How to Move (or Ship) Your Clock
Top Tips to Help You Get There in One Piece
A new home is always exciting—a change in scenery, a new opportunity to try out different decorating styles, and the chance to make friends in your new neighborhood. Whether you’re moving across the country or just down the street, moving your clock can be quite intimidating. Emperor Clock has the tools and insights to help you prepare for your next move.
Is it always difficult to move with a clock?
Not at all! Most clocks are very simple to move with a bit of common sense (perhaps remove the pendulum and make sure to protect any glass pieces to avoid breaks during the move). Just think about the folks moving west across the Oregon Trail with their clocks a few centuries ago—it CAN be done! The calls and emails that we get the most often are usually about moving grandfather/floor clocks (like this gorgeous Nicolette Grandfather Clock) or other larger (or perhaps more expensive) clocks (like this Masterpiece clock, which even gave us quite a bit of anxiety recently when we brought it out for photos!).
How should I pack my clock to move/ship?
When you think about packing your clock for any sort of move, or if you need to ship it (this might apply to anyone selling their clock to an online customer), you want to really keep a few things in mind: 1) don’t let the glass break, 2) protect the movement, 3) keep all of your parts together to avoid losing anything. To avoid breaking the glass, first make sure that you remove all weights, pendulum, and tubes. Tie the chains up as high as you can, using a short piece of wire or a bread tie to secure them in place. This prevents the chains from coming off the sprockets. Any loose chains should be placed inside an old sock or a bag to keep them from sliding during the move. Make sure to also stabilize the chime rods so they don’t bounce around.
Shipping the clock upright is the safest practice to avoid breaking the glass or damaging the movement. This is because glass is stronger on its end and more susceptible to breakage if it is lying flat. If you do need to ship the clock lying on its back, make sure you find something cushiony like a piece of foam to lie the clock on. Stuff the inside of the lower cabinet with a blanket or a quilt. For added rigidity, make a large X across the glass panes using painters tape along the inside and outside of the glass panes.
What about the movement?
During the move, the movement may shift around, especially if the clock isn’t packed tightly inside the box it’s being shipped in. Movements are delicate, so you want to try to avoid any damage. Underneath the board the movement sits on, there are two screws. When a clock is operating as usual, we usually recommend that you tighten these screws only as snug as necessary without being too tight. In preparing for a move, you can tighten these screws just a tad more to ensure the movement stays in place, but if you do this, you’ll want to make sure that you loosen the screws again once the clock has reached its new location. If you do find once you’ve moved that your clock just doesn’t seem to run the same, go back through your original setup instructions. You may find that you need a professional to come and examine your clock to determined whether something can be repaired or if the movement needs replacement. Your local clock shop can help you with this.
Any other important tips to remember?
This may sound obvious, but make sure you clearly mark the outside of the box with FRAGILE. The last thing you want is after all of your careful preparation is for someone to place your clock on the bottom of a stack of other boxes or place it somewhere it could be easily damaged. Additionally, as we’ve already mentioned, we get a lot of calls from people who have lost their pendulums and weights during the move, so definitely make sure keep an eye on these parts, as they can be expensive to replace. Moving is already too expensive to have to replace parts of your clock!
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