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Whether using piano movers or doing it yourself, these are the steps to move a horizontal or baby grand style piano.
- Use 3 men for a petite or baby grand, at least 4 men for a parlor, ballroom, or concert grand. If the piano is going up or down flights of stairs, use at least 4 men.
- Use a box, tub, or speed pack (moving bin) to keep the parts together. Wrap all finished items in pads, and place all hardware in a box.
- Remove the music rack or “lyre” by pulling forward toward you.
- Take the top or lid off by removing the pins with needle nose pliers, covering the jaws with cloth or tape. Have one or 2 men hold the lid while one man works the pins free.
- Take the hinge pin out of the prop (2 pieces) and remove it.
- Remove the pedal assembly by removing the screws that attach it. There are braces at the back of the assembly that fit into slots at each end, secure the assembly when removing the screws so the braces don’t drop. Mark the attached push rods left, middle, right as you face them so there is no confusion at reassembly.
- Roll up a pad and tape it in 2 or 3 spots so it stays in the shape of a tube. Place the tube on top of the closed keyboard to keep it from opening and closing when the piano is placed on its side. Take 2 pads and overlap them to completely cover the top of the piano. Use tape or rubber bands to secure.
- Place a piano board running parallel to the flat side of the piano. Attach 2 piano straps to the board to secure the piano. The raised lip of the piano board should be at the keyboard end of the piano.
- Remove the left front leg by positioning 1 person under the piano at the left end of the keyboard. 2 others should support the same corner. If there are screws the person underneath should remove them and then turn the retaining block so that the long end points away from the leg. Before actually removing the legs the person under the piano should move out from underneath it while the 2 others lift the corner up. Mark the legs left, right, and back as some pianos have legs that aren’t interchangeable.
- Lower the left front corner down onto the piano board. Lift the piano while lowering so excessive stress isn’t placed on the 2 remaining legs. Position the piano to an upright position onto the piano board. Make sure the sound board is secured before moving the piano on the board. The keyboard end of the piano should be tight against the raised lip on the board
- Remove the 2 remaining legs, making sure that one person holds the piano steady. To remove a leg, slide it toward the center of the piano until it is free and can be pulled out of the slot. It is called a key and slot method of attachment.
- Strap the piano to the board with 2 straps making sure additional padding is placed between the piano and the strap so the edges of the piano aren’t dented or rubbed. Tie the loose ends of the straps together for more security.
- The piano is ready to move. There are 4 handles on a piano board so it can be carried or a 4 wheel dolly can be placed underneath the board to roll the piano out to the transporting vehicle.
- If possible use a vehicle with a lift gate, otherwise a ramp or walk board is an OK method to get the piano up onto the truck. The piano should be transported on the board and strapped tightly in the load.