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Joined: Feb 2021
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Hello,

I am buying a Stieff Baby Grand from the 1930s and will be moving it myself from afar. Does anyone have an idea if the legs are likely attached via a flathead vs philips vs hex vs star bolt?

Thanks in advance,
Sean

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When in doubt, bring every tool you can think of. If someone here says it’s a flathead because that’s what was invented back then, you will show up and find that someone replaced them with hexed bolts at some point for whatever reason.

No one here can tell you what is on that piano, even if someone here has one, because anything could have been done to that piano in the past 90 years.

Can you ask someone who is at the piano?

Good luck!


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I agree with bringing multiple tools. Probably a hex-head bolt fastener on the legs of the older Stieff. Could be a large Philips or flat head screw fastener, but not likely a star/torx tip.

Some grand pianos have a locking metal plate coupler holding the legs on, and you'd need a rubber hammer to separate the leg plate from the frame plate to remove the legs. If there are no bolt/screw type fasteners on the legs, it has the locking metal plate coupler, most likely.

Good luck!

Rick


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If you do not know the variety of ways that grand piano legs are fastened, you should not be moving it.


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Originally Posted by BDB
If you do not know the variety of ways that grand piano legs are fastened, you should not be moving it.

Yes, this a million times over. You could seriously hurt yourself and also the piano. Pianos are *very* heavy.


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Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by BDB
If you do not know the variety of ways that grand piano legs are fastened, you should not be moving it.

Yes, this a million times over. You could seriously hurt yourself and also the piano. Pianos are *very* heavy.
But what about all the YouTube videos that show people how to do it? laugh laugh laugh

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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by BDB
If you do not know the variety of ways that grand piano legs are fastened, you should not be moving it.

Yes, this a million times over. You could seriously hurt yourself and also the piano. Pianos are *very* heavy.
But what about all the YouTube videos that show people how to do it? laugh laugh laugh

YouTube-Certified Piano Mover (TM)

Well, I was kind a thinking along the same lines...

That said, we all interpret what someone says in different ways. Some here view the OP's question as evidence he doesn't know what he is doing. I view the OP's question as evidence he is pretty bright, and trying to do their homework and gather information, so they can accomplish what they want to accomplish.

If new member's can't come here and ask questions, (without being belittled or berated) there is really no need for this forum...

Rick


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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Originally Posted by twocats
Originally Posted by BDB
If you do not know the variety of ways that grand piano legs are fastened, you should not be moving it.

Yes, this a million times over. You could seriously hurt yourself and also the piano. Pianos are *very* heavy.
But what about all the YouTube videos that show people how to do it? laugh laugh laugh

YouTube-Certified Piano Mover (TM)

Well, I was kind a thinking along the same lines...

That said, we all interpret what someone says in different ways. Some here view the OP's question as evidence he doesn't know what he is doing. I view the OP's question as evidence he is pretty bright, and trying to do their homework and gather information, so they can accomplish what they want to accomplish.

If new member's can't come here and ask questions, (without being belittled or berated) there is really no need for this forum...

Rick
I totally agree. That is why I try to help where I can (although a lot of people get on my case about it, suggesting that to the OP "if you need to ask, don't do it"). I have learned a lot from asking things on various forums. I do all my own home remodeling for example, and I have friends who are pros who say they couldn't do it any better. I don't see why this can't apply to piano, in some cases, but not all cases.

Maybe the OP knows how to lift things. Maybe they and a buddy move gun safes, for example, so they know what to do; they just need to know what tools to bring for a 200, 400, 1000km trip to the piano where there are no real movers.


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Even professional piano movers will look at the situation before committing to moving a piano if they are not sure.

Many old pianos do not have any screws that need to be removed to take off the legs.


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Rick, thanks for that info. I haven't dealt with such an old piano and wanted to be prepared for such things

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Originally Posted by Rickster
If new member's can't come here and ask questions, (without being belittled or berated) there is really no need for this forum...

One thing that happens on a lot of forums, and that fortunately tends not to happen here, is for regulars to harshly scold newbies and demand that they use the search feature. That's bad advice on any forum, IMO, although some have curated FAQs and first-timer threads which can help. But generally forums are just free form information, and an unqualified search is just as likely to lead to bad information as to good.

That said, newbies should be, and feel, welcome.


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Originally Posted by Rickster
That said, we all interpret what someone says in different ways. Some here view the OP's question as evidence he doesn't know what he is doing. I view the OP's question as evidence he is pretty bright, and trying to do their homework and gather information, so they can accomplish what they want to accomplish.

I agree with this. Human nature seems to be to program "you can't do that" into ourselves. Then we project it onto others, and it gets programmed into them. Parents into children. Bosses into employees. Lather rinse repeat...

If some people weren't curious enough to dream and think outside the box and depart from the status quo, then I guess we'd still be hunter gatherers.

Good thing for all of us that Cristofori dreamed of a harpsichord that could play both loud and soft. I wonder how many people told him, "you can't do that!"


If the OP was like: "Come help me move a grand piano. Beer's on me!" Well, then I'd be worried. Rushing in headstrong would be a mistake. Asking methodical questions that indicate he's been giving it a lot of thought don't worry me as much.

With a grand, what would worry me more than removing the legs is properly rotating and lowering the piano onto a dolly or whatever the piano will be moved on. But if the OP is worried about removing the legs, then I assume he's already considered those things. In the large though, and in descending order, I'd be worried about 1) hurting someone, 2) damaging someone's property, and 3) damaging the piano.

I say the above having never moved a grand piano, so those are the concerns that might keep me from trying it.

FWIW, I moved a console piano largely by myself last summer. I had a little help at the previous owner's house, but at my end I unloaded it from a trailer it and moved it into the garage alone. It wasn't bad but I was pretty sore the next day. About a month later I moved it up three steps and into the house on my own, and that wasn't as difficult, partly because I worked a little smarter and less harder (as the saying goes).


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I have moved several pianos. I had no prior experience but I did have a lot of experience moveing even heavier items. I also had a certain amount of useful equipment. So it can be done.


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When my wife and I lived in rural Ohio, we had to drag my Kawai console onto the moving truck because no movers wanted to drive all the way out to where we were living to set the piano on a truck, even though I offered to pay more as though they were doing the full move.

So, we had two friends come over to help us. Well, one of the friends, even though she knew she was going to help move a piano, showed up in a tiny miniskirt and tiny tank top, so she was more or less useless, so THREE of us had to drag a piano onto the truck.

Being a console, the wheels were decoration only, we were all stick skinny unathletic people, just the three of us, the piano was a bit wider than the ramp for the truck, and so on. I think it took us two hours to get that piano up the ramp and onto the truck with no equipment. It almost dumped off the side until miniskirt gal stupidly put herself behind the tipping piano to hold it.

We were so young and dumb. Good thing YouTube didn't exist yet or we would have gone viral, I am sure.

Now-a-days, I have my wife convinced that pianos need to be moved by pros, period, no matter what piano or how short the distance. I will move my piano around the house, though, as it's on studio casters and all that, but nothing more than that.

(My neighbors recently bought a spinet off Craigslist, and they had some friends come move it out of a MINIVAN. Even that was scary to watch. I didn't record them. That would have been creepy and rude, albeit entertaining.)


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