top of page

Does Your Piano Have a Firm Foundation?

Updated: Jun 17, 2023


Removing worn out piano caster parts.  CarlinPiano is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michael Carlin is a registered piano technician with the Piano Technicians Guild.
Removing worn out piano caster parts

We tend to think of pianos as stationary objects. Many pianos stay in the exact same spot for decades. But some pianos need to be moved from time to time. And even stationary pianos almost always have casters, or small wheels that swivel. Over time, some casters get damaged and don't move very well.


I recently had the opportunity to replace the casters on an upright piano. It was fun to get out the piano tilter - a device that helps me to tilt an upright piano 90 degrees - so that I had easy access to the bottom of the piano. I also enjoy getting to use the cordless drill and Forstner bits to create precise cuts in the bottom of the piano to properly receive the caster sockets, so that I can get the firmest and most secure foundation possible for the new casters.

Feline assistant lending a paw.  Michael Carlin is a registered piano technician based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Feline assistant lending a paw

Even more fun was having a very curious and attentive assistant for most of the process. My assistant took some well-deserved work breaks while I was making a lot of noise with the power tools. But otherwise, he was on duty to lend a paw, inspect the work product, and handle supervisory and other personnel issues. Here he is making sure that everything is in order on the underside of the piano's pedals. He doesn't get to see that every day.


Ready for a new socket and caster.  CarlinPiano, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, provides a full range of piano services, including tuning and repair, to all makes and models of upright and grand pianos.
Ready for a new socket and caster

Our job consisted of carefully tilting the piano, removing the old casters and sockets, providing some precision cuts where necessary to the bottom of the piano to receive the new sockets, installing the new sockets very securely, pressing in the new casters, and then carefully returning the piano to its upright position. This particular piano had smaller caster sockets for the front two casters, and so my assistant and I needed to use a Forstner bit to enlarge the circumference so that the new larger socket could have a good snug fit without gaps between the socket and the wood.


New socket and new caster.  Michael Carlin is a registered piano technician based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
New socket and caster

Here's a new front socket and new caster. Before installing the new socket, we used a Forstner bit to enlarge the circumference of the indentation in the wood so that the new socket would fit snugly.


It's important to choose a caster set that is appropriate for your piano. Different caster brands have a variety of weight capacities, so we need to be sure that the new caster sets are up to the task of securely holding your piano for decades to come.



New casters and sockets installed.  Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, CarlinPiano provides a full range of piano tuning and repair services.
New casters and sockets installed

Here we are with all new casters and sockets. Ready to roll! This piano will now be level, stable, free of wobbles, yet easily moveable.


In the future I will talk about piano sound abatement. As part of that discussion, I will mention a certain type of caster cup that helps to reduce the transmission of sound from the piano to the floor. For another day!


Paw of approval.  Michael Carlin is a registered piano technician based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Paw of approval

For now, my assistant and I thank you for your interest in our caster caper. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact me at carlinpiano@gmail.com or give me a call or text at (734) 800-1901, or visit https://www.carlinpiano.com/ . Thank you.


39 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page