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Where to Get Stuff Fixed


Photograph by Michael SahadiAnything At All
Tired of complicated instructions that come with ready-to-assemble furniture? New Castle’s Joseph Verdi can translate. Verdi’s specialty is assembling furniture—or fixing furniture you tried to assemble—but he can also build window treatments and assemble exercise equipment. “If it came in a box, even if there are a million pieces, I can assemble it,” he says. Planning a move? Verdi can disassemble anything, too. A licensed member of The Professional Assemblers Network, he’s taught himself the assembly game. “Years ago I delivered ready-to-assemble furniture to both commercial and residential customers,” he says. “Many of these customers asked if I would do the assembly myself, and I happily obliged.” Verdi found a niche, but he’s prospered through word of mouth. He has assembled massive entertainment centers and elliptical machines. “I haven’t been stumped yet.” Here’s something you don’t hear much. Verdi loves his job. “It’s my passion. I love meeting new people every day.” Contact Verdi at expertfurnitureassembly.com, or (215) 389-0515.


These days, appliance repairmen fix every digital and non-digital appliance imaginable—washers, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers. Rule of thumb: If the price to repair is more than 50 percent of what you paid for the appliance, replace it. Here’s the kicker: There are no free estimates in the appliance repair business, so you won’t know what a repair will cost, and you’ll be charged for every service call. The staffers at the shops listed here will discuss repair issues by phone, before they send a tech. They can’t give you a quote, but they can estimate how long the repair might take. Consider the hourly rate, usually about $85, before deciding to repair or trash. All repair technicians who work with refrigerants must be certified in proper refrigerant handling. Certification is not mandated for other techs, though many seek credentials from the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, as well as The Professional Service Association. See: Action Appliance Service 31492 Careys Drive, Millsboro, 934-0422; Aero Appliance Repair 414 Sophers Row, Magnolia, 335-3083; Boulevard Appliance Sales & Service Inc. 601 Federal St., Milton, 684-5650; Ed’s Refrigeration & Appliance Repair 1039 N. Pine St., Wilmington, 655-4335; Hackers Service 2273 S. State St., Dover, 697-3134; Hawkins & Sons 400 New Road, Wilmington, 998-1010; John’s Maytag Home Appliance Center 3309 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, 792-2333; Kulhanek’s Appliance 2239 Wheatleys Pond Road, Smyrna, 653-8660; Millman’s Appliance & Electronic Center 18920 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-6215; Delmarva Refrigeration Heating & Air Conditioning 504 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Delmar, 846-2727; Middletown Appliance 211 E. Main St., Middletown, 653-7355
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Art Restoration-Conservation

Roy Blankenship of Arden (royblankenship.com, 529-1184) is the artist most interior designers turn to for repairing or restoring frames. But he’ll also spruce up paintings, prints, watercolors, wooden sculptures, plaster sculptures and American Indian artifacts. Roy’s apprenticeship at Winterthur’s museum conservation program inspired his passion for conserving paintings. After Winterthur he earned his bachelor’s of applied arts and sciences degree, then became a fellow of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the only professional organization in the United States dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage. He recently restored the mural at the All Saints Cemetery Chapel in Wilmington. But getting back to picture frames, they’re not all worth fixing. Gilt frames are. They’re covered in gold. Also try: Hardcastle’s Newark Gallery 622 Newark Shopping Center, Newark, 738-5003; Peninsula Gallery 520 E. Savannah Road, Lewes, 645-0551

David Brasure mans the rug rinsing and wringing machine at Brasure’s Carpet Care in Selbyville. Photograph by Michael SahadiCarpets

There are only two rug cleaning plants in Delaware, so only two you should trust: Lang Carpet (1001 N. Union St., Wilmington, 655-1533) and Brasure’s Carpet Care (35131 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville, 436-5652). Both handle Persian, antique, hand-knotted, needlepoint, hook and hand-tufted carpets. The difference between Lang and Brasure’s and other cleaners is that they are members of The National Institute of Rug Cleaning. (Techs carry credentials from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration.) The typical cleaning involves a rug inspection, then a washing with special equipment. Dusting entails removing soil with a rug duster and vacuum. Washing—both sides—is done with a combination of equipment and wool-safe detergents. Rugs are dried in special rooms using a combination of heat and low humidity. Pros restore hand-knotted rugs by hand. How do you know you have a carpet worth cleaning or mending? “There are rugs that are not necessarily in the best of condition but are worth a lot because of where and when they were made, or sometimes for sentimental reasons,” says David Brasure. Both Lang and Brasure’s offer pick up and delivery, in-house carpet and upholstery cleaning, and both use state-of-the-art, truck-mounted equipment.

China and Glassware

Glass companies typically repair windows and tabletops, but a handful will mend fine china dishes, cups, bowls, decorative glass objects and stained glass. The pros use acrylic adhesive to remarry broken or chipped pieces of china, allow the caulk to dry, then wipe away excess—no unsightly seams. It sounds easy enough, but if you don’t have the gift, pay someone who does, such as: All About Glass & Mirrors 1701 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington, 998-6970; Anchor Glass & Mirror 37166 Gull Watch Way, Selbyville, 539-0779; Glass Pros 413 Circle Road, Millsboro, 934-0474
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Clocks and Watches

“What’s going to happen to all these clocks that people inherited from their grandmothers?” asks Errol Ger, president of the Delaware chapter of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors of America. Repair may be a dying art, he says, but local chapter members can help. Gene Chrestenson of Newark, Steve Sieraki of Hockessin and Richard Hall of Hockessin can repair any mechanical clock, from a grandfather style or mantle piece to a torsion clock (clocks with pendulums that spin) or an atmos (which have sealed capsules of gas and liquid). Most will arrange pick-up and return. All can be reached at 598-6877. Chapter member Danny Gracia (Dan Tech, Wilmington, 652-7326) can fix any watch, whether it’s a Rolex or a Patek Philippe. Downstaters can try B. Gustafson Clock & Watch Repair (403 Federal St., Milton, 684-8184). Owner Brian Gustafson will even fix your quartz movement, though it’s probably not worth the cost, he says. Also see: Bridgewater Jewelers 318 Delaware St., New Castle, 328-2101; Forney’s Ltd. 106 W. Loockerman St., Dover, 734-3425; Harris Jewelers 1812 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 475-3101; Heritage Jewelers 555 N. Hall St., Seaford, 629-5698; Lindell’s Grandfather Clock Repair Dover, 734-8890; Minster’s Jewelers 205 Newark Shopping Center, Newark, 737-5947; 218 W. Ninth St., Wilmington, 428-6060; The Watchmaker 3619 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 999-9040

Marrin Smith of Seams Easy in New Castle does it all, from special tailoring to refreshing an old suit. Photograph by Michael SahadiClothing

You can get a hem done or zipper fixed inexpensively at most any dry cleaner. But for special tailoring or handmade clothing, consider Marrin Smith of Seams Easy (New Castle, 743-6199, or seamseasy1@aol.com). She does the usual dressmaking and alterations, but she’ll also whip up a costume for your child’s doll. Smith began sewing and knitting in high school, then earned a certificate of proficiency in modern dressmaking from Lifetime Career Schools. “I’m mainly self-taught, but with some help,” she says. There are still a few men who get shirt collars replaced, but Smith will typically refresh old suits by adding new buttons or strengthening “the insides.” She has directed and produced four fashion shows, and plans to do a show this year to benefit Sickle Cell Anemia research. See Smith at the 2010 Delaware Black Expo, held at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Wilmington April 24. For other repairs, see: Candlelight Bridal, Formal & Tailoring 314 Main St., Millsboro, 934-8009; Chong’s Sewing Services 29 Deer Valley Road, Harrington, 430-0144; Georgetown Tailors Two 280 N. Rehoboth Blvd., Milford, 422-2055; Irena’s Tailoring & Alterations 2805 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 477-0722; Manh Alterations 529 George Washington Drive, Dover, 678-0469; Ted’s Tailor Shop 2606 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 998-0985; Top Notch Sewing Connection 125A W. Loockerman St., Dover, 674-4466
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Computers, Laser Printers

The last thing you need is some geek telling you how technologically challenged you are. The techies at Second Source Computer Center (2201 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 475-7018) don’t care if you’re a Mac or a PC. Second Source is “the only shop that unconditionally guarantees all software repairs,” says owner Ken Jaskulski. The shop also repairs laser printers. The specialty at Bob Johnson’s Computer Stuff (32 Artisan Drive, Smyrna, 877-202-7788) is repairing Panasonic Toughbook laptops, the choice of police, paramedics and firefighters. Johnson hires technicians who’ve earned CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications. Any and all Microsoft certifications count, too. So what can these guys do that customer service people 12 time zones away can’t? “A customer gets to speak to a live person within two minutes, unlike a larger call center, where a person may wait an hour or more on hold,” says Jaskulski. Other noteworthy techies include: Computer Renaissance 4345 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 683-9323; Diamond Computer 4608 S. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 674-4064; Geek Squad 4807 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 477-0305; Help4urpc Computer Services & Repair 6953 Hickman Road, Greenwood, 349-5176; Kehtron Computers 2900 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 658-8970; Magnum Electronics 913 Horsepond Road, Dover, 734-9250; Motto Computer 3317 Old Capitol Trail, Wilmington, 633-6783; PC Guy 10373 Woodyard Road, Greenwood, 219-1609; Pixstar 1515 Savannah Road, Lewes, 644-8650; Secure Data Computer Solutions 301 E. Camden Wyoming Ave., Camden, 698-9130

Dolls, Teddy Bears, Stuffed Animals

Karen Pugh of Loved To Pieces Doll Hospital (105 Culver Drive, Laurel, 875-4851) restores mostly pre-1960 dolls, including Madame Alexander, vintage Ginny, antique German and Shirley Temple dolls. She works on pieces of any age, with the exception of Barbies and battery-operated or mechanical dolls, and she’ll repair teddy bears, too. The self-taught Pugh was mentored by other doll doctors, but learned mostly by studying training manuals, books and videos. A member of Doll Doctor’s Association and the Doll Artisan Guild, Pugh boasts 30 years of experience, and mends 500 dolls a year.

Everything and the Kitchen Sink

Fairfax Hardware (2201 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 656-2139) is a paragon of superior customer service. The folks there will fix almost anything for loyal locals, but the biggest repair items are screens, whether aluminum, copper, fabric mesh or Fiberglas. Staffers will fix most other stuff, such as lamps and anything that needs to be drilled or capped, such as pipes and small plumbing items like leaky faucets. “We can even cut lumber on doors,” says co-owner Art Pleasanton. (Customers will either pull the doors off their hinges or buy them new, then take them to the shop.) The real perk: Pleasanton—and a part-time staff of the most respectful teenagers you’ve ever met—will help solve your problem before selling anything. Find equally superior workmanship at Felton Hardware (121 W. Main St., Felton, 284-4536) and Fenwick Trustworthy Hardware (RR 3, Fenwick Island, 539-3915).
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Fishing Rods

Joe Morris of Lewes Harbour Marina Bait and Tackle (217 Anglers Road, Lewes, 645-6227) repairs fishing rods and reels from April through December. Most repairs take about a week. Morris can handle Fiberglas and bamboo rods, and mends cork or rubber grips. The shop also offers repair supplies for Fiberglas and wood boats. That includes Interlux and Awlgrip paints, West System epoxy, marine hardware and electrical products.

Furniture and Antique Furniture

Scott Alexander of New Life Furniture Systems (1675 E. Ayre St., Newport, 994-9054) can hand-strip, refinish or restore any furniture from any period, including modern furniture. He does case work when drawers need aligning, and can remake veneer parts. He will even go to your house, offer a free estimate, then cart away your stuff. Is your antique worth fixing? It depends on its sentimental value and condition. If you’re lucky enough to own an upholstered antique, restore it. Old upholstered pieces are rare, so they can fetch large sums at auctions. Also see: Barlow Upholstery 1002 W. 28th St., Wilmington, 655-3955; Bay Shore Antique Refinishing 1768 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, 734-9370; Creative Coverings 13 First Ave., New Castle, 328-8022; Jeffrey D. Stanley Furniture Restoration 919 Sugar Pine Drive, Bear, 838-7001; KEM Upholstery Supply 1002 W. 28th St., Wilmington, 654-1333; Timely Restorations 683 Twin Willows Road, Smyrna, 335-4215


If Great Aunt Martha leaves you a fur, the men and women at Jacques Ferber (4001 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 652-4340) will make it fit this century and your body. “We do a lot of complete remodels, where we totally reinvent, deconstruct and create new patterns,” says owner Ken Ferber, whose family has been in the business for more than 70 years. The shop will shear (remove top hairs), dye and create all-weather garments. “We actually design and produce much of what we sell, resulting in great value-to-price ratio,” says Ferber. Also check Richard Donald Furs (713 N. Market St., Wilmington, 656-1693), a downtown institution.
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Golf Clubs

Most private and upscale public golf clubs employ technicians who do routine repairs for minimal fees. Golf Galaxy (1295 New Churchmans Road, Christiana, 338-9005) is a chain, but it’s a one-of-a-kind chain that offers great prices on supplies and repairs. The 15,000-square-foot store’s repair shop is equipped to handle installations and replacements on any standard graphite or steel golf club shaft. Certified technicians install bore-through shafts and can remove, shorten or lengthen shafts. Shaft shortening is also available for putters. The shop will replace ferrules, re-epoxy heads, remove rattles, and re-chrome or re-groove shafted irons.

Hearing Aids

Audiologist Michael Michelli oversees hearing aid repairs at Handelman Hearing Aids (3605 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 478-4942). Minor fixes like broken battery doors or cracked tubes are usually done for free. Damaged shells are repaired for small fees. Larger electronic fixes are generally sent to manufacturers. And hear this: Aids don’t have to be purchased at Handelman in order to be repaired, and Michelli offers no-cost consultations. Downstate? Try Sound Advice Hearing Aid Center (1320 Middleford Road, Seaford, 628-7951).


Diamond is the hardest mineral known, but it still chips. It can be repaired, though the work depends on the size of the stone and location of the chip, says Marilyn Minster of Minster’s Jewelers (205 Newark Shopping Center, Newark, 737-5947; 218 W. Ninth St., Wilmington, 428-6060). Chips on the girdle, or largest part of the stone, are easy to repair. Chips on the pavilion, or back, are more difficult, though also possible. You can also have it re-cut, but you lose a percentage of the diamond. Minster’s sends diamonds to certified cutters in New York. The following will solder chains, size rings, remount stones and restore antique pieces: A.R. Morris Jewelers 3832 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 777-4367; 802 N. Market St., Wilmington, 658-4013; Bellinger’s Jewelers 20747 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6410; Bridgewater Jewelers 318 Delaware St., New Castle, 328-2101; Carl Doubét Jr. Jewelers 3801 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 888-2991; Continental Jewelers 2209 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 475-2000; Delhaven of Wilmington 4737 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-3246; Erncol Jewelry Shoppe 4007 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-5560; Forney’s Ltd. 106 W. Loockerman St., Dover, 734-3425; House of Watches & Fine Jewelry 2505 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-3098; 1330 N. Washington St., Wilmington, 654-7751; Jeweler’s Loupe Dover Mall, 5004 Dover Mall, Dover, 734-9244; Sayers Jewelers and Gemologists 19 S. Main St., Smyrna, 653-9456; Stuart Kingston Jewelers 2010 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, 652-7978; Whitten’s Fine Jewelry 4719 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 995-7464
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Professionally sharpened kitchen knives can last 20 years, though few home cooks have adequate sharpening tools. First State Knife Sharpening (1896 Beechwood Drive, Wilmington, 529-0968) sends you an envelope in which to drop your dull knives. You get them back, razor-sharp, within one business week. Thinking about chucking your cheap knives? Think again. Inexpensive knives are sometimes made from harder steel than costlier knives are, largely because harder steel is harder to sharpen. But it’s also slower to dull.

Lawn Mowers

The folks at Suburban Lawn & Equipment (1950 Newport Pike, Wilmington, 998-7700) will fix anything with an engine, except cars and motorcycles. That includes lawn mowers, go-carts, weed whackers, gas-powered water pumps, air compressors and riding tractors. Customer service at this family owned business is top-notch. See also: Bailey’s Lawn Mower Service 244 S. Rehoboth Blvd., Milford, 422-8373; Bowersox Lawn & Garden Equipment 2911 Ogletown Road, Newark, 368-7006; Busy Bees Equipment & Small Engine Services 9176 Willow Grove Road, Camden-Wyoming, 698-9366; Cole Small Engine Repair 20146 Wolf Road, Georgetown, 856-3757; Dennis’ Equipment Repair 2 S. Dupont Hwy., Selbyville, 436-4100; Wilmington Lawn Mower 2703 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, 798-6000


The best lighting technicians around repair, rebuild and rewire chandeliers and lamps and repair all electric lights. They even restore Tiffany lamps, and build lamps to match vases or other decorative items. The shops below should also rewire track lighting, convert outdoor gas lights to electric, change sockets to accommodate LED and fluorescent bulbs, and rewire outdoor lanterns. The Light House 604 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin, 239-8290; Light House of Lewes 16759 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, (888) 858-4255; Sunlighting Ltd. 115 Kirkwood Square, Wilmington, 998-7779; Yale Lighting Concepts & Design 1300 Kirkwood Hwy., Newark, 737-3778
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Delaware does not require locksmiths to be certified, so a legit smith should drive a lettered vehicle with company logo, flash his insurance card, carry his business license, and belong to or be affiliated with the Associated Locksmiths of America. The technicians listed offer comprehensive security services and respond well in emergencies. Major Locksmith offers a lockout service 24/seven, and will charge nothing if a child is locked inside a home. Allied Lock & Safe Co. 709 Shipley St., Wilmington, 658-3172; Donovan’s Locksmith 1900 Conrad St., Wilmington, 658-7511; Major Locksmith 22855 Milton-Ellendale Hwy., Milton, 684-8824; Pop-A-Lock Various locations in New Castle County, 658-6736; R J Lock & Security Bethany Beach, 537-1111; Milton, 422-3991; Rehoboth Beach, 227-3200

Musical Instruments

The certified techs at Accent Music (5810-A Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington; 4120 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 999-9939) repair all instruments, including guitars, drums and horns, in-house, and make every effort to restore old parts before replacing them. Accent will provide a loaner till the job is done. The repair shop is open Monday through Friday. Also try: B&B Music and Sound 213 S. Dupont Hwy., Camden-Wyoming, 697-2155; 17903 Willie Road, Lewes, 645-0601; Audionics 10 Country Lane, Newark, 455-0411; Ds Music 1112 Ogletown Road, Newark, 292-1054; Thompson Electronics & Speaker Repair 22876 Sussex Hwy., Seaford, 245-8026; Thompson Music Center 1420 Highway One, Lewes, 645-0601

Photo Equipment

Most staffers do minor repairs, restore photos and recover memory cards, replace screws and batteries, and un-jam jammed lenses, but most manufacturers now require shops to send malfunctioning gear to factories. Don’t bother getting your inexpensive digital camera repaired. “A basic repair for a small digital costs anywhere from $130 to $170,” says Al Romagnoli, owner of Newark Camera Shop (63 E. Main St., Newark, 368-3500). “You can replace the camera for the same price, and probably get something better.” Do pay to repair your high-end, single lens reflex camera. Also see: Al’s TV Services Center 1200 Wheatleys Pond Road, Smyrna, 653-3711; Cameras Etc. 165 E. Main St., Newark, 453-9400; 4101 N. Market St., Wilmington, 764-9400; Colourworks 1902 Superfine Lane, Wilmington, 428-0222; Ritz Camera 1321 Churchmans Road, Newark, 738-4606; 108 W. Ninth St., Wilmington, 655-4459
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A piano has 12,000 working parts. Any one can break. And because a piano is 85 percent wood, it can swell, wreaking havoc on pitch. Master technician Bruce Cohen at Jacobs Music (2800 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-1888) has been tuning pianos for 40 years. Common problems are “funny noises” caused by loose, vibrating parts, as well as “sticking keys.” Jacobs restores antique pianos, mostly Steinways from the late 1800s. If your piano is not a fine instrument, it’s not worth restoring. A total restoration takes 800 man-hours, and it’s expensive. Find technicians through reputable retailers or music schools, never through the phonebook or the Web. The Music School of Delaware (locations statewide, 762-1132) can help.

Shoes, Leather Goods, Luggage

Got a torn leather cushion? Take it to Fast Feet Shoe Repair (110 N. Dupont Hwy., New Castle, 325-1991; Concord Mall, 4737 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-5300), where you can get the cushion mended while shoe heels, tips, soles, shines, stitching and heel plates are done. The shop repairs leather goods, dyes shoes, and fixes zippers. It also cuts new keys. More sole savers: Abbott’s Shoe Repair 92 E. Main St., Newark, 368-8813; Brays Shoe Service 223 W. Division St., Dover, 736-1915; Delaware Shoe Repair 150 S. Governors Ave., Dover, 674-9754; Instant Shoe Repair 18908 Center 1 Mall, Rehoboth Beach, 644-4080; Shoe Tech Shoe Repair 111 W. Ninth St., Wilmington, 656-0405; John’s Shoe Repair 1709 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 478-1003; Joe’s Shoe Repair Shop 4712 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 999-0316

Stereos and Speakers

Ron Clark, owner of Kral Electronics (2403 Ogletown Road, Newark, 737-1300), can fix any amplifier, stereo, speaker or turntable, and he’ll replace your needles, transistors and tubes. “The tube amps actually offer the best audio production,” he says. Clark has been diagnosing stereo gear for 41 years. Own a Victrola? He’ll fix it. Also see: Audionics 10 Country Lane, Newark, 455-0411; AV Resources 240 N. James St., Newport, 994-1488
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Televisions, Radios

Marcozzi Radio & Television Service (601 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington, 288-0520) has been in the electronics repair biz since 1953. In addition to repairing most brands of televisions, Marcozzi repairs video recorders and players. Most television retailers, on the other hand, send out televisions for repair. But CB Joe TV & Appliance (348 Churchmans Road, New Castle, 322-7600) fixes everything it sells, and has an in-house repair shop. CB Joe does not outsource the delivery and installation of your television, either. These techs are tuned in: Al’s TV Services Center 1200 Wheatleys Pond Road, Smyrna, 653-3711; AV Resources 240 N. James St., Newport, 994-1488; Blue Hen TV 49 Brenda Lane, Camden-Wyoming, 697-9681; Brandywine Television Services 3609 Miller Road, Wilmington, 478-9446; Craig’s TV Services 22939 Sussex Hwy., Seaford, 629-8070; Del-Mor TV 1 NE 10th St., Milford, 422-8534; Keel’s TV 300 N. Main St., Bridgeville, 337-7763; Logan Electronics 220 Waterford Drive, Middletown, 378-3640; Newark TV Service 608 Newark Shopping Center, Newark, 368-7654

Tree Service

When a tree guy shows up with a beer in one hand and an estimate in another, run. Hire a licensed, insured member of the Better Business Bureau for your trim-outs, take-downs or stump removal. The certified arborists at Kerns Brothers Tree Service & Landscaping (3400 Bowers St., Wilmington, 475-0466) recommend searching the Tree Care Industry Association’s Website (treecareindustry.org). Kerns and the following trailblazers offer emergency storm damage services, too. See also: DiSabatino Tree Service 471 B&O Lane, Wilmington, 764-0408; Loockerman’s Tree & Stump Removal 106 Elm Terrace, Dover, 745-6446; New Castle County, 369-2399; Sussex Tree 24016 Snug Harbor Road, Seaford, 337-3346


Don Ruth of Dons Typewriter Service (Long Neck, 945-1665) has repaired typewriters for 35 years. He’s most familiar with IBM, Swintec and Nakajima, but he can handle almost any brand. Any part—the carriage release lever, platen, platen knob, feed roller, ribbon reverse button, ribbon spool, paper table, ribbon vibrator, shift key, space bar, typewheel, keytop, type guide—can break. How does Ruth do it? Slowly, he says. “I take pieces apart as needed. It all depends on the job.”
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Vacuum Cleaners

The best vacuum shops can revamp any vacuum or steam cleaner, and replace bags, hoses, cords and belts while you wait. Motors take from two days to a week to a repair. Look for shops that are members of the Vacuum Dealers Trade Association, says Steve Gray of Steve’s Sew-N-Vac (4518 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 998-4851). “While a vacuum that originally cost $400 dollars may cost $100 to repair, it is still, after the repair, a better vacuum than a new one selling for much less,” says Gray. He also fixes modern and antique sewing machines—though they have nothing in common with vacuums. Clean up here: Millman’s Appliance & Electronic Center 18920 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-6215; Mr. Vac 205 S. Dupont Hwy., Camden, 698-2133; Proctor The Vacuum Doctor 550 S. New St., Dover, 736-6306; Rainbow Vacuum 125 Causey Ave., Milford, 734-8800; Tri-State Vacuum 212 W. Market St., Newport, 995-2997


If your windshield damage is smaller than the size of a dollar bill, it can be repaired. Both Union Auto Glass Shop and Safelite Auto Glass will come to you, whether you’re home, at the office or on the road. Both companies use certified technicians: A basic repair takes about 30 minutes. Safelite, however, will do a full replacement at your site in about an hour. See: Union Auto Glass Shop 93 Saulsbury Road, Dover, 674-3577; 841 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, 369-9040; 804 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington, 654-7854 Safelite Auto Glass 746 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 678-9600; 22834 Dupont Blvd., Georgetown, 856-7175; 4722 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, 999-9908

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