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BETTER casters

  • 1.  BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 13 days ago
    Anyone know of smoother-rolling small casters for upright pianos?  Customer doesn't want dolly and doesn't want bottom of piano any more than 1 1/4" (5.8cm) off the ground (for pedaling comfort), but wants to be able to move piano around living room hardwood floor with minimum fuss.  Front leg structures are not wide enough for routing out oversize wheel wells.  The original casters were brass with ball bearing rings and they scratched the floor and finally collapsed.  It's a pretty big upright: Wendl & Lung (Hailun) model 122-Univ., serial number 13290.

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    Andrew Warden
    Evanston IL
    224-420-1773
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  • 2.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 13 days ago
    I've just been through this with a U1...see the thread within the last month. I went through the trolley, Darnell 2" caster dance, and finally ended up just getting some OEM casters from Roger Gable, who is swimming in casters he took off a slew of U-1's to put Darnell's on. Its a no win situation, as far as I can tell. I could not get the Darnell's down to anywhere near the original 1-3/8" off the floor...I needed a whole additional 1" even with setting the Darnell's well into the structure.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 13 days ago
    WHy not try those plastic sliders? You can move pretty hefty furniture with them underneath. No, I haven't tried them, but they might work. And protect the floor at the same time. Without being able to install larger casters, I doubt you'll have much luck finding anything better than what's there. Unless the rear casters don't swivel.
    Paul McCloud


    Andrew Warden
    Anyone know of smoother-rolling small casters for upright pianos? Customer doesn't want dolly and doesn't want bottom of piano any more than 1 1/4" (5.8cm) off the ground (for pedaling comfort), but wants to be able to move piano around living room hardwood floor with minimum fuss. Front leg structures are not wide enough for routing out oversize wheel wells. The original casters were brass with ball bearing rings and they scratched the floor and finally collapsed. It's a pretty big upright: Wendl & Lung (Hailun) model 122-Univ., serial number 13290.

    ------------------------------
    Andrew Warden
    Evanston IL
    224-420-1773





  • 4.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 13 days ago
    How about posting some pictures to help visualize the piano and what you have to work with ? Probably the best casters will be the Darnells with the swivel feature and ball bearings made for moving around in classrooms and stages. Th only way to really know what you have to work with is to put the piano on a tilter which you are going to have to do eventually. I went through the dance with a school piano that had to be moved from a classroom to a multi-use building with a stage. Thought I had it all fixed but one of the rear casters caught a crack in the walkway and buckled under. Besides moving metal/brass casters probably will do a number on the oak floors. At the end of the day I put a dolly on the beast.

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 13 days ago
    Thanks for the replies!  Looks like I'm going to have to sacrifice motility for smallness.

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    Andrew Warden
    Evanston IL
    224-420-1773
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12 days ago
    This is an insurance write-off given to me by a dealer here, the tapered front legs had been sheared off in a move. I didn't want to keep the tiny brass casters so I built these "outriggers". Long lag screws into the frame in the rear and through-bolted in front. The casters are from a Baldwin grand I think and raise the piano quite a bit so I have a carpeted piece of wood for my heels for pedaling.but I could have raised my modification to compensate for wheel size. It was a bit of work, the labor would price out similar to the cost of trucks, but it doesn't rock or stick out as far in the rear as trucks do. And it looks nicer. I think it's a pretty good solution for pianos with detached front legs, less so for pianos such as U1's that have feet extending from the cabinet but perhaps some variation might do.
    Samick/Pramberger Remington, it's a fairly nice instrument.



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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 7.  RE: BETTER casters

    Posted 12 days ago
    Steve R.'s solution with the outriggers is excellent! The other thing I thought of is to install nice double-wheel Darnels and then place a platform of appropriate height under the bench and pedals so the pianist sits at an optimal height and the pedal height feels normal.

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    Terry Farrell
    Farrell Piano Service, Inc.
    Brandon, Florida
    terry@farrellpiano.com
    813-684-3505
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  • 8.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12 days ago
    As Steve said, just raise the outriggers a little higher on the side of the piano, and the pedals and keyboard will be at the normal height. A remarkably elegant solution!

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    Ed Sutton
    ed440@me.com
    (980) 254-7413
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  • 9.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 12 days ago
    Ed, thank you! My mistake was not considering the height of the casters till after I'd installed the outriggers. Lesson learned.

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    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
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  • 10.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 11 days ago
    I just came across these casters that might be worth taking a look at . Some hefty lag bolts into beams on the back botton and front bottoms may work and avoid the need for outriggers.

        https://www.amazon.com/Workbench-Retractable-Urethane-Workbenches-Machinery/dp/B07DX7HL9G?ref_=ast_sto_dp

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 11 days ago
    Hmmm...might work. Leave the U1 casters on. Place these only on the front and back of the box, rather than on the back and the toe blocks(or whatever you call them). Since they are only engaged when moving the piano, if they are slighlty wimpy it might not matter. Someone want to be the guinea pig?

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 11 days ago
    FYI, after talking to a woodworker who has Rockler's version of the retractable casters on heavy work tables in his shop, I ordered a set of these casters. I also ordered a set of the plates which allow you to remove the casters with no tools...just bend down and pull them off...which might make sense in the install. I have permission to experiment  with this on the U1 I mentioned in the original thread on this topic.

    I will report.

    I ordered Rockler's version of this, as the Amazon one James linked seems to be wimpier as well as less expensive.

    https://www.rockler.com/rockler-workbench-caster-kit-4-pack   at the bottom of the page are the additional plates that allow you to pull the caster off if that makes sense in your situation.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    Jim,
    The load rating of those casters are insufficient for a Yamaha U1. Also, I'm not sure how you would attach them to the toe blocks.
    Roger





  • 14.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 10 days ago
    you are right Roger, about the rated loading...poop... Frankly they  look beefier than the amazon ones that clain 200lb loading...poop

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
      |   view attached
    Fwiw, I've been puzzling for a way to attach a bigger caster onto a piano with a foot extending out of the cabinet and I came up with this idea. It would require fabricating a steel "hook" that would hold the cabinet foot with a plate that would hold the caster at the prober elevation. Either a standard caster or one with a plate that could bolt straight onto the steel. It could be oriented so the caster is on the inside (under the keyed) rather than creating a hazard sticking out the side. 4 screws would secure it. If need be, a triangular gusset would add strength to the plate supporting the caster, probably a good idea.



    ------------------------------
    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
      |   view attached
    I suppose the caster side should have a hook as well.


    ------------------------------
    Steven Rosenthal
    Honolulu HI
    808-521-7129
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: BETTER casters

    Posted 10 days ago
    210 lbs apiece should yield a total of 840, no? I don't know what a U1 weighs off the top of my head, but certainly less than that. I don't know if they're a good solution, but they should be fine from a weight standpoint.

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    Charles Rempel
    Dampp-Chaser Corporation
    Hendersonville NC
    828-692-8271
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  • 18.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 10 days ago
    The Rockler ones that I ordered are rated at 100lbs each. The 240lb ones James posted frankly look even less robustly built than the Rockler product. I frankly don't trust that higher rating...the Rockler rating may just be a bit more honest than the 240lb ones, but my take, after looking at a bunch of these, is that they look pretty similar in the levered part of the product.  The 240lb ones just seem to have a heavier attachment plate and more screws. However, looking at the levered part and the wheel itself, the parts that really have to be up to the weight rating, I see no difference...they are all pretty wimpy in the levered portion.

    I'm going to wait and see what the Rockler ones feel like in the hand, and then return them if I think they are not up to it.

    ------------------------------
    Jim Ialeggio
    grandpianosolutions.com
    Shirley, MA
    978 425-9026
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 10 days ago
    Paul McLoud mentioned plastic sliders. They are called "Magic Sliders", have PTFE in them and they work EXTREMELY well. That is what I would recommend too.

    Pwg

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    603-686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 20.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 10 days ago
    If the rating is true on the ones I saw there should be no problem holding the weight since the rating was 840 lbs or 210 lbs each . The problem  with things on the internet is the quality could be poor or the claims exaggerated. It may be better to search around and find something used in industry with the same design but a better mechanism and heavy duty plates. These types of casters are frequently used on shop equipment to move things like band saws around, I have a shop smith with some casters with the same design . Last thing anyone needs in our business is to have a catastrophic caster failure. Plan B for the customer is to recommend the Darnells and let the customer learn to adjust. A small heel rest could be made to compensate for added height to the piano.

    ------------------------------
    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    843-325-4357
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: BETTER casters

    Member
    Posted 9 days ago
    You are correct when you say the answer is "No." 840lbs would be correct only if the weight were evenly distributed to each caster(all the time).
    According to specs, a U1 weighs ~500lb. If, for example, the weight were evenly distributed, 4 casters could(without a safety margin) be 125lb rated.
    If you were to assume that 60% of the weight(my guess) was in the back(& the weight was evenly distributed bass end to treble end & level floor),
    you would need 150lb in the back & 100lb in the front.
    Did you ever notice that the front casters are usually smaller? They don't need to hold as much of the weight(& they look nicer).
    You have probably seen the upright in which a rear caster is broken from less than careful movers.
    In that situation(or even an non-level floor), more of the weight is placed on the caster making contact.
    Isn't math fun!
    You engineers can now let us know about weight ratings as a % of actual as a safety factors.

    ------------------------------
    John Gallen
    OWNER
    1040 Pianos
    S Windham CT
    860-428-6045
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  • 22.  RE: BETTER casters

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 9 days ago
    John,
    As a general rule, engineers design ratings are placed at 200% of actual usage load.
    Roger