How to Move a Grandfather Clock

by Gregory Burton

The process of moving such a sensitive, delicate, and heavy object as a grandfather clock is one of patience and caution. There are a series of simplistic but equally important steps that must be followed to ensure a safe move that doesn’t damage you or your property. Here is the basic procedure, bearing in mind that this can vary depending on the clock you have and further preparations may be required.


Step 1: Remove Sensitive Instruments and components

The removal of the clock’s weights, pendulum, and any removable side panels prior to moving the entire unit helps to protect against unwanted scuffs or damage of an internal or external nature. Place the retrieved components in a clean spot where they can remain safely together, preferably in an empty and clean plastic bag. When removing any free weights or removable components such as these, we recommend you wrap and mark them to prevent them from being lost.


Step 2: Attend to Cables and/or Chains

Next, take another bag and carefully insert the chains and/or cables in it, tightly wrapping a rubber band around the top to keep the chains inside. Now that the chains and/or cables are in the wrapped bag, obtain a sizeable piece of painter’s tape and tape the bag to the back of the case. As the chain or cable is still affixed to the case’s gears you will want to keep everything connected to avoid anything coming off during transit.


Step 3: Chime Rod Preparation

Now, it’s time to move on to attending to the chime rods. First, take a piece of cardboard and punch a hole in it that will allow your longest chime rod to pass through. Put that one through this first hole, and next slide the cardboard up until you end up reaching the next longest rod. Repeat the same procedure and punch a new hole here, allowing for that rod to pass through. Continue this procedure until all of your chime rods are separated in their own holes. Now, apply another piece of painter’s tape to the cardboard and firmly secure it to the back of the case. This is an important step to take, as it will prevent your chime rods from vibrating against one another and breaking.

Once you’ve successfully completed these tasks, your grandfather clock can be carefully moved. Be sure to lock everything up that you can, and if traveling long distances, be certain to protectively wrap the case to protect against shifting and damage. When in doubt, however, always be sure to trust a certified clock removal professional with such a delicate piece of property.