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Captain Ian's TARDIS build... 1/3rd scale-ish.

Started by Captain Ian, Sep 18, 2020, 11:11 pm

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Captain Ian

Sep 18, 2020, 11:11 pm Last Edit: Sep 21, 2020, 05:02 am by Captain Ian Reason: Adding some photos again
It all started one day when the wife decided to give the wifi router a cup of coffee!
So with a new router in hand, and all the coffee cups hidden  ::) I decided to build a box to hide the router, modem, etc, but I kept putting off to watch classic Doctor Who, like you do.

While I was watching the show, the Master interferes and causes the TARDIS to shrink with the Doctor stuck inside and BAM! I knew exactly what box I was going to build.

Sadly I knew nothing about this site before I started, in fact I did no research at all! Aside from watching the show on and off for the past 40-ish years.

This build is being made mostly from memory and it incorporates aspects from Hartnell's, Pertwee's, (Tom) Baker's, and Tennants time on the show, plus my own style thrown in for good measure.

The materials I am using are all reclaimed wood received from shipping materials from where I work, 1"x4" and 1"x2" boards, and plywood. The window and Police Box sign glass will be lexan or similar material again from the scrap pile at work. The screws were given to me by a neighbor. The only things purchased are the wood glue and eventually the paint.

This TARDIS will have 3 finished sides, the back will be a mesh wall/door to allow for the airflow to help keep the electronics cool in there.

I started with a ton of cutting, one side of the outer corner boards was trimmed, ripping the 1"x4" to make door frames, I am even cutting my own 1/4" x1/4" square dowels to use for the window frames, and 3/4"x3/32" for the door seems, and 3/8"x1/16"(approx)for the trim under the signs. If I can borrow a scroll saw I'll attempt my own door handles as well.

Hope you like it.

PS. Does anyone know where I can find a 1/3 scale lens for the roof light?  ;)

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Cut and laying out the walls/doors.

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Seeing as I needed 6 panels to make 3 sides I cut a piece of scrap to use for spacing. (Huge time saver)

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and then there were two!

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Clamp, clamp, clamp  ;D

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3/8" playwood backing clamped on the edges and screwed in the middle to hold it flat. (Some of my free wood comes a bit warped.)

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Look a TARDIS table  :P

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Next I made a couple of corners to get an idea of the width of the box.

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Because I was not using any plans there was a lot of test fitting done to get the measurement for the base.

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I found this beautiful piece of 3/4" plywood at work in the scrap bin. I remember calling my brother to say that it is actually 1/16" wider... or shorter on the inside of the base frame and that I could not remember what side was smaller or larger and made a guess when I cut the floor board at work. I was grinning when it fit in the base frame perfectly. Too bad this piece of wood will be unseen.

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I cut some spacers to help wedge the corners into place. After squaring everything up I measured for the roof frame.

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More test fitting to make sure all the sides of the roof tiers fit nicely, because I am using recycled boards and I do not have a thickness planer I just measured the boards to fit inside of each other.

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another test fit for the 3rd level, lets hold up a corner and dream of it being done.

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I glued and screwed the the 3 roof tiers with pocket screws as 3 frames first then fit them together using 1"x2" blocks for the offset height.

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For the actual roof top and the angle of it I used an old cardboard box to make a template, I liked this angle even though I know some were more flat. Adric laying on top of the TARDIS while measuring came to mind.

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With 4 slightly different internal measurements on the top tier the 4 roof panels just would not sit right.

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So I made a ledge for the outside edges of the roof to sit on and copying the cardboard mockup I used cut offs for the corners to make a center box to sit the middle of the roof trapezoids on and everything just fell into place.

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With the roof fitted I glued it in place and put some weight on it to ensure it stayed put. My son helped, when I was looking for something heavy to place on top he ran into the house and back out in to the garage again with his toy yelling dump trucks are heavy daddy,  ;D Brilliant!

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Time for a test fit of everything up to this point... Insert big silly grin here ----->_______

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It was at this point I noticed something was missing, the pull to open door frame.

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After making this small frame and test fitting it and noticing that it was too thick did I do what any sensible person would do and make a new frame, or cut out the entire board behind the pull to open frame?

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... of course not! I trimmed off 1/4" from the back and 1/8" from the front.

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A little bit of filler to fix the knot that shot out and was never to be seen again, oops! :-[

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I was attempting to make my own sign when a friend emailed me this one. I told him I think it's missing an 'S', oh and thanks!
Now to decide if it should be white or blue? hmmmm... later!

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Window frames! I cut (and trimmed) my own door frame, I can cut my own 1/4" square window frames right! How hard can it be... Yah that was one of the hardest parts so far.

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I am nothing if not persistent or foolish, you decide.  :-\

More to come!


Hello Ian  (its a good name, Ian!)

Your box is looking good so far.  Also looks like some decent 'free' wood.

Fresnel sizes vary.  Matt Sanders' plans say Crich box's Fresnel was about 8" wide and 6" tall.  Mike Verta's measurements have the 1980's Tardis' lens at 6" wide and 5 1/4" tall.   So maybe you want a lens which is about 51mm to 67mm wide, and 44mm to 51mm tall?

Last Christmas my wife was looking in Tesco's 'sale' section and found a Soy Sauce set for about £1.  A bottle of Soy is a lot more than that!    Anyway.. it included a condiment pot.. which I thought looks rather like a little Fresnel!   So I rescued it from the bin and its been living in my Tard.


Its 70mm in diameter and 70mm tall with the lid on.


But if you take the lid off, turn it upside down and set it into the roof, it could be 52mm tall.


If you don't manage to find a suitable jar, I'd send you this. But I guess you are in the US, and international postage has become astronomical these last few years!


Captain Ian

Hello Ian, awesome name by the way ;D

Thank you for having a look at my build.

Your TARDIS cabinet looks amazing, I don't know how to navigate this site yet, do you have a link to your build?

Thank you for your offer, I will keep it in mind. I have family in London, I am in British Columbia, Canada.



Hello and thank you!

You can find all the Police Box Builds in this section..  Mine's the Oak one, about 10 down.


[ps.. when you post Build updates, if you click 'REPLY' near the bottom of the page it will help the flow of the page.  Pictures popped into a previous post aren't as likely to be seen as it won't appear as a new post. :) ]