How to Prepare a Grandfather Clock for Transport
There is no more single delicate piece of furniture than a grandfather clock. Grandfather clocks are precision instruments that rely on gravity and a solid setup to operate properly. Even moving a grandfather clock a few feet inside your house can cause irreparable damage, and can even render the clock unworkable. For moving a grandfather clock to a new location, steps must be taken to ensure it keeps ticking out the hours and minutes for decades to come.
Check to make sure that the clock is not anchored to the wall. If it is, unscrew any clips or brackets, freeing the clock from the wall or ceiling. Open the door of the clock and lift the weights to within about 6 inches of the movement, which is the actual clock mechanism, including gears.
Slide a piece of cardboard full-length behind the weights and chains. Unhook the weights one at a time. Mark them "Left," "Right," and "Center" with a piece of tape, wrap them in bubble wrap, then lay them in a prepared box. Unhook the pendulum; carefully lift it free of the case. Wrap it with foam and place it in its own case. Tape the chains to the cardboard with tape.
Reach inside with a Phillips screwdriver and look for four screws that release the hood. Unscrew them. Carefully lift off the hood, lay it on bubble wrap, making sure to support any appropriate parts that come with your model with Styrofoam and or cardboard. Wrap bubble wrap around the hood, and place it in a case by itself.
Gently move the clock out from the wall. Now that the movement is exposed it should be kept clean. Drape plastic around it. Carefully wrap the case with moving blankets, securing them with tape.
Lay the blanket-wrapped case inside a prepared box, and continue padding with Styrofoam, bubble wrap, or blankets until the case doesn't move at all.
Things You Will Need
- Grandfather clock
- Cardboard boxes or light wooden crates
- Styrofoam pieces
- Bubble wrap pieces
- Moving blankets
- Phillips screwdriver
- Masking tape
- Methods of packaging do not fit all clock models. Some models do not have removable hoods. If this is the case leave the clock intact, but remove the weights and pendulum. Pad the chimes, movement, and anything else that can move. Call around to packaging stores or supermarkets to find cardboard boxes to fit parts separately.
- Oils from human skin can damage the brass finish on grandfather clocks. Always wear rubber gloves when handling the clock face, weights, or pendulum.