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Tips for building a custom console

Started by Jade, Oct 03, 2020, 10:57 pm

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Jade

Hi

I've been thinking about building a console for sometime and I'm in a position to get the project going. It's going to have to be over at least a year on a budget. I have a few ideas of what I have in mind so I'm just looking for any tips and advice.

I'm think of a square base, hollow and big enough that I might fit a pc inside and some other things inside.
The console itself would have to be not to heavy and be able to take apart. It will also be a bit smaller then the actual consoles and will hopefully have power to it.

Has anyone got any advice on what the best materials would be and also any warnings on what not to do?

Volpone

...

I have seen more than a few of these "console building advice" threads.  And I feel like we've had a TARDIS building advice thread.  At the very least, we had the Murphy's Laws of TARDIS Building thread that, IIRC, started out kind of silly but eventually gave some useful advice. 

I don't think we've had as many console builders, but I'm mulling starting a thread and seeing where it goes so that people that ask for advice on building a console actually have something we can refer them to. 

Just not tonight. 
"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.

russellsuthern

A beginners console building advice thread would be useful, who knows, one day I might even be in a position to use it!

Most full scale builds are made of ply, as that is thick enough to take the weight.

Smaller builds can be build from hardboard, although it might need to be reinforced, as it can bow or warp.

If you are on a budget, some smaller consoles have been built from cardboard & still look great.

The best thing to do with any build, is just get it started.
Then you can start a build diary.

This will be the best place to ask any questions & the members can help you overcome any problems as you go along.

Good luck!

Russell

redfern

Oct 04, 2020, 02:24 pm #3 Last Edit: Oct 04, 2020, 11:30 pm by redfern
I've occasionally wondered how "foam core" might work, going so far as ro use it for internal "ribbing" if needed.

I remember going to my first weekend convention (as opposed to a single day affair), "Dixie-Trek '89" and my first exposure to a full scale TARDIS prop was composed primarily of foam core for its exterior.  I assume its internal frame was wood, but I had no way to be sure as I did not meet the person (people?) who built it.  But, with enough pieces "criss-crossed" inside, it could have been entirely foam core, making it far easier to transport.  True, the materials were obvious upon inspection, but i think it would  do well enough for photo ops.  Alas, no, I did not get any snapshots.

Sincerely,

Bill

Jade

Quote from: russellsuthern on Oct 04, 2020, 08:25 amA beginners console building advice thread would be useful, who knows, one day I might even be in a position to use it!

Most full scale builds are made of ply, as that is thick enough to take the weight.

Smaller builds can be build from hardboard, although it might need to be reinforced, as it can bow or warp.

If you are on a budget, some smaller consoles have been built from cardboard & still look great.

The best thing to do with any build, is just get it started.
Then you can start a build diary.

This will be the best place to ask any questions & the members can help you overcome any problems as you go along.

Good luck!

Russell

I think I'll probably be using ply for the most part. I'd like it to be sturdy. The budget is just how much I can afford to pay over each month, say £50 - £100 a month. Start with the plinth and then do the console top and then the panels over time.
I'm now not having the plinth four sided, for some reason I thought this was how the original console was based so I'll plan on doing a six sided plinth. Just a case of trying to work out the measurements so I can get started.

Volpone

Hi Jade, if it's OK with you, I'm going to use this thread for a "Tips for building a console" sticky thread.

I haven't built a console so I have relatively little to share.  There's a angle calculator for roof slope on a TARDIS and I'm pretty sure there's something like that for figuring out the angles on a console but I haven't looked for it yet. 

The big eye-opener for me is the time rotor.  The classic time rotor is huge.  Something like the size of a 55 gallon trash can diameter.  The one for the 1996 movie is significantly narrower. It is quite expensive to find a seamless time rotor exterior in the size of the classic series (which is probably why the 1970s time rotors just skipped over that and had an obviously visible seam). 

For a custom console, there's the choice of doing the classic series time rotor that has a top and moves up and down or going 1996 and beyond and having something that goes up to the ceiling.  And of course there's so much to be said about the up-down/spinning action of the rotor that I'm not even going to attempt to talk about it--since I know nothing about it. 
"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.

Jade

Hi Volpone. Yeah I have no problem with that, anything to help others. I see what you mean about the angles on the console. I'm just trying to work out the measurements for my panels and I'm already stuck.

For anyone who can help I've been looking at the Tony Farrell plans to get an idea of what to do. I've decided I want the panels a bit smaller so I've taken 10 inches from the top and bottom. (36" & 7") my problem is I can't seem to figure out the measurement for top to bottom, or is this an angle thing where the length of the top is determined by the angle from the bottom? (I think that sentence makes sense) I'm using cardboard at the moment to try and plan it out before dive in.

At the moment I have no idea what I'm going to do about the rotor so I've decided I'll figure this out at a later date. One good thing is that I may already have something to make it rise and fall although it won't be by much.

Thanks for all the advice so far.

Angelus Lupus

Oct 07, 2020, 10:45 am #7 Last Edit: Oct 07, 2020, 11:00 am by Angelus Lupus
I seem to recall an angle/length/height measurement calculator on the previous incarnation of the forum - or was that one just for working out roof slopes?
You could probably google a formula... if only I knew what to call a 'pentahedron with 2 trapezium, 2 right-angled-triangle, and 1 rectangular face'
A mixed-up non-conformist, trying to fit in.

Volpone

It is not our imaginations, Angelus.  I was going to say "if he were still around, GalacticProbe would know where it was," and of course he did.  https://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=5082.msg59248#msg59248

Unfortunately, that's the old board so the link isn't good anymore. But it should still be here somewhere.  I'll poke around a bit for it, but I'll also put up the Bat Signal to see if anyone else knows where the tool went. 
"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.

Volpone

OK.  I played a hunch that, since it was a stickied post that really didn't invite discussion, it might be one of the older posts in this forum.  No luck.  In fact I wasn't able to find the post in this forum so I've put out feelers for it.  Best I can find on console angles is this thread: https://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=1724.0

I will say, browsing through all the topics in this forum shows up plenty of interesting subject lines.  I know that's a little like giving someone a dictionary and expecting them to learn English--or looking for needles in a haystack, but it is the best advice I have for now and I guess it is better than nothing. 
"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.

Jade

Yes that post pretty much covers the answer for one of my questions. Thanks.

Jade

Ok one thing I've learnt over the last week or so is no matter how much I want to rush out this weekend, grab some wood and start building there does require some thought and planning on what I want to achieve. I got so awestruck on the season 18 console builds and trying to figure out how to do it myself that I forgot that I'm doing a custom console and so really my base could be any design I choose. As such I'm still at the drawing board working out what I want to do.

That being said, while working out how to build the plinth framework I wondered about using just battening to build the plinth and fill in the sides with something thin like MDF or thin plywood. However would this actually be strong enough to support the console top? Interested to see what others think.

Jade

Ok so I've just stated a build diary ready for when I get started so I'll mostly post in there now and leave this free for anyone who wants to ask for or leave any tips.

Volpone

FYI, I just got clarification from Scarfwearer. The console angle calculator tool was a custom built app on the old board software.  So it was lost when the board went kaput.  It may come back some day, but everyone is so busy that I wouldn't wait around for it. 
"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.

scotland yard

Oct 13, 2020, 04:40 pm #14 Last Edit: Oct 13, 2020, 06:41 pm by scotland yard
What information did you input and what information did it calculate based on that?

EDIT: Nevermind, found a screenshot of the calculator myself.

I have the seed of an idea. I'll contact you if from that seed I get a little plant, if that's OK with you, Volpone?
Oh my giddy aunt!!