taking care of your expensive china, there are many things you need to prepare before you get moving services. Let’s revise some essential tips on how to disassemble your grandfather’s favorite clock when moving to another home. Remember that one of the most important tips is to take care of the inside elements and pack them separately.

Go Shopping for Wrapping Materials for Your Grandfather Clock

Before every packing and unpacking, the first tip we will give you is to be equipped properly. When packing an apartment, most people go buying packing boxes, and all kinds of bags and wraps. In this case, since clocks are sensitive and made of glass to a certain extent, make sure you purchase enough bubble wrap or packing paper to protect it from breaking. Also, when you take out all the inside parts, you have to protect them well. You are going to need a lot of it when the time comes to pack, so buy away!

Place a 3-foot piece of bubble wrap on a table or the floor next to the item. Open the front door of the clock, remove the pendulum that is inside while being very careful not to damage the suspension spring that joins it, and place it in bubble roll. Bind it tightly around the item and then place the protected pendulum in a large plastic storage container. Cut a piece of bubble roll and gently put it around the suspension spring and the plastic tape. It is very important to carefully protect the glass of the clock.

The hardest task is to remove the weights is the hardest part, but with some fundamental physics, everything can be done quickly.  Here’s a quick and simple guide: pull down the two vertical chains (or cables) that lift the weights. Be careful not to tangle the wires. Make sure you memorize where everything was, so you don’t mix up the weights. Ideally, take a photo or a video before you remove the pendulum and weights – this will save you precious time once you start reassembling everything.

Don’t Leave out the Last Step

Take a length of 2-feet of bubble wrap and cut vertically through the center to make a thinner section. Interweave it around the chains (at the top) that have taken the weights off and use some plastic tape to secure the strings and prevent them from being loose. Involve the chains at the bottom in the same way. This way, you increase the safety of the item and make sure it is tightly protected.

How to Move a Grandfather Clock

The Importance of Careful Maneuvering

Each element is important. You know how fragile the item is, so make sure that everyone involved in this process (whether you call movers for a hassle-free relocation or your friends to help you carry it out) perform it carefully and diligently. Check for other parts that can move and secure them with bubble wrap, and then with adhesive tape. It controls the movement of the mechanism so that the inside of the timepiece doesn’t get damaged. 

The maneuver involving the pendulum and weights, as well as all other tiny parts of the treasured item,  has to be done gently. It’s no use if the transportation goes well if you break the mechanism while packing it. Open your eyes wide and take good care of each element.

How to Move a Grandfather Clock

Final Steps – Protect the Clock Before Moving

Take the second bubble roll and enfold it around the center section of the clock door and the trunk, rolling until the bubble wrap is completely depleted, then tape it securely. Follow this by packing the entire item in heavy wool blankets, allowing a 2-foot overlap at the bottom so the base can also be covered when moving. Some may suggest using towels as an alternative to blankets, but the materials are different. Also, the blankets’ surface is bigger so you don’t need to worry about the coverage.

How to Move a Grandfather Clock

Use Trucks Instead of Cars

Now prepare a small bed within the truck. Place three 8-foot long sections of the rope in the front, center, and back of the “bed” toward the side walls. Place the 4-inch x 8-inch sheet of rigid foam insulation panels in the center of the bed and on top of the ropes. Next, cover the foam board with several blankets. The insulation panels will act as an additional spring to help cushion the object.

Tips on How to Transport a Grandfather Clock

Ideally, you will need the help of at least two people. Put the item on the prepared blanket cover plate. Push blankets against the sidewalls of the truck to prevent any movement. Pull the rope over the case and tie securely. When finished, carry out the hood of the clock and the plastic storage compartment and place them in the front of the truck case. Use clamping cables to secure more items. And remember to protect your carpets while you take care of everything.

When moving this precious item to your future home cross-country with a home inventory, follow this same procedure, just increase the blanket number for a more extended trip. If you are only traveling a short distance, plan a route on less-traveled roads and be sure to drive slowly over potholes and railroad tracks. Once again, it is a precious and fragile item in question. Simply follow our tips, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.