On the Bench: ’58 Philco Predicta “Barberpole”

AKA “Pedestal,” AKA “The Cyclops.”
Predicta barberpolePredicta barberpole

This is a restoration that’s been in the shop since before I started this blog, and is finally coming to a close. This Predicta was one purchased off of ebay and shipped directly over to me for a complete electronic and aesthetic overhaul. The cabinet? flaking finish and yellowed white front panel, with one of the front feet snapped off. The credit for the beautiful cabinet work goes to Lance Bach of Nook and Cranny Furniture Refinishing (http://www.antique-refinishing.com/). Lance is a very gifted woodworker and finisher, priced reasonable, fast, and very modest about his work.

Predicta Barberpole  Predicta BarberpolePredicta Barberpole

The clear screen cover on the front is made of an early type of soft polybutyl plastic, and is often scratched, marred and dinged over the decades. Philco switched to a sturdier plastic formulation on the later 17″ tabletop models such as the Princess, Siesta, and Debutante which is much harder to scratch, but likewise, proportionally harder to REMOVE those scratches. I feathered out the imperfections and restored this screen cover with several passes of sandpaper, beginning with 400 for the deep cuts,graduating to a finer grit on each pass, moving to a wet sand with 1000, then 2000 grit sandpaper, and a final high speed buff using automotive clearcoat buffing compound.

The electronics? Hacked, as many times they are by repairmen and well meaning DIY’ers over the years with components cut off the top of the circuit board and replacement parts ‘tacked’ to the remaining nubs. Aside from needing a complete replacement of all capacitors, several resistors were out of spec, the vertical integrator network needed to be rebuilt, and two tube sockets needed replacement. After a complete R&R on the chassis and a CRT with great emission, this one should provide many years of good service.

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