Jun 21, 2021, 06:59 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

Paul G's NST in Norway

Started by pgordon, Apr 05, 2021, 01:14 pm

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Apr 09, 2021, 08:08 am #15 Last Edit: Apr 09, 2021, 08:30 am by pgordon
A chance advert for a local shop gave me a thought this morning for what could perhaps be an ideal material for outdoor TARDIS construction for any/all parts using flat plate material (walls, roof panels etc...)

The advert was for replacement panel for the bottom of a trailer.. I have a trailer, the bottom is a plate of an extremely tough, resillient material which appears wood-like. - I don't know for sure that it is wood, perhaps some composite, perhaps with wood fibres within. It's maybe 12mm thick, comes in fairly large sheets - the one in the bottom of my trailer is a single piece 1200mmx2000mm.

My trailer lives outside in all weathers all year round, it has had snow & ice covering it for months on end. The drain holes in my trailer block with leaves, so it often sits there with a puddle in it for weeks on end. I throw great lumps of concrete & stone in there, soil, you name it, it all gets thrown onto this surface, and it just takes it (and takes it), and still looks in perfect condition (albeit rather dirty!)

I bet, if I bought some of these panels and made a TARDIS out of that, it would be pretty resilient against rot!

Also, anyone tried installing a solar powered fan for a bit of forced air ventilation? - plenty of suitable items on Amazon...

Just a couple of thoughts.



It's times like this when we need GalacticProbe.  Because I'd swear someone did install a fan (or at least researched it).  But I'll be darned if I can remember who or when.  (Of course I'd swear my "Readers Digest Complete Do It Yourself Guide" had a section on building shed doors and after days of searching the index and finally paging through the entire thing, I have to admit it doesn't.)  But yes.  There was someone, I'm sure of it.  And in the old days I could just say this and in a few hours Dino would come back with the link.  :(
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Apr 09, 2021, 08:22 pm #17 Last Edit: Apr 09, 2021, 08:36 pm by pgordon
Not much progress today.. darn real life, and real earning a living type work keeps intruding. Back to back teams meetings is nothing like as much fun as TARDIS building...

I did manage a little bit in my lunch break... I've drilled a hole through the floor panel big enough for 2 cable conduits, and I've installed 2 lengths of flexible cable conduit through the floor, through the deck, and run it beneath the deck back to the garage wall. I've drilled a hole through the garage wall, and made a start feeding the conduits through, but then my final teams call of the day was due and I had to stop.

The 2 conduits are filled with 4 cables, 1 is mains electricity cable, a rubber sheathed   1.5mm2 3 core variety. The other conduit is for low voltage signal cable: 1 CAT5E Ethernet, 1 CAT5 CBUS (home automation), and 1 6-core alarm cable. I'm not sure if I'll actually end up using any or all of the LV cables, but I figure it's better to have it & not need it than the other way round right?

I may install a small-form-factor PC in the TARDIS, so Ethernet will be handy for that. The CBUS will give me the option to install a variety of automated lighting, and the alarm cable will let me install a PIR motion sensor and/or magnetic door sensor so I would have the option of setting up a variety of automated responses based on the door opening, or movement inside or in front of the box...

I do have integration between my alarm and my CBUS system, so alarm sensor inputs can trigger CBUS responses, and I also have both integrated with SONOS, which I could also install in the TARDIS... I could do things like.. magnetic door sensor detecting the door opening could play an MP3 of a creaky door opening sound, and turn on the interior lights, boot up the PC...

I just have to think of what to do with it all!



Unfortunately, not much TARDIS building this weekend:


This is forecast to continue until the end of today.



I've had a few days nice weather, so I have managed to make some progress. I've got the base in position, got all 4 corner posts fitted into place and caulked in. Even though the end-grain on the bottom of the posts has been painted multiple times, I also smeared caulk over all the end-grain cuts as wellso that sould serve as a backup against water penetrating through the bead of caulk that I'm adding along all the outside joins.

I'm adding one wall at a time, finishing it off & repainting it as I go. As mentioned earlier, my glazing bars weren't up to snuff, so I'm resecuring the windows & the glazing bars with screws, as well as a new caulk all around both inside and outside.

Only the back wall is fixed in place so far, - the side wall in position in these pics is just there to keep the back at the correct angle whilst the caulk goes off, I'll be removing it later for its refurbishment.


Here's some views from te other side showing how little room there is behind it. I did have to squeeze myself in there in order to properly caulk all the outside joins around the wall...


because I'm using oil based paint on the outside, each wall panel has to stay up on the sawhorses for at least a full day while it dries. I've got 2 more days of nice weather forecast before some rain overnight so I'm hoping to complete and install one more wall before I have to put the covers on again. I think I will also go ahead & install the roof stack - the sides go in & out quite happily with it in place, and the roof being on, and caulked will surely help keep the rain at bay - the covers will go back on anyway at this stage as there will be a couple of completely open sides...

Best get back to it...



More unsolicited advice you probably don't need:  I don't know how much wind you get at that location, but I would try to keep an eye on those evergreens.  It sounds like you have a pretty robust paint plan, but if those branches grew out and then wind action started scouring them against the paint it could compromise your waterproofing. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


I hate those damn trees! but I don't think there's much danger to the TARDIS from them... - they tend to grow (very) slowly, and have very little by way of serious branches apart from the central stems - heck it was good anough to cushion Rambo's fall from the cliff face in First Blood... - out at the edges the 'leaves' on these things are like feather dusters, and are quite easily trimmed....  I've a plan to maybe put fence panels along my side of them, but I hadn't planned to go behind the TARDIS with them (that would impede my ability to squeeze into the gap behind it) and they wouldn't be that high anyway.


May 03, 2021, 08:35 am #22 Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 08:47 am by pgordon
So, been a busy couple of weeks, and not with Tardis building unfortunately, - just had a complete kitchen renovation so my hands have been full for a while, hence no update to the diary for a little while.

However, with that job (mostly) behind me, I did manage to make a little progress this weekend. The weather was mostly kind to me.

I brought the parts of the roof stack back out of storage in the basement where they've been languishing for the last year. I may have mentioned before that this build was originally planned to be portable & thus comprised of parts that could be easily manhandled into place by me working alone. Ergo, the roof was made as 2 separate parts; the bottom 2 steps:

This has cutouts at the corners to site it correctly on top of the corner posts. It also serves to keep the corner posts upright and in the correct place. Previously, (and TBH currently) nothing more than gravity was used to keep the roof parts in place... Although I _can_ manhandle it into place on my own, it is nonetheless quite heavy. Now that I'm changing the plan to make this a permanent box, I'll obviously be looking into some proper mechanical fixing, and weather proofing.

The fit is 'OK' but not fabulous...


I will be adding the small detail pieces on the outside, so these gaps will be closed up and hidden. Here's how she looks so far...


Once that layer is on, the top step with the pyramid & the lamp housing sits on top, again, thus far only using gravity to stay in place. Here's a couple of views of the roof from both outside and inside.


The seam between the two layers is actually pretty good & tight, - you can't really tell here, but I have gone round all the seams with a bead of transparent caulk, so the roof components should be fairly well weatherproof already...


I don't have a satisfactory lamp housing yet - I'm always on the lookout for something better, but in the meantime, I've found this one locally which will do for the time being:


It's completely closed at one end, and so it presents a totally waterproof face to the outside world. I've not yet made the cap.

Lastly, because rain is forecast about 24 hours from now, and I've only got the barest minimum of weatherproofing done on the roof, I've fitted the cover that I made last year, just to be on the safe side:



May 31, 2021, 11:15 am #23 Last Edit: May 31, 2021, 11:19 am by pgordon
Wow.... what a crappy May that was... - it has rained absolutely every single day from the 4th to the 26th inclusive, so I've not dared to take the covers off until the forecast is for unbroken dry days, which has finally hapenned! :-)  So I managed to make quite a bit of progress this weekend.

I got the 3rd wall in place, before fitting it I had to re-do the windows which necessitated removing the perspex sheet, repainting the frame, refitting the perspex then refitting all the glazing bars. Sounds simple enough, but every piece had to be painted 2 or 3 times before I was happy to fix it in place.

Anyway, with the last whole side fitted and caulked in, I can at last turn my attention to the doors.  These had not fared too well in storage for over a year... - you may remember I have mentioned several times that this was originally going to be a portable/indoor box, that I have now decided to make a permanent outdoor box.. - well that affected my original choice of materials and I used some elements which were never meant for outdoor use, and my white window frames are made out of some leftover door trims... these are softwood (pine I think), pre-painted at the factory, and the paint has not fared well - good to find this out now I suppose, rather than 6-months after the box is finished... (Did I just say finished!?!?)

The orginal paint had started to flake and lift:

So the only thing to do was strip it all off back to clean timber, and repaint with some proper exterior paint. So I used a scraper initially to lift off the loose stuff, then a delta sander to finish it off:


Then mask up the edges (I'm going to be repainting the blue as well anyway, but no point in making more work for myself).


Then multiple coats of exterior white paint (I'm using the same stuff my house is painted with, it's water-based rather than oil, but at least that means I can complete multiple coats in 1 day - I only need to leave about an hour before its repaintable)


Then rinse and repeat for the other door...


Later today I'm going to get back out there & try to get the windows all finished, - refit the perspex, and install new glazing bars. I hope to be at the point of being ready to hang the doors today or tomorrow.

Which has me thinking - what are the thoughts on how best to hinge/hang the doors?

Being outside, it would be better for the doors when closed to be real tight up against the jamb on the hinge side, but isn't this going to cause it to rub when operating? - hinged on the inside won't the corner apex of the door be wider at the point the door is half-way? or am I imagining this potential problem unneccessarily?

What have people traditionally done to keep the doors nice & tight (and thus hopefully waterproof) on outdoor boxes?

Right, the sun is shining, so I'd best get back to her....


Jam Jar Lurker

My doors expand in winter and so I had to remove some of the weatherproofing installed in summer...

"Have courage, and be kind... Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic."


Yup.  Tight and weatherproof probably won't happen due to expansion and contraction (if for no other reason).  On top of that, my door warped. Was it because it was tight against the floor and that forced it out of true?  I dunno.  But I wound up screwing a 2x2 across the back to stiffen it up and get it more true again.   
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Jun 01, 2021, 09:10 am #26 Last Edit: Jun 01, 2021, 09:16 am by pgordon
Managed to get a bit further before I decided to quit for the day & take a cold beer in the hot sun...

One very aannoying thing just now is the prevelance of millions upon millions of tiny flufy tree pollen/seeds in the air... they don't show up too well on photos, but the air is thick with them such that it looks like its snowing, and they get everywhere! - not ideal for painting in oil based paint that stays sticky for a couple of hours..


If you zoom in you can see there's a few dozen of the blighters resting on my newly painted door... Fortunately they're so fine that even landing on wet paint they don't have enough mass to actually stick, so luckily for me these were removable with a damp cloth after the paint dried.

I don't have, and don't have access to hammered glass - and also (and again) because this was originally going to be a portable box, materials were chosen for lightness & resillience, and I didn't want to have real glass in the windows. I'm using 4mm perspex sheet, and I had to figure out how to get the hammered glass look. In typical 'Blue Peter' fashion (Brits of a certain age will get this reference) I fell back on the ever-reliable sticky-back plastic (and I didn't even have to ask an adult to use the scissors for me!). this is self-adhesive modesty film, and its stuck on the outside since it looked pretty rubbish if stuck inside. No idea how well this stuff will hold up to the weather, but I've got a big roll of it, so I can easily replace it every year or two if needed.


The other window panels will be coloured from the inside, either by spray-painting or by fastening some black paper in place, I haven't decided which yet, I'll need to do some experiments first. Here's how she looks with the frosted panels in place:


I've also dug the top signs out of storage:


this is the second set of sign boxes I made - I didn't like the first set much as I used a different design and I hadn't figured out how to reliably fit the front fascia to the actual box part, and I made them with fully enclosed boxes and hadn't though about how I'd access the inside to replace lights etc should I ever need to...

These new ones are only the front fascia, and a couple of things have driven the design in ways I'm not completely happy with, but needs must... primarily I'm limited by the size of the sheets of perspex I can get easily here - they're not long enough to enable me to make a perspex strip the full width of the sign... Therefore I'm having to use the 'cheeks' on the ends of the sign. These were used on many variations of the screen TARDIS, but aren't correct for the Smith/Capaldi version which I'm most closely modelling this one on. but, like I've said previously, as long as it looks like a TARDIS, even if its not a faithfull replica of any specific one, then I'll be happy.

For some reason, when I made up these signs last year, I only got around to making 3 of them... obviously I was planning on making a 4th, but now, given the location this box is going to stay in, I think I probably don't need to bother - the back is completely inaccessible and invisible from the outside, so I think I will just make it weatherproof.


Also, I just noticed today that the 'cheeks' are a little too thick, and stand proud of the frame, so I'm going to have to resolve that. I think I'll struggle to get pieces this small through the planer/thicknesser (whilst also keeping my fingers), so I may have to make these again from scratch, and get the thickness right before I cut them down.


That's as far as I went for today, here's a gratuitous arty shot showing the sunset over the old girl, so that must mean it's time for sundowners...


'Till next time...


Oh yes!
I'll join you in a chota peg!

She's looking great.

Keep up the good work!



Angelus Lupus

The sticky-back-plastic you used on the windows looks really good!
A mixed-up non-conformist, trying to fit in.


Some more progress updates... I've continued working on the doors until I've got them more or less ready to fit.

I swapped the masking tape around to protect the white I did yesterday, and repainted the chamfer around the window frames.


That has come out not too bad, although no matter how carefully I apply the masking tape nor how firmly I stick it down, I always seem to get some amount of paint bleeding under the tape & spoiling parts of my nice razor-sharp paint line...  >:( I guess I'll have to go over it with a fine modelling brush later to touch up those areas.

One thing that I did come to realise (can't imagine why I didn't think of it before) - but the way my doors are made with a brace piece across the top on the inside (I did this because the ply sheet only comes up to the bottom of the window, so adding the top stile between the 2 outer posts was tricky with only the ends of the stile making contact with the posts)... well, this will prevent me hanging the door, since there isn't a continuous edge down the hinge side:


That left me a couple of choices: chop out a section of that top brace on the hinge side large enough to allow the door to hang and open without hitting on the corner post, or, build out the hinge side of the door with another brace to the same thickness as the top brace.

I opted for the latter, because I'd have to chop out enough of that top brace to have rendered it useless for the purpose of reinforcing the joins, and also I figured that adding more bracing can only be a good thing, would serve to stiffen the door further against warping etc

So I ripped down a couple of strips, and ran them through the thicknesser to get the height just right, then screwed them into place down the hinge side of the doors.


The insides of the doors look a little scrappy now, but they'll be getting a proper paint job on the inside too very soon. I may also add extra brace pieces across the bottom and up the central side edge as well.

Here's how they look in-situ - they're not actually hung yet, just leaning up against the trim pieces on the corner posts. Before I hang them properly I want to treat them a bit more while they're still up on the bench; the doors are my greatest worry for rain penetration and are obviously the weakest link in the chain of weather damage prevention measures. I am also thinking to place a small bevelled weather strip across the bottom of the outside of the doors - this isn't canon of course, but I think it would encourage running rain away from the bottom of the doors a bit more. My other option I'm mulling over is to fit the long thin drain cover that I put a picture of several posts ago in the floor along the front edge - the doors (and the wall panels for that matter) sit right over the join between the base and its floor panel, putting drain strips there would put them right under the doors (when closed), and thus would immediately divert any rainwater which did run underneath the doors down through the base and not into the interior, and would also hopefully prevent water ever pooling in the gap that will exist under the bottom of the doors... Drainstrip there would not be visible from the outside when the doors are closed, so shouldn't spoil the appearance of the box. I'll happily take anyone's advice or experiences in this regard..  ;D