Moving a upright piano

effzee

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Exactly! A tonewheel hammond is electronic to begin with, and there's still nothing like the real thing.

There have been a lot of bad sounding acoustic pianos made in the last 70 years or so, but if you get any piano with some charm to it's sound, it really is something special to listen to a big wood soundboard amplify real strings in the air around your ears. Speakers don't do it.
Absolutely right. We bought our daughter's piano used from a dealer who builds and repairs them, he took over the business from his father, who had taken it over from his father. The piano we bought was built in 1920-something, I'll have to go look, and it just sounds soooo good. It's a Glaser Brothers, built in Jena, Germany. The dealer did impeccable work on it and I've yet to hear another piano that sounds as good

IMG_20221127_013916.jpg
 

NoTeleBob

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Pay for it to be moved. You'll break things otherwise. You, the piano, the steps, doorways, plaster, etc.

The only way I'd do it is if it was the first floor level and you just had to put it on dollies and roll out and back in to a first floor level.

You'll also need to get it into or out of the truck - a u-haul with a ramp is the way to go.
 

cometazzi

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Oh, you're right, yes, the trips up the stairs actually started with trips down other stairs! And you know what, now I'm thinking about it, going down isn't any easier than going up 😖 and it's more dangerous.

True that. I moved my Hammond up 2 flights of stairs, and then down those stairs later. On the way up, it was 4 guys lifting it, moving up a step, then setting it down. Repeat.

Going down, we put cardboard on the stairs and slid it down like it was on a sled. Two on the top, two on the bottom. The two of us on the bottom were pretty strong, but even at 249 pounds it was clear that it could have gotten away from us if someone stumbled. I can't imagine something as dense as a piano. I told the other guy "if this thing gets loose just get out of the way and let it crash".

Fortunately it all went well. But I've heard horror stories about B3s, pianos and the like.
 

AAT65

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I have an upright piano. We moved it from one side of the room to the other and that was bad enough: when we move house next year will, again, hire movers who know how to move a piano.

On the other hand we bought my daughter (who is a slight 5’5”) an electric piano: she walked home from the music shop with it under her arm.
 

Red Ryder

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Don't call your friend don't answer his calls get $7.83 and buy a better friend. If the new and improved friend mentions an upright piano repeat friend buying process.
 

raito

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When I was younger, I moved my mother's spinet. By myself. Talk about breaking the legs off? They unscrew for moving!

Look, I have a pile of electronic noisemakers. But there's no substitute for an acoustic piano. I jumped at the chance to get the one I have. It's an old girlfriend's. Her husband and I argue over who moved it the most times.

Frankly, I put more time in on it than any of my other instruments.
 

Toto'sDad

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I told him this afternoon all the cons of the free piano after moving it. The fact he really needs a piano dolly and more help. The fact it would be better to just buy a decent electric piano for a few hundred bucks.

Long story short he said the wife was set on it but was having trouble finding more help. Plus the lady might have somebody else lined out.

I’ll just act like I forgot any of that conversation ever happened.
If he brings it up again, tell him you've been drinking, and can't go out for at least a week, maybe longer. Not until your wife says it's okay.
 

Toto'sDad

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My wife likes to point out money I've wasted on music, and golf gear, and I'm either too timid, or too nice to point out to her, that it cost me $2500 to keep my promise to buy her another piano. When we were planning on moving, and sold our previous home, we got rid of most everything along with her piano she'd had for about twenty-five years, because we planned to move out of state.

It saddens me to think of what the kids will have to do when we are gone, they'll have to do SOMETHING with the piano! There are two granddaughters who do play, maybe one of them will take it. I need to set aside maybe a grand to have whoever gets it, to cover the cost of moving, and tuning a couple of times. I'll have to check around and see if that is enough.

Let's see now, 25 years with the original piano, now just shy of fifteen years with this piano. I suppose I can't kick, there's worse things to have to deal with.
 

bcorig

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Texting a buddy yesterday and he goes hey can you help me go get a upright piano this weekend. I was visiting my grandma and she has a smaller one in her living room. I thought let me see how heavy this one is…. I can’t pick it up or budge it by myself. I never realized they were that damn heavy and looked it up. The average upright weighs 500-800 pounds.

I think he has the impression that we were gonna take the hour plus drive and toss it in the back of my truck and mosey on.

This thing is free and after some homework this keeps smelling like a bad idea to me.

How fragile are these things?

Looks like you have to have it tuned after you move it? Once, maybe twice?

If something gets broken it’s probably expensive or not worth fixing?

This thing needs moved out of somebody’s house, there is some stairs involved getting it out, odds are we will have to deal with stairs to get it in his house unless it goes in the basement.

This smell like a bad idea to you?
My T12 L2 L3 and L4 intervertebral discs have conferred and, after a very short discussion, we agree that this sounds like a very bad idea.
 

ReverendRevolver

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I moved my grandmother's piano into my house with 4 other dudes helping me (I think my cousin Matt is the primary reason we succeeded.)

I moved my mom's piano (she moved out of state this year) earlier this summer. We gave it to a family for free. My sisters boyfriend (200lb 6'2" college lacrosse player) the dude getting it (probably 300lbs, big arms) and myself all brutalized ourselves moving it. And since we backed the dudes truck up to the porch at the starting house, we only had to go up 3 steps at the destination house.

You need 4 people, with at least one being a current or recent (last decade) athlete who lifts(lifted) alot. 2 of the people can be regular guys without physical impairments with typical adult male strength, and one just needs to be able to help push or balance (like I said, my 20s 110lb sister helped steer).

That's with 3 steps or less, no turning.

I see that our OP and his friend will hopefully dodge this bullet and not maim themselves as 50% of the required people to move a freakin piano.
 

jvin248

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.

We have a '3/4 height' upright console piano. I moved it myself. It was not pulling up basement stairs (and basements are bad places to keep pianos anyway), you'll need help if that is the case.

I backed the low load floor uhaul truck close to the front door of the exit house.
Placed a pair of 2x12s on blocks to be level with the first floor across the porch and into the truck.
took the auxiliary piano legs off the piano so they did not get broken.
lifted one side then the other of the piano to get a pair of harbor freight 4-wheel dollies under the piano.
Rolled onto the truck.
Pulled the dollies out and strapped it to the truck.
Filled the truck and drove to the new place.
Used the pair of 2x12s from the truck to the first floor of the new house.
Rolled the piano from the truck into the house and placed it where it was to go.
Yes some wiggling getting on/over/down from thresholds and the ends of boards and it's like a motorcycle you don't want to lay it down or you'll have many more problems.
If you have a friend who can stabilize at times gives you a lot more of a safety margin.

If the piano was basement kept then you'll want to let it dry out 'acclimate' to your new location for as long as you can wait (there is a lot of wood to dry out) and then get your tuning done.

.
 

Toto'sDad

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The worst part is the completely unforeseen. One time I was moving a refrigerator, it fell from a truck, and a little old lady who was just watching tried to catch it. Pinched the end of her finger so bad, it took forever to heal! I should have gotten her back out of the way, I had no idea she would try to do that. Like I said, the completely unforeseen, can be bad. That has been over sixty years ago, and I'm still regretting it.
 

Recce

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FINALLY! You get it loaded in the truck and...


The honest to god truth is my Dad and his buddies did that but at a little more speed making better firewood of the piano. There is no video because it happened in about 1965. But they went to get it and on Edmundson Road there is a ninety degree turn in front of Kratz School in Edmundson, Missouri and the story and description is it flew out like that but a little faster and harder. They came home with their tails dragging. My parents bought a second piano but my Mom insisted on movers the second time. Neither my Dad or I are good with loading a pickup truck.
This is the first time i have ever seen an actual video showing the description of what i know they did. Except they flipped it out the passenger side of the truck.
 
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