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Moving a spinet piano #1315142
11/30/09 02:19 PM
11/30/09 02:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 921
North Carolina
O
Opus45 Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
Opus45  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 921
North Carolina
It would mean a lot to my aging mother for me to take a spinet piano off her hands. It is a Henry F. Miller spinet piano that I played as a small child and since that time it has been sitting unused in her air-conditioned home for the past 4 decades. No one else in my family had any interest in playing the piano.

I already have 2 pianos and can make room for this spinet. I just got an online quote from a shipping company for $899.70 to move it from Florida to North Carolina, which is far more than I would want to spend.

If I were to decide to move this myself, could it be shipped flat (as in the back of a large rented SUV or van?) or would my only option be to secure the piano upright for transport?



Last edited by Opus45; 11/30/09 02:29 PM.

Jeff
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Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: Opus45] #1315159
11/30/09 02:33 PM
11/30/09 02:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,703
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 26,703
Oakland
You would probably just want it upright. It is far more awkward on its back, and probably will not fit between the wheels. You just need to make sure that it is strapped to the side of the vehicle top and bottom.

Keep in mind that pianos, even spinets, are heavy. If you do not know what you are doing, personal injury and damage to the piano or other property is possible.


Semipro Tech
Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: BDB] #1315423
11/30/09 09:03 PM
11/30/09 09:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,862
Kansas
apple* Offline
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Kansas
you are kind to spend as much on shipping as the piano is probably worth.

i'd do the same tho.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: apple*] #1315587
12/01/09 12:50 AM
12/01/09 12:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 126
Lompico,CA
G
Gregl Offline
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Gregl  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 126
Lompico,CA
maybe you can rent a truck (with insurance & friends) and see mom too

Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: Gregl] #1315596
12/01/09 01:07 AM
12/01/09 01:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
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Cy Shuster, RPT  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
Trailers are much easier: the floor is lower, and you can secure them to the side of the trailer.

Watch out for the front legs: they are probably attached only at the top, to the underside of the keybed. If so, they're very easy to break off.

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT] #1315616
12/01/09 02:10 AM
12/01/09 02:10 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 5
A
allisa Offline
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allisa  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 5
If i were you, i'd try to sell it off.. but if you really love it so much, consider transporting it with a car rental agency.. like Uhaul or budget.. and yeah, you can ask your flight carrier about it..

Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: allisa] #1315685
12/01/09 08:13 AM
12/01/09 08:13 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 127
MA, USA
PreparedPipa Offline
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PreparedPipa  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 127
MA, USA
depending on whether there are stairs and such, i would get a dolly, get some blankets and straps, call a friend, uhaul it and see mom. if there are spiraling stairs i'd call a mover. ;p



Lily L. - Certified Music Teacher, CT....
Sauter Master Class 130
Roland MP-70
Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: PreparedPipa] #1315705
12/01/09 09:03 AM
12/01/09 09:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 97
S
Sean M. Offline
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Sean M.  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 97
I have a 1953 Bremen (Gulbransen) spinet which my Grandmother purchased. It's changed hands (within the family) twice, and I've moved it four times since I inherited it 10 years ago. Once in the back of a pickup truck, covered by tarp, for about an 8-hour freeway ride from Oregon to San Francisco. Once from San Francisco to Düsseldorf by truck and ship. (I didn't pay. Otherwise I wouldn't have spent that much on this piano.) Once from Düsseldorf to Berlin, in a truck, schlepped by a coupla dudes who had no idea what they were doing (and made a rather disturbing, agonized groan/wheezing noise every time they heaved it up another few steps toward my 4th-floor apartment). And once to a new apartment in Berlin, with similarly knowledgeable and enthusiastic movers. After a quick tuning, it plays pretty much the same as it did when I got it 10 years ago.

(...which isn't meant to be a testament to the outstanding quality and durability of the (now-defunct) Gulbransen piano company and its fine spinets from the early 1950s, but rather one person's experience with the level of care required for a piano which ain't exactly a Steinway to begin with.)

Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: Sean M.] #1315791
12/01/09 11:09 AM
12/01/09 11:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 921
North Carolina
O
Opus45 Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
Opus45  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 921
North Carolina
Thanks all for the replies.

I would much prefer to have it shipped and was prepared to pay about $300-400 since I found an older thread here where someone had a baby grand shipped from NY to CO for about $800. I was shocked with the $900 estimate. Doesn't that sound a bit steep for a small spinet piano?

I realize the dollar value of this old spinet isn't much, and I know many piano enthusiasts consider them junk, but it really is in great shape and I was surprised at how fun it was to play it while visiting mom last week.

I'll check around for more estimates but if I end up moving it myself it seems the prevailing opinion is that it should be moved upright rather than on it's back mainly because it is easier that way, not because it would damage the piano. Would anyone say that transporting a spinet piano on its back would definitely risk damaging the piano?

Re: Moving a spinet piano [Re: Opus45] #1315960
12/01/09 02:22 PM
12/01/09 02:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Whittier, Calif
Roxy Offline
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Roxy  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 478
Whittier, Calif
Since the cost of the spinet is probably comparable to the moving cost and you have two other pianos are you keeping it for sentimental value? Or doing something special for your special mother? If you are wow! you have my utmost admiration, because that is a lot of work. But a mother's happiness is always worth it. Speaking from experience you can even damage the piano when it is vertical as you are loading it in and out of the van because as was stated earlier they are a lot heavier than you realize. I wouldn't even begin to consider lying it down, if damaged you would defeat the whole purpose of going to all that trouble. Good Luck.


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