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Volpone's TARDIS build...

Started by Volpone, Nov 18, 2011, 10:44 pm

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Volpone

May 25, 2014, 05:27 pm #120 Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 05:31 pm by volpone
OK.  A few photos appropriate to a build (or at least renovation) diary (and one beauty shot for the thumbnail, hopefully):  
A couple looks at the ventilation:  
First, a look up into the beacon.  Not the best angle but I didn't feel like getting out the ladder.  There is maybe a 1/4" gap between the glass and the cap to allow air circulation while theoretically keeping moisture out.  I say theoretically because there was a puddle under it after the last torrential downpour.  I may implement safeguards against that.  If I can figure out what those safeguards are:
20140517_174018.jpg
This one's a better shot.  Ventilation under the top signs:
20140517_173926.jpg
A look at my light source:  $30 LED camp lantern.  I forget how many lumens it is.  In this picture it is stacked on top of the stuff I've got stored inside.  There is a foil "space" emergency blanket over said stuff both for water protection and to improve light reflection when I was thinking the puny solar LED in the beacon was going to light the signs and windows:
20140517_174034.jpg
What the heck, another artsy shot.  The blueprint for the Brachacki prop (probably from here), a blueprint of a Met box with measurements off the Crich (almost certainly from here), a photo of my box with Brachaki outline overlaid on it for planning the renovation, and (IIRC) the scale line drawing I did when I did the initial build (the square panels in it should have tipped me off that something was wrong):
20140414_135225.jpg
Oh, and the old door handle, which got moved inside when I put a bigger handle on the door (and realized it was tricky to open the door once you locked yourself inside.)

The phone "door" again because I don't think I talked about it last time.  1x2 frame, sanded and then covered with a paste of wood putty in an effort to make it look like the metal frame on actual boxes.  The "hinges" are 1 1/2"-ish bits of dowel that are wrapped with this rubber adhesive backed flashing I bought for a garage waterproofing project:
20140513_211042.jpg
And a gratuitous beauty shot:
20140518_194003.jpg
"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

I hesitated to share interior shots because she isn't nearly as pretty inside.  That said, the picture of the beacon also shows an unplanned part of my roof renovation.  When I got the beacon on, it was painfully apparent that it wasn't plumb, so I wound up shimming the roof with an assortment of boards. 

The lantern picture shows the cutouts for the signs from the inside.  It also hints at the old roof and shows the renovation.  Since I used 4x4 corners with the walls between them, when I put the roof on its corners were wider than the corner posts.  Since I wasn't too keen on the 2" roof step on the Brachaki I decided to "improve" it by making my roof step more like on a police box.  I killed both these birds by fastening scrap boards along the top of the plywood and having the roof on top of them.  For the renovation I took them out (hence the unpainted strip along the top of the wall) and notched the corners of my roof to let the 2x4 sit at the proper height.  Hopefully this will help with waterproofing as well (when combined with exterior waterproofing steps).  You can also see the backs of the windows. 

Also in evidence in the lantern picture:  The various mold, mildew and corruption that collects in an outdoor box in the Pacific Northwest (hopefully the renovation has mitigated some of this) as well as bits of the styrofoam plates I pasted up for the picture waaay back when I did the initial build. 
"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.

superrichi1a

Very creative hehe, I actually do love the way the windows look from the inside - the pattern creates a nice effect :) As for having messy interiors, you should have seen mine before I got fed up and did it up last year - at least yours stores things, mine had no excuse!
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?

Tempus Fugit

I have to say, I really quite admire the way you've turned this build around from a (hope you don't mind me saying this) amateurish but well-intentioned novelty to a really very nice looking late sixties Brachaki-ish prop. I think it looks gorgeous now. And also shows the journey of discovery you've been on with TARDIS building. It's actually very inspiring. Top job!

Volpone

Sort of a wrap-up of this phase:  Ahoy came out and did his proposal and she said "yes" :).  But to get ready I had to again clean all the junk out of her.  This gave me an opportunity to look at a spot that had some odd mold or mildew on it.  Started pulling at it with my fingers and ripped away a pretty substantial amount of rot.  I probed the rest of the interior for soft spots and cleaned up any more rot.  This all reinforced my decision to do the renovation.  The additional wood should help stabilize the rot and the improved ventilation and waterproofing should prevent more.  (I hope.) 

We've had light rains the past two days and I'm guardedly optimistic.  It will take a good month long downpour to really gauge how well the work turned out (as well as a season or two of expansions and contractions from temperature change). 

Even without basic maintenance, though, until I can figure out how to make it bigger on the inside and able to travel through time and space, the work is never done.  In the near term, I may tweak the weathering a bit.  I accidentally bought white silicone instead of clear so some of the windows look a bit funky until I can figure out a way to grunge them up just a hint.  And one thing that was amazing on the last paint job was some weathering I did with a spray bottle of diluted black paint.  It created a wonderful mottling that I wasn't able to duplicate this time around.  That and light spots on edges are on the agenda for weathering. 

Some day I may take the windows to the next level too.  I've had a couple ideas on hammered glass so one day I may put more accurate windows (but not for at least a year and actual opening ones on the back and sides is even farther off).  The other tempting thing would be an actual phone door and phone.  For that I'm thinking if I find the perfect piece of Tupperware...A somewhat shallow clear plastic box of just size with a hinged lid (preferably blue plastic) might be enough to send me to eBay in search of a pair of military surplus phones.  Put one in the TARDIS and the other in the garage or something. 

More likely is an attempt at console room walls.  I've got most of a can of spray foam for insulating and closing gaps.  I may build a hexagonal form with a 5 gallon tub lid in it and then spray the foam into it as a mold for as many roundels as I can crank out.  This is an adaptation of an idea I had to cast modular roundels in concrete.  But I should probably do some productive things first. 
"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

Torrential downpours the past couple days have given me a chance to check the workmanship during the refit.  My cornerposts are still a weak point.  I've got water intruding where the front left corner meets the wall and on the right side at the back.  I suspect it is pooling where the POLICE BOX sign meets the corner and working its way in there.  When I get dry weather and some time I'll have to ladder up and see if I can caulk and patch.   :-\
"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.

galacticprobe

Jun 28, 2014, 05:42 am #126 Last Edit: Jun 28, 2014, 05:42 am by galacticprobe
That weather sure is putting the Old Girl through her paces! At least this time you're staying on top of things, and you have some idea of where to look for the problems and how to go about solving them. (She still looks great!)

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Volpone

A nice reinforcement that TARDIS ownership requires continuous maintenance.  In the 2 months or so since the renovation we've had a spate of unseasonably hot and dry weather.  That got broken by a couple days of moderately heavy rain.  One of my leaks seems to have stabilized but the other one, there is still damp wood on the interior, but I haven't gotten around to getting out the ladder and getting up topside with the spray sealant. 

After walking the dog I had another look at that corner from the outside and notice a couple spots where the caulking was separating.  I also noticed fine cracks in the wood joints around the panels*.  Left unchecked, I'm going to have water intrusion and rot at those points. 

All this drives home the requirement for at least monthly inspections and quarterly preventative maintenance.  It also makes a really complex weathering paintjob a challenge because I'll be continually applying touch-up paint.  On the plus side, it means a much more organic weathering, as I can get my paint in quarts and vary the color just a bit each time I get it. 




*Again, my wooden garage door is an even better example of this.  In spite of my best efforts to seal it (OK, OK, my lazy, haphazard efforts), water gets in.  So when it is rainy, all the wood soaks up water and expands.  Then when it gets dry the wood shrinks back, breaking caulk joints and exposing more unpainted wood.  You can't fight entropy. 
"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.

superrichi1a

An account I think will resonate with most of us as an important truth!
Not to try to get too far into "How to weatherproof your TARDIS" or another similar thread - you mentioned about the rot? As a tip for anyone else reading this, SATURATE your wood in wood preservative! The same stuff you see used to paint fences and the like. (Well, two coats well brushed in is what I've used) I'm surprised I don't see this used more often, but on my TARDIS, despite many leaks, there is no rot or damage whatsoever to any of the wood I used the process on. Mainly, those pieces are still nearly as good as new, and all my problems spout from the parts of the roof I didn't use the process on, and the MDF I idiotically uses for the sides!
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?

Volpone

Quote from: superrichi1a on Jul 26, 2014, 04:42 pm
... As a tip for anyone else reading this, SATURATE your wood in wood preservative! The same stuff you see used to paint fences and the like. (Well, two coats well brushed in is what I've used) I'm surprised I don't see this used more often, but on my TARDIS, despite many leaks, there is no rot or damage whatsoever to any of the wood I used the process on. ...

It is rewarding when you do something right, isn't it?  I wish I'd heard this before putting everything together.  At this point I'm stuck with battling against rot for the life of my TARDIS.  That and providing enough exercise for a lab/border collie mutt, but that's another story. Time to lace up my sneakers because she keeps coming in here and giving me accusing looks.
"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.

superrichi1a

Haha, that it is! Well, actually no it's not, not when you do other things wrong and that cancels out and rare flashes of sense you have :P I'm battling warped MDF for the life of my TARDIS. And now I think about it, my Cavalier Spaniel is downstairs still awaiting the days walkies...
I think we're both in the same game here, and we'll be in it for a long time yet ;)
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?

Volpone

As it stands, the "To Do" list, in more or less order involves: 

Ladder up and attempt to defeat the last persistent leak. 
General caulking and patching.
Taking another shot at the magical mystical black spray wash I did on the old box that worked so well
Using wood glue and sawdust to hide the wood grain on the corner posts.
Adding a Met Box accurate "lip" to the top of the lamp housing. 
Adding a functional phone panel with "hotline" to my garage.
More Met Box accurate windows. 

That's about every thing I can think of beyond tearing her down to go for Met Box dimensions (that's another story).  And cosmetic stuff like adding the SJA badge and going with a 1963 paintjob (which I haven't ruled out.  (or just adding the SJA and making her a replica of the models.)). 
"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.

superrichi1a

Ooooooohh there's more! *leans forward in seat eagerly* I especially love your idea about a hotline to the garage. I admit to not understand what you mean when you say "lip" on the lamp top though...
I'm also curious - tear her down? Is that a possibility, after all you've done? :o I love this build! It would be a shame to see it replaced, ever! Having said that, do I detect the same strain in your tone that drives me to want to start from scratch and do a full-blooded a Tennant box? Like no matter how much I do to my current, whatever direction it goes in and no matter how much I love it, I'll still feel a irresistible pull toward that NST? I guess if so, we all really are the harshest critics of our own builds!
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?

Volpone

From the Crich photos in particular, I've realized that that rain cap on the lamp extends an inch or two down toward the lens instead of being a flat plate with a dome on top like mine (and many of the old series props).  If I add that sort of collar on the drip cap that would give me sockets to plug the legs that support the cap into for added stability. 

Speaking of the lens, since mine isn't actually a lens and uses a tiny LED built into the drip cap, that could also use some work.  I've toyed with filling in behind the glass chimney to thicken it out like a Fresnel (but cost and expansion will be a factor.  And I've toyed with putting some kind of nonfunctional lightbulb inside.  That shouldn't impede ventilation too much. 

Nope, I wouldn't dream of tearing her down at this point.  But after I finished the structural work I realized the walls are the same dimensions as the walls on a Met box.  The big differences are the added step to the roof, the greater roof slope, the corner posts don't extend above the POLICE BOX signs as far, the corner posts are significantly wider, the base is significantly taller, and there is the wider "kickplate" crossbar on the bottom of the walls/door (and of course the door opens outward.  Retrofitting all that would have been a huge pain in the bottom, but theoretically possible.  I'm glad I didn't think of it until after the renovation because there's no way I'd crack her open and undertake that at this point--even if cost wasn't a factor. 
"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.

galacticprobe

Aug 16, 2014, 06:13 am #134 Last Edit: Aug 16, 2014, 06:17 am by galacticprobe
I just realized... that last photo you posted looks like she's materialised in a corner of my back yard. And if she has, then she's materialised around my huge maple tree because the tree is gone! (Okay... I've just looked outside - with a bright torch/flashlight - and can't see anything TARDISy, but my maple is there, larger than life. Oh, and I saw some lightning; now I'm starting to hear thunder, so a storm is rolling in. Hopefully we won't glitch power until I'm done going through the posts.)

You've done a magnificent job on the renovation/restoration, volpone! So give it another try! Maybe next time you'll make it to my back yard. (If you do and I get to see this pretty Lady in person, I'll treat you to lunch!) ;D

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"