Five Steps To Safely Pack Your Grandfather Clock For Your Move

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Grandfather clocks consist of many fragile moving parts, which can make them difficult to move safely. Most professional moving companies are familiar with the proper packing and handling of these clocks, but you can also prepare them for the move yourself if you prefer.

#1: Pick Your Packing

The right packing materials are key to transporting your clock safely. Sturdy boxes for each component, along with ample bubble wrap, keeps everything safe.

You are ahead of the game if you saved the original packing boxes for the glass, pendulum and weights. If you didn't, you can use any sturdy box for the weights and glass, but you will need a box sized appropriately for your pendulum. You can find these through your moving company or at a clock repair shop.

#2: Protect the Glass

Grandfather clocks usually have a glass front and sides, and they may also feature side access windows. The front door and the side access windows are usually removable. Side glass panels may clip into place or they may be permanently framed into the clock, so you will have to inspect your clock to see if these are removable.

After removing the glass, wrap it snugly in several layers of bubble wrap and pack it into an appropriately sized box. Make sure there is no wiggle room in the box to help prevent breakage. Once it's all packed up, label the box on all sides with the contents and the word "fragile." Make sure glass is one of the last things your movers load so nothing heavy is set on top of it.

#3: Remove the Weights

The weights are a key component of your grandfather clock's inner workings. The weights are held in place by either cables or chains. If your clock has cables, insert foam blocks above the pulley and between the cables so they don't become tangled after weight removal. For chain clocks, connect the chains with a twist tie just beneath the clock mechanism to prevent tangling and to keep them connected to the mechanism.

Mark the weights with their location in the clock – left, right or center – using masking tape and a pen. Weights need to be wrapped in bubble wrap and boxed tightly. Label the boxes with the contents once everything is taped closed.

#4: Pack Up the Pendulum

Pendulums can be tricky to remove because they have a spring that connects them to the mechanism. You do not want to dislodge or stretch the spring during removal. Lift the pendulum upward until it easily slides off – it should never be forced. Wrap it up and package it in the specially sized box, using the same method as for the weights.

#5: Wrap It Tight

Before you can wrap up the clock housing you will need to check the top. Most grandfather clocks have wooden spires that you can easily screw off. Make sure you remove these so they don't become damaged in the move. Also check the interior of the clock for any removable shelves. These can cause major damage if they come loose during the move. After removing and packing the spires and shelves, you can wrap the entire clock in a moving blanket or bubble wrap to protect it.

Upon arrival, your clock will likely require a professional servicing to make sure it is working properly and keeping the time correctly. If you do reassemble it yourself, make sure the weights and pendulum are adjusted properly so the clock isn't out of balance.