safely move a piano or pool table by yourself
By Chuck Resnick
When it comes to moving households, handling large, bulky items is a challenge, especially if you decide to do the moving yourself.
Here are a few tips that can help:
A pool table must be disassembled before moving it. Depending on the age of the table, you may or may not have the original documentation on how it was put together and how to take it apart. Usually, the side rails and pockets come off, and the felt must be carefully removed.
Depending on the size of the table, it will be composed of up to three large, heavy pieces of slate that comprise the playing surface. These slate surface pieces are often held into place on the frame with screws covered with bees wax. You have to know to look for these; otherwise you can do damage. Each section of slate has to be wrapped in moving blankets. At Two Men and A Truck® – Canada, we also stretch wrap them so we can get a better grip. The slate pieces should not be laid flat in the truck, as being jostled during the trip will create stress points that could cause cracks. The slate pieces should be secured vertically at the sides of the trick and should not come into contact with anything else during transport.
When it’s time to reassemble the table at the other end, it’s important to realize just how heavy it is and place the sections of it carefully, realizing that its weight can have an effect on floor-bearing capacity. Ideally, pool tables should go into a basement on a concrete floor.
It takes a minimum of three people to move a piano. The process begins with removing the pedal system, which must happen in a systematic way for the number of bolts that hold it onto the instrument. Pad wrap everything with moving blankets and stretch wrap each piece for added protection.
The process for dismantling the rest of the piano depends on the type. Usually, one leg has to be lifted and unbolted to come off. We leave the bolting system attached and pad wrap & stretch wrap each leg so nothing is lost. At this point, we lower the piano gently on its side onto a special piano sled. Then, we remove the second leg while at least two people are supporting the piano. At this point, we shift the piano to the upright position at the edge of the sled, which has an indentation to accommodate the lid overlap so the piano does not touch the floor. It sits on a cushioned blanket and secured to the sled to prevent pressure points while being moved. Then it becomes easy to remove the final leg.
We pad wrap and stretch the piano body, then ease it onto a special dolly and wheel it out the door. The piano should remain on the dolly, which becomes part of it during transport. We strap it to the side wall of the truck, halfway between the two wheel bases, for the least amount of jostling. Once it is reassembled in the new home, it is critical that the owners have the instrument retuned, as there will be some unavoidable changes from the move.
Whether it is a pool table or piano, consider hiring a professional moving company to transport items such as pool tables and pianos. Neither you nor an inexperienced mover should be learning the process while handling your large, bulky possessions. Visit twomen.ca for a location near you.
— Chuck Resnick is vice-president, marketing and operations at Two Men and A Truck – Canada®.