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davefoc 01-20-2008 01:58 PM

Piano Casters
 
3 Attachment(s)
We recently installed laminate floors and we needed to replace the cast iron casters that were original to our 1917 upright piano with something softer that wouldn't damage the floors.

The problem seemed easy enough but standard casters wouldn't fit in the locations where the original casters has been installed.

I thought I'd post a few pictures of the solution that we came up with.

The second image is a picture of what the original caster looked like (the one shown is broken). The post of the caster extended through a hole in the caster bracket and was held in place by having the top of it peened over so that it couldn't slip our of the caster fitting.

We removed the caster wheel assembly from the caster bracket by grinding off the top of the post. This allowed the old wheel assembly to slip out of the caster bracket.

We got the caster shown at the front of picture 1 at Lowes. It has a threaded post. The post was a little smaller than the hole for the caster post so we wrapped it with duct tape and then inserted it into the old caster bracket. We then screwed a nut on it to keep it from slipping out of the caster bracket and then reinstalled bracket assembly into the original holes.

The back of the piano is quite a bit heavier than the front of the piano and one of our caster brackets was broken so we needed a different solution for the casters in the back.

For the back we made an ell bracket out of 3/4 inch plywood and attached regular four hole casters to the bottom of it. We then slid this assembly under the piano and attached it to back of the piano with lots of two inch drywall screws.

One problem that we had was that we originally attached to the four hold casters with 1 inch dry wall screws. These weren't strong enough and they broke. We switched to #12 pan heads and these worked fine. We put six casters along the back to distribute the weight of the piano over a fairly large area to keep from damaging the laminate floor.

We never put the piano on its back like is recommended on at least one internet site dealing with this problem. We were able put shoring under the piano to hold it up well enough while we removed and replaced the old casters. My wife and I did this by ourselves, although lifting up one end of the piano by myself while my wife put shoring under it was a test.

gregzoll 01-20-2008 04:17 PM

I would of talked to a Piano guy, and let them try to change out the wheels and plus side is, they would of tuned it also with the price of the repair added in.

davefoc 01-20-2008 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll (Post 90350)
I would of talked to a Piano guy, and let them try to change out the wheels and plus side is, they would of tuned it also with the price of the repair added in.

Probably would have been a good idea. I looked around the web quite a bit for some way of replacing the cast iron casters. I found some sources where I could get replacements for the broken ones but I didn't see any ideas for changing the cast iron caster to something softer. The way the old cast iron caster were installed originally at the base of a large cut out made it seem like just replacing them with modern casters was going to be difficult. But maybe this is a standard problem for a piano guy and they have off the shelf solutions for it.

AllanJ 01-23-2008 12:46 PM

Hopefully you installed enough casters and the mountings are straight enough that they all share the weight so as not to break one of the casters' center post pivots. Less obvious is slight bending of the pivot out of vertical so when the piano is moved, the caster won't swivel to match the direction of movement.

Soft wheels can develop flat spots although this is minimized by moving the piano a little every few weeks.

Knucklez 07-01-2008 03:05 PM

go to HD and by some piano mover cushions. then the castor just sits in the cubby and doesn't scrap the floor. piano is so heavy it won't move even with the "piano mover" unless you really put your back into it to push it.

all sorts of piano casters available from here:
http://www.balaams-ass.com/piano/casters.htm

mr_littlejeans 10-26-2008 07:58 AM

"Piano Mover Cushions"?
 
Are these different then furniture movers (the plastic type that slide)? I'm trying to search on Piano Mover Cushions and not coming up with anything. I would like a little flexibility in moving my piano around on our wood floor and I've already scratched them up with the old metal casters. Will likely replace the casters by a professional when I can afford to but would like an interim solution.
Thanks,
Kinsey


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