1950ish Motorola Television cabinet restore

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Project by MasterSergeant posted 03-09-2018 02:25 PM 1938 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


2432 posts in 3930 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


7622 posts in 3042 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


3798 posts in 1999 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


6547 posts in 3043 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


1637 posts in 2413 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!


-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7528 posts in 4130 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


32122 posts in 3643 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


5136 posts in 1936 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


7563 posts in 4144 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?

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View htl's profile


5136 posts in 1936 days

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

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View jeffswildwood's profile


4451 posts in 2754 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


1439 posts in 3465 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


5136 posts in 1936 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


15969 posts in 3644 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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