Do you need to take apart your grand piano to make a minor repair, or remove a jammed coin or other object?
Don't pay for a service call. Removing the "action" from a grand piano really isn't that difficult if you are careful.
We know: How to Disassemble a Grand Piano
Anyone can remove the "action" (the assembly that includes the keys and hammers) from a grand piano if they work slowly and carefully. Follow these steps.
Identify the parts of the piano that will be removed.
The picture below shows the parts of the piano that will be disassembled.
1. Remove the Desk.
The desk is the sliding piece on the top of the piano which contains the music stand and the two flat areas on the left and right. The desk will either slide completely forward and out, or it will slide forward partway and you then lift the front or back to unlock and remove it.
2. Remove the key cover.
The key cover is the rotating wooden cover for the keyboard. There is either a set screw that you turn partway on one side or both sides before you can remove it, or more commonly, the key cover rests on two pegs, and you can find the right angle in which you can lift and remove the key cover with a little work.
3. Remove the End Blocks.
The end blocks are the flat pieces of wood on the left of the lowest key and the right of the highest key. These are attached from the bottom of the piano with a screw or bolt. Unscrew it and lift the end blocks straight up to remove.
4. Remove the front board.
The front board is an approximately 2 inch high piece of wood directly in front of the keys. It is either attached by screws through the bottom of the piano (remove these) or simply set in place with wooden pegs. Now that the end blocks are removed you should be able to grip the front board and lift it straight up and out.
5. Remove the Action.
This is the "make it or break it" step (literally). If you're not extremely careful you'll break one or more of the hammers off, and these will need to be replaced by a professional. Stop here and reassemble the piano if you don't think you can do this step.
The Action is the assembly that contains the keys and the hammers. It is all one big (and heavy) piece and is not bolted or attached to the piano. It simply slides out. It's recommended that two people slide it out, one on either side, because it needs to be done evenly, left to right.
There is very little space above the tops of the hammers as they are being slid out so if you accidentally press on a key it will cause the hammer to raise and be broken off as you slide out the assembly. Be extra careful! You may place pieces of poster board across the tops of the hammers so they don't raise up if you strike a key.
Gently pull out the Action assembly. Have a table ready to put the Action on once it's removed.
Once you fix the problem, reinstall the Action by reversing steps 1 through 5.
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