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#38235 - 11/20/08 10:16 AM Dangers of moving a piano?
okat47 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/01
Posts: 193
Loc: Canada
Hi there.
I am planning to relocate in late December/early January. I have an upright piano (a Cable Nelson CN 116 PE)that I would like to move. It's at least a 2 day drive in lovely Canadian winter weather (though not extreme cold, and the climate where I'm moving is quite similar to where I am now).
One company said the cold would not be a problem for such a short trip. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about, but I don't know...
What precautions should I take? Or is it simply a bad idea to be moving this time of year?
(And if someone has already posted on this topic, maybe you could direct me to the relevant thread.)
Thanks for any help/insight!

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#38236 - 11/20/08 10:31 AM Re: Dangers of moving a piano?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
I think the only critical consideration is not to tune it until it warms up, which should be done slowly.

In Franz Mohr's book about his life tuning for the great pianists, he related an incident involving Artur Rubinstein's piano. The night before a concert, it sat in an uninsulated truck in the winter all night before being unloaded. After placement on stage, Franz and Artur actually sat on the piano for a long while in order to warm the piano before tuning. Apparently, it worked, and the concert was a great success.
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

#38237 - 11/21/08 01:04 AM Re: Dangers of moving a piano?
Horowitzian Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 8453
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.

#38238 - 11/23/08 08:41 AM Re: Dangers of moving a piano?
SantaFe_Player Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/31/08
Posts: 610
Loc: New Mexico
I don't think the cold per se will hurt the piano during a move. My piano was shipped from Fairbanks, Alaska, at the end of December and arrived in Socorro, New Mexico in February. As in your case, both places have very similar winter climates although the absolute temperature differential was significant (Socorro maybe 20 degrees, Fairbanks about 50 below). En route the piano was shipped - literally on a ship - and it waited in its shipping container in Seattle until a truck could be filled with multiple loads heading to the Southwest. The humidity change from Fairbanks (driest place in the country in the winter) to Socorro (nearly as dry) with a wait in Seattle (rather the opposite) was probably far more problematic than the temperature changes. In any case, as suggested above, just let it adjust for awhile and don't be in too big a hurry to tune it; it'll be a waste of money.
Heels down, and tickle the bit.

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