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  • Writer's pictureHigher Ground Moving

How to Move a Piano 101

Here at Higher Ground Moving, our expert central Oregon movers can show you how to tackle the bigger projects.

How to move a Piano 101: (grand / baby grand)

Tools needed: Socket set, stubby wrenches, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, zip lock baggies, perfectly clean moving pads, stretch wrap, backpack straps, ratchet straps, piano board w/ straps, 6-wheel piano dolly. (Minimum 4 Men)

1: Always take very detailed pictures before moving a piano!

2: Remove the piano lid: small hinges are located on the longest side. Use appropriate tool, generally pliers, to remove hinge pins. Store/label hardware properly.

3: Wrap lid in appropriate number of pads (usually 3 or 4): make sure all pads are either brand new or completely clean so the piano will not be scratched. Black felt pads are a great first layer. Wrap lid in shrink wrap multiple times until pads are completely covered.

4. Remove the lyre: This is located directly below the keyboard and is attached to the pedals. Lay under and unscrew from the underside of the body. It’s generally held up with 2 wingnuts and 4 screws. (some pianos can be tipped on the lyre)

5. Wrap the body piano with moving pads: Use 3 or 4 moving pads over and around the body of the piano. Make sure pads are dust and debris free!!Secure pads with stretch wrap.

6. Set piano onside onto a piano board: Make sure you have the straps in the correct spots in the piano board and the board is next to the piano. Tilt piano towards its long, flat side and lift up onto the piano board placing it gently on top. Never let the weight of the piano rest on the legs or they will easily snap off. This is the hardest part and will require perfect communication.

7. Strap the piano to the piano board: Wrap at least 2 -3 heavy buckle straps around the body of the piano, making sure to have enough padding so no dents or scratches occur.

8. Remove remaining piano legs: Most baby grand pianos have 3 or sometimes 4 legs. Legs will be attached to the bottom of the piano with screws or small bolts. Use a screwdriver or Allen wrench to remove, some are wingnut. Old pianos are always strange and may be held together strangely.

9: Wrap each leg and the lyre with a blanket and then wrap with stretch wrap covering everything.

10: Moving piano: Lift wrapped piano from piano board onto the center of the 6-wheel dolly. Uneven surfaces may require us to ratchet strap piano to dolly.

12: Roll piano to moving truck slowly keeping piano balanced and loading into truck. Truck must be running to operate the liftgate with pianos.

13: Carefully lift the piano off the dolly and strap piano firmly into place. Strap down with at least 4 straps.

14: Set wrapped legs and lyre in truck along with any extra bagged hardware. Don’t forget the bench!

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