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MMD > Archives > October 2001 > 2001.10.05 > 05Prev  Next

Tipping a Grand Piano on the Pedal Lyre
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I just got off the phone with Ed Keefer, the general manager
at the Story & Clark factory and he said that they _"never"_ use the
lyre when tipping a grand piano.  He did say that some lyres on Yamaha
grands can handle the stress, but he also added that unless you're
absolutely certain the lyre can handle the stress it's unwise to use
it when tipping the instrument.  (Ed used to own and operate a piano

Next, I called Steinway and they would not allow me to quote them.
However, they strongly recommended that the lyre be removed before
tipping the instrument onto a skid board.

Next, I called two of the largest piano houses in New Jersey and spoke
to the owners and the people in charge of moving the pianos.  In both
cases, it is their store policy to remove the lyre on all grand pianos
except Yamaha.  And even then they did make an exception about the
Yamaha French Provincial and all Yamaha grands with the Disklavier,
stating that the extra weight of the player mechanism was too much for
even the strong Yamaha lyre.

Here's the way I look at it:  Why take the chance when it only takes
a couple of minutes to remove the lyre?  When in doubt, do the safest
thing and avoid the possibility of damage.

And here's something else:  Even though the damage might not show up
immediately, putting the weight of the piano on the lyre will (without
any doubt) put excessive stress on the glue joints in the lyre.  This
might not be so much of a problem with a new piano lyre, but an
eighty-year old lyre is a totally different animal.  And the sad part
is that a lyre with cracked glue joints may continue to operate for
weeks, months or even years before it starts really coming apart.  What
annoys me most about that is that the piano mover gets away scot-free
and the owner ends up eating the cost of the mover's mistake, which
saved him all of about five minutes of work.


John A. Tuttle

 [ The expression 'scot-free' means 'tax free', from Anglo-Saxon
 [ 'sceot' meaning money put into a general fund; it doesn't imply
 [ a frugal Scot!  -- Robbie

(Message sent Fri 5 Oct 2001, 15:04:50 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Grand, Lyre, Pedal, Piano, Tipping

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