Timeworn but Timeless


Tony Vitale has acquired a large surplus of grandfather clocks and clock cabinets at his burgeoning repair business, which he is offering to the public for a fraction of their original prices.

Customers can visit his Custom Furniture Creations factory and select a damaged clock. Vitale will give an estimate of how much it will cost to restore the selection to its former beauty.

For example, an as-is cabinet may cost approximately $50. Installation of new glass may cost $100, an overhauled clock movement with dial, weights and pendulum might run $200 (figure about $600 retail) and cabinet work between $300 and $500.

A totally refurbished clock could run $700 to $900, instead of the $1,200-$2,200 price tag you might find elsewhere.


Custom Furniture Creations employs master cabinet workers, woodworkers and refinishers, and watching them at work is pure joy. Their finished products are dazzling in detail and polish.

Clock making is only part of Vitale’s business. Decorators and bargain shoppers bring damaged furniture from garage or rummage sales and let Vitale’s crew restore the pieces, sometimes in a slightly different finish or design.

One $25 garage-sale table that was nearly restored at the time of my visit would bring at least $600, maybe more, in a good antique store. The cost to the owner was $200.

* Custom Furniture Creations; 18369 Eddy St., Northridge. (818) 773-8692. Call for appointment.



Weekend Super Sale

It’s the last four days of the annual warehouse sale of merchandise from Barney’s New York, held at Santa Monica Airport. Management says that new merchandise has been added regularly since the sale began, and discounts on selected items are increased as the sale progresses; it ends Sunday. This is an event that no sharp bargain hunter would miss. Weekdays 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 3223 Donald Douglas Loop, Barker Hangar. (310) 390-9071.