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Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! #1901301
05/22/12 12:50 PM
05/22/12 12:50 PM
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Tennessee
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Gary Allen Offline OP
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I need to get my 6'10" (208) Schimmel moved in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area. It will need to go in elevator at new location. Elevator is not quite large enough to take the piano in on its side. Elevator door height is exactly 7' but interior of elevator is much taller. I am not sure there are many (if any) movers in my area that have experience in moving piano in an elevator.

What sort of method(s) should typically be expected for such a move? I am guessing that the piano will need to rest on the front. Should the action be removed and would the lid typically be removed or not (there are no lid locks)? If the lid is to be removed should some sort of temporary bracing be placed and where? How many moving persons are typically required for such an elevator move?

Also, the piano will need to be moved outside in a conventional manner (no steps) than craned from an open deck to parking lot, put in trailer and moved just 8 miles. No obstacles getting the piano to crane pick up point and once out of the elevator there are no other obstacles (no steps in or out). Any thoughts on what a fair move price range should be if I independently pay for the crane? Thank you for the help!!! Best, Gary

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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901328
05/22/12 01:37 PM
05/22/12 01:37 PM
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I had my grand moved using the elevator. The elevator was not very large but just large enough to roll it in on its side and just deep enough. In fact I checked all sizes before even buying my grand, including a few corners (the latter showed an even tighter limit)

What exactly do you mean when you write
Quote
Elevator is not quite large enough to take the piano in on its side. Elevator door height is exactly 7' but interior of elevator is much taller.
?

I'm guessing that you say that the DOORS are too small to let the grand in, even when on it's side with the legs off. If so, I don't see how you think to get in the grand?


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: wouter79] #1901348
05/22/12 02:12 PM
05/22/12 02:12 PM
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Tennessee
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Gary Allen Offline OP
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The length of the grand piano on its side (in combination with the width of the piano) is just a bit too long to get the piano into the elevator. The elevator door width is a typical modern elevator width and plenty wide to move a portion of the piano in on its side but there is not enough clearance to move the trailing end of the piano into the elevator diagonally given that the elevator door width is less than the full elevator interior width. I hope this clarifies it.

I already have the piano and am changing 2nd homes. I really love the piano and am certain that that the move can be done one way or another. It would be nice if it were a fairly simple conventional move but I don't want to go to a shorter piano so have chosen to overcome any logistical challenges!

Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901387
05/22/12 03:39 PM
05/22/12 03:39 PM
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Any possibility of using a crane to lift the piano to the new location, bypassing the elevator?

Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901397
05/22/12 03:57 PM
05/22/12 03:57 PM
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There should be no problem getting the piano up the elevator, BUT you want an experienced piano mover in any case. The mover will be able to estimate the price and tell you how it is done. If they cannot explain it to you, find someone else.


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: BDB] #1901568
05/22/12 10:23 PM
05/22/12 10:23 PM
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Online content
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As BDB said - this move is for a professional. The elevator should not be an issue, nor the crane. Choose a pro and enjoy your piano.


Rich Galassini
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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901576
05/22/12 10:44 PM
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Let me clarify: this move is for an experienced piano moving professional, not just any old professional mover.


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Rich Galassini] #1901577
05/22/12 10:46 PM
05/22/12 10:46 PM
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Lower Mainland, BC
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
As BDB said - this move is for a professional. The elevator should not be an issue, nor the crane. Choose a pro and enjoy your piano.


The place I bought my piano from supplied movers to move my piano and they wouldn't/couldn't guarantee that the piano wouldn't be damaged if they put it onto it's keyboard.
The damage that may have occurred would've been marring the cabinet by banging it against a wall while trying to manouver it through the door and having one of the three guys losing grip on the belts.
My piano is only 5'10" but still wouldn't fit in on it's side.
It didn't get damaged in the process, the lid stayed on and the action stayed in. I'm sure a 7' would be the same process but with more weight and more height.


Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.


Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: ChrisKeys] #1901602
05/23/12 12:01 AM
05/23/12 12:01 AM
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Tennessee
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Gary Allen Offline OP
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Great thought but unfortunately will not work....Where the piano is currently there is an open deck to crane the piano from once it is outside. At the new place there is a large overhang around both the balcony and walkway sides plus there is landscaping all around the building to where a crane can definitely not be used.

Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901622
05/23/12 01:22 AM
05/23/12 01:22 AM
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Ah, I see, by 'width' you mean the thickness of the piano?

Mmm, how much extra clearance would you need? Would it be possible to lift the tail a bit up to get just that extra?


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: wouter79] #1901689
05/23/12 06:44 AM
05/23/12 06:44 AM
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Tennessee
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Potentially great thought Wouter79. I will need to remeasure this coming weekend and see what the possibility is of lifting the tail enough to clear. Your proposed secenario would certainly seem preferable to completely resting the piano on the front. Thanks!

There must be some New York City, Chicago and other large city piano movers here on the forum--Any thoughts from some of you on an elevator piano move? Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated!

Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901716
05/23/12 07:53 AM
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In New York City, it is not uncommon for piano movers to work with the building maintenance man to position the elevator in the entry doorway so that the top of the elevator car is accessible. The piano is then rolled onto the top of the car, secured, and then brought up to the desired floor, where the process is then reversed. Rather unorthodox, I know, but desperate times call for desperate measures.....and I know of several instances where this was successfully accomplished.


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901719
05/23/12 07:55 AM
05/23/12 07:55 AM
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What I am about to say cannot be taken to the be taken to the bank because my piano has not actually arrived yet. However, I was worried about the same type of challenge and my dealer arranged for their mover to come out and measure everything. The movers came and said no issue. They will put the piano on it's keys if needed and while I understand the concerns expressed in this thread it seems like a fairly common technique for movers in NYC. I was also told that if needed (though I doubt my building would agree) that the movers sometimes drop the elevator down a floor and move the piano on top of the elevator car.

Sound like the best thing to do would be to call a few well regarded movers and perhaps pay them for their time to come out and inspect the move site and provide some estimate. Here is a video that I found on this forum that shows how close the tolerances can be to pull off a piano move in an elevator. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQAw-Z2wDgU (a Fazioli f228 IIRC)

Good luck

Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901732
05/23/12 08:12 AM
05/23/12 08:12 AM
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From what you describe this will be a relatively easy move for an experience piano mover. "keyboarding" pianos into elevators is not at all uncommon. We do 5-6 such deliveries each year and I'm a relatively small dealership.


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901752
05/23/12 08:56 AM
05/23/12 08:56 AM
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I'm still curious as to whether or not they remove the action and fall board when moving a piano "on the front end", or keyboard end, as Steve said.

I don't think the cheek-bocks and little metal dowels in the sides of the action were designed to withstand that particular direction and angle of pressure.

Just wondering.

Rick


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901802
05/23/12 10:28 AM
05/23/12 10:28 AM
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I am hesitant to say how I would move this piano, because as I noted before, a good explanation from the movers is a will help the poster evaluate their ability. But it sounds like there is no need to rest the piano on its keyboard end.

Speculation from people who have no experience moving pianos is useless at best, and dangerous at worst.


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: BDB] #1901925
05/23/12 02:44 PM
05/23/12 02:44 PM
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Rochester MN
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Yea - it is a scarry thought. I was in a similar situation when I needed to have an elevator move of an S&S-C to the 12th floor of an apartment building in Chicago. The first thing I did was to get recommendations from two "upper tier" dealerships for finding quality movers.

The company I chose sent a guy over to measure the elevator and asked the usual questions about length and did I happen to know the approx. weight? Then, onto a discussion with the building Super. There was no problem as the Super had supervised many piano moves in/out of the building. Right then and there, we scheduled the time/date for the move.

When the movers arrived to pick up the piano, the key mechanism was removed, much to my surprise, and the action and fallboard were packed in pads. From there on, it was a normal move. I was pleased to see they used a rocker, rather than doing a "lyre tilt." Then I knew that they knew their stuff.

The piano was rolled, on the dolly, tail first into the elevator. By brute strength, it was pivoted up to vertical, and rested on the floor with the keyboardless side down. The process was reversed on the 12th floor.

After the movers left, I was chatting with the Super and I mentioned how I found the moving company. "Well, why didn't ya just ask me?" he said. "That's who I woulda recommended."

It seems so logical. Those guys have alot of experience with the impossible moves and they get to know who is good.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901936
05/23/12 03:09 PM
05/23/12 03:09 PM
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Italy
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I can certainly understand your concerns - but at the same time this whole conversation has a very funny side for me.

The elevator in my building is about 70cmx70cm - and the doors,on hinges, swing INTO the elevator, meaning that putting 3 people in can be a challenge. Putting 2 people and their luggage for a 1 week vacation is a challenge. ... My dp fit, but my acoustic (vertical) came up the stairs.

I pitied the movers, but they were great.

I don't think I've seen an elevator in an apartment building in Italy that would hold even a spinet!

Best wishes with getting your piano moved, hassle free and damage-free.



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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901943
05/23/12 03:25 PM
05/23/12 03:25 PM
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We recently had to move a 7'4 Estonia to a professional pianist's apartment on 23rd floor of new high rise.

We made a card box template and together with top flight movers went out to see if piano would fit into elevator.

Luckily it did but piano had to stand on end with keys down.

Tight fit but with real pros, a breeze...

best of luck!

Norbert smile


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901952
05/23/12 03:36 PM
05/23/12 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Norbert
Luckily it did but piano had to stand on end with keys down.

Did you all remove the action and fall board, like the case with Minnesota Marty?

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901965
05/23/12 04:12 PM
05/23/12 04:12 PM
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A couple of years ago, I moved a 5'8" grand into a sixth floor apartment of a former hotel from the 30's, and it had no freight elevator. The elevator car was big enough to hold the piano, but the door clearance was not quite wide enough. I took the lid off and that was enough to get it in the door.


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1901995
05/23/12 05:15 PM
05/23/12 05:15 PM
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I have two pieces of advice.

1. Hire an experienced piano mover. My 7-footer was "dumped" onto its keyboard end in the elevator, and it was fine, but there were two crews of three each to handle it.

2. Do not watch.


Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Rank Piano Amateur] #1902023
05/23/12 06:08 PM
05/23/12 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rank Piano Amateur
I have two pieces of advice.

1. Hire an experienced piano mover. My 7-footer was "dumped" onto its keyboard end in the elevator, and it was fine, but there were two crews of three each to handle it.

2. Do not watch.



One exception to rule #2: Make sure they don't tip it on the lyre.

I have yet to see any proof from a piano manufacturer that okays that practice.


Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
Jim Boydston, proprietor, No Piano Left Behind - technician
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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: OperaTenor] #1902076
05/23/12 08:47 PM
05/23/12 08:47 PM
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Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Online content
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Originally Posted by OperaTenor
A couple of years ago, I moved a 5'8" grand into a sixth floor apartment of a former hotel from the 30's, and it had no freight elevator. The elevator car was big enough to hold the piano, but the door clearance was not quite wide enough. I took the lid off and that was enough to get it in the door.


You know OT, if you had only brought along your Sawzall, you wouldn't have had to take off that lid. wink

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Last edited by Rich Galassini; 05/23/12 08:48 PM.

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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Rich Galassini] #1902128
05/23/12 11:02 PM
05/23/12 11:02 PM
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Gary Allen Offline OP
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Everyone, I appreciate all the input and, all the humor! I liked the "Don't Watch" advice although I no doubt will watch. I had never heard of moving a piano on top of an elevator and in my case it would not be a possibility because there is no basement level for the elevator to descend into to expose the top of the elevator.

I, like Rickster, am curious about the removal of the action and fall board (and perhaps also the lid?) for such a move? Is this most typically done or not? It seems like anything that would reduce the weight would be a good thing unless it somehow compromises the structural strength of the piano to remove these items---any further thoughts on this? Also am wondering if this should most likely be a three man move job or does it require more than three? Thanks again for the all the input thus far!

Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1902317
05/24/12 09:34 AM
05/24/12 09:34 AM
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Hi Gary,

Yes, I was curious to hear what the pros had to say about removing the action and fall board for a front-end tilt move. I would think it would be better and much safer to do that… as far as removing the action and fall board causing structural integrity issues with the piano, my common sense tells me that is not the case… the action just sits in the cavity of the key bed and slides side to side a little when the una corda pedal is depressed; the only thing holding it in place is the cheek-block dowel plates.

The fall board certainly does not add to structural integrity to my knowledge. In fact, the first grand piano I bought (pre-owned) had a blemish/crack in the finish on the right side of the fall board where the previous owner said it (the fall board) fell out of the piano during a move (ouch!).

Anyway, I do wish you the best outcome in the move and I’m sure it can be done (or at least pretty sure smile ).

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Gary Allen] #1902434
05/24/12 02:15 PM
05/24/12 02:15 PM
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I've always hated elevator music.


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Re: Moving Piano In Elevator--Advice Please!!! [Re: Rich Galassini] #1902709
05/25/12 12:11 AM
05/25/12 12:11 AM
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Sandy Eggo, California
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Originally Posted by OperaTenor
A couple of years ago, I moved a 5'8" grand into a sixth floor apartment of a former hotel from the 30's, and it had no freight elevator. The elevator car was big enough to hold the piano, but the door clearance was not quite wide enough. I took the lid off and that was enough to get it in the door.


You know OT, if you had only brought along your Sawzall, you wouldn't have had to take off that lid. wink

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Happiness is a freshly tuned piano.
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