A few years back I found a discarded 1950's Westinghouse stereo cabinet unceremoniously tossed curbside, a midcentury turntable that had definitely seen better days. It was love at first sight, and driven by this retro Cupid's arrow, I somehow hauled the monstrous all-wood and electronics piece back to our studio apartment to later transform it into a media storage unit. The whole process was extremely satisfying, turning would-be landfill fodder into something that could be revitalized into a treasured piece...
Similarly, Mike Larson's (aka 5 O'Clock Hero) wife happened upon an old console television left outside for trash day, relegated to a similar fate of "tossed and forgotten". The ornate Magnavox 1960's wood cabinet was rescued by the couple (weighing at around 150 lbs, one has to appreciate we live in a blessed era of lightweight electronics), all without any specific plans, only driven by an immediate love for the outdated piece of technology.
Once back at their home, inspiration struck and the television w cleaned, gutted, refinished, painted, and retrofitted with a false bottom and shelf. The once abandoned console television now houses their cable box, DVD player and Xbox 360 in their living room in modern day Betty Draper style.
Mike also shares an important note about working with older electronics with tubes like this 1960's set:
Now, if you try something like this, be aware that working with TV tubes can be dangerous. Older TV tubes can hold a charge for a long time (sometimes more than a year). This particular set hadn't been used in about 10 years, but it's still important to discharge the tube. It's not hard to do yourself, but if you aren't comfortable doing on your own, take it to a TV repair shop. If you want to give it a try, here's how.
More details about all the work Mike did over at DIY Console TV: From curbside to livingroom.
(Images: 5 O'Clock Hero)