By: Barry Share
Some time or other you will have to move your longcase clock whether it’s in the process of moving house or just time to clean behind the case and move it for decorating. A lot of damage can be done by just picking the clock up and moving it in one piece without taking a number of precautions.
So whether you are moving your grandfather clock ten feet or ten miles, always:
1. Wind up the clock so the weights are as close to the seat board as you can get them, but remember you need to be able to put the weights back onto the pulley hooks when reassembling, so leave yourself some room to hold the pulleys with one hand while holding the weight with the other. A good guide line is to wind the pulleys up to just above the trunk door top.
2. Take of the hood to expose the movement and dial and place masking tape or the like over the gut line that is around the strike and going barrels, this will stop the gut line from springing out and getting tangled when you take off the weights and will keep everything in place when you lift the movement and dial from the case.
3. Take off the weights and it’s a good idea to mark them by sticking a piece of masking tape on to each one and writing on them L (Left) and R (Right) or one, two and three in the case of a modern clock with a chiming movement that has three weights, this will ensure the weights go back in the right place, as you will see when you lift them there is a difference in weight.
4. Now take the pendulum off the movement, being very careful not to damage the thin suspension spring (thin piece of spring steel) at the top of the pendulum which is threaded through the crutch at the back of the movement.
5. You can now lift the movement and dial from the case and away from the trunk cheeks by lifting the whole thing up with the seat board and placing it in its packing case. It is best to pack the movement and dial stood upright in the box making sure the bottom of the dial is not crushing the gut lines. This will also keep the front of the dial and clock hands safe, plus the added bonus of keeping the crutch at the back of the movement from possible damage or bending.
6. Your clock is now ready to be moved safely to its new location. To reassemble just reverse the dismantling procedure put the clock into beat and you are up and running.
7. If transporting the clock in your own vehicle be sure the clock case is secure and will not slide, preventing any damage to the veneers or moldings. We have found it is wise to protect the suspension spring on the end of the pendulum by taping it to a piece of thick card to prevent it from being damaged or bent, also make sure the weights are stowed really well as you don’t want 12lb weights rolling around the boot or foot well of your car.