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How To Ship Your Grandfather Clock

Posted in Shipping on Nov 02, 2012, tagged with antiques, how to, moving tips

Grandfather clocks have a lot of value. For some, the value is only in that they are very expensive to buy and very expensive to fix. For others, the clock has been in the family for generations and, while the monetary value is still high, the sentimental value is priceless. Whatever the case, if you are moving in the near future, it is important that you take the right steps in order to protect it from damage during the relocation.

While it may seem overwhelming due to the size, it is actually surprisingly simple to safely pack and move a grandfather clock. Below you’ll find instructions from our professionals that will help you learn to pack, prep and ship a grandfather clock.

How to ship a grandfather clock

When shipping a grandfather clock, there are two different approaches you can take:  

1. Hire professionals

The safest and most economical way to ship a grandfather clock is our blanket wrap moving service. This method is the lowest-cost way that we recommend, but we also offer a “crating” service if you want more protection for your clock:

  • Blanket wrap service includes a two-man team of TSI professionals that come inside, carefully prepare and “wrap” your clock for transport and gently carry them outside to be loaded on the truck.

  • Crating is ideal for shipping high-value clocks. We come and crate it on-site, adding additional protection for this high value item. And as you can imagine, it does cost a bit more for the added safety measures.

2. Do it yourself

If you decide to move your grandfather clock by yourself, you’ll want to carefully pack it to ensure its safe arrival to its new residence. Follow these 5 simple steps to save yourself from expensive repairs:

Step 1: Remove the weights, pendulum, and glass

The first and most essential step is to remove the weights and the pendulum from the clock. If you attempt to move the clock without doing this, you could easily damage the movement kit. This is one of the most common issues that people experience who don’t use grandfather clock shipping companies, so take care to remove these pieces:

  • To remove the pendulum, follow the instructions from the manufacturer. If you don’t have disassembly instructions from the manufacturer, first try to carefully remove the pendulum by lifting it up and off from where it is attached. You don’t want to break it, so if it won’t disconnect easily by lifting it, it may be connected differently. If this is the case, you’ll want to find instructions specific to your type of grandfather clock by contacting the manufacturer or a grandfather clock dealer.

  • The weights are typically connected to a chain by a simple clasp or hook. Gently lift them and remove the chain. Again, if yours is different, do not force them off—find instructions for your specific model.

  • Finally, if your grandfather clock has a glass front that can be removed, take that out as well and pack it safely within a padded moving blanket.Step 2: Pack the Pieces

Step 2: Pack the Pieces

If you have the original box for the clock, you can pack these items safely into that. Most people, however, threw out or never had the original packaging. To keep these pieces undamaged during the move, individually wrap them in a soft cloth or in a moving blanket and place them in a box. Keep the glass piece separate, then wrap and place it carefully in its own box.

Step 3: Pack the Clock

Ideally, you should have a customized wooden crate made to hold your grandfather clock during a move. This will ensure it’s held securely and well protected the entire time. You can hire a grandfather clock shipping company to build one, or ask your movers.

If this is not possible, packing it in a large, reinforced cardboard box (such as an empty refrigerator box) can work as long as you are careful and make sure you include proper padding. Wrap the grandfather clock with several layers of bubble wrap and then gently place it in the crate or box. Finally, fill any empty space with packing material; this will help lower the risk of shifting inside the box or crate.

Step 4: Label the Box

The last step is to properly label the box or crate. Make sure to mark each side of the box with either a sticker or large, clear writing that says “FRAGILE.” In addition to this, you will want to mark the box with “THIS SIDE UP” or other similar markings to ensure the box is not laid down or flipped during the move.

Step 5: Place it on the Moving Truck

If you’re moving on your own, carefully load the box onto the moving truck using a dolly. Tilt the box as little as possible and move slowly to minimize the risk for damage. Make sure to use the ETrack straps to help ensure it doesn’t slide, slip and fall.

Common Questions About Grandfather Clock Shipping

Some people are concerned more with how to pack a grandfather clock for shipping, but there are other important things to consider. Frequently we are asked questions like:

  • Can you ship a grandfather clock across the country?
    Yes, you can ship a grandfather clock across the country.

  • Do I need a grandfather clock shipping box?
    Yes—Grandfather Clocks must be prepared, wrapped or boxed, and sometimes crated to ensure safe transport.

  • Who are reliable movers?
    TSI is a reliable mover serving America since 1989. Experience counts—choose a professional grandfather clock mover with over 20 years experience.


Whether your grandfather clock is valuable in sentiment or just monetarily, ensure that it arrives safely by taking care to:

  • Remove the movement kit
  • Carefully pack the pieces
  • Wrap and box the body of the clock
  • Clearly label the box, indicating which side is up
  • Gently load it onto the moving truck, tilting it as little as possible

If you’d rather not handle the move on your own, you can hire a professional grandfather clock shipping company, like TSI. Our shipping services include custom crating and professional shipping throughout the country. Fill out our simple contact form or give us a call at 1-800-626-1257 for a free, no obligation custom quote.

"How Do I Ship a Grandfather Clock?"

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