We introduce five craftsmen who can help restore your antique and vintage items such as furniture, telephones, gramophones and clocks!
MODERN TURNTABLES (Post 1970s)
Common problems usually involve the stylus, motor or cables. “People started to put their turntables aside when CDs came in, and that’s when they started to break down. The trick to maintaining them is to use them regularly, and to change the stylus every year,” says Adrian Chan who repairs turntables. The cost of repairing an old turnable is about $100.
Where: Memory Lane, #B1-17, The Adelphi
RATTAN & CANE FURNITURE
The nimble hands of Mrs Chen at work.
Most problems involve repairing the webbing of the seat or backrest of the chair, or tightening up loose binding. “The chair frame is usually still in good condition, so we just change the seat,” says 62-year-old Mr Chen. The cost depends on how long the repair job takes, and the shape of the seection to be repaired. Some rattan seats are woven to the frame itself and will require more time to replace.
Where: Chun Mee Lee Rattan Furniture, #01-68, Blk 122 Bukit Merah Lane 1
ANTIQUE & VINTAGE MECHANICAL CLOCKS
Timepieces line all the shop walls.
50-year-old David Lim specialises in repairing mechanical models 60 years and older, right up to ones that are a century and more in age. You can also bring your transistor, electronic and quartz clocks to him. He sells a number of antique clocks, too. A simple replacement of a quartz mechanism is $30, with complex problems costing more.
Where: Cheong Ann Watch Maker, 4 Lim Tua Tow Road
Charlie repairing an old teak pedestal.
“People usually come to us to repair loose joints and to restore faded colours on wood furniture. We sometimes have to replace missing parts, and that is more complicated especially if the material is blackwood, which is expensive and not easy to find here,” says Charlie Chiang. A touch-up and varnishing job costs $150 to $200. Charlie can also repair or replace upholstery, broken glass panes and piano casings. He advises customers to call before they visit and to bring their item along with them, too.
Where: Chong Hwa Arts & Frame Makers, Blk 106, Clementi St 12, #02-48
ANTIQUE TELEPHONES & GRAMOPHONES
Working telephones for sale in Harry’s living room.
“I dare say there is no antique telephone I can’t repair,” says 69-year-old Harry Ang. He shares that telephones can easily be brought back to working order unless the wiring inside has been tampered with. “I’m really doing it for the challenge – the more complex the phone, the better!”
Where: Harry’s workshop is located in a room of his five-room flat