Best Vehicle to Transport Antique Long Case Clock?

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Vercus, Jan 7, 2018.

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  1. Vercus

    Vercus Registered User

    Apr 9, 2009
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    Hello,
    I'm curious about the logistics of transporting an antique long case clock. I'm told they should remain vertical, to prevent damage to the case. With that in mind, it would seem like vehicle options are limited.

    Things like minivans, SUVs or even cargo vans are out, due to insufficient headroom. That would seem to leave only a box truck, or possibly a cube-van. My concern with either of these vehicles would be the hard ride.

    When I moved, I drove a 16 foot box truck, and empty, that thing shook around like crazy. I couldn't imagine a clock riding in the back. Would be afraid it would shake it to pieces.

    So what would you guys recommend? I really want a German bim-bam clock, but am unsure of how to make it happen.

    Thanks,
    Jon
     
  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User
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    Jul 26, 2015
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    I think it depends on what sort of clock you are talking about.

    If you mean a british style longcase of 17th/18th or early 19th century then I find a hatchback fine.

    I only have a smart car, but I usually hire a car or borrow my partner's car, I have used a Peugeot 108, SEAT Ibiza, Renault Clio, Honda Civic, and Alfa 147, BMW 325 convertible.

    Recently I used an Insignia Estate, and friends use mercedes and VW estates, I know a dealer who uses a Nissan Micra!

    Using a hatch I take the parcel shelf and rear head rests out, recline and slide the carcase in either base first or top first. On the SEAT we used to put the base down into the passenger footwell, on the Peugeot you had to put the back seat down and rest the top of the backboard on the dash. It depends on the length and the height of the hatch opening. All of my longcase are around 2 metres long with the hood off.

    On the BMW we put the roof down, lowered the back of the passenger seat, dropped the clock in from above, and put the roof back up. Hood and Movement could then go in the boot. (Remember to take them out before putting roof down again)

    The weights need to go by the side of the seats in the space between the sill and the seat to stop them rolling about, the hood in the boot, the pendulum can go in the carcase. The movement and dial wrap in a blanket or bubble wrap and rest it face down in a box to keep it secure.

    Victorian longcase may be rather too big for a hatch.

    I can do bracket clocks in the Smart, I put them on the passenger seat with the seatbelt round them. :)
     
  3. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    I have the long version of a Chevy Suburban with seating for 7 plus about 4 feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. I have taken the seats out. I lay long case clocks on a layer of blankets after removing the bonnet. I support them on the sides with cushions after wrapping the whole case in a soft blanket. I don't usually pick up or deliver more than 75 miles and have never had an issue with a case that I know of. But most of the time I pick up the movement, dial, weights and pendulum and leave the case with the customer.
     
  4. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Yes. I remove the movement and leave the case there.
     
  5. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Sep 27, 2005
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    In answer to your original question, there is no harm in your clock being laid horizontally, it does not have to remain vertical. But you must remove the weights, secure the lines and protect the chime rods.

    There has been quite a lot of correspondence about transporting long case clocks in the past - you could look at past posts by using the search facility on this site.

    Hope this helps.

    JTD
     
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  6. JTD

    JTD Registered User
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    Sep 27, 2005
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    He's buying a whole clock, not taking a movement for service.

    JTD
     
  7. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    I've never found vertical transport necessary. Having said that, our oldest Tall Case is just over 100 years and all of them were mass produced for distribution. We usually rent a cargo van. We place carpet remnants on the floor and tie the case down so it doesn't shift. Everything that is not secured in or on the case is removed and boxed separately. If or when we need to transport all of our tall case clocks at the same time (currently at eight), I'll probably look into rentng a truck tall enough to haul them vertically but to do so for one at a time would be expensive and wasteful.
     
  8. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Yes. Laying a clock down is fine. I have delivered new grandfather clocks with my Triton. There is no way that a clock can be laid down with pendulum and weights still attached. It is far easier to remove them for transit than try to secure them. There is also no way that moving it vertically with or without pendulum and weights could be good for the clock.
    In addition, all the grandfather clock boxes I have removed the clock from have all had the glass side up.. ie; laying on it's back. That is, from the manufacturer.
     
  9. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Big cushie SUV. The case should be empty with movement/dial, and weights carried separately. Roll each weight up in a bath towel and place on the floor where they can't roll. The movement and attached dial can ride on a towel folded in half (long way) and roll up at both ends. If it has a hood, the hood needs to go in a box (upright) with a brace tacked across the lower back. A 5 gallon paint stirred works well. This will stabilize the weak part of the hood/bonnet. loose bubble wrap is good here.
    No need to wrap or box any of the othet parts. A once folded moving blanket under the case is good and make sure to stabilize the chime rods.
    Willie X
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    I use a 1/2" piece of styro foam to hold the chime rods secure. Just press it onto the longest rod, making a hole through it, then proceed upward until all the chime rods have their own hole. That will hold them from moving around and potentially breaking off or bending during the trip.
     
  11. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Post #9, that was supposed to be a 5 gallon paint "stirrer". Spell check likes stirred better than stirrer. Ha

    Here is a photo of how to carry the movement/dial. German clock? Just remove the pendulum and slide the movement/dial/seat board out and lay it face down on the prepaired towel. The hands need to be between 11 and 1 or 5 and 7, so they are in the space created by rolling up the ends of the towel.

    Best place to carry the pendulum is in the clock case. Wrap with paper and tape it to the backboard.

    Good luck, Willie X

    20160204_112052.jpg
     
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  12. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    For the chime rods I like Willie's pool noodle idea - they work great. I also use them on cable movements. I cut a slot partly through one side and wind the cable up with the weight still on it with the section of noodle under the seat board so that the pulley embeds into the slot - then take the weight off and no worries on a bird's nest.
     
  13. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    BTW, it's a good time to stock up on noodles. They will go up from 50 cents to $2.99 in a few months. Willie
     
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  14. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    year round here for a dollar at the dollar store - but they do run out
     
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  15. Vercus

    Vercus Registered User

    Apr 9, 2009
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    Does any of this change when transporting a clock with chime tubes? Other than or course removing the tubes and wrapping them individually. How about the movement? Any special handling that differs from a standard movement?
     
  16. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Yes, usually you can clamp a straight stick (paint stirrer) left to right, across the tube hanger for the hammers to rest against. Otherwise the pullback springs are easy to break, if they are allowed to flop around.
    Willie X
     
  17. mauleg

    mauleg Registered User

    Dec 26, 2012
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    #17 mauleg, Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    Some tube chime GF clocks, like the one I'm currently rebuilding, simply hang the tubes off of a rack using strings or wires. The tubes can easily be lifted off of the rack for transport. The rack and hammers are attached to the movement and are a single assembly. The only thing that may be advisable to do differently would be to insert a towel under the hammers to keep them from bouncing about.

    *Edit: Or use a stick, like Willie X suggested before I could post...
     
  18. new2clocks

    new2clocks Registered User
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    Apr 25, 2005
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    The only thing I can add to the good advice already given is to lock the door of the clock, especially if the clock has glass in the door.

    Regards.
     
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  19. Time After Time

    Time After Time Registered User
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    Feb 22, 2010
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    I usually just tie string around the rack to help contain the chime hammers. The hour strike hammer may be orientated 90 degrees from the chime hammers and must be secured separately of course. Also, I take along a board to secure the pendulum to. It should be sufficiently long enough to protect both the suspension spring and the rate nut and screw. Either one can be easily bent/damaged when handling or moving the pendulum. I use shrink wrap to secure it to the board but packing tape will work, just don't apply it directly to the pendulum, especially if the clock won't be unpacked right away. Strong tape can pull off finishes or even plating.
     
  20. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    Having worked a bit in a glass shop - I also put a big X of blue painter's tape on a large glass window. It is surprising how much just a bit of tape will dampen the vibration of the glass rattling down the road. The glass is not likely to break, but if it is held in place with metal clips or brads, the vibration can cause the glass to chip where it meets the metal.
     
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