Moving a spinet piano is no small feat. These petite yet heavy musical instruments can pose a unique challenge when it comes to relocation. Whether you’re moving to a new home, selling your spinet piano, or simply rearranging your living space, it’s essential to handle the process with care to avoid damage to the piano and potential injuries. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of moving a spinet piano safely and efficiently.
What Is a Spinet Piano?
Before we dive into the moving process, let’s clarify what a spinet piano is. A spinet is a type of upright piano characterized by its compact size and distinctive shape. Unlike taller upright pianos, spinets are shorter and have a unique design that places the piano’s action and strings at an angle, giving them their iconic appearance. While their compact size makes them a popular choice for smaller spaces, it also means that moving them requires careful planning and execution.
Materials and Tools You’ll Need
Before you begin the moving process, gather the necessary materials and tools. Having the right equipment on hand will make the job safer and more manageable. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Piano Dolly: A specialized piano dolly with sturdy wheels designed to carry heavy loads is essential for moving a spinet piano.
- Moving Straps: Heavy-duty moving straps or harnesses will help secure the piano to the dolly and make lifting easier.
- Furniture Blankets or Pads: These will protect the piano’s finish and prevent scratches during the move.
- Piano Board: A piano board is a flat, wide board used to slide the piano onto the dolly. It provides stability during transport.
- Tape: Use packing tape to secure the piano’s keyboard lid, pedals, and any loose parts.
- Screwdriver: You may need this tool to remove the piano’s legs if they are detachable.
- Work Gloves: Protect your hands with sturdy work gloves to maintain a good grip and prevent injuries.
- Moving Truck: Ensure you have access to an appropriate moving truck or vehicle to transport the piano to its new location.
Step-by-Step Guide to Move a Spinet Piano
Now that you have all the necessary materials and tools, let’s move on to the step-by-step process of moving a spinet piano:
Step 1: Prepare the Piano
- Clear the Area: Remove any obstacles and furniture in the piano’s path to ensure a clear route for moving.
- Secure Loose Parts: Use packing tape to secure the keyboard lid, pedals, and any other loose or movable parts of the piano.
- Measure Doorways: Measure the piano’s dimensions and compare them to the width of doorways and hallways to ensure it can pass through without issues.
Step 2: Remove the Piano’s Legs (if detachable)
If your spinet piano has removable legs, you’ll need to take them off before moving the piano:
- Locate Attachment Points: Identify the attachment points where the legs connect to the piano.
- Use a Screwdriver: Carefully use a screwdriver to remove the screws or bolts that secure the legs of the piano. Keep these screws or bolts in a safe place for reassembly later.
- Remove the Legs: Gently lift and remove the legs from the piano.
Step 3: Position the Piano Board
Place the Piano Board: Position the piano board next to the spinet piano. Ensure it is centered and stable.
Step 4: Slide the Piano onto the Dolly
- Position the Dolly: Place the piano dolly at one end of the piano board.
- Lift the Piano: With the help of one or more assistants, carefully lift the spinet piano and gently slide it onto the piano board.
- Secure the Piano: Use moving straps or harnesses to secure the piano to the dolly. Make sure the straps are tight and that the piano is firmly attached to the dolly.
Step 5: Move the Piano
- Tilt the Piano: Tilt the piano slightly backward, allowing it to rest on the piano dolly’s wheels.
- Steer and Move: With one person guiding and steering the dolly, carefully move the piano to its destination. Keep a steady pace and avoid sudden movements or sharp turns.
- Watch for Obstacles: Pay close attention to obstacles, stairs, and uneven surfaces. Take your time to navigate these challenges safely.
Step 6: Reassemble the Legs (if removed)
If you removed the piano’s legs, it’s time to reattach them:
- Position the Legs: Place the legs in their respective attachment points on the piano.
- Secure with Screws: Use the screws or bolts you removed earlier to secure the legs in place. Ensure they are tightly fastened.
Step 7: Position the Piano
Set the Piano in Place: Carefully lower the spinet piano into its designated spot.
- Adjust as Needed: Adjust the piano’s position until it is perfectly aligned and level.
Step 8: Final Checks
- Remove Straps: Carefully remove the moving straps or harnesses from the piano.
- Inspect for Damage: Examine the piano for any signs of damage or scratches that may have occurred during the move. If any damage is discovered, document it for potential insurance claims.
- Tune the Piano: After the piano is settled in its new location, consider having it professionally tuned. The move may have affected its pitch and overall sound quality.
Safety Tips for Moving a Spinet Piano
- Moving a spinet piano can be physically demanding, so safety is paramount. Here are some additional safety tips to keep in mind:
- Teamwork: Always have at least two people assisting with the move, preferably more for heavier pianos.
- Proper Lifting Techniques: Bend your knees, keep your back straight, and use your leg muscles to lift the piano. Avoid bending at the waist.
- Use Work Gloves: Wear work gloves to protect your hands and maintain a secure grip on the piano.
- Take Breaks: Moving a piano is a strenuous activity. Take breaks as needed to prevent overexertion.
- Plan the Route: Plan the path you’ll take to move the piano and clear any obstacles in advance.
- Communicate: Maintain clear communication with your assistants to coordinate movements and ensure everyone is on the same page.
While it is possible to move a spinet piano on your own, it’s worth considering hiring professional piano movers, especially if you’re dealing with a particularly valuable or delicate instrument. Professional movers have the experience, equipment, and expertise to safely transport your piano without risk of damage or injury.
Moving a spinet piano requires careful planning, proper equipment, and a cautious approach. By following this comprehensive guide and adhering to safety precautions, you can successfully move your spinet piano to its new location while preserving its condition and your well-being. Whether you’re relocating, redecorating, or simply repositioning your piano, taking the time to move it correctly is well worth the effort.