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Clocks, Watches/moving advice for grandfather clock


I have a Diplomat grandfather clock made in 1986.  I want to move it to another house.  I have the set up instruction booklet, but was hoping we didn't have to dismantle the cables, chimes, etc to move it as the instructions seem pretty complex.  I was hoping to just stabilize the insides with packing material and move it that way.
What are your suggestions for moving the clock?
Thank you,
Nancy Jacks
El Dorado Hills, CA

Nancy, it isn't really that complicated.  Of course the weights and pendulum have to me removed.  Carefully remove the weights and pack them seperately.  Make sure they are identified, left, center and right (as you face the clock).  If they are not marked, I suggest using a permanent marker and put an "L", "C" and "R" on the bottom.  Remove the pendulum and pack it in padded material.  Care should be taken when removing and replacing the pendulum.  If mishandled, the suspension spring at the top of the pendulum hanging assembley can be easily broken.  Put some padding up in the chime rods and secure it with rubber bands or chenelle ties (long pipe cleaners).  This keeps the chime rods from vibrating during transporting , which will cause them to weaken and sometimes break. Secure the hanger (the arm from which the pendulum hangs).  I use a piece of blue painter's tape for short moves.  Just tape it to the back of the movement.  I usually let the clock run down most of the way before moving so the weights are near the bottom.  Tie them together with large rubber bands and anchor them at the bottom front of the clock door.  Some clocks have a hook down there for that purpose.  Sometimes I will attach the rubber band to a rolled up piece of cardboard and pull it under the door as I close the door to secure it.  If the clock has a finial at the top of the crown, remove it.  It should not be glued.  The reason for this is so it doesn't become broken when moving the clock through doors.  The clock can be transported on its back.  Make sure the doors are secured so they don't open during transporting.  Just make sure you have some flat padding underneath it.  I hope this helps a little.

John Newman
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama  

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John Newman


As I am not a certified appraiser I do not give values of clocks over the Internet. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". However, considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. As clock case model label numbers are difficult to relate to the movements, it is helpful if you can give me the information usually found on the movements themselves. Modern clock movements usually have the information on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 40 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop in Prattville, Alabama.


One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required at Emperor. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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