Tips for Do It Yourself Piano Movers
Moving a piano yourself is possible, especially if there are not a lot of stairs involved. All you need is access
to a truck or trailer and three or more people who have not yet injured their backs, and are good enough
friends that they will help you move a piano but not good enough that you will miss them much when it’s
all over. If you decide you are up to the adventure contact Deb and she will offer more detailed tips.
Moving a Grand Piano: Advice from Steve McCann
Grands are moved standing up on their side. The bass side is down. It usually involves a dolly and a skid. To tilt the piano onto a skid you remove the pedal lyre (mark or number the pedal rods as they may be different and keep track of the lyre braces).
Next, remove the piano leg on the bass side. Sometimes legs are held in place with large
screws or bolts and sometimes they are fastened in place with an interlocking cast iron
bracket, half of which is screwed on to the top of the leg and the other part screwed under
the keybed of the piano. Sometimes there is a wooden cam on the inside of the leg which
has to be tapped out of place, then the leg tapped inward (with a rubber hammer) to
disengaged the cast iron bracket.
With this leg removed lower that front corner of the piano on to the skid. Probably it’s best to remove the lid before doing this and move it separately. When positioning the piano onto the skid make sure the lid hinges fastened to the rim of the piano don’t rest on the skid. Have them overhang a bit or they will be bent or the rim of the piano split. You can even take them off the piano if you want to be extra safe. It just takes a couple of minutes to take them off.
I usually lay blankets or moving pads over the skid before lowering the piano on to it and then wrap them up over the rim of the piano. Remove the other two legs. Don’t get them mixed up. On some pianos the bolts for the rear leg are longer than those for the front legs. Don’t mix up these bolts.
Tie the piano securely to the skid, then lift one end of the skid up off the floor and slip the piano dolly under the skid. Now you can trundle the piano out of the house and up a ramp into the back of the pickup or trailer. The piano has to be fastened to the truck in such a way that it can’t fall over.
If you have to move the piano up or down stairs take if off the dolly and just slide the skid. On wood or any such smooth floors you can slide the skid along the floor on a blanket.