Rescue Your Stuff

We’ve scoured Honolulu for the quickest, easiest and most reliable repair ideas. If you don’t need this now, count your blessings and bookmark this story for future use—sooner or later, you’ll have to fix your stuff.


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Your piano’s sound is way off-key.

Solution: For more than 20 years, Yoshi Nishimura has not only serviced the instruments of concert pianists performing with the Honolulu Symphony, he’s traveled the world to cater to such classical music stars as Vladimir Ashkenazy. Nishimura studied at the Yamaha Corp.’s Piano Factory Apprenticeship Program in Japan, the world’s leading piano technician school, before opening his shop, Mozart House, in ‘Iwilei in 1976. “They do everything from A to Z,” says local producer and pianist Pierre Grill. “This is not a ‘fix it’ business, it is a total devotion and an art.” 720 Iwilei Road, Suite 324 , 537-3441.

Photo by David Croxford

Fixing furniture is a family affair for Trent Toma (left) and his uncle, Francis Furusho.

Your couch collapsed under you. We’re not asking how.

Solution: “If they want their furniture repaired, we’ll somehow repair it—we can take care of anything,” says Trent Toma, president of Gilbert’s Furniture & Piano Refinishing, which handles minor fixes, such as broken legs, as well as restorations. Toma represents the third generation of includes his grandfather, Gilbert Furusho, and uncle, Francis, who still helps out with repairs. “People want to restore antique furniture, rather than buying new because of the quality of the workmanship,” Toma says. “Recently, we saved a pair of Queen Anne loveseats that were very termite-damaged—they were almost completely hollow. We were able to redo them by using new materials.” 1632 Silva St., 841-5207. 

FREE Professional Advice: 
If you notice termite damage to your wooden furniture, don’t wait to have it repaired, says Trent Toma, of Gilbert’s Furniture & Piano Refinishing. “People usually wait till it’s too late, and we’ll find more damage once we start working on it than what’s visible.”


The fridge isn’t running; meanwhile, your washing machine looks like it’s walking away.

Solution: Although Ace Appliance Service has been around for nearly 30 years, the family-run business stays on top of modern-day demands, says general manager Daniel Moa. It services most major appliance brands and is factory-authorized to repair such high-end lines as Sub-Zero, Viking, Fisher and Paykel, and Thermador. The company also schedules weekend appointments, which can be booked through its Web site, and provides emergency service 24 hours a day. “Our technicians go through about nine training classes annually,” Moa says. “Appliances change every year—most appliances run by a computer circuit board, which requires a lot of troubleshooting—so it’s important that technicians keep up.” Service from Kapolei to Queen’s Gate in Hawaii Kai and on the Windward side, between Lanikai and Temple Valley. Honolulu, 737-2346; Leeward, 483-1444; Windward: 233-1444;

Photo by Sergio Goes

Searching for an obscure watch part? Rick Alhadeff has collected a large inventory of new old stock (n.o.s.) watch parts and crystals over the years.


It took a licking, and now the watch isn’t ticking.

Solution: Modern watch batteries often die and simply need to be replaced. Antique and vintage watches, on the other hand, need a little more finesse. Rick Alhadeff, of Watch & Clock Service & Repair in Hawaii Kai, specializes in such service. “The oil in mechanical spring watches, for example, can get old,” Alhadeff explains. “The lubrication commonly dries up and congeals.” The watch needs to be taken apart, cleaned and re-oiled. Other times, age or shock damage can takes their toll on a vintage piece. Whatever the case, Alhadeff’s love of antiques makes him eager to tackle any of your timepiece troubles. 6650 Hawaii Kai Drive, Suite 109, 395-8834.

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