5 Costly Mistakes People Make When Moving Grandfather Clocks

Thousands of American homeowners now own grandfather clocks. These classic timepieces make a stylish statement in most homes, but they're also rather cumbersome when it comes to moving house, and if you don't move your grandfather clock correctly, you could cause serious damage. Protect your statement timepiece by avoiding the five following mistakes that other owners sometimes make.

Move with weights and pendulum attached

Grandfather clocks are large, heavy items to move, but even if you're only shipping the item a short distance, you need to remove the weights and pendulum. Moving the timepiece with these parts intact runs the risk of causing serious damage, plus the added weight will make the job even harder.

Carefully remove the pendulum from the clock, wearing soft cotton gloves to protect this ornate part. Pay particular attention to the suspension spring. This part is where the pendulum meets the clock's moving parts. Any damage to the pendulum spring could result in a hefty repair bill.

Mix up the weights

As you remove the weights from the clock, make sure you carefully note which side the weight comes from. Grandfather clock weights seldom weigh the same, even if they look identical. If you reassemble the clock and get the weights round the wrong way, you could cause significant damage to the timepiece's delicate workings.

You don't need anything more sophisticated than two boxes marked left and right. Nonetheless, don't leave the weights unmarked for any period, or you may forget which is which.

Fail to secure cables and chains

Once you have removed the weights and the pendulum, you will have several cables and chains with nothing at one end. In some cases, the cables and chains can snap back into the clock's moving parts or become tangled up with each other. If either of these things happens, you'll almost certainly need a professional repairman to put things right.

One simple solution is to tape the end of each cable and chain to a large piece of cardboard. Once you fix these parts to the card, they cannot move out of place. Make sure you use a tape that's strong enough for the job, but avoid products that may leave an unwanted residue on the cables or chains.

Leave glass shelves in place

Some antique grandfather clocks include several ornamental glass shelves. These timepieces may even feature a mirror on the back wall. On inspection, these parts will often seem sturdy and securely attached, but they can still easily dislodge in transit. As such, you should always remove these parts and pack them safely in a separate container.

If a glass shelf breaks in transit, you could affect the value of your clock because you can't always easily replace the glass with original parts. What's more, fragments of the glass could easily get into and damage the clock's intricate moving parts, so it's worth taking the time to safely disassemble the clock.

Underestimate the weight of the clock

Even if you remove the parts from a grandfather clock, the cabinet is still often heavy and difficult to move. Once you pack the timepiece in an appropriately sized case, the item is likely to become difficult to move, and it's unwise to assume that you can just lift and shift around the timepiece without professional help unless you have lots of experience.

It's more difficult to move a grandfather clock if you have to navigate stairways, slim corridors and narrow doorways. Even the slightest knock could damage the casing. The value of your clock depends almost entirely on the condition, so it's worth investing in professional help if you don't have the time, skill and strength to safely transport your timepiece.

Certain items can complicate your house move, and it's easy to damage a grandfather clock when you move home. Talk to a moving company like Bekins Van Lines Inc in your area for more help and advice.