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A beautiful grandfather clock ready to be packed and shipped cross country.

Packing and Shipping Grandfather Clocks

Properly Shipping A Grandfather Clock

Grandfather clocks are more than timepieces, they are beautiful pieces of furniture that happen to tell the time. Whether you're a clock collector or simply inherited a beautiful antique grandfather clock, these items have a special significance. That significance means special care should be taken when moving grandfather clocks, and these large items can be a headache when it's time to transport your belongings to a new home.

If you're planning on transporting a grandfather clock by yourself, follow these instructions to make the process as painless as possible:

Take it apart.

Grandfather clocks appear simplistic when set up in a house, but these monoliths actually contain a highly complex movement that functions using weights that sit inside the clock's body. Before you move the clock at all, it's imperative you remove these weights and other moving elements to prevent them from smashing into the glass and metal walls of the clock.

It's generally a simple process to unhook the weights from the chains they hang on, but you'll want to have bubble wrap, blankets or some other soft material ready to wrap them. The weights are generally made of a polished metal, and can scratch or dent easily. As you wrap each weight, label it according to its original position in the clock. The weights may weigh different amounts, and the clock will not function if they are installed in the wrong order.

Be sure to label every piece for reassembly.

Once you've removed the weights, start dissembling any other parts of the clock that can be taken apart. This includes any shelves inside the clock's body and decorative elements that surround the top.

With all the smaller moving pieces out of the way, it's time to tackle the pendulum. The pendulum is the largest metal piece in the clock, and will be quite heavy. If you can, place the pendulum in the box it arrived in. If you no longer have this box, wrap it in padding and ensure it is secure.

Secure all moving parts.

The chains and springs that supported the weights and pendulum generally can't be removed, but you'll want to make sure these pieces are secured during transit. To prevent these bits from becoming tangled, wrap them in paper and attach them to the interior walls of the clock. The actual timekeeping mechanism can be removed in some clocks, but this isn't the case in every example. You'll need to do research to understand how your particular model was assembled.

Crates are great!

Because the actual inner workings of a clock are so delicate and sensitive to the shocks caused by drops and bumps, dropping your clock in a cardboard box and sending it on a cross-country journey isn't the best idea. Even the most comprehensive padding will not provide the same protection as a custom-designed wooden crate that stabilizes the clock's movement and isolates the entire object from impacts. This can be a daunting process for people who lack carpentry skills or experience with shipping crates, but a range of independent companies can construct a crate that insulates the movement.

If shipping your grandfather clock seems too intimidating, call Ship Smart for a full-service solution. We specialize in moving items over 300 miles and provide an end-to-end solution that simplifies the process and ensures your beloved clock arrives at its final destination in perfect condition. Our packing teams have extensive experience with grandfather clocks and other fragile items. Packers will arrive at your home and create a customized case that will keep your grandfather clock safe during its journey. From there, you can select any of Ship Smart's economical shipping options to transport your clock across the country or around the world.


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