• 1.  Collision "proof" grand covers?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-19-2024 21:04

    In the past, there had been really good discussions in this forum about standard quality-made cordura quilted piano covers with double thick batting offering fair protection.  However, even these are not invincible when certain individuals rolling pianos around are not being careful enough, either due to forgetting about the momentum/weight, the value of a finish, simply not thinking, or without experience as they may not have attended my annual stage tech crew training with rigorous warnings, which realistically can't reach everybody on campus who might associate with pianos.  Even with a bumper of thick pipe insulation in a sock velcroed around the perimeter, there's no perfect assurance against damages if at speed, not to mention other stage equipment bumping the rim below this line, or the lid height difference between a D and a B when in nesting positions.

    Together with the theater costume technician who runs an industrial sewing machine on campus, I brought up the idea of looking into creating a more collision proof cover than those typically available, suggesting materials that are intended for impact resistance.  We are looking for some ideas.  Doing some browsing at the local Joaan's, I found a roll of this stuff: Black Playmat Utility Fabric | JOANN  Could this be sewn into the middle layers for a better effect than standard batting?  Could its assembly/internal layout guide folding crease lines via sectional panels?   (At first I was just envisioning wrap-around leg protectors using it, which is feasible.)

    P.S. This is for an institution where there is not really a dedicated storage "garage" for concert pianos, where space is at a premium, and there has been historical resistance to building one.

    Thank you,

    Adrian Carcione RPT
    Cal Poly Humboldt
    Eureka CA
    (805) 823-3231

  • 2.  RE: Collision "proof" grand covers?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-19-2024 21:13

    I can't recall which cover maker it was, but I believe they made something like what you're looking for.  You might contact Covers by Jill.  They might have or be able to make something for you.

    Paul McCloud, RPT
    Accutone Piano Service

  • 3.  RE: Collision "proof" grand covers?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-19-2024 21:43
    It's been a year or two since I last ordered from there, but long ago Covers By Jill became Instrument Covers, and the grand covers have been made by their daughter Guye Michaels for over ten years if I recall. I have a bunch of those original covers and the Destiny canvas has held up very well. But the normal grand covers don't have any extra collision material around the rim. Venues have put their own padding on doors and in storage rooms, or even used pool noodles and pipe insulation pieces cut in half, over the lid edges and at critical corners. The trouble is that many double doors barely fit the piano side to side even without extra padding.


    Sent from my iPhone

  • 4.  RE: Collision "proof" grand covers?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-20-2024 08:06

    Adrian. I would be interested in whatever design you come up with. This is a huge issue here for the same reasons you state. 

    I would be happy to help with developing a more "bullet-proof" cover. 

    Dave Conte, RPT

    Piano Technician in Residence
    The University of Tennessee
    College of Music
    Knoxville TN
    (817) 307-5656
    Owner: Rocky Top Piano

  • 5.  RE: Collision "proof" grand covers?

    Posted 03-20-2024 11:32

    If you are looking for ideas I would be all in however it would be useful to state what sort of damage you are encountering in addition to crushed edges. Maybe the pianos should have a parking boot on them like they use for cars with unpaid tickets. That way only trained staff could move the piano from storage. Of course someone has to move it back and then comes the question of where. Maybe we invent a ":cage" made of high strength material or a ridgid cover

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

  • 6.  RE: Collision "proof" grand covers?

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 03-20-2024 20:37
    Taking care of a large inventory alone and being an all Steinway School, I totally understand.  We just received 20 or so pianos and I placed as many practice room pianos and some classroom pianos in caster cups!! I wrote the initials of the school and do not move on them in a white marker. Now the shop has about 12 grand carts littering the floor and the edges of the grand lids should not get damaged. 

    Covers by Jill were made with no foam, double layers or one layer of foam inside the black and gray lined fabrics and quilted. Her daughter is making covers as well.  Over  a long time the foam breaks down into a powder. The fabric is very durable.

    There is a closed cell foam (I'm sure that you have seen it as strips of thin foam as a wrap in packaging).  This comes in different thicknesses, it would last longer but be more expensive.  The weight I'm thinking of is about 3/16" to 1/4" thick. It is used in construction as a gasket. It is placed on a sill plate before the walls are placed on them stood up and bolted down. I have no idea how it would stitch.  

    There are wall bumper strips from a commercial supplier could be attached to walls and you could somehow use bubble wrap.  

    Some training of the people moving the pianos would be best and only have those trained people move the piano.

    Sent from Gmail Mobile