The Clock Mart Blog

Grandfather Clocks, Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks, Wall Clocks, Mantel Clocks

Packing a cuckoo clock for shipping or moving

Posted by clockmart on February 7, 2010

Please note these directions are for a cuckoo clock with mechanical movement and with chains and weights as my experiences are largely related to Black Forest cuckoo clocks.

If you have your clock’s manufacturer’s instructions rely on those first and foremost.  If you do not have those instructions the following general guidelines should be followed.

When  shipping a cuckoo clock whether for repair or service or just packing for moving it is important to insure the chains are appropriately secured for any cuckoo clock with weights and that the pendulum is packed correctly.

Why do you ask?  If the chains become dislodged from the cogs that drive them it is very difficult and frustrating to get them back on their cog.  It is much easier to avoid doing so.   If the pendulum is damaged you risk the functionality and reliability of your clock as the pendulum is an important part of the timekeeping functionality of a mechanical clock.


To pack correctly, pull the chains so the weights are close to the bottom of the case. Remove the weights from the hooks.  This will leave the hooks at the bottom of the case.  Insert a piece of string, wire or a twist wrap through all the chains as close as possible to the case bottom.  Bundle up the chains in a piece of aluminum foil and tie up tightly with a rubber band, tape or string. This prevents the chains from coming off the cogs/wheels, and creating a snarled mess of chains inside the clock.

Put a strip of paper in the spiral gong on the inside of the back access panel.  This is the chime spring and this strip of paper will protect it from damange.   I also use the blue making tape available from a paint or hardware store to secure the door through which the cuckoo appears.  This type of tape does not leave a sticky residue on the clock cabinet.

Pack the clock in an oversize box with crushed newspaper, (do not use Styrofoam peanuts), and then wrap and label the pendulum, and place in box. If you still have the original shipping carton use that.

If packing for moving also wrap the weights in newspaper or bubble wrap.

If you are packing to ship to a service or repair facility check with them.  You may not need to send the weights.  Rather if there are any numbers on the weights, ( 275 or 320, etc.), write them on a piece of paper, along with your name, address, phone number, your e-mail address, a short description of any problems, and enclose in box.  I also use a piece of the same blue masking tape upon which I print my name and address and place it on the back panel of the clock cabinet.  This helps identify your clock should the original slip of paper and the clock become separated.