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How to move Grandfather or Longcase Clock Removals

Our guide to moving grandfather or longcase clocks

Abels Moving Services has decades of expertise in moving grandfather clocks and a wide range of other treasured timepieces. The company specifically trains our moving staff in handling various clocks at its dedicated training school where they practise assessing, careful dismantling, precise packing techniques, handling and grandfather clock moving, unpacking, and finally, reassembly and placement. Our employees are practised in all these skills, ensuring maximum care for your treasured heirlooms.

The key steps we take for moving grandfather clocks:

  1. Inspect the grandfather clock for damage and report.
  2. Wind up the weights, remove and mark left and right.
  3. Remove the hood, wrap and place in a carton.
  4. Remove the pendulum and fasten to the wooden spline.
  5. Remove the clock workings, wrap in paper, package the keys and screws, label and place in the same carton.
  6. Remove the clock case and pack on to the vehicle.

Our Grandfather Clock Removal Service

Abels moving grandfather clocks

Assessment & Inspection

Before moving a grandfather clock, our first step is with the customer to inspect the grandfather clock for damage or any fragile, loose items, such as keys. Any damage to your antique clock found is noted, photographed and reported to the customer. This is done to avoid disappointment at the time of delivery.

Packing a Longcase Clock

The Abels removal teams will carefully wind up weights to normally three-quarters of the way to the top of the case, unhook and mark them, left and right, for packing. The cord is then tightened with crushed paper.

The grandfather clock’s hood is removed, wrapped for protection, placed into a robust Abels carton for safety and then crush paper placed around to restrict movement. This is a vital step in moving grandfather clocks as it protects from any damage during transit.

You can rest assured that our professional removal services provide the best protection when moving grandfather clocks. The greatest of care is taken with the pendulum and clock workings, as these are fragile and integral parts of the device. We remove the pendulum, taking special precautions to avoid distorting the spring at the top, called the ‘feather’, by fastening it securely to a wooden spline. The clock’s workings are removed by lifting them from the base and placing them in a carton, wrapped in white paper, while ensuring delicate hands are not damaged in the process. We never use woollen blankets in this instance because fluff can damage the clock workings. All keys and screws are bagged or parcelled then labelled and packed into the same carton.

We finally export wrap the clock case, ready for stowage on our air ride pantechnicon.

Transporting Other Timepieces

Abels training centre has all the household items our removals teams can be faced with, ensuring that their skills are fully honed by practising on them rather than the customers’ belongings. This is true whether the timepiece is a mantle clock, hooded wall clock, carriage clock, Vienna clock or grandmother clock – Abels can handle your antique timepieces.

Casing Clocks

Many of the clocks Abels moves are of high or sentimental value, which for added protection have bespoke wooden cases manufactured for them. The cases can be lined inside with foam to cushion the clock, which is then wrapped before being placed into the crate. These cases can be held in Abels’ store until the next time the clock is to be relocated.


Due to the high value of many of our consignments, all our operatives have a high level of security clearance, carrying identification cards at all times. Our staff’s packing techniques are honed each year in our training school.


All movements are confidential and handled only by senior operations managers. Client information remains private and it is the duty of all Abels’ employees to maintain it. Warehousing is all purpose-built, modern, clean and dry. Security is provided by state-of-the-art Redcare alarm and CCTV systems, and warehouses are located in low-crime areas.

Moving Grandfather Clocks

Abels’ fleet is all modern, providing soft air-ride suspension and a double inner skin to offer improved protection for loaded items. Environmental concerns are addressed by their euro-5 compliant engines, which are currently the kindest to the environment. To increase security on long-distance trips, drivers sleep in the vehicle which is alarmed and has security seals on each door. Lorries of various sizes are available depending on the job in hand, with destinations ranging across Europe from the far south of Italy, to Sweden, and from Gibraltar to Russia.

Storing Your Grandfather Clocks

Abels has purpose-built storage facilities, away from high crime locations, which have state-of-the-art Redcare linked alarm systems and are monitored by CCTV. Clocks remain in the cases that they are packed in, marked with your name, reference number and destination.

How To Set Up a Grandfather Clock After Moving It?

Setting up your grandfather clock can be just as difficult as packing it up for moving. We recommend the following steps when setting down your clock in your new home to ensure it is as safe and remains in the best possible condition.

  • Ensure your clock stands on a level surface. This will ensure the time-keeping mechanism remains perfectly functional.
  • Give your clock time to adjust after a move. The pendulum will require time to return to its regular swinging pattern.
  • Set your time by turning the minute hand counterclockwise. This method avoids the grandfather’s melody each time when passing the hour mark.
  • Wind weekly. Regular winding after moving will ensure time is kept correctly.

Clock Repair & Cleaning Service

Many customers ask that cleaning and restoration is undertaken at the time of moving, as this can be done while the grandfather clock is dismantled. Our experts take the clock apart to clean it, avoiding using solvents that could cause untold damage or leave a film to attract dust. This can be carried out at a customer’s home or at our partner’s workshops. Damaged wooden cases can be fully restored with repairs hidden by polish blending, while broken clocks can be returned fully working back to their previous best condition.

Please call 0800 626 769 for more details on this specialised service.