How to pack and move a grandfather clock | Big Man's Moving Company

How to pack and move a grandfather clock

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Grandfather clocks have always been an integral part of the lives of many families. Its careful ticking and loud noise to signify the time awake one’s fondest memories of childhood and security. However, there comes a time when we have to move our memory-evoking possessions with us. Since a grandfather clock is quite a big, sturdy, and complicated mechanism to handle, the task won’t be easy. Furthermore, it can be quite dangerous to handle because of its weight. Stick with this text if you want to find out how to pack and move a grandfather clock.

How to pack and move a grandfather clock

This text will give you a few tips on how to handle the following:

  • Main advice before you begin to pack and move a grandfather clock
  • What to do with the pendulum?
  • How to remove the weights
  • Cables and chains
  • Movement
  • Decorative elements (including glass shelves)
  • Moving the clock

Main advice before you begin to pack and move a grandfather clock

It is crucial not to lift in any way, nor to carry the clock without it being disassembled first. Trying to do this can not only cause potential damage to the complex mechanism inside but also jeopardize you physically. In principle, you should first remove the pendulum and the clock weights first before even thinking of transportation. If you don’t want to do this on your own, labor-only service might help. Additionally, touching any sensitive elements of the clock with your bare hands is a big “no-no”. By doing so, again, you can easily damage something unintentionally. Furthermore, your hands can become very dirty. All in all, not the best idea. Instead, you should use gloves that are either made of cotton or soft cloth. By doing so, you will prevent sweat and other liquids present on human bodies to contaminate the delicate parts of the clock.

What to do with the pendulum?

If you happen to wonder what kind of movers Clearwater FL can offer, be sure to check out the link. Anyway, coming back to how to pack and move a grandfather clock, here’s how you should handle the pendulum. Firstly (and using the advice provided above) stop it from moving. After holding it in the middle, slowly lift it and unhook it from the suspension spring which holds it in place. Be aware that this should be done very delicately and with no force, as the pendulum itself should easily unhook. When you get to the transportation phase, it would be good to wrap the pendulum with some newspaper. This will act both as a buffer and will also prevent it from moving during transport. In addition, it’s good to wrap the pendulum in bubble wrap and place it in a well-sealed moving box.

A pendulum which needs to be secured before you pack and move your grandfather clock.
Securing the pendulum is of utmost importance.

How to remove the weights

You should first check if chains drive your clock. If that is the case, then you must pull the chains until they are approximately halfway to the top. Next, use a thin wire to tie the chains together where they protrude underneath the movement. This is because you need to ensure that they don’t come off their sprockets during transport. If the movement of your clock is cable-driven, take blocks of hard foam above the pulleys, between the cables. Newspapers will do as well. Next, you need to wind the weights (one at a time) until they stop. That is until the paper rolls or foam blocks that you’ve used are fitted above the pulleys. Tension will be kept on the cables and they will not be able to tangle when the weights are removed.

Additional advice for the previous step:

It is essential that the weights are marked with the symbols “C” (Center), “L” (Left), and “R” (Right). In this way, you will know where to put each element when you embark on reassembling it. Please be aware that the weights are not the same, with the heaviest one being on the right. The right one is also responsible for operating the chime mechanism. Therefore, remember that this is a very important step. The weights should be covered and wrapped with protective material (ensure that it’s soft)- so the brass casing is protected. Finally, you should securely pack them in a well assembled and sturdy moving box. If you think you might need help with packing services Clearwater FL, be sure to refer to the link provided. You’re now about half-way through the procedure of how to pack and move a grandfather clock.

A man wrapping a packing box in duck tape.
Getting good sturdy packing boxes is necessary to protect the clock elements.

Cables and chains

Having removed both the pendulum and weights, you need to move on to the next phase. That is, to ensure that cables or chains do not get mutually intertwined and break back into the clock’s movement. To do this, you should gather the chains top to bottom, after which you need to wrap them in bubble wrap or newspaper. This will prevent the chains and cables from being entangled and from banging against the case. Otherwise, if you don’t like this solution, you can put a piece of cardboard behind and tape them to the cardboard. This will disable them from crossing over, getting misaligned, or moving up into the clock’s movement. Securing the striking mechanism, as well as the hammers for the chime is strongly recommended. You can do this by bending the appropriate levers to prevent the hammer from swinging freely and getting damaged.


In order to safely pack and move a grandfather clock, you need to take care of the movement. It is best done so by removing it and packing it separately in a quality sturdy box. In order to get the know the full mechanism, try consulting the grandfather clock list. It’s worth it.

clock hands on a brown wooden grandfather clock
Knowing what type of grandfather clock is key to a successful move.

Glass and decorative elements

It is necessary to remove any glass panels and decorative elements and place them in sturdy moving boxes to avoid damage. The same should be done with access panels.

Moving the clock

In order to finally pack and move a grandfather clock, you’re going to need a wooden case for carrying the rest of it. If possible, enlist expert help for moving it. Moving companies Lakewood Ranch FL could do the trick. Hopefully, this short guide can help you pack and move a grandfather clock.

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