Moving a grandfather clock FAQs

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Keep reading to find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about moving grandfather clocks.

Why do they call them grandfather clocks?

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the name “grandfather clock” came from the song “Grandfather’s Clock,” written by Henry Clay Work in 1876. Grandfather clocks are pendulum clocks in a wooden case that are typically six to eight feet tall. Believe it or not, there are also “grandmother clocks,” which look similar to grandfather clocks but are only five to six feet tall.

Can you lay down a grandfather clock to move?

We don’t advise laying the clock on its back, side or front when moving a grandfather clock. It’s best to transport a grandfather clock standing up, so that you don’t damage or break the inner workings or outside of the clock. 

How do you move a grandfather clock without damaging it?

You want to use plenty of caution when moving a grandfather clock – especially the ones that are antiques. Many parts are small, fragile and susceptible to damage. It’s important to always move the clock in an upright position – never on its side or lying down. Take out and pack individual parts of the clock, such as the pendulum and weights. For a more detailed guide, read our step-by-step guide in this article.

How much does it cost to have a grandfather clock moved?

Most full-service movers have a minimum shipment weight requirement. So, if you’re only moving a grandfather clock – and nothing else – then you’ll need a specialty moving or shipping service to pack, crate and transport the grandfather clock. 

According to Ship Smart, a shipping company that specializes in shipping high-value items, the estimated cost of shipping a grandfather clock from Boston to Miami is $804 to $985. Of course, the farther you ship the grandfather clock, the more expensive it will be. The Ship Smart estimate for moving a grandfather clock from Miami to Fort Lauderdale (roughly 30 miles) is $720 to $880. 

How do you transport a pendulum clock?

There are many different types of pendulum clocks. When moving a pendulum clock, it’s always important to remove the pendulum and weights (if any) before moving it. You’ll need to pack and secure these separately from the clock. The clocks should be wrapped in plastic bubble wrap and/or heavy moving blankets when transported to a new home. 

How do I find grandfather clock movers near me?

You can look for specialty and full-service movers in our moving company directory. Most shipping services, such as Ship Smart and uShip, have shippers that specialize in moving grandfather clocks as well. If you’re moving locally, you can also contact local grandfather clock repair specialists in your area to ask for a local mover recommendation.

Do I need to hire a professional to repair or clean my grandfather clock?

Yes, we recommend finding a grandfather clock repair technician to repair and/or clean your grandfather clock. Professionals have ample experience with antique clocks and large pendulum clocks. They will know the correct materials and supplies to use when cleaning and repairing clocks.

How heavy are grandfather clocks?

Grandfather clocks are heavy. Weight varies by clock, but most grandfather clocks weigh somewhere between 100 and 300 pounds.

How many people does it take to move a grandfather clock?

At least two. Don’t attempt to move a grandfather clock by yourself unless you’re seasoned and experienced in moving heavy and fragile antiques. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself or damage the clock, so it’s always a good idea to have an extra set of hands to assist when moving a heavy item.

How do you set up a grandfather clock?

Unwrap and unpack your grandfather clock. Make sure the grandfather clock is sitting on a level surface and won’t tip over. Remove the packaging that surrounds the clock chime rods and hammers (located inside the clock). Unpack and carefully hang the pendulum. Untie the twist-tie that is holding the cables or chains together. Unpack and hang each weight according to its corresponding side (left, center and right). To set the clock’s time, move the minute hand counterclockwise until it’s the correct time. Make sure all glass panels are in their correct place. Finally, wipe down or dust off the grandfather clock.

Have a moving company move your grandfather clock 

Grandfather clocks must be handled and moved with the utmost care and attention. If you’re not sure how to transport a grandfather clock and are worried about damaging it, we recommend hiring professionals to do it for you. It’s especially important to have professionals move your grandfather clock if it’s an antique and particularly fragile. 

To find the best moving company to move your grandfather clock, check our extensive network of reputable and reliable movers. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move (and your valuable clock) will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!

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