Restoring a Vintage Admiral TV - Page 3, The Cabinet
The original cabinet finish is mahogany, with a burled inlay finish on the lower front.
The decals describing the controls and the "Admiral" script logo are intact, so no refinishing
was attempted on that area. The top and sides of the cabinet were sanded and two coats of
stain / polyurethane applied. I did not refinish the frame around the CRT window.
The result is a attractive if not exactly original finish.
Obtaining replacement knobs for the set was another challenge. The factory knobs are a molded
brown plastic, with the outer ring having a brass overlay. I was missing one outer and two inner knobs.
There are sources online for old radio knobs, but TV knobs are a rarer commodity.
After considerable searching, I located knobs from two sources:
Tom Cunningham at Radio Salon , and Craig Roberts
I wound up with an extra set of knobs. The replacements are identical in shape but are copper instead of brown.
They look fine in the center positions with the brown ones on the outsides.
The plastic CRT window was polished with Novus #2 Plastic Polish, with remarkable results.
The hazing and scratches were almost completely removed and the face of the set looks great.
1/2" wide foam weatherstripping tape was used to replace the rotted CRT-to-window seal.
The rear panel of the TV needed to be fabricated from scratch.
From an eBay offering of an identical model TV, I was able to see a photo of the original back cover panel.
Note, however, that this one does not seem to have the hole for the centering adjustment lever.
Making the panel from fiber-board as the original would be possible, but the ventilation holes
are a problem. The options would be either to use perforated panels (peg-board) which would have
holes everywhere and not resemble the original at all, or to have the tedious job of drilling
somewhere around 1000 holes in it...
I opted instead to use perforated aluminum panel. It's not original but it's easy to work with,
looks good, and I had some available. I used a stainless steel mixing bowl and some epoxy putty
to make the CRT neck cup, then painted the whole thing satin black. Here's the result:
Page 4 - Finished Set