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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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The dog mistook Grandma’s Hawaiian quilt for a chew toy.

Solution: Who do local institutions like the Bishop Museum rely on to repair their antique quilts? Textile conservator Linda Hee. With a master’s in art conservation, she applies her knowledge of both chemistry and art history to each case, from standard cleanings (for which she uses a special wash tank that allows the quilt to remain flat and undisturbed while removing soil and stains) to repairing tears and frayed edges. Hee’s recommendations can vary, depending on whether clients plan to display the quilt, use it on a daily basis or just need it to look good for a special occasion. “Everything I do is reversible, so it can be removed if, in the future, a better method is developed.” Hee’s services start at $400. To get in touch with her, contact the Bishop Museum or the Honolulu Academy of Arts. 


While you were shopping for groceries, someone kindly swung his car door right into yours.

Solution: Jerry Rabago, owner of Dent Doctors Hawaii, sees this minor type of dent all day long. For around $75, Dent Doctors can have your car looking like new again using the “artistic” technique of paintless dent removal. Using special tools, the docs “sculpt and massage” dents away by hand from the inside of the car out. No repainting or replacing of parts necessary.

Photo by David Croxford

“Customers tell us it’s a miracle,” says Dent Doctors owner Jerry Rabago.
The one-day service is also popular with car dealerships, such as BMW, who deal with bumped and bruised new cars coming off the boat. For dents or collisions of a more serious nature, the company also offers full service body and paint repair. 1372 Colburn St., 841-3368, or www.dentdoctorshawaii.com.


Your garbage disposal unit won’t work.

Solution: We’re about to save you $100, because this is the first thing a plumber will do if you call one. You can manually clear a jammed GDU with a ¼-inch (or a 6 mm) Allen wrench. In fact, there’s probably one in the kitchen cabinet right now, lurking under some unused sponges, since one came with your GDU when it was installed. Insert the wrench into a socket at the bottom center of the GDU, then crank the thing around. You’ll feel and hear the blades grinding up the clog. When the wrench goes around smoothly, you’re good to go. Hit the reset button, run some water and turn on the garbage disposal. If it still doesn’t work, now you can call that expensive plumber.


Car’s out of oil.

Solution: So you’ll come to the apartment and change the oil in the car? “Yes, ma’am!” says Mobile Lubers owner Paul Sailor, a former Marine Corps helicopter mechanic and crew chief. Mobile Lubers often works with fleets of business vehicles, but also handles requests from ordinary car owners, and covers all of Oahu.  “We don’t need much space and can work in parking garages and parking lots,” says Sailor. A basic service ($55) takes about 35 minutes, and includes the oil change, tire inflation and topping off of fluids, before the technician takes away the old fluids and filters. The company will also track when it’s time for your next oil change and notify you. So next time that little light won’t be flashing. 554-2567, or www.mobilelubers.com.

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Honolulu Magazine August 2020
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