Thinking Of Moving A Piano Yourself?
Editor’s comments/ If you’re thinking of moving a piano yourself – think again! It’s just far too dangerous to attempt to move a piano, even with helpful friends. Hire a professional piano removal firm is my advice.
A young woman asked her father to help her move a piano from one place to another in her house. Her father got a couple of his friends to come along and they brought a dolly.
While they were lifting the piano – a full-size vertical — it tipped back too far and got away from them. While it was falling, its upper corner dug down through the wall. The trench it made was deep enough to sever an electric conduit, which shorted and began to burn.
The “movers” were unable to stop the fire, which also spread to the floor below, another person’s apartment. After the fire department was done, there was little left of the two apartments – or the piano.
Obviously, this is an extreme example of the damage that can be inflicted when moving a piano in do-it-yourself fashion. Even if you don’t burn down your house, there is a substantial risk of personal injury, not to mention damage to the piano.
Pianos are very heavy. The average spinet or console weighs in at from three hundred to five hundred pounds, full-size uprights at about seven hundred, but sometimes as much a thousand.
Grands vary from about five hundred to a thousand pounds, though a concert grand may weigh as much as thirteen hundred pounds! If it were simply a matter of weight, though, all it would take would be enough strong people to do the job.
Unfortunately, along with the weight come problems of balance and inertia, knowledge of which can make all the difference in doing a moving job safely and efficiently.
Piano moving may conjure up images of men with monstrous arms and huge torsos, but actually two or three people of average build can do most piano moving jobs – even grands if they have some brains, experience, the right equipment, and a knowledge of just when and where to apply a little force.
So, the task of moving a piano is not just a matter of weight. The asymetric shape, the fragility of the outer cabinet and inner mechanics, the uneven distribution of parts — all this and more demands not only proper equipment, but also an understanding of the unique dynamics of balance and inertia that pianos pose.
Attempting to move a piano by yourself may easily result in a costly trip to the doctor for both you and your piano. Don’t take chances, hire a professional!
How to Move a Piano
Move a Piano Within a Room
1. Make sure the piano you want to move is easily accessible from all sides.
Warnings: Because most of the weight of an upright piano is located toward its back, it does tilt over easily. When moving it away from a wall, be absolutely sure no one is standing behind it. Spinets and console pianos have thin front legs that can break off easily if caught. Tip the piano back very slightly as you roll it to avoid damage.
Moving an Upright Piano From Room to Room or House to House
1. Assign a team of four movers and place two at each end of the piano. Let no one other than your assigned movers touch the piano.
Warnings: You should use friends for moving your piano only if you really cannot afford to pay professional movers. Paying a moving company might well be worth the money you might save on paying for damaged pianos and bodies! And don’t even think about moving a grand across town, let alone up and down stairs, without professional help!
Tips: Rent Proper Equipment! Piano dollies (four large castors mounted on a sturdy frame) are usually available for rent from do-it-yourself centers (same place you’d rent a tractor or floor sander). The dolly simplifies moving an upright piano while protecting the floor.
Rate this tip: Get one person at each end of the piano, fold the lid back and have one person pull back on that panel and lean back, while the other person lifts the other side of the piano to it’s balance point. The person pulling back will make it a lot easier for the person lifting. This technique will allow you to get a piano trolley under the piano properly (uprights only).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruth Searle is a pianist with years of experience behind her. Piano is her passion, and she is also the drive and inspiration behind Rocket Piano – the Ultimate Piano Learning Kit. If you want to take your piano playing skills to a new level, you need the Rocket Piano Course. You get step-by-step instructions complete with audio and video lessons, and you can get instant access by clicking through to the secure server now at Rocket Piano.
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