Time Marches On -- A Quick Guide To Moving Your Grandfather Clock

Moving antiques can be nerve-wracking. Not only are many valuable and delicate, they can also be family heirlooms or have sentimental value. A rare item like a grandfather clock is a good example of an antique that can be tough to transport and store. Here's a handy 7-step guide to successfully moving your clock.

  • Remove the pendulum first. Pack it in a large, well-marked box that will hold or be kept with the other clock parts.
  • If the clock has cable weights, use a loose roll of newspaper to place above the pulley as the weights are wound. Leave the paper jammed above the pulleys to hold the cable in place.
  • In the event your clock has chains instead of cable, wind the clock about halfway and use a small piece of wire to tie the chains together just above the movement. Wrap the chains so that they don't damage the finish as the clock is moved.
  • Mark the weights' positions and remove them, padding and placing them in the same box with the wrapped pendulum. Do the same with the tubes (if your clock has them).
  • Secure the movement before trying to move the clock itself. If the movement simply sits on sideboards inside the clock casing, remove it and pack it carefully with the pendulum.
  • Wrap cloth around any chime rods and secure it with string or rubber bands.
  • Once these parts have either been secured and wrapped or removed, it's time to move the clock itself. It may be best to use professionals, like Dixie Moving and Storage Inc., to move the clock by dolly and protective blankets.
  • Place the clock case in a rigid box and store it upright if possible. Make sure the storage surface is flat and the box is stable and secured to prevent falls or other stored items falling on it.
  • Once you've moved the clock to its new, permanent location, replace the items in the same order they were removed. Use the marks you made to place the weights, tubes and chimes.
  • Balance the clock using leveling feet once you've started the pendulum swinging again to ensure a proper tick-tock sound.

If you're unsure how to perform any of these tasks or your clock is particularly fragile, it may be best to work with a professional experienced in moving and storing antiques. But whether you do it yourself or you have help, taking the time to properly prepare your grandfather clock for moving will help ensure that it survives the move intact and continues to live a long and healthy life.