Mobius's Baroque Victorian French steampunk art-nouveau closet Tardis build

Started by mobius, Dec 16, 2012, 10:50 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


Satyrday and tho I ended up having to work, plumbing, I got some stuff done.
peeled the blue masking tape off my brass plated radiator grill for my vents to discover it didn't work and the white spray paint for the inside, bled all over the bloody place. I can spray the brass side with copper or gold paint I suppose, but don't want that colour to bleed inside either, I'll have to experiment. that stuff is not cheap, and I am trying to keep costs down so, we'll see. I considered getting more of the same pattern and doubling it up, but could only find that pattern in a large sheet for over 30 bob and I don't need that much.
spray disaster.jpg

dragged the walls into another rooom and attached them to each other at the top with some temporary pieces so I could attach the doors, determine the specs for the next levels above, etc.
attaching doors.jpg

went to home creepo and bought some hinges you aren't supposed to have to mortise, but I will have to mortise the heck out of them anyway as I have huge gaps. they had some super fancy hinges but those were $12 a piece, I spent about $6 for 4 white ones, I want white for the inside, tho I will painting most of the hinge  blue, the cylindrical bit which will show from inside on the inside, should be white so it doesn't stand out.
this was a pretty magical day
i haz box.jpg

the horizontal shadows are cast by the cage on my halogen work light. kept getting dust in the picture when I used a flash.
IT'S A TARDIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

once I had this much assembled I just wanted to stare at it for hours. I am so excited and can't wait to finish this, but have to take my time. always a matter of time for time lords eh?

I am really digging the front mullion being just blue now so gonna leave it that way for now. the black rubber mat is just for my workshop floor, won't be inside the box which will be in the attic once complete. interesting idea about the rosettes Volpone, but I like how they remind me of roundels, there will be, if I follow my plans more rosettes in the next level up actually, smaller ones. I thought about making the inside look like the wooden console room with the stained glass, etc, but the room it leads into is already semi-gloss white. still on the fence a little about the interior treatment of the box, but more concerned about the outside currently. I just know for sure I want the inside smooth and professional looking, and with no dangerous sharp bits.

very glad some people are taking an interest and enjoying this build. I appreciate your ideas even if I don't end up using them. also considering starting another build thread for the cellar loo door, which is getting bluer by the day. probably I should wait though. I'm a busy man. places to go, things to do! I like lots of people but I can't go carting them all around the universe with me, good day!
It's always a matter of time...


why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.


captain's log, stardate, uhh... 03232014 sunday had to work a little today, some volunteer work, but still made a little progress

view from inside -those are knots in the upper corner there. not going to fill them.

I prefer not to paint wood in general, but in this case I will. if I could start over I would have put more thought into what the inside was going to look like, and might have gone with finished stained wood, ala the wooden console room, but I used some materials that were already primed, and chipped some of the veneer off the Lauan with the jig saw when cutting window holes, so, ce la vie.

another pre painted interior view

I don't love mortising, especially for hinges that are specifically designed so you "don't have to". d: boy did I have to.

I closed the doors once I had my hinges sufficiently mortised into the frame and doors, and saw light at the hinge sides coming through. that simply will not do! (wouldn't be cricket!), I should have included in my plan view (overhead view) on my blueprint, allowing for the doors to be set slightly behind the casing -er, as in a real proper door, so as to avoid light leakage, and made them wider to accommodate this issue. in my defense I was considering hinges which could swing in or out in case I needed to open them outward for some reason, moving furniture or something. anyway, I needed to pad out the posts by about a shy 8th" or less, looked in a corner and found 2 pieces of particle board, cut offs from the stiles, exactly 3/4" by 72" or whatever the height is, in any case precisely what I needed! (I have this luck sometimes, always seem to find the exact obscure scrap I need for something. particle board is pretty rough though.


(notice the ridiculous butterfly mortise I did there) anyway so I poked my head back into that corner of the lab and found, lo and behold, 2 more pieces of scrap of EXACTLY the dimensions I needed, only these were cut-off from nice rounded finished plywood, smooth and perfect, exactly what I needed! I glued them on with wood glue, clamped in place with painters tape, then added some copper coated brads I had lying around as the glue wasn't going to do it really. pre-drilled at the top and bottom after splitting one, very thin stuff. tomorrow I have to put a fine bead of caulk in the gap to smooth it over. and then paint them blue.


left door open 90 degrees, I have 3 and 3/8" from the door to the wall, in which to put my phone chamber. I may set it inside the door, which is 1.5" thick, so I can screw it into the door and avoid L-brackets. I plan a 1/4" Lauan back panel, which will be hinged and latched so I can open it from inside to use the phone from inside the Tardis. going to mount an RJ-11 (standard) phone jack inside the box, and run the wire out the back of the build to another plug. ( I used to work for a phone company but anyone could wire a phone jack.) oh, glad Dave found my missing phone cable tacker whilst helping unpack the shop. stapler with U shaped staples for phone wires specifically, I don't need it too often these days, but didn't want to buy another one.


I was going to use Tuff-board ( white semi plastic wood substitute) for the walls of the phone chamber, since I have some, but then I thought, what if I want to make it finished wood inside? I have some maple bead-board left from the kitchen upstairs, I need some for the loo closet door, (more on that elsewhere soon) but have more than enough. maple is heavy though. I decided not to decide yet. will probably go with plywood, more versatile. I think I will probably want the inside of the phone chamber to look fancy and antiqued, even tho the phone I have is a transparent slim line, you can see all the circuitry and LEDs light up when it rings. hopefully I can find the wall mount for it. hopefully. :/  otherwise I'll make one. nothing can stop me bwahaha etc.


so after that I spent some time sitting inside mulling over what to do with the inside, I decided to paint it white, cracked open a can of something called "montgomery white" which is actually more like a french vanilla colour, but it's eco-spec, B Moore low VOC formula, and for some reason I have 2 gallons of it so it'll do as a primer. later I decided I would put 15 roundels inside. they're going to be smaller than standard, and not light up, I can probably use some kind of plastic plates.

It's always a matter of time...


She's looking pretty sturdy, and nice. That little bit of extra "trim" on the doors will just add a little extra character: that is, if anyone even notices it once that bit has been all painted. As sillysparrowness said in her video, "Everything looks good when it's covered in paint."

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


What type of roof are planing on putting on her, looks like you do not have much room, but must say looking gooood.
Dale :)
"In 900 years of time and space, I've never met anyone who wasn't important"


captain's log, stardate, uhh... 03252014

got some stuff done today, so near yet so far. I started to feel like I will never finish, but then thought, look how far I've come! so just chug along and keep hacking away at it. was going to start on the signs but after making some adjustments to the doors (had to lower them a bit), realised I need to carefully review my blueprints before I start cutting wood and make sure they make sense. and that I understand them, and know which bits I should have crossed out because I kept revising my ideas.

at least I was clever enough to do this on the frame where the mortise is rectangular, not the door where it's odd shaped. was easy to move them down a little.

using blocks to consider options for sign construction and attachment
sign calc 1.jpg sign calc 2.jpg

cut the acetate and paper for the emblem and fitted them into the frame to see how they'd look on the door. might keep the frame copper. can always paint it later I suppose. going to use 2 thin pan head screws to affix it, so pre-drilled holes for those.

leaned the radiator grates up against some sheetrock and sprayed the brass side copper to hide the white that bled through, aaaaand it worked! the Zigma experiment was a success, a complete success bwahahahahahaaaa! barely any copper came through onto the white side. still some brass showing but that's neat actually. another happy accident.
zigma yay.jpg

cut and attached the "steps", that is to say some screen moulding that represents them in about 3/4" because I don't have the height to do it properly. also I had some of this lying around. I like it. have to paint it. used the thin particle board scrap mentioned in our last episode, to shim out the steps a bit so they'd stick out further than the central stiles (mullions)

jammed the window frames in place for a pic just for fun. I figured out how to affix them, pre-drill and nail on the top and bottom only, there will be enough room to swing a hammer on the vertical axis.
frameset test.jpg

decided to make the phone box today so the first thing I did was rip a piece of plywood to 1/4" wider than I needed, and rip a notch in it so it can sit against the inside of the door, but also be nailed into the door .

misread my notes and made the horizontals a little short, but had some notched scrap left over so I glued and nailed it back on. had I drawn a detailed blueprint of this I might have realised there would be gaps in the corner, but I ended up filling them with rounded over wood salvaged from some weather stripping I'm very happy I saved, had to rip that down a hair, but it worked perfectly, yet another happy accident, I couldn't have planned that on purpose.
pc2.jpg pc3.jpg

caulked gaps inside, and here and there. attached the box and stained the inside, then I cut a back panel for it, rounded over the corners and stained that. the inside of the phone chamber will be natural dark wood with a glossy finish. there is already a hole right where I need it for the phone wire. kind of spooky really. the back panel will be hinged, I thought about what a pain it would be to chisel some mortises for the hinge into it now that it's already installed, since only 3 small nails hold it in, then I realised I could put the hinges on the outer corner, and use a pointy wood screw on the side, and nuts and bolts on the panel, which is thin, and drill a hole to receive the nut, rather than chisel. if that's not clear, photos will clarify it when I get to that phase. I was proud of another immensely clever solution to a problem.
pc5.jpg pc6.jpg

found I had a spray can of clear satin something, so I sprayed it on the window frames, fingers or tentacles crossed. it said "highly flammable" on the can, and there I had set up right next to the furnace, great.... no explosions, fortunately.
frames sprayed clear.jpg

in answer to questions, yes paint is very forgiving! that's why even though I hate painting wood, I love painted wood, so easy to patch.
the roof will be flat and stepped in several levels like a Mayan pyramid. the signs will be 6" high, and the roof 4" on top of that, I will have 4" above that til the ceiling, in which the lantern will show, the glass of the jelly jar will actually touch the ceiling, through a toroidal (donut shaped) bit, held up by 3 fancy bits of wood so it looks sort of like a normal one, only squished a bit. bulb will be change-able from underneath/inside.
It's always a matter of time...


I really love what you've done with that St. John logo! Brilliant idea for this particular build. Fits the Old Girl perfectly.

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


captain's log, stardate, uhh... 03262014

well this was a day, went to bed at 1130ish way early, woke at 230am and stayed awake. @_@ had to go to a meeting downtown at 7and take my dad to get an xray still made time after a recovery nap to do some work on the old bird. lets see what did I do?

went to my local hardware store, and I spied with my little eye, this, one of those door lens thingies so you can see who's there. might put one in. also considering the spring  ball bearing type latch below it for holding the doors closed. haven't decided yet.

I did pick up some hinges and fastneners for the phone chamber, here I figured out how to keep it as slim as possible, screws are buried in holes in the sides of the box so they don't show when it's closed and there was no other way to put screws through 1/4" plywood that would be secure enough. did the same trick on magnetic catch plates on the other end of it.
clever idea.jpg

grinding down 2 of the 4 spike corners on the plate the magnet grabs, 2 I left to do their job, the other edge of the plate floats tho and I didn't want anyone getting scratched on it.

had to remove the left door (popped the pins out of the hinges) to drive the screws into the right side of the phone box.

with the back panel shut from the front you can't tell it opens. goal achieved!

wrestled with how to attach a pull knob so I could open it easily from inside the Tardis, finally realised I didn't need a pull knob, just a place to get one's finger behind the panel

insert finger A into slot B

while I had the door off I flipped it and sanded an angle onto the bottom of the central stile which was hitting the threshhold and keeping the doors from closing all the way. it helped a little. might have more tweaking to do there.
mullion angled.jpg

door re-installed, not too shabby. you'd never know you could open the back of the phone chamber.
box backed.jpg

but just a gentle push on the right side and it opens up.


painted the front edge of the phone chamber after applying water based crappy polycrylic finish to the stained interior of the box

and painted the recently installed "steps" detail moulding at the top, as well as painted over yesterday's caulking.
steps painted.jpg
It's always a matter of time...


Looking good, and you have been working away like a mad man with a box
"In 900 years of time and space, I've never met anyone who wasn't important"


captain's log, stardate, uhh... 03272014

yet another update with lotsa pictures. I was told people like pictures. I like pictures.

can't remember now why I took this one. that's bad probably. look at this lovely phone chamber though! :D

was in a hardware store and this 5 gallon bucket lid caught my eye. future roundel? very possibly. those are about $2(US) a lid. I think they'd work for my box.

1st coat of white applied over primer to interior. makes it clear the primer was not particularly white.
327_3.jpg 327_4.jpg 327_5.jpg 327_6.jpg 327_20.jpg

phone box looks like a first aid kit now. d:

close up details of "nut pockets" in phone chamber side walls. I clamped another board to this one to drill without the drill slipping since I was past the edge.
327_7.jpg 327_8.jpg

interior of magnet catch plate

so I decided to see how this;

worked and put a piece of tape on one of my frames, alas, gold paint stuck to the tape.

so I put another coat of gold on all of them, a generous coat, and later another coat of the clear stuff. will do another coat of that tomorrow and try the tape test again before spraying the middles of them with copper.

this update to be continued momentarily, apparently I had too many pictures.


It's always a matter of time...


episode 3-27-14 part 2

I need more of these, but 1" for the window frames. (just a reminder to myself really. d: ) they're zinc but copper plated.

walking by with a frame in my hand I was struck by the impulse to see if it would fit in the phone box, which it did. looks like a kid's size call box! confusing!

predrilling the cherry window frames top and bottom only, with a 1/16" bit for the small copper nails which will hold it in place. have to predrill such a small piece, especially with hardwoods like cherry.

worked on the grills, decided to cut the frames for the inside, plan A had been screw the metal to the inside with screws, er, and then somehow attach a white frame to the inside to cover the rough edges. looking around for suitable material I found this weather stripping stuff I salvaged which I used part of for the corners of the phone chamber, and thought that'd do, then I realised there was a groove for a vinyl gasket. the metal would fit easily in there! another stroke of luck!
327_16.jpg 327_17.jpg

nailed the bottom 3 pieces of each on, used 2 brass pan head screws to put the tops on so they can be slid out if they ever need replacing or repainting, etc. 
327_18.jpg 327_19.jpg 327_21.jpg

couldn't get far enough to get the whole box in shot, so I tried a sideways panoramic picture. the distortions are due to unsteadiness on my part. next time I'll use my camera and tripod instead of the phone. (an S4)

later in the evening I started patching the interior, covering screws and holes with joint compound, have to sand that and some parts will need more of that before another couple of coats of white paint can go on.


tomorrow I hope to put another coat of clear stuff on the frames, and maybe apply the copper, should be able to. also have to start prepping the area in the attic where this is going to ultimately materialise. also not sure how long I can keep my clients at bay who want me to work for them!
It's always a matter of time...


captain's log, stardate, uhh... 03282014

found my dremel tools the other day, which is good as I have 2 nails sticking in in the corner which I need to take down, they're out of the way but I can't abide them. also will use it to make 2 channels to receive the hinges of the phone chamber so I can open the left door a full 90 degrees again, presently the hinges in question hit the wall and keep it from opening as much as I want it to. the tops of the walls and doors are somewhat irregular so I have to belt sand them down to evenness, and am considering a steel bar as a header over the doors to hold the walls the correct distance from each other. actually I think I need to do that, the signs layer will hold the walls together, but won't necessarily keep them from slipping towards each other at the front if the doors are open. currently I have 3 plywood bars temporarily screwed in to the tops of the walls holding them together, and apart, but the whole thing leans if you push on it and has nearly toppled several times! also have to pad out the "feet" on the inside edge with some blocking. not strictly necessary structurally, but will look better I think and may help with the balance. no idea if the cellar floor is level, or the attic floor for that matter (less likely) where she will live ultimately. should probably check that out.

thought about window frame attachment today, initially thought I had to start from the inside out, first the interior framing, then the glass, then the frames and finally the front framing, leaving an 1/8" reveal of blue, but I can't swing a hammer if the glass or lexan is already in place, so I need to start from the outside in, first the gold frames set back an eight, then the cherry frames, not sure yet how I'll attach the gold bits actually. many will just stay in place via pressure fitting, but I need either fasteners or adhesive. -then the glass then whatever holds that in from the inside. and that part is something I can install later, once, the box is in its resting place upstairs. if I go with roundels, will wait to install them until it's in final position as well.

mail slot? hmm. forgot about that. still undecided.

at my local hardware store spotted these and thought to meself "what are those for?" then I realised. I really could have used these on my phone box hinges instead of nuts and bolts for which I had to drill receptacle pockets. still would have had to make a little room for these but very little and they look much nicer, oh well. not changing them now. perhaps this information will be useful to others interested in making phone boxes, even of a more orthodox design.
wish I had known about these.jpg

could not find 1" copper nails at my local store, so I bought brass ones, a little pricey, but I like to support the local store more than the big chain. also picked up the 2 brass screws I need for my medallion's frame. then went to home despot in search of a metal bar, they only had one at the local shop and it was nearly 30 bob.

there I looked into roundel options, here's a 5 gallon bucket lid, cheaper then the 2 gallon one for some reason. not too bad. could spray it white and use it.
bk roundel.jpg

2 gallon white lid, maybe too small
wh roundel.jpg

then I remembered these (actually I need one of these for a job) they're used on ceiling fixtures to make them look fancier, or hide big ugly holes, which is why I need one for one of my clients. this one isn't bad as a roundel
pricey roundel.jpg

this is for the royal console room! d:
too much.jpg

meanwhile back at the ranch I needed 6 pan-head screws to attach my aluminium bar over the doors, after drilling holes
need certain screws.jpg

when what do I spot on my bench, part of an ongoing organising project, a cup with 7 screws of exactly the type and size I needed, hoorah! (never throw ANYTHING away Harry!)
had just enough.jpg

metal bar attached, this holds the left and right walls apart, the correct distance from each other. one hopes.
tie plate header.jpg
a piece of wood works at the back end. but after driving 4 screws down into it, I realised I wouldn't have room to operate my drill with the low ceiling where this is to be assembled, could use a screwdriver, sonic or otherwise, but added 2 heavy duty L brackets underneath anyway.  
rear header.jpg

tried dremmeling, which was a waste of time and materials, ultimately chiselled 2 pockets in the left wall for the phone box hinges to sink into when the left door is open all the way. took quite a bit of doing really. cor blimey I wasted some time on this. should have just started with the chisel and knife. ended up removing all the Lauan (1/4" thick plywood) in 2 small rectangles. couldn't get a full 90 degree swing but it's very close, and satisfactory.
pv1.jpg pv2.jpg pv3.jpg pocketses.jpg

started to sand the joint compound patches then realised I could do that later when it's too late to make noise, so I thought I'd start on the phone box door, poked around looking for wood, and then spotted a hunk of plywood I could use, but then remembered I would have to use the router, which I like to avoid using, to make room for the glass to be in-set into it from behind. whereas if I use layers of thinner plywood glued together, I can just make each one the size I need, as I did with the octagonal hexagon for the emblem thingie. also debating the 1 and a half inch wide frame, I need it that wide to accomodate the latch I have and want to use there, but it's mighty thick and leaves a pretty small window for the pull to open sign. so I roughly sketched a bump-out for the latch in a thinner frame. not sure how good that would look. a solid 3/4" x 1.5" frame would be pretty unlikely to warp, but I don't know...
id hafta rout.jpg

stay tuned as we  blast off to adventure in the amazing year 400 billion! or tomorrow anyway.
It's always a matter of time...


saturday the 29th, had no time to work on the box, sadly. had to work and things. looking at my last photo, debating what to do about my phone box sign/panel, I want to use the fancy handle, but it requires a 1.5" wide frame, seems a bit fat, so I did a mock up of what it looks like in blue, with the text (not the final font, heck I don't even know what font this was) and it's not bad really. I think I can live with it. I can always make another if I don't like it come to think of it, so why the heck not try it out? the sign itself will be a tiny 7 by 10" approximately, rather small, but it's not lost in the wide frame, the ratio feels right.     
     I also had notions of putting a fancy ornate picture frame on it, but it would be interrupted by the fancy knob, I do have gold corners for it, that's fancy enough I think. they're rather too shiny though. have to do something about that. my sister makes jewelry, I could have her have it sent to her plater to get it antiqued.or maybe I could just bake them in a toaster oven for a while. soak them in lemon juice? or I could spray them copper d:
It's always a matter of time...


That PTO panel really doesn't look bad at all. And I think the font you used is "Times New Roman" (or at least it looks like it to me, but there are a few out there that have the same look). If you want to use the Hartnell PTO panel font, then you want either Perpetua, or Perpetua Titling: And here's the full thread:, and other quick references so you don't have to go digging:

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


What about using the swirly font from the St John Badge?