How To Transport A Grandfather Clock

grandfather mahogony style clock

Moving a grandfather clock isn’t easy. Not only do you have to bring it somewhere remote, but you also need to protect it from damage or being broken throughout its long journey. Unless you have someone willing to help, moving a grandfather clock might be more trouble than it’s worth. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process easier. Here we’ll outline everything you need to know about transporting your grandfather clock so that you can move it safely and effectively.

Can A Grandfather Clock Be Transported Laying Down?

Laying down an antique grandfather clock to transport can be risky, as, extra pressure will be added to panels and glass elements. Also, if the tall case clock contains any fragile items, this can also put them at risk of irreversible damage. 

How To Move A Grandfather Clock

grandfather clock

There is no single correct way to move a grandfather clock. There are certain standards that most companies use, but these are just guidelines. The way that you choose to move your clock is entirely up to you and your situation. There are two main ways to move a grandfather clock: by truck or by air. These two options are not mutually exclusive, so if you have access to both, you can choose whichever is more convenient.

Pickup Truck Rental

This is one of the most common ways to transport valuable items securely and safely. Some people think that they need a huge moving truck to transport this type of antique timepiece. However, if you only have access to a box truck, this won’t be an issue as long as there is a truck ramp attached to give you support when lifting the grandfather clock onto the vehicle.

Air Transport

This is the alternative to renting a pickup truck. This would be a suitable choice for those who need to move their valuable clock to a different country or, just a long distance in general. This may also be safer than using a truck as if the truck hits any bumps in the road, it could affect the condition of the weight-driven pendulum clock and put it at risk of permanent damage.

Remove Parts Of A Clock

As well as figuring out what type of transport would be suitable for your long-case clock, there are also certain parts of the long-case clock that you can remove to make the journey more secure. Antique clocks are more valuable than modern grandfather clocks. Therefore, it is important for yourself, or professional movers to handle them with extra delicacy.

Remove Glass Panels

  Use a pair of soft cotton gloves to ensure you don’t scratch or mark the clock with your hands. Then, begin by removing the front glass panels and the front ones too. After that, it is recommended that you wrap the glass in a protective material such as; bubble wrap, bubble wrap cushions or even pieces of cardboard will do the job. 

Remove Clock Weights

Reach inside the chain mechanism and remove the clock weights one by one with a steady hand. Doing the same thing with these as the glass panels, wrap each weight in pieces of bubble wrap and soft packing paper. This is often done when transporting a treasured timepiece like this one. An important thing to do is label each weight with the original location inside the clock, as they will need to be placed back inside after transport.

Remove Pendulum

For maximum protection of the clock, removing the pendulum is necessary. Start by unhooking the pendulum with a gentle hand from the pendulum guide, this should be located at the top of the antique furniture clock. Then, wrap the pendulum in sheets of bubble wrap or blankets with packing tape. You could even use rubber bands to take extra care with individual pieces. 

Remove The Top Of The Clock

Before removing anything, you should secure the chime rods and hammers by using pieces of foam, cardboard pieces or any layer of protection that will secure delicate items. This will make sure that the chimes don’t make any noises during the relocation process and keep them separated. Next, you will need to remove the clock head, if possible. Once you have removed the clock head, you can secure it with protective layering, so that your precious timepiece is ready to go!

Final Steps: Wiring, Hook-ups and Setup

Once the clock is safely in its new location, you can begin to set up the new house for the clock. This includes mounting the clock on the wall, setting it up with a power supply and wiring it to the new house. If the clock is in a new home but the power supply is still in the old home, you’ll have to bring that with you. If the clock has custom wiring or is a particularly old model, you might need to consult with a qualified electrician.


Moving your precious timepiece is challenging and can be very dangerous if you aren’t careful. Moving a grandfather clock by truck is more common than moving it by air, but both methods require preparation and protection. The biggest risk when moving a grandfather clock is irreparable damage. This puts a lot of pressure on, especially if it is a beloved possession or a family heirloom Be sure to protect the clock during transport and once it’s in the new location. If the clock is damaged in any way, you lose its value and may have to start from scratch. When you take these steps, you’ll be able to move your grandfather clock safely, effectively and with minimal effort.

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