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Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? #2883608 08/26/19 09:41 AM
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impendia Offline OP
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Hello all --

I am the proud owner of a nice grand piano. I recently moved back to my hometown, and am looking forward to taking delivery and starting up practice again!

I also plan to do some home improvement work (e.g. repairing or replacing windows). If I were to take delivery of my piano right away, this would probably necessitate that it be rolled back and forth across the room a couple of times, to keep it far clear of any ongoing repair work.

Is this something to be avoided? I know that you don't want to move around pianos more than you have to -- I don't know if this mostly refers to more serious moves, or if rolling them around the floor "counts".

Thank you!

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Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2883612 08/26/19 09:54 AM
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The first question to be answered is: What kind of flooring do you have? Second: What size casters are on the piano? Third: How easily do the casters roll? If there is any irregularity in the flooring (grout lines in tile, for example) and if the casters are small, you need to be careful that a caster doesn't catch on any irregularity in the floor's surface. And, it goes without saying (so I'll say it) that you don't even try to roll a grand piano on carpeting. Remember that the entire weight of the piano is resting on three slim legs, so any "catch" during the move can potentially lead to disaster.

There was an infamous tale going the rounds of PW a number of years ago about moving a grand piano on a stage, where you would think that would not be a problem. But there was a gap or a small flaw in the hardwood flooring, the caster caught it as the piano was being (too vigorously) pushed instead of pulled, and the leg broke. End of recital before it even started.

Surely there are some here who will recommend a "safe" way of moving a grand. Some might say: No problem, just do it! My thought is to have helpers who help lift some of the weight while moving the piano.

Regards,


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Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2883616 08/26/19 10:09 AM
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Maybe you should invest in larger casters or a spider dolly to allow you to move it around. The other issue is making sure the piano itself is protected properly while the work is being done. Maybe you could git all of the work done in the piano's space before moving it in.

Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2883621 08/26/19 10:24 AM
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In addition to what BruceD and GC13 advised, I’d get caster cups that can work as furniture sliders, and strong waterproof paint tarps big enough to cover the piano. Face it, home improvement is a never end hobby and it’s good to have piano protection equipment on hand.
Congratulations on your new piano! How exciting.


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Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2883630 08/26/19 10:57 AM
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Just in case you were worried about the effect of moving it on tuning - that shouldn't be a problem. Damage to a tile floor or - as suggested - catching a leg in a floor defect or something should be all you'd have to worry about.

Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2883655 08/26/19 12:15 PM
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MarkL Offline
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I just had to move my piano to do decorating, and the room is carpeted. I lifted each leg and slid a piece of 3/4" plywood that was large enough to allow the required movement under each wheel. Then I was easily able to roll the piano around to the position I wanted while painting.


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Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2883740 08/26/19 04:15 PM
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Get three strong people to lift the piano at the legs just enough to take some weight off while rolling the piano slowly. Patience is a virtue in this endeavor.


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Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2883790 08/26/19 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkL
I just had to move my piano to do decorating, and the room is carpeted. I lifted each leg and slid a piece of 3/4" plywood that was large enough to allow the required movement under each wheel. Then I was easily able to roll the piano around to the position I wanted while painting.

Did the exact same thing to move one of my grand pianos a bit, and then move it back where it was. Worked like a charm.

Originally Posted by AaronSF
Get three strong people to lift the piano at the legs just enough to take some weight off while rolling the piano slowly. Patience is a virtue in this endeavor.

Great advice. Was told by a piano dealer that this is how it should be done.

Rick


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Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2883943 08/27/19 06:14 AM
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I don't know why you would want to roll around your grand piano, but as long as you avoid bumping into it while your at it, i would say it's harmless.


Crazy people and their piano's... crazy

Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: U3piano] #2883973 08/27/19 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by U3piano
I don't know why you would want to roll around your grand piano, but as long as you avoid bumping into it while your at it, i would say it's harmless.


Crazy people and their piano's... crazy


U3
Are you sure there are not risks in moving a grand? It is not always harmless to the piano.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
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Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: dogperson] #2884010 08/27/19 09:57 AM
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ando Offline
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by U3piano
I don't know why you would want to roll around your grand piano, but as long as you avoid bumping into it while your at it, i would say it's harmless.


Crazy people and their piano's... crazy


U3
Are you sure there are not risks in moving a grand? It is not always harmless to the piano.

I think you may have missed the joke there. laugh

Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: ando] #2884015 08/27/19 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ando
Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by U3piano
I don't know why you would want to roll around your grand piano, but as long as you avoid bumping into it while your at it, i would say it's harmless.


Crazy people and their piano's... crazy


U3
Are you sure there are not risks in moving a grand? It is not always harmless to the piano.

I think you may have missed the joke there. laugh


Obviously 🙄


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It’s ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2884134 08/27/19 02:29 PM
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FWIW, I chuckled ... laugh


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Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2884179 08/27/19 04:15 PM
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I have had many a happy hour rolling around me pianos.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2884191 08/27/19 06:03 PM
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Well, there was the story about the Steinway concert grand which was parked on a raked stage... not so much off level that the stagehand realized that the brake had to be set. After all, it was sitting still there just fine. All was lovely; the audience was seated, the performer came out and bowed to the audience. It was the only applause he was to hear that evening; I hope he enjoyed it.

He sat, fiddled with the height knobs on the bench, and struck a mighty chord vigorous enough to wake every husband in the audience. And the piano woke! Majestically at first, it started to move, at first disorienting the performer, who thought the bench needed to be adjusted again. If there was a moment in which 900 pounds of momentum might possibly have been counteracted, or the wayward brake engaged, it was blown. And so, just as all of you knew it would, straight down the stage it glided, still majestic but now fast, like a glossy black ship with a black sail under a Force Three gale until turning turtle, it landed on its lid with a mighty crash, in the orchestra pit. And yes, because I know you're going to ask, it shattered the prop stick, which flew through the air and if members of the audience escaped being gigged or brained, I don't know why. However, they were offered refunds anyway.

In other cautionary tales, one dealer who posted here warned that certain marques are somewhat notorious for having legs insecurely attached to the case, and these are known to snap off when moved. He offered to name the notorious ones by PM. I never did find out; I think I might have been a little afraid to ask.

Piano dollies are recommended especially for pianos which will be moved by uncaring or unaware persons, usually in some public place like a school stage or a church hall. Even sturdy models are not immune to accidents caused by frequent moves, rough flooring or door sills, especially in recipes that say "Add teenagers and frappe."

Not exactly reassuring, but what I found out when a new piano came into my home, it that it is inevitable that it will need to be moved quite a few times. That's just how it is. My casters glided very smoothly across the faux pergo floor, and I was able to very easily move it by myself. Eventually, a spot with just the right sound at the bench was found (by trial and lots of error), as much as possible out of the influence of the HVAC vent on one side and the fireplace on the other.

Last edited by Jeff Clef; 08/27/19 06:09 PM.

Clef

Re: Should I avoid rolling around my grand piano? [Re: impendia] #2884236 08/27/19 10:12 PM
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What sort of piano is it - ie size?

I've got the same consideration - to have it professionally moved from one end to the other of my lounge/dining area and back again, I'm thinking of installing a dolly which will cost about the same. That way, I can have flexibility to move it as many times as I need. There will be 3 or 4 different contractors involved - and to be able to do it more flexibly, and to save some money by doing some of the work myself, rather than try to rush it.

Mine has the larger castors - but I don't think I'd trust trying to manipulate it myself on them.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).

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