Dec. 14, 2020

Moving in

Door hinges... these beautifully detailed hinges are on the inside of the main doors. Of course I have to remove them and polish them I’m not a fanatic but it’s just doing things right.

Gibson Mandolin.... this puzzling piece came in this week. It is Gibson a from the teens with all the original fittings including tailpiece bridge and pickguard. It appears to be completely refinished and has a 1950s style silkscreen screen logo in the peg head. Additionally the back is bound. Is it a mystery? No most likely the back shrunk it was sent back to the factory to be reconditioned and someone had the wherewithal to make sure that the original parts didn’t get replaced. The work looks factory it plays like a dream it sounds fantastic. I took it home for a while. It’s residing in Penn Yan if anyone is interested.

Fireplace detail....I know a craftsman I might call to replicate the small piece missing on the fireplace.

Screen doors! I think they have the original screen on them. Of course it needs to be replaced and they need to be refinished and properly preserved.

Curly maple doorsI The tracks were somewhat distorted and it was difficult to pull out and discover this large curly maple pocket door.

The main staircase will be refinished this week

NEWSLETTER We Fix Things New house

December 14th  2020

Good Morning Friends,

We fix stuff, that’s what we do. We put things back together in what we consider to be the proper order. It is our passion. This is not only part of the our vintage musical instrument business but also part of our daily lives. Making things right....that’s our aspiration. Our new residence has welcomed all sorts of possibilities for making things right despite mysterious circumstances in the past. So it has fallen upon us once again; it is our job to be steward’s of an historic and charming home and hopefully let you in on the adventure.

When I was a very young child my mother would "spoil" me with puzzles. These were not the cardboard type of puzzles you see today but hand painted and made of wood in the form of nursery rhymes or a map of the United States. There were nursery rhymes of Little Boy Blue, Red Riding Hood and Western Themes. Every day I would dump them out on the floor and put them back together while listening to Gene Autry on my record player. My parents must have had high aspirations for me. I never acquired my father’s ability for building things and making "stuff" but instead I had a propensity for taking old things and finding new uses for them. It was a basic difference in our personalities. I graduated to life puzzles at some point. I bought old houses even though I didn’t really know how to construct anything. I always found someone who could do the work in the correct, historic fashion. It was picking out the right person for the right job and having some understanding of what was required that made the difference. Over the course of the years I have been involved in the restoration of eight different homes from a Greek revival in Penfield to a mansion on East Ave. in Rochester. This project, in Penn Yan, will most likely take the rest of my life if I decide to do it my way. There are some very special projects ahead and I will keep you informed.

Meanwhile in the store we continue to follow all of the safety guidelines. We are open by appointment during the week and open for business on Saturdays with masks required. That said our annual "Winter Sale" that our staff put together for December has had a fantastic response. We’ve sold a great number of instruments all across the world and we are keeping up the pace until the end of the year. I couldn’t be prouder of the organization that we have and the style of business we are operating. It goes hand-in-hand with restoring this old house, breaking new barriers and believing anything is possible.


John Bernunzio

Front doors, while impressive, have been neglected for many, many years. On target for this spring will be restoration of these beautiful oak doors and their screen accompaniments.

The attic of this house is massive. They were great windows but they are long gone and boarded up with plywood. Also if you look in this picture you can see the Square that is the top of the ceiling. That is where a widow's walk was once at the very top of the house. I don’t know if anyone alive who knows how to do things like restoring the widow's walk but I can dream.

Stairs to the incredible basement which is saved for a whole separate story. It looks like a speakeasy down there.

My brother-in-law Ed Schnepf was kind enough to come down and adjust and pull out and reveal this massive pocket doors. It is actually two doors put together as one slider and we could never pull it out but he had the knack and coaxed it across the track.

The door to nowhere. Most houses that have any age have one of these. I don’t exactly know what happened or how to undo what was ever done.

An outside view of the door to nowhere.