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Volpone's TARDIS build...

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

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superrichi1a

Every time I see this it looks more unrecognisable and more astonishing, this time it's the windows that have really pushed it over another milestone! Brilliant :)
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

Thanks.  I'm at a problem stage in the build.  Now there is lots of fiddly little stuff to do that doesn't pay off right away and I'm tempted to cut corners to see progress.  Also, I'm a bit overextended.  Have to go to work in a half hour or so but I also have to stop and do some work on the lamp to finish it up right.  Problem is, I'll be tempted to go "since I've got the ladder out..." and there isn't remotely time for that. 

I also need to pause again and tidy up the stuff I've been rummaging through and leaving lie as I'm going. 

Finally, I need to change plans as conditions change.  I'd decided to do my detail work because the weather was too wet to do the finish work on the hull.  Now the weather is nice but if I start working on the hull I take a step backwards in seeing things come together.  She'll start to go from her wonderful blue to grey and patchy.  Ah well, tomorrow I'll likely break out the thinset and see if it is still usable after all this time.  I'll stick up a couple more pictures tomorrow morning regardless. 
"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

Well my plan for the lamp, while novel, failed horribly.  I made a standard box out of 1x2s.  Then I found a couple pieces of galvanized duct flashing at the hardware store, formed them over the frame and siliconed them together.  Then the glass chimney rests on a galvanized collar.  My cover, which is built out of a cheap plastic plate and a big solar garden lamp sits on the dowels with a 1/4" gap or so to allow ventilation without allowing water intrusion.  The plan was to stick my dowels to the cover with adhesive foam pads and then stick little bits of magnet to the bottom of the dowels to hold them to the metal base.  The problem is the adhesive on both ends is too weak to support the cover so it leans and wobbles.  Since I was running late for work I just shimmed it with some wood I had handy. 

Then I actually got off work early enough to hopefully see my phone panel and front windows lit up.  But whether the leaves on the trees are thick enough now to prevent full charging or the thing just isn't bright enough, the effect was disappointing.  I might cut out a couple more windows just because I can, but for now that's on the back burner.

Top signs didn't come out as well as I'd hoped either.  I made some miscalculation on trimming them and wound up having to use the blue spray paint after all.  The paint actually looks OK.  But at this point the paint on the signs is so thick there is no way they will be backlit.  I might still cut the holes so I can light the thing up with a lantern or something, but the idea of it being lit by the solar accent lamp is sadly falling down. 

Well, I tidied up around the place, so now time to get some sleep.  Today is supposed to be nice so I'd like to make a big dent in the "plastering" so I can possibly paint Friday. 
"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

Fate, Fortune, and Life is cruel.  5 days of beautiful weather after a couple weeks of rain--right when I'm at work.  Managed to get some prep work done yesterday in hope of painting today.  I didn't.  I got some waterproofing done and was ready to break out the thinset for texturing when I realized it was time to go to work.  Today I'd hoped to take a 4 hour nap and then do my texturing so that I could paint early tomorrow.  But the sleep forgone the day before to work TARDIS precluded a 4 hour nap. 

After a respectable 7 hours or so, I got up to take The Dog for her walk.  Then I got out the ladder and an assortment of knives and saws to trim the styrofoam spray from the day before.  After that came a coat of rubber roof "paint".  Heavy goopy stuff.  By the time I was done with that, clouds were threatening so I decided to cut the holes for the top sign lighting.  That took a lot longer than planned and even after modifying the plan to just make one big hole instead of two smaller holes on each side, I'd only drilled my end holes.  I didn't manage to get out the buzzsaw and cut away the bit between them. 

I did redo my signs.  Now I need to paste them back onto the plexi.  I may even get them up this weekend.  Not that it matters.  We're looking at rain all weekend--and probably next weekend--so who knows when I'll actually get to paint.  Anyway, a couple photos:

20140502_184924.jpg
This is what drilling the holes looks like.
20140502_184936.jpg
And here's a side, all drilled.  Then I zip between them with the buzzsaw and I'm ready to mount my signs. 

Tonight I was happy to see that even my meager signal lamp LED provides a subtle glow to the windows.  I guess I'll have time to bang out a couple more windows, waiting for a chance to finish up.  Because it is raining as I type this. 
"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

May 03, 2014, 05:37 am #94 Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 05:37 am by galacticprobe
That's a lot of work going into the "battered blue box", but it will all be worth it in the end. She's coming along nicely. And I can see how those trees could interfere with the solar panel charging the lights. She might be a bit dim during the summer months, but just think of how bright she'll look in the fall and winter, and early spring when there are no leaves on the trees. That will be something nice to come home to on a cold winter night after a hard day's work: seeing a brightly lit, fully solar-recharged TARDIS!

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

Volpone

It is getting to be a grueling odyssey at this point. I had my top signs ready to go up.  But if I wanted them to ever light up, first I should do the cutouts for lighting.  Now that is done, but before I put the glass in I should paint the insides silver.  Do I need to?  No.  But anything that helps reflect and amplify light helps.  And paint would protect against rot too.  I can't do it after the glass is in because if I use spray paint, I'd just paint the glass. 

But I don't feel like changing out of Sunday clothes during a break in the rain and having worked with paint--spray or otherwise--I know that I will get some paint on whatever I'm wearing, no matter how careful I am.  Eh, it is just as well.  If I tried to put up the signs on a wet day like today I don't think even silicone would make a decent seal and then I'd have water problems. 

Ah well.  Got to have a quick nap and then go walk the dog.  House needs to be cleaned and bills and e-mails done.  But if there is some time, I may have a go at the top signs. 
"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

Got top signs on this weekend.  The weather is being cruel.  It gets nice during the week and then it rains on the weekend.  I was going to content myself with refitting the windows and doing the cutouts for the topsigns on the interior but it was so nice today that I couldn't resist and started to "frost" her. 

The premixed thinset I bought 3-4 years ago was, amazingly, still good.  I diligently read the instructions--that pretty much told me the stuff was completely not designed for what I was going to use it for.  I went ahead anyway.  Even if it comes off, it will give me a nice Artex look. 

I got the hang of plastering it but the next challenge was that I have a finite amount of thinset and I don't want to do an amazing job on 1/4 of the TARDIS and then have the other 3 sides not done, so I've had to triage my work.  First priority is beveling the panels and the base to improve water runoff.  Then the tops of the signs and corner posts for the same reason.  Then I need to hide some of the woodgrain on the topsigns and corner posts and also add some detail to the "quarter rounds".  If there's some left over after all that, I just start frosting the bugger. 

The problem is time.  I've got a meeting before work today and it is supposed to rain Thursday.  That means I need to go to sleep in a couple minutes and finish up with the thinset in, like, 2 hours today if I'm going to paint Wednesday.  Should be tough.  And now some pictures: 
20140505_154404.jpg
Topsigns on
20140505_174736.jpg
"frosting"  (Since the door would be wood, I won't be coating that in thinset.)
"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

May 06, 2014, 05:17 pm #97 Last Edit: May 06, 2014, 05:19 pm by galacticprobe
In that second photo, between that "frosting" and the way the light is hitting her through the leaves, she almost looks like she's been through the Time War! But her overall look is very good. Quite Hartnell-esque at the moment.

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

Volpone

Pretty much done with "frosting".  Got the panels beveled and 2/3 of the base beveled.  And some cracks and knots.  I have just enough thinset to maybe plaster over some screw heads.  I've also got a smaller pail of sanded grout that I may try to use up somewhere.  I wish I hadn't run out of thinset before plastering the top--and the topsigns.  The facades to the corner posts are a problem too.  I was hoping to plaster to hide the wood grain.  I guess I'd better break out the sander and see if I can knock the grain down a bit. 

Starting to get a bit nervous about how much paint I have left too.  The worst case plan was to just mix the navy blue and the existing blue.  That would guarantee enough to cover but I think I'd just have a compromise that would be unsatisfying--too dark to be an early Met box or familiar TARDIS and too light to be a proper Hartnell/late Met box.  We'll see how it shakes out.  Push comes to shove, since I didn't have as much mortar as I thought I did, I may just do some spot paint work.  Again, I'm 99.5% sure I'm going to fly in the face of her Brachaki origins and go with light blue with blue trim, but I do want to do at least one side dark blue to see how it looks. 

Pictures in the next 24 hours or so. 

Once I've got her painted ahead of the rain (knock on wood), I've still got to put "hinges" on the phone panel, cut out the backs of the areas behind the top signs, and cut out the rest of the windows (and of course put the window trim back on. 
"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

Still got 2 sides, & then the finish coat, but here's a side in 1963 colors:20140507_174533.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.

galacticprobe

May 08, 2014, 03:05 pm #100 Last Edit: May 08, 2014, 03:05 pm by galacticprobe
To help people from straining their necks:
Volpone-TARDIS.jpg
;) She is looking better and better with every photo!

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

superrichi1a

^ What he (and my neck) said ;)
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

Not much to report.  Got my dark blue finished before the rains came--although the rain washed the paint off the base on the last two sides and had some weathering effects.  Today I cut out another window.  I just zap them out with a utility knife.  About 3-4 passes on the plywood and I'm through.  A jigsaw might be faster and less tiring but such is life. 

I looked up the lighting on the Met boxes in the other forum here and it calls for a 100 watt bulb.  A handy watt to lumens calculator I found gave me a rating of around 1,000-1,500 lumens.  The local store had a lantern that put out 350 lumens for $30 so I picked it up.  Works like a charm.  In fact the highest setting is too bright for my tastes.  For that matter the lowest setting is awfully bright but I'm not taking it back.  Now I've got to cut out the back sides of my top signs.  I could probably do that with the utility knife as well, but I may just break out the power tools...
"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

Consumables are the worst part of a build.  They nickel and dime you to death without you noticing it.  Doing the windows and I burned through a tube of silicone caulk in an afternoon.  I should probably buy another tube but it's getting ridiculous...you know, I just realized I used 2 gallons of paint initially.  I was all set to complain about how my initial gallon of paint has lasted forever so I only bought a quart of dark blue, got half done, wound up buying another quart and almost running out on that.  Now I realize I did use up my first gallon so I had to get another gallon.  Crud.  I'm going to need to get more of the light blue before I'm done. 

I wanted to reuse the last Pull to Open sign but it looks terrible behind the plexiglass and moisture got into it so I did a new one up on transparency from Scarfwearer's thread and I'm really excited with how that turned out. 

What else?  Oh, how do you waste a Sunday?  Yesterday I got back from church; had a bite at a burger joint on the way home so I could hit the ground running.  The plan was to bang out a window before taking The Dog to the 1,000 acre dog park near my place.  I managed to snap a piece of trim right off the bat so I headed to the garage with my utility knife to cut a new piece.  Then I spent 15 minutes rummaging around before I remembered where I put my leftover trim.  Next I spent 10 minutes retracing my steps to find out where I set my utility knife down.  Then I broke the plastic window "glass."  At this point I don't have enough scrap to replace a whole window so I had to make a new one from two pieces. 

After that things went fairly smoothly until it was time to clean up.  Now that I have actual semitransparent windows I could see some of my junk in the new window so I stopped to tidy the interior up a bit.  Just as I was finishing up I felt my ring slip off my finger--not a wedding ring or anything but a fairly neat ring.  So I cleared everything out of that part of the TARDIS so I could look for it.  It wasn't there so, obviously, it managed to fall under the floorboard.  That meant I needed to take everything out of the TARDIS so I could pull up the floor.  That wasn't in the plan for the day but I had to do it anyhow to fix the drainage under the TARDIS. 

Once everything was piled outside I ran a screw into the back of the floor, tied a cord to it, and ran the cord over the rafters.  Then, standing outside, I hoisted the back of the floor up while trying not to get it wedged against the partly open door.  I got that done, pulled up the subfloor and vaporbarrier, found the ring, monkeyed with the slope of the ground under the TARDIS, put the subfloor back in, lowered the floor back into place and started putting stuff back.  Then I realized I hadn't put the vapor barrier back so I had to take everything apart again to put that in.  I finally got the floor back together and got everything packed back into the TARDIS.  My 45 minute project wound up taking around 4 hours. 

What's left?  2 more windows, cutting the topsigns on the inside, putting "hinges" on my phone panel, a bit more caulking, the final coat of paint (for now), and possibly some weathering.  Pictures when there's something worth documenting. 
"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

May 13, 2014, 04:48 am #104 Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 04:48 am by galacticprobe
I can remember days like that when I was working on radars, even one of those days during OpSail 2000 in Norfolk, VA when I spent 3 days (what was supposed to be 3 hours) aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle trying to get her radar working. This was not a technician-friendly radar and you had to tear the entire thing apart just to get at anything, and then put it all back together to test it, only to find that what you thought wasn't the problem, and then had to start the process all over again.

I missed the whole of that OpSail, though my wife did enjoy it, and bought me a "T" shirt with the event logo on it. And yes, during this PITA of an endeavor I also managed to drop a ring - in this case it was a wedding ring! - and it fell somewhere inside the radar just as I was putting the top cover on it. Pulled the fracking thing apart to get my ring out, and the ring wasn't there. Went through a cable opening in the bottom of the radar cabinet and the only way to get at it was too disconnect about a thousand wires (literally) and unbolt the radar cabinet from the deck. Wasn't going to happen. (Ended up getting a new wedding ring and thankfully the place where I got the lost one still had the same ones, so it was an exact replacement.)

I feel your pain, volpone. It's as if Murphy sees us in a vulnerable state - that is, having a simple thing planned to get it out of the way so we can enjoy the rest of the day, or weekend - and pounces on us, taking full advantage of those vulnerabilities just to make us miserable.

Brave heart, volpone! It can only get better.

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