Jul 19, 2024, 11:11 am


New, New TardisBuilders!

1929 Trench build Tutukaka NZ

Started by Oor Wullie, Apr 06, 2022, 09:36 pm

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Oor Wullie

Time to start my box. I'm following Les Kenny's plan at https://www.buildeazy.com/london-police-box/ with plenty of modifications.

Got my timber for the base and columns plus a new Black and Decker table saw for the ripping.

Things I'll change include only using the outside column facade rather than the full posts in the plan. This allows full 1200 mm walls to be attached from the inside;
I'm incutting my door squares and then routing the angles rather than cutting all the stiles and rails. Makes the wall stronger;
I'm modifying the solid box signs to a hollow box to be lit from within and adding a telephone cabinet which the plan omits;
I'm going for a Crich style lamp which is a 6" lantern chimney from Vermont Lanterns. This will make the roof shorter to allow for a 10" base;
I want it functional with regards to electronics. Solar, remote control lights and phone charger, bluetooth sound and bluetooth telephone in the outer cabinet.

I found a local plastic place who blew a 6cm flanged clear plastic dome for the lamp. It's perfect. Photos later.


Sounds like you have got off to a good start.
Looking forward to seeing the pictures.  :)



Oor Wullie

Apr 09, 2022, 02:05 am #2 Last Edit: Apr 23, 2022, 09:51 am by Oor Wullie
Back from town on a sunny hot autumn Saturday. Had to renew my van's warrant of fitness and Toyota is near Mitre 10 hardware store. In at opening, I found a staff member to cross cut my 8 sheets of plywood and he was precise. The ply walls come up to the bottom of the sign boxes so I had him cut them to 2070 mm. Makes them lighter to move around, they fit in the van which is just too short for the full 2400 mm sheets, plus I kept the offcuts.

There is a timber shortage in NZ due to covid so I had to settle for two 9mm sheets per wall. 9 mm is pretty flimsy but hoping that the gluing together to 18 mm stiffens the wall up. At least this gauge is light to lift and saw through. I'm going to plunge saw my squares out. Cool technique for a mid sheet cut, putting the front edge of the circular saw plate angled down and slowly plunging the blade into the wood and following the line close to the corner and finising the cut with a hand saw. Best done from the opposite side to avoid tear through of the ply grain. Bit of regret that my wall styles and rails are only 9 mm thick and I'll have to test the router chamfer cut to make sure this cheap ply takes a clean edge for the inner square angles.

The doors are going to need some inside framing to strengthen them and to take the hinge plates.

Next I went to another hardware store who does more custom cutting and found two helpful staffers who got my wood cut quick. I got a joist for the middle of the base flooring and I got two 2x6 rails cut for my new adjustable height sawhorses which have a clamping channel at each end to take a 2" member to make a worktable high enough to recieve ripped stock off the table saw, using 2 of the wall sheets as a temporary table.

So I have all of the stock for the base, columns and the basic walls. Time to get sawing soon.

Got home to find two mail order items arrived: the call box sign decals ready for adhering to plexiglass and a magnetic digital inclinomter for getting any angles cut on the table saw true. Never trust the saw's gauge alone!

Since my decals are black background and clear letters, adhering on the back of the decal, I'm going to have to hunt down some semi-translucent backing plexi. I think I saw some opal white sheets in a shop. I have clear cover plexi I scored at $7 a length. I may wait til I'm ready to build the sign boxes before messing with the plexi and decals. I want to back-light the signs from a central light in the box.

So I'm feeling resourced-up and ready to start building soon.

Did you know that if you cut treated timber, it's best to paint seal the cuts as the wood inside the board is not as treated as the outside surface?

Oor Wullie

This is definitely growing into an obsession. I was looking to dress the interior with some fun stuff. Chair, hatrack, roundels, a third of a console.

Looking for antique chair replicas I happened upon this french chair. Too cool.


Oor Wullie

Ordered a hatrack which may arrive tomorrow. There's some good reviews of the four racks that were on the classic series. I chose white as in the Davison era and to keep it a bit sedate in the box in the left front quadrant. Still looking at chairs and don't fancy the Minoan highback so I'm picking my own. Found this classic Tig design which comes in navy blue. Tell me the seatback lines don't remind you of Toughton's intro graphics of the time- space squiggles. https://www.nood.co.nz/tig-chair-navy-107207-nvy-one 

The reason I'm putting a chair inside the right rear is to sit and gaze at the view of our valley out the open door.


Love a good hatstand.
Let's see some photos!


Oor Wullie

Apr 15, 2022, 12:13 am #6 Last Edit: Apr 19, 2022, 02:47 am by Oor Wullie
Pleasantly surprised to find that the properties of two way mirrors tick all my boxes. I want to have the full far and left wall lined with this mirror, making the interior visually four times bigger. Where the far left corners meet, I'll make 1 1/2 console panels so, when mirrored, they become a 6 panelled console in the mirrors.

Two way mirrors have the reflective coating on the outside, which means no glass width in the reflection to ruin the illusion! Tick one.

The also trasmit 50% light to the dark side, so if the box is lit bright at night, the two wall covered internally by mirror will have their windows and call box signs lit almost as well as those on the open right wall and the door side. Tick two. During the day, inside the unlit box, the daylight will shine into the box through the back of the mirror as through clear glass. Tick three.

The illusion is really cool. By putting roundels on the right and door walls, all eight illusion walls have them. Same for the fluted columns I may add the the two right corners and the front left corner. This  presents as eight columns in the illusion room.

The flooring hexagon around the console is the same as the console itself, both appearing full hex in the middle of the room. It looks great in the model I've made to test the ideas.

If I was richer than I am, I'd consider building an infinity mirror on the right wall. This is a standard mirror and spacer, LED lights in any pattern and a spacer followed by a two way mirror turned inwards. The wall appears as a darker glass when unlit but as infinity  lights when lit up inside. This would expand to all four illusion side walls. Not a TARDIS feature, but a mindblowing effect for the unsuspecting when the time rotor light is also activated. Let's see.

My one chair and hatrack becomes four each. The front doors also appear twice at the back of the illusion room and appear to enter the ships corridors to living quarters etc.

Mirrors will add a couple of hundred bucks to the build but too fun not to do. Anyone else done similar?


One guy built a magnificent oak* 1/2 TARDIS with a mirror wall behind it to make it look like a full TARDIS.

Other than that, a long while back someone built a model TARDIS...how did it work?  It had an interior but then it was at the end of an alley with some torches on the walls around it and it had mirrors in the diorama so it looked like you could see all the way around the TARDIS, but when you opened the doors there was a full-sized control room. 

Someone else did a model TARDIS with a...QR code(?) interior, so that you could see the interior if you held your smart phone in front of the open doors.

(We need GalacticProbe back, because I'm too lazy to try to find any of these builds but if he were here, he'd have links to them in this thread within 12 hours.) 

My TARDIS is presently parked about 15" from a shed.  And If I could figure out a clever way to use mirrors to hide the open space, I'd be sorely tempted to knock out the back wall, cut a hole in the shed wall, and then do the shed interior like a TARDIS.  But I don't have enough time, money, or skill to do that. 

*Shaped like a TARDIS, but finished like a fine cabinet. 
"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.

Oor Wullie

Apr 15, 2022, 09:27 am #8 Last Edit: Apr 15, 2022, 09:31 am by Oor Wullie
Thanks Vol. the QR phone visualiser sounds cool as does your future shed TARDIS interior.

I'm heavily in research phase instead of getting on with my building it. Like a carotid wallet bleed lol.

I'm looking at my time rotor and was trying to find a bluetooth light speaker to active the tube (and the virtual mirrored tubes).

But I happened upon Sound Control 3D Display Pickup Rhythm Light bars. Chargeable, miked and programmable off a phone app with some definite light pattern and colour patterns which would look cool. Most have a flat light face which wouldn't replicate in my mirrors but I found a 3-D version with the lights wrapping around a bit, which would serve the mirrors well. I almost don't even need a small tube inside the fishbowl, just this one 22.5 cm light column. I could play (de)materialisation clips off my phone and amp them with a Wonderboom speaker I already have. I'm not too fussed with an exact replica of a TR from the show, just something which will impress the grandkids and visitors. At $20 a column it's worth a shot, Plus I get four for one due to the mirrors. I'll have to read through this site fully as I guess everything has been tried. My lamp will also pulse shine down through a hole under the lens since I'm putting a solar LED with remote in the upper dome which is clear acrylic. So there will be a bit of light effect in addition to the rotor lights. This is too much fun.

Oor Wullie

It just occurred to me that my roundels on the door and right wall should be mirrored so as to get infinity effects from the mirrors they face. Though I like basic opaque white ones, these would be a trippy feature.

Oor Wullie

Ordered a TARDIS Type 40 Instruction Manual from Amazon, a used copy for NZD 19. Anyone read this interesting book? Hoping to get some more ideas of ad ons. Also ordered that navy chair with the Troughton intro graphic time vortex lines. A sale at one store ending led me to an even better sale at another store, so I nabbed it.

My honey is away for a few days this week so I intend to sort through my 8 sheets of plywood to choose the front and back sheets for each wall. They aren't a perfect finish so I can match up the best combo to maximise the profiles. Then I'll mark up the front sheets for cutting out the squares and the door cut. My 22.5 degree router bit hasn't arrived yet for the chamfered square edges but getting the holes cut out is a big step towards the walls. If I finish getting the table saw together, I'll get the base and column wood cut as well. Will be nice to see the components starting to take shape.

Don't know if I've said yet that The beading of the column angles is being done by cutting a square notch in each edge and gluing and nailing in 1/4 round trim since a big double flute beading router bit cost the same as all that trim wood and I'd only ever use it on this job.

Oor Wullie

I see that most builders sand everything to a smooth finish before painting but some also add weathering material before the final paint coat. As I like the feel of a weathered box like Hartnell's or Tennent's, I'm thinking of leaving some rough wood and seeing what a test bit looks like painted. Though I love the build of the Smith box, it's too clean and blue for my love of Hartnell. See how we go.

I noticed in the Easter Sea Devils show just passed that the TARDIS has two doors opening outwards when it's underwater on it's side, similar  to Smith popping out a double outward door when she's on her back. I really have to investigate two way hinges. I don't want hinge barrels on the outside but may have to to get inward snd outward versatility. I'm sure I've read a hinge section of this site.


For me, a TARDIS should always look weathered, battered & a bit rough & ready.

Makes it look much more interesting!!



Oor Wullie

Apr 19, 2022, 10:53 am #13 Last Edit: Apr 21, 2022, 03:22 am by Oor Wullie
No wonder the Doctor is bonkers. So many things to think about and so much time. I was looking again at telephones and only found old style handles which are bluetooth enabled to pair with a smart phone, say to take calls in the box if your phone is in the house. But there was only one full phone that did the same, it's too antique a style and it costs too much.

Then I came across rechargable bluetooth adapters, a little box you can plug into any phone jack and pair that old phone to your smart phone. Anything with a speaker really. The video I watched even showed than an old push button phone could be used to make calls via your smart phone. It even works using an old rotary dial phone so it should be possible to make and receive calls from the box. Another two things to buy!


That intrigues me, because I do have an old phone.  And my smart phone is so small that it can be annoying to talk on for extended periods. 
"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.