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New, New TardisBuilders!

1929 Trench build Tutukaka NZ

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

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Oor Wullie

Jan 24, 2023, 07:30 pm #225 Last Edit: Jan 24, 2023, 07:42 pm by Oor Wullie
Ah but this sawdust is H3.2. Nasty chemical preservatives. Off it goes to a toxic landfill.

In order to evade taxes, I laid about and then decided to advance the project a step. I marked the centre point of each sign box plate and the centre point of each acrylic sign (permanent marker actually remained marked), lined them up and measured for the actual butt block length and height. Used each sign to ward off variation as I cut the clear top sheet with a wiggly jigsaw.

The verdict is 207 mm across and 114 mm high with a 20 mm groove to take the sign ends in. The stock is 45 mm thick. The top and bottom were 22 mm grooves. Bit cautious about cutting short grooves with fingers above the blade, so I'll drag out the jig used for cutting those steps for the wall mullion tops. Jigs and clamps are finger-friendly friends.

But feeling better about cutting the butts today now I have real measurements. Plus the bandsaw is on a courier truck heading my way.

Oh yeah - the taxes. I earn zero in retirement but still have to sweat the data. NZ is more advanced than the US. They access the data and I don't have to lift a finger.

Oor Wullie

Jan 25, 2023, 03:30 am #226 Last Edit: Jan 25, 2023, 03:40 am by Oor Wullie
Progress on the sign boxes. Got the eight butt ends cut and dado grooved. Just the inner boxing and the in-cuts for around the columns and I get painting screwing and mounting. And, yes, I used my sliding fence jig and a clamp for the dados. To do it by hand along the fence could result in micro-second amputation should kickback occur. I talk about good safety practice a lot because you only get 10 fingers and two eyes. No hobby is worth risk taking.

With tier 1 roof already cut, I'm feeling good. Tier 2 is easy and tier three and the pyramid not so easy.


Oor Wullie

Jan 28, 2023, 07:00 am #227 Last Edit: Jan 28, 2023, 07:06 am by Oor Wullie
With the top and bottom sign box plates dadoed all the way across, I needed a solid face to screw the end butts in, so I cut some groove fillers and glued them in. Their a bit proud and I could just belt sand them flush, but I decided to get reaquainted with my cheapo hand plane. A lot more work and a bit chewy but good practice. I'll finish it off with a light sanding.

I also rip cut the inner boxing width but I haven't cross-cut them yet.

I marked out my cutouts as well but have the get the band saw together. Easier to hand saw but I gotta use the bandsaw for practice.

All for today. I also did a puppy poo pickup and, man, they poo a lot.

Oor Wullie


Dado filler strip and markup for cut-out

Oor Wullie

Jan 29, 2023, 02:02 am #229 Last Edit: Jan 29, 2023, 06:01 am by Oor Wullie
I had to go to town today for a certain kind of puppy food (for my sweetie - the puppy fosterer). While there I got a 1200x1200x 12 mm half sheet of ply for the roof pyramid. I had to take loads of them off the shelf to get to a nice clean one, free of knots on the back.

Driving to the supermarket after that, I solved the pyramid edge angle problem. I just don't trust any power saw for that kind of precision. So, to get the 11 degree edges, I'll get a router bit with a bearing on it and use scrap wood as my guide under the edge of the ply. Now to find an 11 degree chamfer bit. They seem to come standard at 11.25 degrees. I wonder about these odd bit sizes, there must be a reason. I'll keep searching for an 11. Oh I see, it's a divisor of 360 resulting in a 16 sided tube! So I wonder if the plan really means 11.25, a magic number?

Got home and she'd tidied the workshop. Actually a lot of clutter out of the workspace, not related to the TARDIS. But women love filing stuff in boxes. My saws and sander are now in a sealed box and I have to move the rototiller to get them out. At least that was the extent of the mental damage. Oh yeah, my clamps are in another box with a tarp I clamped down once, so clamps and tarps get filed together. Non- Whovian women really don't like our relationship with Idris, do they? Now I'm told it's too windy to sand, in case the pups get exposed. Nap time.

Oor Wullie

Feb 01, 2023, 01:10 am #230 Last Edit: Feb 01, 2023, 04:50 pm by Oor Wullie
BINGO! I found the easiest roof calculator at https://www.blocklayer.com/pyramid-calculator.

Only two variables needed, the base length and the desired slope. It calculates everything for you. Especially the hip angles where the triangles meet and the base bottom angle if you want it to sit flat.

I think the problem everyone has is starting with the apex square, rather than calculating for a pyramid and cutting the top off in drawing it on your plywood, to suit your apex block.

The plan I'm following said to cut a hip angle of 11 degrees which I didn't believe. Turns out, it's actually 7.8 degrees.

Saved money in not buying the 11.25 degree router bit and then screwing up a $50 half sheet of ply. It does mean I'll have to decide on a saw type, the mitre guide on the table saw, or the track plunge saw. Probably best to get the 90 degree cuts done first and then shave the join angles off. At least I'll have a sharp edge to saw the angle from.

Relieved and looking forward to making a decision on how the bottom of the pyramid sits on or in tier 3 roof.

But at least the calculations are a no brainer.

Here's a photo of the calculator's output for my inner-sitting 1076 mm base at 11 degrees slope. I'll run it for 12 degrees as well.


Oor Wullie

Feb 01, 2023, 08:23 pm #231 Last Edit: Feb 01, 2023, 11:16 pm by Oor Wullie
Have I ever got a to-do list:

DONE Sand the plate to butt fillers.

DONE Cut the roof tier 2 20 degree top angles.

DONE Cut the sign box inner boxing to length.

DONE (they differ between 1800 and 1823 but the diagonal of Tier 1 will be 1799, so two corners get some packing! At least the square will fit.) Measure the TARDIS diagonal post to post lengths each way to make sure the square of the roof will fit inside the square of the columns.

Glue up Tier 1 roof square.

Cut Tier two to fit inside Tier 1.

Take the hinge plate strips off the columns and raise them slighty to give me more clearance between doors and floor since 2 mm lino is going down. This should be easier than shifting the hinges yet again. Too many screw holes.

Once I'm happy with the door fit, get the handles and night latch lock on.

Get the rain baffle on the inside of the right door, shielding the gap between the doors. This means the right is primarily inward opening, although the current hinges are two-way.

Baffle a square inside the phone cabinet hatch and get the fold-up shelf in place.

DONE Decide on the pyramid attachment method to seat it on tier 3. I'm upping my slope to 15 degrees instead of 11. This lets the pyramid bottom sit on a double angled notch in Tier 3, the outside of which is angled at 15 degrees. I can then glue the notch and screw down into Tier 3. See photo below.

The lamp and windows are sub-projects for later.

General painting on all new pieces.

Whew! Should be a snap, eh?

Pic of the roof attachment drawing idea.


Oor Wullie

Feb 02, 2023, 05:37 am #232 Last Edit: Feb 02, 2023, 05:41 am by Oor Wullie
Zoinks! The diagonal of a 1280 square is 1810!

I had put in spacers between each pair of columns but I didn't put up diagonal spacers in an X to avoid a skewed parallelogram. So my 1800 and 1820 diagonal measurements make sense now. I have a slight skew. This will affect the roof pyramid, which can't bend to fit a skew.

Early ideas on a fix include putting the ratchet strap on the two long diagonal columns to see if it can be pulled into square. Then I could put in a diagonal 2x4 brace to hold the square but that will be a nuisance on getting the roofing on from inside, though only one cross brace on the current short diagonal is needed.

So my advice to my past self and future builders reading this is to get diagonal bracing up before the walls go on, as well as the four outer spacers.

The other way around it is to make Tier 1 smaller to suit the 1800 diagonal. That would be a 1272.8 square. Call it 1273, or 3.5 mm short each side. Some packing and the ornamental top-of-column trim would fix that.

I'll try the tension torquing method first but that is a lot of tension.I suppose the brace could be left in as an internal light holder.

Glad I haven't glued Tier 1 up yet.


Bondo/wood putty.  I'm trying to think if I've ever seen a build where the roof didn't wind up getting Bondo to fill gaps.  Maybe the fancy oak cabinet indoor TARDIS.  That's 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.

Oor Wullie

I'm thinking rubber stripping as a filler or cut wood shims. But reassuring to know I'm not alone in this problem. The idea of spacer bracing pre-walling is my advice. Now that I've gotten over the hurdle of how to build the roof pyramid, I ran into the next hurdle of fitting it to the top.

I also can't comprehend how anyone could lift a three tiered roof in place and fit it without a strain or hernia or falling off the ladder. I'm building mine as a three part installation, each tier going up separate after making sure they fit on the ground. I guess finally getting the lamp up is gonna feel like crowning a queen.


They say the reason manhole covers are round is so it is impossible to drop them down the hole.  TARDIS roofs are *not* round so, while you still have to lift it, you can do it from the inside.  Put the ladder inside the TARDIS, put the roof on an angle so it fits, bring it up the ladder and up over your head and then turn  it so that it is in position and step down on the ladder.  That said, I was thinking as I typed this and realized my original build was based on the 1963 box, so it only had 1 roof step.  Also, it was a lot lighter then, because I didn't fiberglass it until it had been there for several years. 
"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

Feb 05, 2023, 07:21 am #236 Last Edit: Feb 05, 2023, 07:24 am by Oor Wullie
Today's subject is the new bandsaw. My high school shop class has come back to me. Mr Biss taught us how to tune them. Man, I could sure use Mr Biss now.

This blade is wandering. I've had a session today to get it to perform, but not yet.

Alex Snodgrass has some good tutorials on Youtube.

Back to it tomorrow. I really want to use it to cut the squares out of the sign box plates. Might have to go low tech snd hand saw them but there is something about winning these little battles that makes being a Time Lord so much fun.

And thanks Volpone. I thought about getting the roof tiers up from inside. I'd rather do the crack filler coat of paint on the ladder than wrestling the whole mother up on one piece. We'll see.

Oor Wullie

Got the bandsaw working better based on Alex Snodgrass' expert tutorials. Set the notch of the teeth to the centre of yhe top tyre rather than centering the blade, get the guides as close to the blade without it hitting them. Twangy tension, and the push test is on the upward part of the blade on the left. Feed needs to be deliberate as a gentle feed sees the blade walk right. Haven't cut my parts as the day has been grey and I like to easily see what I'm doing. Tomorrow.

Then I spent way too much time trying to find an affordable Tom Bsker hat. Herbert Johnson in the UK supplied Tom with his three hats plus every movie hat you've ever seen. They did Indy Jones's hats which are similar to Tom's, being a Poet fedora. But they want 408 quid for a bespoke replica which is like a $1000 NZ hat!

The Village Hat Shop is the US has an officially licensed Indy hat range for like $60 a hat. The second photo is one that comes close to a 4th Doctor, if it only had another inch on the brim.



Like all things TARDIS, I keep looking.

Andrew Harvey

Love that hat.

  I had a girlfriend who lived in Amsterdam many many years ago. I went there and bought a nice (Black) fedora at an outdoor market for about twenty euros. I wore it until the weather shrank it and it started to fall apart! Loved that hat.
  I never knew that Tom baker's one was called a 'Poet' fedora. Makes sense though. Cant believe that price tag! Phew! They know how to make their money alright! My own favourite 'Tom' hat was the green one. Loved that grey frock coat and the funny golf shoes too. The Buccaneer boots were the best though.
  Glad the box is going well. Looking forward to seeing that roof!



Years and years ago, I got an Indy-style fedora from the Village Hat shop (or was it Hats In The Belfry?  Both have online stores) that turned out quite well.  The problem is the Indy hat and the 4th Doctor hat are the same hat (IMO).  But they're blocked totally differently.  Even if it wouldn't put wear and tear on the hat, I don't want to reblock it every time I change characters, so one day I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get a 4th Doctor hat.  (It looks like Hats In The Belfry has gone a lot more upscale since the last time I bought something from them.)
"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.