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Chicken Coop Tardis (2010 NST)

Started by daveninja, Mar 08, 2012, 04:29 pm

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Mar 08, 2012, 04:29 pm Last Edit: Aug 18, 2012, 10:35 pm by Scarfwearer
I kind of got the urge to build a tardis last year and I found this site and read all about other people's excellent builds. I had planned to build a tardis to be used as an outdoor garden tool shed but before I got around to it, we decided to pick up some hens (for eggs and as pets) and needed a coop. There was no way I was going to build a plan old boring coop after finding!
My wife read up about chickens and found that its good to have 4 sq feet pen hen for the coop and 10 sq feet of run space per hen. We planned on picking up 3 or 4, so we decided to go with 16sq feet coop and 40 sq feet run. 16 sq feet coop worked out great because then i could plan a tardis with 4' by 4' internal measurements and it would be close enough to the 2010 NST tardis. At first I figured the chickens' floor would be half way up but then later revised it to only be about 2 feet above the base. I read that some chickens like to roost up high. The 2 feet below the coop floor would be used for storage or food and wood shavings. I also decided to split the door so the storage area could be accessed without have to also open up the chicken part of the coop. So the bottom panel second of the doors will be separate doors (we'll see how this turns out :))

photo 1.JPG


Mar 08, 2012, 04:56 pm #1 Last Edit: Mar 08, 2012, 05:15 pm by daveninja
Plan changes from the real 2010 NST:
-doors will open out so i'm omitting the trim between the doors and columns/sign boxes.
-rough measurements due to limited wood sizes and "keeping it cheap"
-not going for the wood grain visible look; i plan to weatherproof and paint the crap out of this box


I cant seem to find an actual lumberyard in town so i'm limited to Home Depot and Lowes, which dont often have the best selection of wood. It seems like some sizes get picked through and all that are left are the junky warped pieces and they're system wont re-order new wood until like 90% is gone so the warped junk wood just sits there forever.

I started the build by making 3 square 4' x 4' pieces; one for the floor using 2x6s and a 5/8 piece of plywood, one for the chicken floor using 2x4s and plywood, and one for a flat roof using 2x4s and plywood. I then attached these to columns, each made from a 2x6 attached to a 2x4. this resulted in the column being 5.5" wide and 1.5" thick on the front and 5" wide and 1.5" thick on the sides (I just realized the difference now and it explains why i keep seeming to lose or gain and inch at spots). the 1.5" thickness (instead of around 2") screwed me up later on when the difference in depth between the columns and the trim on the door wasnt correct.
For the angle part of the base i picked up some 2x6 dry redwood boards and cut the angle (i used 45) with my skill saw. This was not easy but it came out looking pretty good. Later on i found out my table saw would cut at angles so that would have been much easier to use.
I think threw some plywood on the sides and cut out some windows, and you can see in this picture, the chicken door.

photo 2.JPG

I then pulled off one side and added the door panel trim. I used bondo to fill in gaps in the columns and elsewhere. I dont want it to rot or leak.

photo 3.JPG

I made a sign box. I cut grooves in the pieces so i can later slide in a plexiglass sign. Main problem here was how warped the wood was. I also bought some same sizes of the "not the cheapest" wood so i'll see if its straighter and maybe just do the sign boxes in the better quality wood. I have to pick up some plexiglass cut to the right size and see how (and if) it fits.

photo 4.JPG

Primed! at least part.

photo 5.JPG


Mar 08, 2012, 05:09 pm #2 Last Edit: Mar 08, 2012, 05:10 pm by daveninja
My goal for the angled part of the roof was to just get it close and then bondo/weatherproof the crap out of it. I'm in a little time crunch now because the chickens are 3 weeks old and will likely be needing to move from the brooder to the coop in a month or less. I figure if i get the back (which will be up against the back fence so it wont be seen) and the side of the coop that hooks on the run completed and painted, then i can get some friends to help me move the coop in to position and put the roof on. It will be much easier to attach and weatherproof the roof before i build the chicken run so the roof jumped in priority.

step 1
photo roof1.JPG

step 2
photo roof2.JPG

angled parts:
photo roof3.JPG

I got it pretty close last night with the undersides taped together with duct tape, so i glue 3 of the sides. the final side i'll have to push from the bottom and tack into place before gluing/bondo-ing it.


Looking Good Dave,

my guess is you'll grow to hate your chickens, as they spend their lives chewing, scratching and doing other chickeny things to your  build.

I have an old family recipe for great stuffing if it gets to that stage! ;Dchicken.jpg

is that insensitive?


My current plan does does not allow the chickens access to the outside of the target; we'll see how it ends up, though. :)

I bought some paint to try out on the back to see what it looks like Behr Sapphire Lace.
I got the roof pretty well shaped and bondo-ed and glued up. now just some rasping and sanding and smaller joint filling before i rubberize it, prime it, and paint it.

still havent figured out what i'm going to do for the lamp. I got a $5 jelly jar lamp at Lowes that i can get to look pretty close (top part will be off, though) but its a couple inches smaller than the real thing. I'll probably go with it for now, though


We're finally getting a touch of winter here and its been raining all week so no tardis work.

before the rain started I was able to get the roof patched up and sanded. I then sprayed a coat of "paintable rubberized undercoat" on it since i want to make it as waterproof as possible. The rubberizer is black and kind of bumpy but the primer coated it really well with one coat. I'm hoping the 2 or 3 coats of blue paint will smooth it out a little more. The roof came out looking better than I thought it would so i'm glad for that. Now i just have to hope the bases "squareness" matches that of the top of the tardis. if its not perfect, there is always more bondo and sanding available, haha.

My wife put two coats of paint on the back and side.

I bought clear 1/8" thick acrylic for the signs (cut to the correct measurements) and a couple 3/16 sheets to try out for windows. My plan for the windows is just glue or screw the wood frames to the large piece of plexiglass and then hinge it at the top


Mar 17, 2012, 05:40 am #6 Last Edit: Mar 17, 2012, 05:40 am by daveninja


thats gonna be one nice looking chicken coupe.


May 03, 2012, 03:33 pm #8 Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 03:36 pm by daveninja
I've done a lot of work on the tardis but havent updated this post in a long time. Here's what it looked like a couple weeks back. I've since made the bottom part of the doors, painted the left sign box and done some touch up work. my locksmith friend keeps forgetting to snag a Yale Nightlatch from his work (he says they have one they're never going to use).
The chickens have been living in it for about a month now. I think there is only one big leak currently but of course its in the back corner so i'll have to take the roof off the chicken run in order to get to it. I'm going to make the "pull to open" door have a window behind it so we can peek in on the chickens. the real windows are too high to be able to look through.



any chance of a picture of the hens doing their thing?


we have chickens.

and i'm a dr.who fan.

wife said no :(


Jun 27, 2012, 03:44 pm #11 Last Edit: Jun 27, 2012, 03:44 pm by galacticprobe
Quote from: mulla on Jun 27, 2012, 04:21 am
any chance of a picture of the hens doing their thing?

Trying to avoid any misinterpretation... I think he meant photos of the chickens walking about in the yard, or sitting on their eggs.

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


Aug 13, 2012, 06:34 pm #12 Last Edit: Aug 13, 2012, 06:35 pm by daveninja
SOrry for ignoring this thread so long. I visit the board every day or two and tell myself "I'll do an update once i have all the pictures ready" but thats been going on for months now, haha.

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behind the sign door is a plexiglass window so i can peak in on the chickens at night. the top signs and "wrong scale" top light are hooked to cheap solar lights/panels and light up at night.

I have two other windows ready to be attached (i use a hinge at the top so they can swing out and let air in). I have the white pieces for the last window ready and waiting to be glued on to the plexiglass. Then its just one last "Police box" sign, the road St Johns sign and touch ups. I'll take more pictures detailing the insides and the side with the egg doors along with the chickens going crazy.
The four hens (who should have been named Rose, Martha, Donna and Amy) started laying a few weeks back so now we're getting 3 or 4 eggs a day. lots of scrambled eggs and fritattas!aug2012.JPG


Just a quick night shot taken with my iphone camera. the front sign is lit by a solar string of 100 leds placed through a piece of peg board in the shape of the lettering. It was the brightest way i could make the sign using only cheap solar options. The light isnt defused enough so it doesnt look too good in person. but its bright!
the side sign is lit with a solar string of 50 led lights. the lights are aligned across the top and bottom and aimed toward the middle. it gives an more even light but is a lot less bright.
the top, besides using a undersized jelly jar, foregoes the "nipple" and instead uses a $5 solar garden light cap.  



That shot reminds me of the first Peter Cushin movie when Dr.Who takes Ian out to see TARDIS in the back yard. "you've invented a police box?".

Nice build Dave.