How to Move, Pack and Store a Grandfather Clock

An intricate antique weighing up to 220 pounds, you may worry about how to properly move a grandfather clock. Between the weights, dial, cables and pendulum, these clocks have more parts than an Ikea dresser.

Whether you have a Ridgeway or a Sligh, it’s crucial to learn how to safely move a grandfather clock. Keep the hands of time moving and your timepiece intact with these tips:

The Basics

  • Remove the accessories. Remove the accessories from the clock’s body. The parts you remove and how you remove them will depend on the brand of your grandfather clock (more on that below). On some brands, the clock movement that sits behind the face isn’t attached and rests on a shelf. Some also have finials—the small, decorative spires that stick up at the top—that you can unscrew. If your piece has these removable parts, you’ll need to detach and pack them separately. Remember to use a pencil to make marks on the accessories you remove so you’ll know how to put them back properly.
  • Limit movement. Even with the pendulum and weights removed, the slightest movement can still cause damage. Enlist at least 2 other sets of helping hands to move your grandfather clock as slowly and safely as possible.

How to Move a Ridgeway Grandfather Clock

Carefully remove the pendulum and weights. Wrap and pack the accessories to prevent damage. After you move your clock, re-install the weights before you attempt to wind the cables.

How to Move a Sligh Grandfather Clock

Just like with the Ridgeway, remove the weights and pendulum before you transport the clock. Sligh clock parts are typically made of brass, so make sure to handle them with a soft, cotton cloth. Dust with a clean cloth before reinstalling.

How to Pack a Grandfather Clock for Shipping or Moving

If you’re planning to ship your clock, make bubble wrap your best friend (we recommend 4-6 layers). For glass areas and pieces, wrap in paper before bubble wrap to prevent dents. Find or order a box that’s at least 80″ x 25″ x 15”. Add “Fragile” and “This Side Up” notices so your grandfather clock remains upright. Finally, insure your package for extra piece of mind.

If you’re simply transporting your timepiece, a furniture blanket provides the best protection. Once you’ve separately packed the moving pieces, wrap the body in a blanket and tape it tightly. Even with the interior weights removed, some parts may remain loose. A heavy-duty furniture blanket prevents movement while keeping the clock safe from sharp edges. Never tilt the clock on its side for transport, as this will damage its internal components. Use a dolly to roll it to its new home.

Learn how to move more difficult items: