1950ish Motorola Television cabinet restore

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Project by MasterSergeant posted 03-09-2018 02:25 PM 1842 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Cleaning out a family members farm I discovered and old TV cabinet on the burn pile. I grabbed it off the pile took it home and restored the cabinet to it original beautiful condition. I made all new legs from bits and pieces of the original legs. The speaker grill was missing, I found a website the had original cloth available. The medal frame around the tube was shattered so I carefully reassembles and body worked it back to what it once was then painted with a new high luster gold spray paint I found at WalMart. Matching the stain was tricky, the Woodsmith Store in town was able mix stains to get really close to it original color.

I was going to mount a flat screen inside but gave up on that when I could not find a flat screen anywhere close to the size I need. So I decided to print out an old copy of the “test screen” we all use to see when stations were off the air.

It’s now a nice conversation piece in the game room!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

14 comments so far

View ohwoodeye's profile


2207 posts in 3606 days

#1 posted 03-09-2018 02:29 PM

Looks cool. I was thinking the same thing…....a flat screen computer monitor or TV but I can imagine the correct size would be difficult to find.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View BurlyBob's profile


6385 posts in 2718 days

#2 posted 03-09-2018 03:16 PM

Boy does that ever bring back memories. My Dad had a tv shop back in the day. My job was to clean the insides of the glass and check all the tubes. How I remember that test pattern as a kid.

View splintergroup's profile


2779 posts in 1675 days

#3 posted 03-09-2018 03:54 PM

Cool resto-mod Kelly!

I always liked that Indian head test pattern.

View ralbuck's profile


6094 posts in 2719 days

#4 posted 03-09-2018 04:42 PM

The test pattern was the only thing that ever came in clear when I was young!

Great job!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View fivecodys's profile


1457 posts in 2089 days

#5 posted 03-09-2018 04:57 PM

Great save!
It would be cool if you could make it into a Bluetooth speaker.
Steve Carmichael just did that with an old radio cabinet.

Either way, nice job sir!


-- When you leave your shop for the night, make sure you can always count to 10.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6739 posts in 3806 days

#6 posted 03-09-2018 07:09 PM

Great restoration! I remember when color first came out way back in 1954; I was just a little guy back then.

I even remember when…(I think it was the Ed Sullivan Show) That asked their views to set up a radio on the left side of their TV sets and tune in into a specific station. Then (on TV) they set up two microphones one on each side or the stage. One side of the ocraster would come out of the TV and the other would come out of the radio to simulate Stereo. I think I was about 10 or 11 at the time.
Anyway nice seeing this restored TV of yours! Nice work!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3319 days

#7 posted 03-09-2018 08:58 PM

You did a nice job on this old piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View htl's profile


4760 posts in 1612 days

#8 posted 03-09-2018 09:51 PM

Beautiful job and it seem like I remember watching Flash Gorden one one of those.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View oldnovice's profile


7496 posts in 3820 days

#9 posted 03-10-2018 04:54 AM

Boy this thing really brings back a lot of memories!
While I was in high school and Jr college I worked in a TV and radio repair shop, I don’t know how many of these sets or test patterns I saw.
I did service calls from 1960 to 1965 in the Midwest before cable TV took over and there were only three networks on the air, not all day/night back then.
You even had the old round tube!

You did a super job on that!
You just gotta love it!
Where did you get the ancient test pattern?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View htl's profile


4760 posts in 1612 days

#10 posted 03-10-2018 05:59 AM

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View jeffswildwood's profile


3988 posts in 2430 days

#11 posted 03-10-2018 12:54 PM

Wow I remember these. My Aunt had a screen film with blue on top, yellow in the middle and green on the bottom. Simulated color. The only show that it look right on was Bonanza. Nice find and great restore job.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View MasterSergeant's profile


1407 posts in 3141 days

#12 posted 03-10-2018 02:12 PM

I am taking your advice and mounting a Bluetooth speaker in the TV. That will make it a nice novilty in the game room. Thank for the hint!!!

Great save!
It would be cool if you could make it into a Bluetooth speaker.
Steve Carmichael just did that with an old radio cabinet.

Either way, nice job sir!


- fivecodys

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View htl's profile


4760 posts in 1612 days

#13 posted 03-10-2018 11:23 PM

I was thinking about Steve’s latest project too, always like what he’s cooking up.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Ivan's profile (online now)


14785 posts in 3320 days

#14 posted 03-11-2018 08:10 AM

Great restore and saved memory on past times. I like woodworking combined with technical/engineering projects.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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