RARE Restoration Brookline MA

RARE restoration Brookline

242 WASHINGTON ST.

BROOKLINE VILLAGE

617-232-RARE (7273)

BROWSE OUR GALLERY OF INTERESTING, UNUSUAL AND FUN REPAIRS. 

CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY FOR NEW ADDITIONS!

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ALL QUACKED UP

This duck is one of three that proudly defended a customer's indoor garden for years, but was no match for their brand new cat! These little repairs require nothing more than a touch of glue, but bringing them to us ensures that the right glue is used and in the right quantity. We rarely charge for single-break glue jobs like this, it's just nice to be able to help people save the little treasures that make them smile.

TURNING TO THE LATHE

This side chair came in with heavy damage, and fixing it took a lot of work. Seth turned a new stretcher and carved some missing bits, and Jeremy stained to match and performed a complete breakdown / re-glue. Finally, the entire chair was toned, waxed and buffed. Big projects can be costly, but when weighed against the expense of a new dining set, a substantial repair like this can make a lot of sense.

WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK

When this lovely gilt picture frame first came to us it was missing half a dozen chunks of molded plaster as a result of a packing error. Here, Lost Arts Chief, Koko Yanagita begins to carve leaves back in to the rails after adding fresh material. This kind of repair work is custom-made for the rocksteady hands of Koko, and gives her a chance to hone her water gilding skills as well!  So cool.

MODERN LOVE

Here's one to get excited about. This Fritz Hansen chair by Hvidt & Molgaard is one heck of a looker. Everyone in the shop wants it on their bench, but Koko gets the job as the wicker is brittle throughout, and it will need to be completely re-woven. Gotta have one for yourself? The model is "Neilsen X" and we found one for sale on the oft over-priced, but absolutely delicious antiques marketplace 1stdibs.com

THE MARK OF GREATNESS

This lamp rewire seemed pretty run-of-the-mill, until we opened the challis and discovered the 1753 Sèvres porcelain mark. Not being appraisers, we have no authoritative way to distinguish between this and the fakes that even Sèvres themselves made throughout the years, but nonetheless it's pretty exciting. Our customer has two, and save the hole drilled during the decades-old lamp conversion, they are in absolutely mint condition!

BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY

We love a creative solution, but if you don't have a gigantic car like this one, you can always call us up and take advantage of our pick-up / drop-off service. :)

SOMETIMES WE HAVE STUFF FOR SALE

This 19th century Pennsylvania rope bed had a few nicks and scratches, but at $100 it found a home quickly.

BROKEN NOSE 

This awesome dragon-faced oud came in with a broken nose, a couple missing tuning pegs and some scratched up paint. These far-out repairs are exactly why we love our jobs, but this one is even cooler, because the customer found it in the trash!

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Keep those eyes open, there’s treasure everywhere!

WHAT A GREAT CASTING! LIFE IS SO VERY, VERY FUN!

DID YOU KNOW?

AT RARE Restoration we can duplicate just about any chair. This cute little bow-back Windsor we made, is just one example. If you'd  like to add a few chairs to your fleet, or want to have one you've only seen in pictures, give us a call and we'll talk you though the process. We can even distress the finish to match an older set.

PLAYING AROUND ON THE JOB

This super-cool Eastlake style pump organ just arrived at our shop in a moving pod from New Mexico. We haven't gotten a chance to do a deep-level evaluation of its issues yet, but so far the only obvious problems are a jammed stop, some loose bits of wood and crackling in the finish. Here's the great thing though, the customer included a sealed 8-track cassette of his mom's gospel hits as a gift to us! Good thing we've got an 8-track player on hand… Doesn't everybody? 

LOST ARTS FOUND HERE

At RARE Restoration, we’re happy and proud to offer services that you don’t see much of nowadays.

If you love that old piece, don’t throw it out until you’ve seen if it can be saved!

WE GET WRINKLES OUT!

This is a “Before” picture of an antique gas pump that our customer discovered the hard way was quite top-heavy. 

OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD

Where 242 Washington Street and 6 Davis Avenue in Brookline, MA meet sits more than just a handy man service, furniture repair & restoration and moving service. RARE Restoration is a local company with deep roots in tinkering around - we are dedicated to keeping the vintage in your life a current living piece of your home.

NOT TO BRAG (TOO MUCH)

…but here’s our wall of nice things that the media and community have bestowed upon us for recognition of various aspects of the things we do here at RARE Restorations.

IT ALL HINGED ON FABRICATION (1 OF 4)

So, into the store comes, as Seth puts it, “This cool old desk” with its hinges bent and broken.

IT ALL HINGED ON FABRICATION (2 OF 4)

Into the metal shop we go, and Stephen fabricates two new hinges exactly like the ones being replaced.

IT ALL HINGED ON FABRICATION (3 OF 4)

The completed hinges, looking good and ready to be installed.

IT ALL HINGED ON FABRICATION (4 OF 4)

A job well done and a desk well restored to functionality through the power of fabrication.

WE SELL WONDERFUL THINGS

Our repair shop on Davis Avenue has all sorts of little treasures waiting to fall into the right hands.

Doorknobs, hinges, lighting fixtures, light bulbs, faceplates - you name it, we’ve probably got one hanging around somewhere. 

Come in and take a look and see if we’ve got something to make some part of your home even more special.

This vase-come-lamp is in the shop to have it’s lip repaired. Seth will be building the missing material from epoxy putty, and Koko will carefully color to match, then off to Jeremy to clear-coat the patch.

This Eastlake love seat has some serious problems. It arrived with a large lot of Victorian treasures that had been discovered by our customer in the basement of a recently inherited house. Every piece has serious damage, but utilizing our large stock of recovered wood, Jeremy should be able to find a perfect match for every break and have the whole lot ready for upholstery before the new year.

This fantastic Porch Lamp is in for a re-wire, but we also get to replace the missing mica sheets and re-build the hinge for the access door. This is a job for Seth.

Seth getting ready to convert this charming old sewing machine table into a writing desk. The sewing machine itself will donated to an artist who is working with decaled and painted steel parts, but the treadle will remain as a place to rest one’s feet while writing. A new top has been chosen that was recovered from an old children’s bureau. Should be fun!

Koko getting ready to put the binding cane on this awesome Spanish revival chair, one of a set of six with various repair needs. In this case the customer will be coloring the seat herself.

This young lady needed laparoscopic doll-eye surgery which Koko MacGyvered with a chop-stick, a paper clip and some superglue. For Real!

Jeremy stripping the remaining veneer off of this table base before replacing it completely. This is rewarding work - simple tricks that bring a piece from the basement to the living room on a short budget.

Our quick repairs department, located at 6 Davis Avenue in Brookline Village, has all sorts of wonderful little bits for sale. Below are some doorknobs the we created in-house.

More wonderful brass bits for sale at our 6 Davis Avenue quick repair shop.

More vintage doorknobs for sale at our Davis Avenue quick repair shop because more vintage doorknobs are just better.

Have we mentioned our moving services?

WE TAKE DONATIONS

A wonderful neighbor was moving and she dropped these off to us. Cast brass doorknobs. They’re light as a feather!

Working on a banister project and don’t have all the balusters you need? We might have the one you’re looking for. If not, we can absolutely turn new ones, and color to match! Here’s a great batch that came from a Brookline home that’s getting a facelift. We just love the helical ones.

Checking the color match on a replacement spindle we turned for this sweet little bow-back rocker.

When this commemorative War Bonds statue came to us it was massively damaged. Koko expertly formed, carved and colored all the missing and crushed areas. Here she’s just doing a little touch-up. 

The item had to be shipped to the customer through the postal system so, to keep it from getting damaged in transit, we wrapped it in cellophane and then packed it in rice.

Here’s a cool one: Some of the fingers of this porcelain statuette were broken off, so we recreated them using Pulpdent, the same stuff dentists use for fillings. There are a ton of variations and lots of different shades of this product, all that cure in seconds with ultraviolet light. You can slow the curing time a little bit by holding the curing light, (above on the right), at a slight distance. But super-thin bits like these fingers needed to be cured right away or they droop, so the applicator tip has to be shielded to keep the material from curing in the opening. This stuff is a great addition to any woodshed, and you can learn all about it at: www.pilpdent.com

This concrete griffin arrived at our shop having taken quite the tumble. It’s not a ‘valuable’ item but it is super-important to its owner, so we really gave it our all. After carefully bending the steel structure back into shape, we replaced the crumbled areas with fresh concrete, pre-stained to match the old… Here Koko does some final touch-ups before sending it home to its mom. We’ve seen so many awesome things come across our benches, but there’s always a surprise… this is our very first concrete griffin!

Here’s a wild one: Someone had stripped the finish off of the outer side only of their cabinet doors. This allowed the environmental influences, over time, to curl them until they were more than an inch out of flat. Steming them back wasn’t a guaranteed win, so with the customer’s blessing, we cut a dozen kerfs into the concave side of each door, held them flat, and glued in strips of maple in order to keep them from curling again. This one is ready for a trim and a little touch-up and then we’ll lacquer the rough side of each one before sending them home with a brand-new pinstriped secret on the inside :)

LAMP REPAIR 1 OF 2

Gluing breaks, end to end, on long, thin elements never works. So when this Tiffany-style lamp came to us with the shade arm broken, we drilled a hole into both sides of the break and inserted a one-inch long stainless steel rod to support the weight. Properly glued, this will be a permanent repair. Pictured here is the dry-fit test which will show how we did with alignment and whether the rod moves freely enough to accept some minimally expanding CA glue.

LAMP REPAIR 2 OF 2

Here is the same repair, all glued up, with some epoxy fill in the blown-out areas. After Koko colors and patinas over our work, no one will be able to detect the repair unless they are specifically looking for it.

Sometimes it’s entirely counter-indicated to disassemble a piece of furniture during repair… so here Jordan uses a rotary rasp to shape-in-place a section of stretcher he fabricated for this handsome, handmade dining chair.

Here, the repaired section is nearly ready for color… but first, as scarf joints like this are vulnerable to shearing, Stephen will insert a thin steel rod through a hole in the leg to provide support.

Tricks OF THE TRADE 1 OF 3

Here’s an awesome trick for saving a chair leg with a lateral break using a lock-mortising machine.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE 

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A seemingly mono-purpose machine, this lock-mortiser actually comes in quite handy for making routes in oddly shaped parts.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE 

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Now this large maple dutchman can be passed into the mortise with wood glue, making what is frequently thought of as a catastrophic injury, no big deal at all.

A TREAT FOR THE EYES

Here’s Koko weaving the last section of shaker tape on this sweet bentwood rocker. We love how freaked out your eyes get when you stare at the pattern for too long.

HOW TO UN-STICK A PISTON

Rasperry, a ’76 BMW 2002 - one of RARE Restoration’s project cars - hadn’t been driven in quite a while, and as a result, the rear brake pistons were totally stuck. Here, the first side has been forced apart, and is ready to be cleaned in solvent with super-fine steel wool.

TIFFAUX KNOBS

Here’s an awesome evolution: A customer of ours adored a beautiful brass Tiffany’s doorknob we had in the shop,  but we only had one, so… We made a silicone mold of the original, and duplicated an entire house’s worth in clear plastic poured around glass shanks we turned for the job.

HOUGHTON STREET 

FOUNDRY KNOBS

Here’s another one of the great knobs Stephen makes in the plastics lab at our shop. This one is cast from a pattern by the Metallic Compression Casting Company, previously of Somerville, MA. The escutcheon, (in that awesome Coca-Cola color) is cast from a Yale & Towne ‘Rice’ original. This stuff is super-fun for us to make and brings a unique flavor to any home, office clubhouse or shop.

UP, UP AND AWAY 1/2

A former employee of ours got her hands on the old illuminated sign from the now-defunct Beacon Supermarket and gave away all but the u & p. Since all of the plexiglass had been smashed by the time she brought it to us for a makeover.

Here it is, all fixed up, with the dents banged out, new red plexiglass and freshly converted to LED.

UP, UP AND AWAY 2/2

And here it is, lighting up her home

PRESSED CANE HIGH CHAIR

Here Koko removed the old material from this gorgeous antique press-cane high chair. She’ll do a little touch-up and then press in the new webbing and tap in the spline. From there she will move up on the wicker sofa that’s just on her right. She’s totally non-stop! So, here’s what’s up: if you have a woven item - anything from a picnic basket or hat to a chair or settee, Koko will know just how to fix it up…

FABRICATION MAKES IT HAPPEN

Try as we did to find the correct soft-stem bumpers for the feet of some chairs we’re working on for thevillageworks.com, we kept striking out.

So it was off to the lathe, and Stephen saved the day by turning near-perfect matches for the missing ones from some HDPE we had lying around. It’s nice to be able to solve little annoying problems like this so easily and quickly.

BEAUTIFUL SIGN

This fantastic old realtor’s yard sign just rolled in for some frame repairs and a gentle dusting. It was found during a recent cleanup inside the barn of the address listed and brought to us by the current resident.

We still get a fair number of old signs coming through our shop for anything from a spruce-up or touch-up, to the occasional full repainting  - and every single one makes us smile.

A little Sunday afternoon catch-up. Refinishing the top of this sweet little Baker table. Now a quick paint job on the rails and legs and it should be good to go. We see a lot of these tables come in for new caning, but not so often for surface work. It’s nice to really bring out the color of the beautiful old walnut plywood!

Here a replacement section to the bottom of a chair leg that had snapped off inside of the wheel-cup. You can see the scrape marks where the top of the cup lands. Once the add-on is glued into the leg, it will be tapered to match, and the wheel will be slipped back over it. It will likely be set it in some epoxy to insure there is no room for it to wiggle. We use this technique frequently to un-screw-up chairs and tables that have been ended off.

This cast iron bust lived outdoors, in a back-yard, for decades - but now, our customer has brought it to us to fix-up and paint, so she can display it in her new office space. During the time it it spent exposed, a large section of the shoulder area decayed and fell to the ground, where it rusted away to nothing. Seeing that it was going to be an indoor piece from now on, we chose to effect the repair with epoxy. Here Linda uses an old trick to recreate the texture of the Iron - lightly pounding the epoxy with a hammer against very aggressive sandpaper. All different grits can be used to achieve the desired level of stippling. When all is said and done, this will be a lovely addition to our customer’s office, and and a nice page in the story of it’s life.

Here Steven removes the lid of an antique hydrometer set in order to repair the felt covered saddles where the instruments nest. Also in the shot: Ryan works on swing-bed with a remarkable history; During the 1947 partition of British India, the family to whom this bed belongs, became religious refugees, and were forced to leave their homes in what is now Pakistan. They fled on foot to the then-newly-formed Dominion of India, and other than personal effects, the only item they brought on their trek was this bed - completely disassembled for the journey. 71 years later, at great expense, it was shipped to the United States, but was banged around in transit. Over the next few days we will be patching, filling and coloring the damage, so they can have it back in time for a special family celebration.

Here Ryan applies wax to an awesome painted chair we’re working on. It’s carved from a single piece of tree trunk, and very nicely done… But a previously undetected frost-crack had found its way from the side, all the way through the insert that covered over the pith in the center, eventually opening up to almost a half inch at its widest. After inserting some metal fastners to prevent the crack from moving, we poured the entire fissure with some high-strength plastic and Ryan painted it to match. Ryan is turning out to be a great hire… Really quite talented.

Just getting ready to work on this Hickory Furniture faux-bamboo Victorian ottoman. It’s mostly all here, save a few small turnings - which will be fun to do on the mini-lathe - Then a little touch-up and guilding and back to its home in time for a party. :)

This awesome cast cougar came in having had a bad accident in the tail department… But after a hole was drilled in both sides, and stainless steel pin was glued between the two… She is ready to maraud the forest once again.

Bet you can’t guess which one is before and and which is after! :) This gorgeous, leather-strapped danish modern chair is a single that our customer picked up to accent her living room, and wow, does it pop! Nice work, Koko!

Another great knob from the plastics lab! Here, Stephen embedded a brass ring in the mold of this Russel & Erwin “Madras” replica before the pour. So shiny! so fancy! Designers: Think about something like this for your next project! We can cast in any color from any original that is not patent protected, or we could create a custom original to your specifications. Look for our casting department at houghtonstfoundry.com and follow Stephen’s work @houghtonstfoundry Another great day @rarebrookline .

Here’s a detail from a four-foot long plaster wall hanging. It lived above the stove at our customer’s home for decades, and as you can see, it collected a thick layer of cooking residue. We cleaned it for hours out back with a pot of hot water, some degreaser and various grades of Scotch Brite. Not exactly a museum quality restoration, but it’s what the doctor ordered, and it’s looking much, much better.

Check out the great weave koko just did on this side-chair. This chair did not originally have a rush seat, and the corner-blocks make it so a traditional weave would not be practical… so, this is the work-around, and I have to say, I think it looks darn good.

Ruh roh, the motor-mounted switch in our little 1940’s Dayton drill press burned up, but Koko’s got it well in hand. This little drill press is low priority, as there are several others, but it’s just right for little brushing jobs, and we’re glad to have it back in service. It’s great to have the wherewithal to solve equipment troubles on our own, rather than have to send stuff out.

In for repair is this sweet little gable window from a barn on Pill Hill that finally succumbed to a century of snow and ice. Here we’ve got all the pieces milled up and ready to join. This will be quite the glazing job though, so many tiny panes.

When restoring a piece with a broken leg, we usually turn a whole new section that includes the dowels for both sides. Only the part that shows gets color, because the rest needs to stay fresh for the glue. If you look closely, you can see a little back-turning to allow the fluted section to nest inside a tiny bit. This should make the transition a little more natural looking. You can be sure that when we fix cross-grain breaks like this, the repaired area will be as strong, if not stronger than the original.

Here’s a fun thing: When furniture comes in with missing or damaged embellishments, we frequently solve the problem by taking a silicone mold of an area where the detail survived, and then resin-casting as many replacements as are needed. We add dye to the still-liquid plastic until we hit the basic color range, and then, once cured, we use paints, stains and toners to get it to look just right. Stuff like this really makes a difference in the final outcome of any restoration, and that extra mile always pleases the customer.

These vintage ANRI gentlemen are walking around my bench looking for the rest of the band, and once we’ve got their buddies all fixed up, there will most certainly be a reunion concert. :)

The swing-bed we were restoring went home today, but here’s a great photomontage showing four of the awesome little paintings that were displayed behind curved glass on its sides. So very cool! 

Here’s a sweet Cook Quality, (C.A. Cook Co. Cambridge MA), office chair headed out the door. The wood on this was a little dry, but more or less perfect when it arrived. The mechanism was in great shape too, but missing a few screws. All told this repair only took a half hour, but after the wax, it looked absolutely stellar. So glad to have had this chair in our shop, if only for a short while.

This is a first for us: A figurehead from the prow of a ship! It came in for some touch up, and a modification so it could hang on a wall. I know effectively nothing about the history, customs and superstitions of firgurehead tradition, but I read that the more properly clothed carvings were often depictions of the wife or daughter of the shipowner. All I know for sure.. is that this lady looks eerily like my grandmother. :)

In for repair is this sweet little gable window from a barn on Pill Hill that finally succumbed to a century of snow and ice. Here we’ve got all the pieces milled up and ready to join. This will be quite the glazing job though, so many tiny panes.

This is fun... This fortune-teller carnival game came in completely full of coins, weighing in at one-zillion pounds, and spilling money everywhere as we rolled it in the door. The plan, and it’s a simple one, is to pick the lock, so the owner can have the coins to sift through. He actually doesn’t want the machine, just the coins, so we’ll pick the lock for free - and get keep the machine. Kinda useless, but pretty cool anyway. :)

Our customer had never known his father to sit in any other chair at mealtime, so when the back broke, there was no question it would need to be repaired. We have, in our salvage, a nearly identical bow that could have been made to work, and barring that, we could have bent up a new one… but with the sentimental value being as it was, our customer insisted on saving the original part.

BEFORE!

Here’s a cool Art Nouveau ashtray in for repair. The tiny connection point where the figurine’s foot meets the base is seriously under-engineered, and has been repaired before... so it’s going to take some planning if we’re going to make it permanent. I kinda love this piece, but I don’t entirely understand why there are so many nudes holding airplanes. It seems to be a repeating theme. Anybody know the symbolism?

AFTER!

Firmly attached and ready for take-off! A 6-32 screw threaded both into the base and the foot, then set in epoxy. Glad to see her back on her feet... er... foot.

Everyone is super excited for this antique, Burmese, stupa shaped hsun-ok. Our customer has a collection of these - this being the oldest - and a serious impact caused breaks, structural damage and major chipping in the lacquer. After the big repairs, which Seth will do, it’ll move to Ryan’s bench where he will re-create the delicate patterning. I love the juxtaposition between this, and the entirely fake Napoleon III buffet in the background. :)

This awesome gal came in with a broken arm. It was a super clean break, so no big deal to glue back, but it made me think to mention: When something you love breaks, and you intend to have it repaired, try to resist the temptation to test-fit the pieces, as this can cause chipping along the seam, and that may be very hard for us to disguise. Instead, look carefully for any bits, and carefully wrap and pack them individually - without trying the fit. Also, instead of using cloth, which can catch on the edges, use tissue paper and wrap very loosely. When items are brought to us like this, we have the best chance of making a great repair. If you intend to repair the item yourself, please make sure you read a little on the web about the proper adhesive to use, as it is possible to do a fair amount of damage with the wrong one. One cool resource for choosing a glue is www.thistothat.com Check it out!

This chair really makes me want to drink lemonade in the shade on the porch. :) The whole set came in for minor repairs like the ones shown, and after we color up the restored sections, and reupholster the cushions, maybe, just maybe we’ll sneak a feet-up, cold beverage before they head home. :)

A quick, same-day repair on a wedding gift. Our customer hadn’t realized the handle was loose on this cane, and with one day left before the big day, she came to us for help. I love when people give personal gifts for weddings... a special treasure that will forever be associated with such a magical day.

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This cute little Dutch, Ericsson - model 1951, (made for the Post, Telefoon en Telegraaf company), came in to our shop to get an RJ11 plug added for use in our customer’s home… Unfortunately, there are a handful of other problems:

The dial is super slow and gets stuck coming back from the later numbers, (there’s a crack in the rear housing, so it might just be some plastic bits inside).

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The insulation on the handset wire is broken through, (we’ll certainly have a match in our stock of vintage phones).

There’s a pretty good chunk out of the bakelite, which we will likely fill with @smoothon Onyx, as we don’t have a replacement chassis in our stash and the budget doesn’t allow for parts shopping.

Z biggest problem, though, is impedence…

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This sucker is super quiet and echoey when tested on a POTS line, I wonder if it’s got an issue, or if it never adhered to the 600 Ohm standard.

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Maybe someone from @thetelephonemuseum or @antique_telephones has some ideas or suggestions?

Just a quick re-wire on this early ‘60’s beaut. :)

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Inside the antique hardware section of our 6 Davis Ave. location, you will find actual fields of door knobs. In the foreground is one of my very favorites, a Pairpoint, bezel-style, controlled-bubble knob by Carl Erickson. There were a handful of people in the early to mid 1900’s experimenting with various techniques for doing this - with wildly differing results. I find this set to be nicest I’ve seen.

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Ok, so here is an absolutely awesome update… Who should walk in to our shop having seen our last post? Jeff Tulman, the current co-owner of Pairpoint Glass! Here he is with his son Hudson, proudly displaying the controlled-bubble knob we featured. Such nice folks! We were able to give him and his son a tour of our facility, and show them a bunch of the door knobs that we make ourselves - right here in Brookline! What a nice twist in the middle of an otherwise unremarkable day! Thanks for dropping by, Jeff!

Looks like The King had a particularly rough night... but he’s come to the right place for a no-questions-asked @moonmousse repair.

It should go without question that we do brain surgery...

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In for repair this morning: This great casting of Mercury holding his caduceus, being propelled by the wind from Zephyrus’ lungs. 

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In an unfortunate turn of events, they have broken from their stone plinth and will need to be re-mounted. There’s some threaded rod broken off inside Zephyrus’ head, so it might be a little tricky, but we should have good ol’ Merc back on his way in no time.

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I’ve seen this basic statue a few times, in a few sizes... sometimes signed, sometimes not… 

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This one was cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, and is marked "F. BARBEDIENNE. FONDEUR.” right on Zephyrus’ chin.

Check out these wall sconces made from antique faucets we had lying around… The handles are the switches! These would be perfect in an imaginatively decorated half-bath.

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We convert all sorts of everyday items into lights. If you have an item you love, but don’t know how to fit it in with your current decor, bring it by, or send it in, and we’ll give a whole new life as a lamp, sconce or fixture!

Another great trash pick! I assume this is supposed to be someone important, but I can’t figure out who. Whatever the case, they’ve seen better days. It reminds us of something @rusticsbyswt would photograph, but with a much better camera than the one on our ancient iPhone. :)

This great old trunk is going to get a total makeover, and first things first, we’ve got to fabricate all the missing brass bits. Here Stephen shows the first newly made band with all its studs in place. Work like this is awesome. I just love that something that’s been literally kicked around boats, floors, barns and attics for a hundred years, gets to be made perfect and lovely again. This is exactly why I do what I do…

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This very nicely done Tiffany style shade was mistreated by some cut-rate movers, and has come to us for some serious TLC. Many pieces of glass have cracked, and there are tons of bends throughout. Some of the cracks will be left, but the shattered pieces will be replaced. When all is said and done we will be manufacturing a new fixture for this to hang from, as our customer does not like the fixture it came with. This is a nice project, I always love these shades, even when they’re not the real deal.

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Many pieces of glass have cracked, and there are tons of bends throughout. 

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Some of the cracks will be left, but the shattered pieces will be replaced. 

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When all is said and done we will be manufacturing a new fixture for this to hang from, as our customer does not like the fixture it came with. 

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This is a nice project, I always love these shades, even when they’re not the real deal.

Here’s Koko showing off some freshly re-woven children’s chairs... Family treasures like these bringing joy and memories, generation after generation, and It makes us super happy when someone decides to give some of that love back, and fix them up just right. I’m sure there’ll be an embarrassing photograph taken in these that will adorn the wall of at least one doting aunt. 

Click here to go to the adorable time-lapse video of Koko reassembling this lovely crystal chandelier.

Click here to go to a video of this mechanical Nutcracker toy working again.

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When you need small metalwork done, we can totally help. Here, a customer had lost a bale-post from their drawer pull and needed a replacement made. On the left is the original they brought, and on the right, our replica. 

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Here is the final product, another fabrication win.

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Just in for restoration, these Mexican carved wooden friars. 

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Kept in a basement, for lord-knows-how-long, these guys seem to have skipped more than a couple bath nights. 

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I’ll admit, I know nothing about these at all, so if someone has some info, please post it in a comment. 

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We’re excited to put up some more pictures once they’re finished!

What do you do when you have to match a freshly woven seat to the exact grubbiness of the rest of a set? Grab some Ronan Superfine Japan Colors from @buyjohnsonpaint on Newbury St. Boston, and make a mess! Johnson’s Paint has an unreal selection of paints, a super friendly staff and their Ronan paints are always fresh, and never dry! This little guy should fit right in with his brothers now that he’s all painted up. :)

This tribal mask in from @thethrownbone for a quick tooth repair. A visit from them is always a treat.

A great night helping Alejandro Siña from Siña Lightworks swap out to red tubes for the holliday season on his long-standing installation at Brookline Town Hall. If you haven’t seen his work around, check him out at sinalightworks.com He is definitely the real deal.

Check out this great wagon-chandelier by @atlanticworkshop and swipe to see some great neon by sinalightworks.com You can come see or purchase works by these and other light artists at our Brookline Village shop right up until Channukwanzamas, when we turn back into a plain-old repair shop. For now though, we’re basking in the light of these fantastic creations. :)

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Great neon by sinalightworks.com

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Great neon by sinalightworks.com

Who can rebuild and re-wire a table lamp in 30 seconds? Seth can. Here he gives a full makeover to this absolutely adorable piece that was on our customer’s nightstand as a child. Good for her saving it all these years! One day it will make a lovely gift to a new generation, and bring with it a rich history... and safe wiring. :)

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Click here to see the awesome time-lapse 

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A last minute emergency request today for 5-feet of trim to be milled to match a sample. With no chance we could have a molding knife cut before closing, and not having the right shaper bits, we had to get creative... and fast. Seth dug through a pile of leftover molding and collected pieces that contained similar profiles.

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Then he ripped those shapes free on the table saw, and was able to lay out and assemble a remarkably close match. In this picture, the sample is on the left, and the Frankenpiece is on the right.

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This is definitely a workaround, and nowhere near perfect, but it will be strategically placed, and definitely pass muster when caulked and painted. Cool tricks for sure!

When this commemorative War Bonds statue from the Century Distilling Company came to us, it had extensive impact damage. Using a combination of epoxy, plaster and paint, Koko expertly formed, carved and colored all the missing and crushed areas. Here she’s just doing a little touch-up. This item will have to be shipped to our customer through the postal system, and to keep it from getting damaged in transit, we will wrap it in cellophane and then pack it in rice. According to scripophily.com @scripophily, The Century Distilling Co. was formerly Woolner Brothers' Atlas Distillery that operated from Western Ave. in Peoria,

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As the gift-giving holidays approach, we start seeing tons of vintage toys being rehab’d for the current generation... like this General Electric - Show ‘N Tell - Phono Viewer.

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What a blast from the past! This beaut was sold along with story-time records, each associated with a film strip.

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The images are displayed on the “TV” screen and the film automatically advances as the record plays. It also serves as a plain old record player.

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This unit arrived at our shop with a 45rpm of Star Wars b/w Cantina Band.

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Cantina Band. Definitely our favorite, but then again we’re  b-side kinds of folks.

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Our Davis Ave. shop is filled to the brim with mountains of delicious hardware and homemade doodads.

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Our Davis Ave. shop is filled to the brim with mountains of delicious hardware and homemade doodads.

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Our Davis Ave. shop is filled to the brim with mountains of delicious hardware and homemade doodads.

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Our Davis Ave. shop is filled to the brim with mountains of delicious hardware and homemade doodads.

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Our Davis Ave. shop is filled to the brim with mountains of delicious hardware and homemade doodads.

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Our Davis Ave. shop is filled to the brim with mountains of delicious hardware and homemade doodads.

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this great card-file from the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame. It’s a center-section of a larger row, so it has no sides - and the previous owner had closed it up using Homasote panels.

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DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM!!!!!!!

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How do you NOT love a card catalogue?

This cutie is a  George B. Bent Co. Early American style dough box. We’re only taking care of a wonky leg, but have a strong desire to do a complete refinish... how nice would that look with some slightly weathered cherry stain?

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When this ornate mirror came to us, it was missing large areas of the detail, and had a long history of shakily done repairs that would all need to be reversed. Here are some of the stages as Seth builds back the missing areas from a combination of Cedar, epoxy, and plaster. This is really rewarding work, and is exactly why we do what we do!

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When this ornate mirror came to us, it was missing large areas of the detail, and had a long history of shakily done repairs that would all need to be reversed. Here are some of the stages as Seth builds back the missing areas from a combination of Cedar, epoxy, and plaster. This is really rewarding work, and is exactly why we do what we do!

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When this ornate mirror came to us, it was missing large areas of the detail, and had a long history of shakily done repairs that would all need to be reversed. Here are some of the stages as Seth builds back the missing areas from a combination of Cedar, epoxy, and plaster. This is really rewarding work, and is exactly why we do what we do!

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When this ornate mirror came to us, it was missing large areas of the detail, and had a long history of shakily done repairs that would all need to be reversed. Here are some of the stages as Seth builds back the missing areas from a combination of Cedar, epoxy, and plaster. This is really rewarding work, and is exactly why we do what we do!

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When this ornate mirror came to us, it was missing large areas of the detail, and had a long history of shakily done repairs that would all need to be reversed. Here are some of the stages as Seth builds back the missing areas from a combination of Cedar, epoxy, and plaster. This is really rewarding work, and is exactly why we do what we do!

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When this ornate mirror came to us, it was missing large areas of the detail, and had a long history of shakily done repairs that would all need to be reversed. Here are some of the stages as Seth builds back the missing areas from a combination of Cedar, epoxy, and plaster. This is really rewarding work, and is exactly why we do what we do!

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When this ornate mirror came to us, it was missing large areas of the detail, and had a long history of shakily done repairs that would all need to be reversed. Here are some of the stages as Seth builds back the missing areas from a combination of Cedar, epoxy, and plaster. This is really rewarding work, and is exactly why we do what we do!

Here’s a great trick... If you need to tool an item with a vulnerable surface finish, you can tape it to a super clean blanket, so the debris from working doesn’t get underneath and cause scratches. It’s a tiny bit extra prep, but never returning a shop-damaged item, means everything in this kind of business

This custom door knob was a special request, designed to celebrate the life of a much loved pet that moved along some time ago. Still a part of her family’s daily folklore, our customer decided to have the little Frenchie’s likeness embellish some of the doors in her home. What a sweet and romantic memorial... It’s nice that we were able to help.

Here’s Matt bringing in a busted up sidelight from a home down the street. Yup, we restore leaded glass too! Send us a picture of your project and we’ll send back a quote. If you dig our price, we’ll come remove the panel, make it perfect again, and return in a week or so for reinstallation. Use the link in the bio to access our “request a quote” page.

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Loving the details on these antique bellows. Only in for a tiny leather repair, this pair was ready for pickup the same day - but during that day, absolutely every customer who saw them tried to buy them. :) 

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Every inch of the front is ornate - even embellished on the very tip of the nozzle - but the back and area around the intake valve are as plain as it gets. 

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I guess they were intended to hang on the wall and not to stand with the tools.

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 Pretty awesome though. Glad to have had them visit.

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More detail.

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Really, so much detail.

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Here’s a sweet little carved lamp just in for a rewire and a light cleaning. 

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I love the look on this guy’s face... He is simply not letting the little stuff get to him... 

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not even having to walk the whole length of this live-edge Bubinga wood table with a lamp sticking out of his satchel.

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This is certainly not the most scintillating post ever, but it’s just to remind: if you need small parts fabricated... think of us! 

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We made these plastic retainer rings for a customer’s vintage chandelier where the original plastic had crumbled away. 

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If you need to have something special made, but you don’t live close by, we’re happy to fill orders through the postal system.

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Because fabrication does make things happen!

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Check out this absolutely gorgeous antique writing box that came in for a few minor repairs and some light touch up! 

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I don’t know a ton about this one, nor does the customer... but it looks Dutch to me. 

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By all means fill me in using the Contact email if you know more about it. 

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Pretty awesome! This job is just too fun!

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Here’s a treat: A French, Regency period, occasional chair, done in the Napoleonic style. 

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It still has its original velour - decorated with griffins! 

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It’s kind of a toss-up as to whether the paint is original, but when our customer washed a small area, it became much, much more vivid... perhaps suggesting the paint had been fading for a very long time. 

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This beauty has been in storage for decades, but the de-upholstered seat cloth was sealed in complete darkness, so it’s way more vivid than the back. 

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Unfortunately, it was so thin and delicate that we tore it when stretching it out, so new fabric will definitely be in order before this awesome little chair can go into service. Such a wonderful piece!

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A closeup of the original griffins.

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Just lovely.

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Beautiful detail throughout.

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Just look at that pattern!

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And one more time: the griffins.

Check out this wonderful harlequin marionette, here to be re-strung for the holidays. Our customer was given this when she was a little girl, at an itinerant, indigenous French circus. She was very concerned as to whether we could tie an authentic French Knot. (We can). I love stuff like this so much! Being able to bring people’s sentimental treasures back to good repair, simply swells my heart.

Working on a banister project and don’t have all the balusters you need? We might have the one your looking for! If not, we can absolutely turn new ones, and color to match. Here’s a great batch that came in from a Brookline home that’s getting a facelift. I just love the helical ones! :)

We are definitely not a camera repair shop, but sometimes the more rare cameras require little parts to be fabricated that a camera shop isn’t prepared to make. Here Stephen works on an absolutely gorgeous Deardorff view camera for use in a shoot tomorrow. Seriously, our job is so cool. :)

Sometimes Koko really “gets into” her work! Here she is practically tangled in this cool little chandelier that needs a whole lot of structural repair before it can be re-wired. You can always count on Koko to go the extra mile. :)

For sale in our shop: This sweet set of seaside themed Delft tiles, marked: Het Tegelhuis N.V. Alpfen A/D Holland. There are 33 pieces altogether, and 18 different patterns, (although some are very close). I was in a hurry tonight, so the pictures aren’t the best, but I’m happy to send a better set of images to anyone interested. $330 plus shipping. Dm for details.

OLDER

OUR MISSION: TO ACT AS A COMMUNITY HUB FOR RESIDENTS, CRAFTSPEOPLE AND MERCHANTS WHO CHOOSE RESTORATION OVER REPLACEMENT.

 

OUR PHILOSOPHY: AS WE LIVE ON THE EARTH AS GUESTS, FUTURE GUESTS SHOULD BE GLAD WE WERE HERE.

  

OUR PROMISE: TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY THROUGH HONEST, SKILLED AND PROMPT WORK AT A FAIR PRICE, AND TO BE THERE WHEN OUR NEIGHBORS NEED US.

242 WASHINGTON STREET, BROOKLINE, MA 02445    

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