Grandfather clocks are among the most difficult items to move due to their delicate nature and high value. Here are some basic steps to disassemble, pack, and reassemble your grandfather clock to ensure that it will work effectively in your new home.
Disassembling and packing a grandfather clock
Never move a grandfather clock without first taking it apart. Moving it while fully assembled can damage your clock beyond repair. It is best to hire professional movers to handle and move your clock. But if you do decide to disassemble and pack it yourself, follow the below steps:
- Check to see if the clock is anchored to the wall. If so, unscrew the brackets to detach the clock.
- Remove glass panels and pendulum: While wearing soft gloves to protect the brass from oils on your skin, open the glass casing that contains the pendulum and weights. Stop the pendulum and remove it from the clock by holding it from the middle and carefully lifting it off the suspension spring that holds it in place. It should unhook easily. If not, don't attempt to force it.
- Wrap the pendulum in soft, protective padding or foam. Take one or two sheets of newspaper and loosely wrap it around the pendulum guide to keep it stationary.
- Tie chains or cables to prevent from tangling. If your clock has chains, secure them by bunching them top to bottom and then wrapping them in newspaper. Carefully tie them with a band to keep them from tangling. You can also slide a sheet of cardboard behind the chains and carefully tape them to it.
- Remove the weights by unhooking them from the pulleys inside the glass casing. Mark the weights so you can distinguish them for reinstallation later - "Left", "Center" and "Right". Wrap the weights in soft, protective padding to prevent damage to the brass casing.
- Before moving the clock, make sure the movement is securely situated inside the case. In some clocks, the movement is simply set on two sideboards in the case. In these clocks, the movement should be removed and packed separately.
- Wrap the entire clock: Once all of the individual parts are packed away, begin wrapping the clock itself in a moving blanket and tape it securely with packing tape.
Reassembling the grandfather clock
- When you arrive at your new home, find a place for your clock with level, stable flooring. Carpets can be difficult. While the clock does not have to be perfectly perpendicular to the floor, it cannot rock. You can use a small shim to stabilize the case on the floor if it appears to be uneven.
- Replace the movement if it was taken out.
- Attach the pendulum and the weights in the same way you removed them. Make sure the weight that was on the left before is put back on the left, the center weight is placed in the center, etc.
- Remove the wire and newspaper from the chains and cables.
- To get the clock going, simply start swinging the pendulum. To balance the tick-tock sound, move the top of the clock slightly to the right or left with shims under the feet.