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Castors #2912641 11/16/19 01:01 AM
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Mackerz Offline OP
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I might have posted this question on the wrong forum (either that or there's only 2 users on this site and neither want to talk to me). I'll try it here where you piano builders are. I just want to know what the castors might have looked like and where I can buy alternatives that will fit in the recessed holes. Does anyone know what the current castors are (are they the originals?). Thanks in advance if you respond.

[img]http://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipODoyAV-UUu3mrAJmR_rgj5_Ab8f4FdcFLBTirU[/img]

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Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912649 11/16/19 02:52 AM
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Mackerz, your photo link isn't working for me.

What kind of piano are you seeking castors for? Upright or grand? How old? What case style?

From your spelling of castors (rather than casters), I surmise that you may be in the UK - is that the case? You could try Barrie Heaton: https://www.piano-safety-castors.co.uk/

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912670 11/16/19 05:32 AM
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Hi. Thanks for replying. I saw some on the link above but they're far too expensive at £288.00 each ($372.00). It might just be me who is out of touch, but all of his castors seem very expensive? It's a shame my link isn't working. I'll try this google one here again. It works for me so it might be that I need to find another photo uploading site in America?) It's an 1888 Steinway upright. I think it's a model R, or at least it's 54" tall (though the previous owner has raised it beyond what it should be). Underneath there is an indented 70mm circle about 20mm deep with a 50mm centre and it looks like 4 screw holes. I'll try the link again here, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/J8hygwyJvnxhXcor5

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipODoyAV-UUu3mrAJmR_rgj5_Ab8f4FdcFLBTirU


Last edited by Mackerz; 11/16/19 05:39 AM.
Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912681 11/16/19 06:37 AM
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Thank you, the new link works. I will reply in a while: am awaiting a haircut! Are you in the USA or the UK?

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912686 11/16/19 07:06 AM
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UK David. I notice you are now (I thought you were USA :0)

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912702 11/16/19 08:33 AM
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Mackerz, first of all, congratulations on getting that Steinway upright onto its back, which I assume you must have done in order to have taken the photos. Those old Steinway uprights are extremely heavy!

You can buy a set of twin-wheel swivel heavy duty castors on Ebay quite cheaply - see Castors twin wheel

There are various options with regard to fitting them:

The square base plates may fit into the round cut-out, but you would need to watch out for two things: 1) That the twin-wheels have enough room to rotate fully, and 2) that the piano doesn't sit too low.

You could alternatively screw the castor plates onto a different place on the underside of the piano, back and toe-blocks, IF there is suitable space to do it.

You could also fill the existing round cut-outs with wood plugs, or some other material, and screw the plates on the now-filled areas, to have the castors in the same position.

Both of the latter two above, will make the piano a little higher off the floor than if you sunk the castors into the existing round cutouts.

Alternatively, there is another type of low-profile heavy-duty twin wheel castor, which comes on a strong circular plate which is a bit larger than the cut-outs on the piano; see Twin wheel castors

I strongly recommend that you get twin-wheel as opposed to single-wheel, whichever style you go for. The load is spread over twice the surface area, and it is much easier to move the piano.

There are some general observations about castors and safety on this page of my website: http://www.davidboyce.co.uk/piano-castors.php

I don't think the curved 'legs' on your piano are original.





Last edited by David Boyce; 11/16/19 08:36 AM.
Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912717 11/16/19 09:16 AM
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Thanks very much for replying David. I haven't got it on its back yet. I visited your website before and I see that there's what looks like a bondage type aparatus (not that I know much about such things) that can be used, but again ... you're right. It's unbelieveably heavy. The joys of a mobile phone, the 'selfie' button and laying it on the floor :0) The legs definitely aren't original. It must have been painted ivory decades ago. Not a brush mark to be seen.

There's a few boreholes on the leg plank. I've injected them just for my own piece of mind. I have the back off at the moment and no woodworm elsewhere. I think someone in the 60's wanted to 'trendy' it up a bit. It's an heirloom that's been in one London family since I got it a month ago. It truly does weigh a ton. If I can't find corbel legs (I've found pictures of the type of leg that originally was on the piano). I may (just may - depending on cost) get a joiners workshop to make me two. They're like a fluted arch rotated 90 degrees. I'll never sell it. It'll be in my home 'til I croak it. I know steinway are making a big deal about anyone reproducing their decal, but I need one (the original type). It's not like I can't get someone to print one off for me, but I might have to get a sign-writer if I want to stick to the law. I've had private conversations with people on forums about their legal position. If you know of any available or how restorers get round this in the UK, I'd like to know (Mum's the word).

It's my piano and it's a steinway. I'm not branding it to sell. It's just for me. I'll check the castor link out later. Believe it or not, I'm off for a pow myself now (Old lancashire name for a haircut :0)

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912759 11/16/19 11:28 AM
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Get casters made for pianos, not what is in that Ebay link.


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Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912772 11/16/19 11:59 AM
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BDB, have you experienced problems with the ones in the Ebay link? Barrie Heaton who specialises in piano castors in the UK supplies very similar ones, e.g.: Barrie Heaton's twin wheel swivel castors rubber wheel

A factor is whether the piano is in fact going to be moved around, and over what surface. Barrie also supplies nice brass twin-wheel swivel castors, but I think they would be more likely to mark a wooden floor than the ones with rubber or neoprene or polyeurethane wheels.

What castors do you recommend, BDB?

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912775 11/16/19 12:06 PM
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I recommend finding a technician with a piano tilter to replace them for you. By the time you chase down the proper casters, and figure out a way to get to the bottom of a Steinway upright, it should not cost any more than doing it yourself.


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Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912780 11/16/19 12:18 PM
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Yes, I meant to sound that cautionary note. Putting one of those extremely heavy old Steinway uprights on its back is not a thing to be undertaken lightly. Even with my piano tilter, I think I'd prefer to have another person with me when tackling that job.

It may be noted however, that there appears to be something of a dearth of technicians with tilters in some parts of the UK - I've had enquiries from various parts of the UK from people struggling to find a technician to do a castor job.

The twin-wheel castors supplied by both Fletcher & Newman and Heckscher, the two UK piano supply houses (Item No. SKU 721P and Item No .89M respectively) are very similar to those in the Ebay link.

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912843 11/16/19 03:50 PM
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Thanks David. I'll get 3 pals round so there'll be 4 of us and I'll turn the piano around so the back castors can't slide forward more than a foot as we tilt it down. Thanks for your comments too BDB. A couple of things to say:

I love old quality made items and I'm nostalgic, but mine is hardly a Ferrari. I will cherish it, indeed I've been busy making the paintwork good this weekend, but I don't want to spend loads of money on castors as they'll be worth more than the piano. I don't suppose a painted steinway without its original legs is worth more than 1k, though the internals are all very good.

It's an 'against the wall' upright so other than wheeling it out to hoover twice a year, it won't be moved much. My main reasoning for new castors is actually because the piano is too high. As I said in an earlier post, I don't know why the previous owners had it raised so high. I'm six foot but with my piano stool fully extended I'm still too low.

Everything seems to be a lot more expensive in the UK than in the States. I would have them made if I lived somewhere where it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to have them made.

Finally, I've got stone riven floors and the brass wheels I had on my better Steinway that I sold a few years ago to buy my Land Rover Defender got stuck in the ridges and pointing of the floor. I quite like how the piano moves with the old rubber ones that are on at present.

Thanks again for your help.

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912849 11/16/19 04:06 PM
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Mackerz, I really would stick with the castors I recommended from Ebay - around £15 a set of four. They are robust, and will give you the feeling that you like with the old rubber ones, but the piano will be MUCH easier to move, should you ever wish to do so.

I think you should have more than four persons on hand - those old Steinway uprights are VERY heavy. Let the back, at the top, down onto a cushion or something, so you can get fingers under it to lift it up again.

Since you want the piano not to be too high, I'd use the existing holes - which you may be able to widen with a hole cutter saw on an electric drill, (and a bit of chiselling) if needed to let the new castors swivel 369 degrees.

Actually, it is a Ferrari, even though old and with a very bad paint job.

Re: Castors [Re: David Boyce] #2912896 11/16/19 06:40 PM
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Thanks David. Gone for them. The piano is 90mm from the floor at the moment. I'll see how much lower it'll be screwing them directly on and if too high, recess like you say. Superstar. Cheers.

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2912907 11/16/19 07:10 PM
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The overall height of those castors is 70mm. So if you screw the base plates onto the underside of the piano in some other places than the existing circular cut-outs, then the piano will be 70mm from the floor, so a saving of 20mm. If you fit them into the cut-outs, then judging by the depth of the cut-outs, the piano will be about 50mm from the floor.

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2914987 11/22/19 11:32 AM
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Any progress with the castors?

Re: Castors [Re: David Boyce] #2915000 11/22/19 12:16 PM
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Not yet David. I've spoken to a chap locally who has three sets. He's bringing his cradle machine along. Have you ordered from the China ebayer? Did everything go smoothly? Had a few bad experiences on Ebay importing from China. I'm on with looking for the supports between the keyboard and toes now too. If you know a source of these I'd love to know who it is.

Last edited by Mackerz; 11/22/19 12:17 PM.
Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2915084 11/22/19 02:46 PM
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The Ebay link I posted is for a supplier in Manchester, not China! Whether the castors are manufactured in China, I don't know. But I've had several sets without any problem.

I think you will have to have columns ("legs") made to order. I'm sure Andypiano, who commented in your Keyboard Supports thread, would be pleased to help. He's an experienced piano rebuilder in the UK. There will be no "off the shelf" source of such items.

Last edited by David Boyce; 11/22/19 02:48 PM.
Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2915358 11/23/19 08:53 AM
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Adypiano, not Andypiano, sorry!

Re: Castors [Re: Mackerz] #2916363 11/25/19 08:19 PM
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I was waiting for these to get back to me as it was hard to believe they meant all four for 15.99. They haven't responded yet, but I've put the order through anyway. Castors

Last edited by Mackerz; 11/25/19 08:20 PM.
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