BROWSE OUR GALLERY OF INTERESTING, UNUSUAL AND FUN REPAIRS.
CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY FOR NEW ADDITIONS!
This chair came in to be re-caned, but was also missing a little bit of the detail in the splat. In this case we didn't charge for the splat repair because simple little favors like this make people feel extra good about their experience here, and that is absolutely our goal.
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.
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 TYPE OF REPAIR WORTH WRITING ABOUT
This great L.C. Smith Model 8 is in just the right hands. After spending decades on a basement floor collecting dust and rust, a full restoration is in order, and Koko is at the helm. Here she is installing eBay-found replacement linkages for the 100 and 1000 tabulator keys. This unit will be dis- and re-assembled several times over the course of the repair as she works to adjust tolerances and meticulously clean each part. Also in the shop right now is a tiny little Olympia that was used by our customer at her first job in a newsroom typing pool. Imagine the sound in there!
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.
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!
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
2 OF 3
A seemingly mono-purpose machine, this lock-mortiser actually comes in quite handy for making routes in oddly shaped parts.
TRICKS OF THE TRADE
3 OF 3
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.