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I would prefer that my movers not tip the grand onto the lyre / pedal column when they are attaching the legs. That is what they did when they moved my 5'7" to make room for a Steinway B that I will have delivered from another state. I had been planning to use the same crew for the last leg of the upcoming B's journey, but would prefer they not set it up this way because I think it could damage the pedal column (somehow the sostenuto dowel was split in two but that's a relatively minor thing). I did question it when they were moving for me and the response was "it's OK as long as we use a blanket under it". Any suggestions?

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I never liked seeing grand pianos tipped on their lyres and never did it this way when I used to do a lot of moving, but some movers prefer doing it this way. My guess is that it would only take one or two failures for them to abandon this technique completely but since they haven't I assume that it works for them. Steinways have a fairly robust construction and attachment to the case, so you probably needn't worry... much.

If you don't want it moved that way you should make sure they understand this before they arrive (or find a different mover) rather than asking the crew to alter their usual procedure.


Mark Dierauf, RPT
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There are already some threads on lyre tipping. It seems better for some brands than others, due to construction methods. Steinway is one of the brands where it is acceptable. Here is a link to a post that might help ease your mind.

http://forum.pianoworld.com//ubbthreads.php/topics/1871669/re-lyre-tipping.html#Post1871669

Last edited by violarules; 10/29/21 08:13 AM.
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Thanks for the links! They contained some surprising information. I've seen the loose piano lyres that you have to put a book under to support etc, obviously want avoid that or falling pianos and injury. I'm dealing with antique / brittle pianos, so I think I'll invest in the steel tipper that was mentioned on the 2012 thread. I was about to do a home made one and that still could be viable option as well but maybe not as acceptable to the movers. I will call the movers and be sure they are willing to use the tipper; I had not thought of attaching one to the lyre plate. You just saved me a phone call to the movers and appearing ignorant. Thanks again.

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I don't think you should have to buy/build anything unless the movers say they are unwilling to avoid tipping the piano on the lyre. They should have the equipment or know how to avoid that maneuver. And you should insist on this and clarify things ahead of time.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I don't think you should have to buy/build anything unless the movers say they are unwilling to avoid tipping the piano on the lyre. They should have the equipment or know how to avoid that maneuver. And you should insist on this and clarify things ahead of time.
+1.

I don't see a big problem here. When you call them you simply say, "Hi, I would like you to move my piano but I have an additional request that it must not be tipped on the lyre. Can you do this?". Insist from the beginning that this is an obligatory condition. Don't get involved into discussion about the safety, just repeat that it is an obligatory condition.

And if that team was responsible for sostenuto dowel damage, I strongly recommend you not to hire them again. We tend to hire people that we dealt with before even if their work quality was less than what we desired, but it's a false way of thinking. Don't hesitate to hire new team. You may be satisfied with their work much more.

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The primary issue is that (short of a catastrophic immediate failure) the potential damage does not show up until months or even years later, long after the movers are gone, and obviously impossible to pin the blame on them. This is why when you discuss it with them they will say: "We've done it this way hundreds of times and never had a problem...nothing to worry about". Of course they ignore the cracking sound that occaisionally happens on an older unit, but they're done and gone before you know it.

Yes, it is a strain on the components which were NOT DESIGNED for this type of angular stress. They do it because it's far more convenient to attach the lyre th at way, and it is quicker and easier on the back, and they can sonetimes get away with sending two guys instead of three for the job. It's all about time and money, not preservation of your instrument.

I would advise you to add the fact that your pedal lyre CANNOT take this type of stress, and have already experienced damage from that procedure, when you discuss it with them. Tell them you understand WHY they do it, but the pedal lyre is not intended for that purpose. (You might give them a nice tip too if they cooperatively comply).

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I do quite a bit of moving, and also don't like tipping on the lyre for the reasons mentioned above. I agree, not clarifying your preference prior to the move crew arriving could be asking for trouble.

If you were willing to spend the $ on the moondog tilter (pretty expensive), then a more economic option might be to just buy a used Steinway pedal lyre off ebay that looks to be from a similar era as the piano you're getting. Ask the seller if the original leg plate is still in place.

That way the mover could tilt how they're used to, and just swap out lyres ones the piano is set up.

There'd likely be some shimming involved, and you could get fancy and have some 1/2" dowels on hand that could be cut to size to act as temporary lyre supports.


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Tell them in advance you'll give them extra cash if they do as you ask.

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I'd just remove the lyre myself, then make the call, "can you move my piano? By the way, the lyre is missing". They can't stress out the lyre if it's not there! wink

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Originally Posted by ando
I'd just remove the lyre myself, then make the call, "can you move my piano? By the way, the lyre is missing". They can't stress out the lyre if it's not there! wink

Now *this* is exercising one's intellect! grin

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Good idea! Right now it's sitting on its side about 800 miles away in Philly awaiting long-distance moving, but when it comes to nearby Elizabethtown KY I might drive down and pick up the lyre - seriously. I'd like to get my hands on the top plate for a vintage Steinway (the cam is larger than what's available now) and I'd use a 4x4 installed in place of the lyre for moving purposes. The legs and lyres for sale I've seen on Ebay have had the top plates removed FYI. When I asked the movers from Philly, in business since horse drawn carriage days, if they usually tip the piano on the lyre, they didn't know but that's water under the bridge.

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