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Topic: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Question OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    I have an opportunity to acquire a six foot grand piano (I dunt know the make as of yet but I will do sum splannin later, Huh huh huh!) for free. Well, not exactly free I would need to hire a reputable company to move unless I can find some big strong burly Shwartzenheimer guys to move with a big truck.

    From what me twin brother tells me it is in great playing condition but there is cat hair all over and inside plus the finish would need attention. I've never moved one or had one moved but I hear it has to be somewhat taken apart?

    Well, my question ezz simple (just like me ) Would you or wouldn't you take this if an opportunity such as this came your way? The reason I asks is formost I have limited space in my home right now and may have to store it in the garage until a decision is made.

    Just thought I would ask. Just thought you may have some ideas. Just thought I would have some ice cream. Just thought I would drive yas all a wee bit nuts this marnin!
    Styxx

  2. #2

    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Hi Styxx,

    I say go for it! My recommendation is to look for a piano moving company, not a general moving company. They will know what they are doing, and will have the right size board to put the piano on (although a 6-foot piano is probably pretty common). Perhaps contact your local piano store to see if they can recommend someone.

    A few years ago, we bought a 9-foot Civil War era piano (John Broadwood & Sons) from an antique market, and it wasn't too bad to move. It would have taken about 10 of me to move it, but one BIG burly guy from the local piano moving company did it all by himself. The only disassembly was to take the legs off.

    It was amazing to see him lift the entire piano by himself, carry it in the front door, and place it gently on the living room floor (on its side, so that he could put the legs back on). The piano was 130-something years old when we bought it, with a very thin wooden veneer that survived the move beautifully. The move went so well, that we used that same company again a few years later when we moved to a different house.
    Best Regards,
    Ernie

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Wow, one guy! What was his name, King Kong? Good advice well taken sir. I haven't seen this piano as of yet. My twin brother owns his own chimney service and was working on the gentleman's house. The owner of the house said the lady who sold him the home had no interest in the piano and didn't want to "waste" the money to move it. So, she left it there, the new owner doesn't want it either, offered it to my brother, my brother called me and asked if I want it, I said yes but need to see it. It is supposed to be in good playing order and in tune but the finish needs attention.
    There is a local piano store here in town. I will pay them a visit this afternoon and discuss it with them. You have a good point having someone who knows how to move them, move it.
    Styxx

  4. #4

    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Hey Styxx,
    Moving the piano should cost around $200 - $250. At least that was the going rate in Atlanta six years ago.


    Refinishing a 6 footer will cost around $2,000. At least it did in Atlanta around six years ago.


    So, if you live in Atlanta and you are six years behind, expect to pay about $2,250 to have your piano refinished and moved to your home. Is that helpful?


    Seriously, I'd go have a listen to the piano before committing. If it sounds like garbage it will just become a huge piece of junk in your garage that you will have to pay someone to get rid of it. If it sounds nice and is in working condition then you have a great deal.

    -Kevin
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Refinishing I can do myself I'm pretty good at it. Yeah, I just called me brother and he will make arrangements to have a look and play it to see if it's worth the cost to move. I can live with $200 to $300 for the move as long (as you say) sounds nice and in playing condition.
    Styxx

  6. #6
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    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Styxx,

    I will make a plea on the piano's part! Don't store it in the garage for long! The wood in the piano will expand and contract excessively if there is no temperature and humidity control. I have seen pianos reduced to trash by exposure. Even low winter humidity in a well heated room will ruin a pinblock over time (10 years). It may cost a little, but see if your mover can store the piano appropriately until you decide where to put it. Otherwise I agree with the above opinions-take it if it sounds good and plays well, there is nothing like having a real piano to play.

    Paul

  7. #7
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by pcor View Post
    Styxx,

    I will make a plea on the piano's part! Don't store it in the garage for long! The wood in the piano will expand and contract excessively if there is no temperature and humidity control. I have seen pianos reduced to trash by exposure. Even low winter humidity in a well heated room will ruin a pinblock over time (10 years). It may cost a little, but see if your mover can store the piano appropriately until you decide where to put it. Otherwise I agree with the above opinions-take it if it sounds good and plays well, there is nothing like having a real piano to play.

    Paul
    Thanks, advice well noted. My original idea was to use my garage which is heated but admit not humidity controlled and refinish the piano. However, given the reasons you present I will consider an alternative.
    Styxx

  8. #8
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Well, here I am in my devil's advocate role again! Be careful! A free piano can become expensive. You must be aware of brand names!! For instance, if it is a Kimball, nothing will make it a good piano! If there is sign of cat presence, check the interior. I recall one piano where the owner used the inside for cigar ashes and cat urinal. Look at the bass strings, and listen. If they sound flabby, it could be either badly detuned, or they need replacement. Hammers, if badly grooved, can destroy tone and drastically reduce volume. Seriously degraded tuning can mean either gross neglect, or loose tuning pins. If you take it, you absolutely must get a piano mover. It is not a difficult job, generally, two people will do it, but it can be done by one person. I have moved many pianos, and it is always a little tricky. But an experienced small person can do quite well with some understanding of balance and a little coaching. If you must move it, key rule is, slowly!! Don't show off your strength by giving a shove, because it is quite easy to break a piano leg, as I have seen. Plan your move, a SHORT distance for each increment. A dolly is very useful.

    If you do the finishing, don't make the usual mistake! Disassemble! Lid, fall board, cheek blocks, key slip, lyre, and legs!!

    I am not trying to scare you off, but remember that I was a dealer and technician, and this is a rough idea of what I would do as a cursory first inspection before haggling over a price. I have seen quite a few people get a piano free or cheap, and who have been so disappointed.

    Final caveat -- don't overlook cracked plate or cracked soundboard!!

    Richard

  9. #9
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by lunker View Post
    Hi Styxx,

    I say go for it! My recommendation is to look for a piano moving company, not a general moving company. They will know what they are doing, and will have the right size board to put the piano on (although a 6-foot piano is probably pretty common). Perhaps contact your local piano store to see if they can recommend someone.

    A few years ago, we bought a 9-foot Civil War era piano (John Broadwood & Sons) from an antique market, and it wasn't too bad to move. It would have taken about 10 of me to move it, but one BIG burly guy from the local piano moving company did it all by himself. The only disassembly was to take the legs off.

    It was amazing to see him lift the entire piano by himself, carry it in the front door, and place it gently on the living room floor (on its side, so that he could put the legs back on). The piano was 130-something years old when we bought it, with a very thin wooden veneer that survived the move beautifully. The move went so well, that we used that same company again a few years later when we moved to a different house.
    Well, a Broadwood of that era might not have have a cast iron plate, which would make it a lot lighter. But it would also make it more difficult to maintain tuning, and the tail of the instrument might twist and distort. The sound, however, ought to be quite mellow and woody, and the action a bit primitive. And, I think the legs on those instruments were huge by today's standards, and removing them would also significantly reduce the weight. I would guess that it should not be tuned at A440.

    Richard

  10. #10
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: OT-Would you or wouldn't you?

    Well, in respect to all the replies my brother and I are going to view the piano and we are taking a friend who has been playing piano all his life. He graciously offered to inspect, play and give his truthful assessment. I'll keep you informed!
    Maybe I can post a picture of it as well.
    Styxx

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