How to Remove a Keyboard From a Grand Piano

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So, your toddler just jammed a video arcade token between "middle C" and C-sharp on the Steinway grand, you're hosting a dinner party in two days, and you'll be expected to play some Debussy and Gershwin for your guests. What to do? You can call the piano repairman to come out, or, if you are repair-savvy, you may be able to slide the keys out, snatch the token, put it up out of the toddler's reach, and practice for your guests.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver (flat or Phillips head, depending on piano manufacturer)
  • Ratchet set
  • Slide the "desk" of the piano toward you and out. Depending on the brand, this will slide completely out or will need lifting to come free of the frame.

  • Take the key lid out. Depending on the brand, there may be a screw visible on the left or right side, or you may be able to ease the lid out when it is halfway open (about a 45-degree angle from the keyboard).

  • Remove the wood pieces out on either side of the keyboard. You will find bolts or screws under the piano holding these in place, depending on the manufacturer. Use your screwdriver or ratchet set to remove the hardware, and then slide the blocks straight up, gently.

  • Slide out the wooden piece that is in front of the keyboard. Depending on the manufacturer, there may just be some dowels to slide out, or there may be some more screws to remove. When the hardware is out, just lift the piece upward.

  • Remove the keyboard assembly. This is the tricky part, because there are a lot of small parts sliding through a narrow gap, and it's easy to snap a hammer off. The hammers are the parts that hit the strings, and pushing down a key pushes a hammer up. If you drape a thin sheet across the hammers, that can help make the job a bit less risky.

  • Pull evenly on both sides of the keyboard. To maintain balance, so you might recruit your spouse or a neighbor to come and help you. Then, once the keyboard is out and you've removed the token, or if something fell down in the main body of the piano that you couldn't reach, fish it out, and repeat these steps in reverse to put your piano back together.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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