Pianos and Safes, Specializing in Hoisting and Rigging. Chicago piano movers. Chicago safe movers.

We have been moving painos and safes for over 25 years throughout Chicago land and around the country. As a testament to our work a client posted a youtube video of us moving a piano into their oak park home.

 

Pianos
  piano types
  measuring a piano
  moving a piano around
  storing a piano

Safes
  safe ratings

 

PIANO TYPES

Upright / Vertical Piano

Upright / Vertical Piano

Spinet: 35" - 39"
Console: 40" - 43"
Studio: 44" - 47"
Full Size: 48" - 60"

Grand Piano

Upright / Vertical Piano

Baby Grand: 4’ 5”- 5’2’’
Living Room/ Parlor Grand: 5’3”-6’4”
Concert/ Professional: 6’5’’- 9’+

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MEASURING A PIANO

Upright / Vertical Piano

Upright / Vertical Piano

Vertical pianos are measured by their overall height, from the floor to the very top of the lid. Measurements for vertical pianos are given in inches only (no feet).

Grand Piano

Upright / Vertical Piano

Grands are measured by their overall length. Close the lid completely. Hook, or have someone hold, the end of the tape measure at the center of the tail. Measure where indicated by the dotted line. Grand measurements are given in feet and inches.

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MOVING A PIANO AROUND A ROOM

It's understandable that you might not want to hire a mover just to move a piano around a room, but these small moves can be surprisingly dangerous. With both grands and verticals, it's primarily the legs you want to watch out for. Breaking a leg on a vertical may just be an inconvenience, but on a grand it can be disastrous. For example, a leg could get caught on an uneven floor or the grate of a heating duct and come crashing to the floor, breaking the legs as well as the pedal lyre.

Dragging a piano across carpeting can also be too much for the legs to handle. If you insist on moving a grand piano yourself, 3 to 5 strong people should gather around its circumference and lift while moving. Don't actually try to lift it off the floor; just relieve the strain on the legs of the piano.

At least 2 people should always move a vertical piano. Smaller, apartment sized verticals with free-standing legs should have their legs protected by lifting or tilting the piano back ever so slightly while moving. But remember that most of the weight of the piano is in its back, so be sure you have a firm grip on it and don't tilt so far that the piano is in danger of falling over. Larger verticals and smaller ones without legs can simply be rolled, although this may be hard to do on carpeting. Piano casters can sometimes get stuck unexpectedly, so move slowly with one person on each end of the piano.

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STORING A PIANO

The best advice about storing a piano is not to do it if you can help it, or to store it with a friend who will use it and take good care of it. Storing a piano involves extra moving and an uncertain environment, and certainly doesn't improve the instrument, to say the least.

Most cities and towns have self-storage places where you can rent cubicles of various sizes. When choosing one, it's preferable that it be at least minimally heated, though an unheated space is by far better than one that is overheated. Typical cubicle sizes might be 8 x 8 x 6 feet or 5 x 10 x 8 feet. Smaller cubicle sizes may not have a big enough door. Also be sure that the cubicle you're given is not upstairs and does not have an overhead entrance requiring a ladder, moveable stairs, or forklift.

Storage in an unheated Space
Many people keep pianos in summer homes or cottages and wonder how to protect the piano in the winter when the place is unheated. The conventional wisdom is that pianos should never be allowed to freeze, but any technician will tell you that pianos left unheated year after year are often in better condition than those in well-heated houses, the latter usually suffering from the effects of over-dryness.

A couple of ways to absorb dampness that often accompanies low temperatures:
- Place some mothballs in the piano (but don't let them touch the finish), close
up the piano and leave it as is, or
- Put some chewing tobacco in a cheesecloth sack and hang it inside the piano

Storing a Grand Piano On Its Side
Storing a grand piano on its side is alright in temporary situations, but not advisable for long periods of time. It would be best to have a piano tuner remove the action, wrap it in plastic, and put it on a flat surface. When an action is stored on its side for that long, the weight of the hammers can cause the shanks to warp toward the bass, messing up the hammer alignment.

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SAFE RATINGS

The following is a basic description of the different labels and rating used in describing the ability of a safe to protect your valuables.

Safe Manufacturers National Association / UL

Labels used on Insulated Fire Safes / Vault Doors
These are safes that should only be used for the protection valuable papers against fire and offer very little protection against burglary attempts. The following list contains how long a safe can withstand a fire with little to no damage to its contents.

Class Hours
A               4
B               2
C               1
D               1
E             1/2
150          1,2,3,4 (depending on rating / used for protecting Data)
                  Insulated Fire Vaults can be found with a 2,4,6 hour rating.

Labels Use On Burglary Safes
These safes are designed to protect your valuables ( money, jewelry etc.) As a rule they offer very little protection against fire. Burglary safes are rated on how long they will be able to withstand an attack using power tools and in some cases cutting torches and high explosives.

 B rate - simply means your safe is equipped with a combination lock and some type of external relocking device. Both door and body are 1/2 inch steel. Most are small safes that can be easily carried off if not bolted down. It is not recommend that valuables be left in these safes over night.
C rate - a safe with a door 1 inch thick door and body 1/2 inch thick.
E rate - a safe with a 1 1/2 inch thick door and a 1 inch thick body.
TL 15 - a safe that must weigh at least 750 pounds and resist expert attack using power tools for a net working time of 15 minutes.
TL 30 - a safe that must weigh at least 750 pounds and resist expert attack
using power tools for a net working time of 30 minutes.
TRTL 15 / TRTL 30 - same as above but also must resist expert attack by a cutting torch during the attack
TRTL60 - a safe that must weigh at least 750 pounds and be able to resist expert attack by both power tools and cutting torch for a net working time of 60 minutes
TXTL60 - a safe that must weigh at least 1000 pounds and resist expert attack by power tools , cutting torches and high explosives for a net working time of 60 minutes.

Net Working Time: The actual time working. It does not include the time required to change worn out or broken drill bits and saw blades, replace drill motors to hot to handle or any other of the many things that takes place during these test.

Composite Body Safes
These are becoming the most widely use class of safe used in business today as they offer both fire and burglary protection. With the TL15 , TL30 and TRTL 30 being the most popular. There is also another rating this style safe can be found in. It is known as the X6 (ie. TRTL30X6). This simply means that any barrier that can be found in the door to resist attack can also be found in the top, bottom and sides offering even more protection for your valuables.

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