Moving Large or Grandfather Clocks

Oct 19, 2023 | Tips & Tricks

I have been involved in the repair of many broken grandfather clocks. All of them were damaged in the process of moving them. Although I am certainly not an expert in clocks or clock mechanisms, I do know that taking precautions when moving them is critical. Here are a few common sense steps to follow.

The moving project becomes increasingly difficult with objects that are large and complex. Objects that come apart into many pieces or are unwieldy require extra care and preparation. Because of their many parts, grandfather and grandmother clocks are very difficult to move. Always remove the pendulum and weights from within the clock before doing anything else. These pieces are heavy and will damage the clock case if they smash into the side of the case. They may also cause damage to the mechanism itself. Wear cotton gloves when you remove the pendulum and weights, to avoid corroding the metal pieces from skin contact. Remove the hood from the top of the clock (they often slide forward), and lay it down to pack and move separately. Make sure the door to the case is locked or securely closed before moving the clock. Use bare hands, not gloves, for moving and packing the carcass of the case. For short moves, like those of only a few feet, it is permissible to lift by grabbing the narrow case from the underside of the molding at the top of the waist, or center portion of the case, provided that the molding is firmly attached to the case itself. For longer moves, or if that molding is not secure, the clock case should be carried flat like a coffin.