Moving a piano from one home to another is no easy task, as demonstrated by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a 1930s movie short that, unsurprisingly, ended in disaster. It is essential to remove the legs from a grand piano before moving it anywhere else. You'll need not only a few heavy-duty tools but also some carefully guided experience.
Preparation before piano leg removal
Place felt wedges on each side of the fall board that covers the piano keys. Consider soft cloths as an alternative to keep the cover for the keyboard from closing once the piano gets turned on its side to remove legs.
Take a large rubber band big enough to wrap over the opening of the piano lid. Wrap the rubber band under the right piano leg first to secure it, then wrap it over the lid.
Place a heavy-duty stand from a professional piano moving company under the bottom left center of the piano. Prop the piano up enough so the left leg and the lyre are raised off the floor. The lyre is the center support of the piano containing the pedals.
Remove the raised lyre by removing the screws that hold it in place. Always remove the lyre first so once the left leg is off, the weight of the piano won’t damage the lyre.
Removing the piano's left leg
Prepare to remove a Steinway grand piano leg by using a rubber mallet and stick of wood to loosen a wedge that holds the leg in place. Keep in mind that every piano leg is going to be different in how it’s removed.
Remove the Steinway leg by using the mallet to tap the leg from the top toward the wedge. Slip the leg off once it loosens.
Turn the left leg and lift out to remove it if the piano you’re working with is an older one, from the early 20th century or before. Older pianos were made this way and many have legs in a rounded shape.
Use a socket set to remove legs on pianos built more recently. Remove square-shaped bolts placed in the base of the leg as you would on a newer version of the Steinway.
Removing the two other legs
Move the piano on its left side onto a piano skid after the left leg is removed. Place padding on the piano skid to prevent the piano’s finish from scratching.
Remove the two other legs using above steps while the piano rests on its left side on the piano skid.
Label each leg with a number from one to three so you’ll know which one goes where when you reattach them in your new location.
Always have one or more professional piano movers work with you when removing piano legs and moving a piano in general.