My grand piano now has wobbly legs from having been moved around a lot. Is that normal? Or bad construction? Can something be done about it?
When a grand piano is moved, the lyre (pedal assembly) and the legs are removed and the body of the piano is put onto its side on a specially constructed padded ‘shoe’ for ease of transport. With the piano in its new position, the legs are then re-attached with coach bolts. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens that the removal men are less than efficient at performing this task and mistakes are made in placing the legs in the wrong positions or using the wrong coach bolts for each particular leg (the bolts can vary in length by half an inch) which then has disastrous effects on the functioning of the soft pedal and the stability of the whole piano. Sometimes the solution to wobbly legs is to simply tighten the bolts; a large socket wrench or a car’s wheel brace is usually about the right size. There are three basic types of grand piano leg; turned octagonal, double gate leg, and square. If your piano has the gate leg type – two thin square legs at each corner – then these are prone to wobbling over time, not exactly bad construction but less stable than the more solid turned octagonal or square, just don’t put anything valuable underneath!