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New, New TardisBuilders!

A cheap and quick K-9 build (maybe)

Started by darth_baldrick, Feb 21, 2014, 11:37 pm

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Hi All,
So while the Tardis build sits waiting for the weather to sort itself out, I thought I'd have a go at building a K-9 (as you do).
Nothing too flash and fancy, doesn't need to move around or anything much like that as it's going to be sitting in the hallway at Halloween this year as the party is Doctor Who theme.

As I've said before in my Tardis diary, I have no woodwork skills (although a lot of saws for some reason) and very limited time, so this is only being done late at night for an hour or two in the lounge or conservatory.

I decided to use hardboard for the body as it's light, flexible and more importantly, cheap. But have splashed out on a piece of MDF for the base itself. whoo.

First night was a case of trying to decide on what to do, should I try and find proper plans, or just kind of copy a rough shape.
Well, with my have a go attitude, I spent about 30 seconds googling K-9, printed what looked like an easy design and decided to stuff that idea, I'll use my old Palitoy one as my guide!

Palitoy K-9.jpg

I'm not going to take it apart or anything, just it has a very simple look to it and hopefully, it'll be an easy thing to copy.
I got to see an original K-9 last year when I met Matt Irvine at a show (he signed my one) so I kind of know it needs to be fairly big, so I've gone for about 2 foot in height for the body (mainly as that's 2 rulers high plus the little space bit at each end!).
Everything is in inches, so there's hopefully no small cutting to do!



So in the space of one night, I had actually drawn and cut out his backside.
Not sure why I started that end mind you...   ;D


On the second day of K-9 my toolkit gave to me.....

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A drawn out front to go with the rear!  ;D

Really technical, held the cut out one on the board and drew round it, so it's roughly the same size without too much effort.  ;D

Another attack at the board with a Stanley knife to cut this out and....

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Now, I know it's hard to cut with a knife, but like I said, this is being done late at night and indoors, so I can't exactly start with a handsaw and wake up the missus or my 4 year old as I'll be in the dog house with K-9!



So this time an attempt at side number one. Easy enough it's a big bit.
Erm, no. As I suddenly thought how am I going to stick the back to the sides without too much work?

Out with a couple of sheet of card, a VERY roughly drawn K-9 back and side shape (I know why the back this time, as it had 3 folds, where the front is going to be pretty flat).


I did say it was rough!, just used the ruler width so I had some fold lines to work with to get the general idea.

This led me to decide the best option would be to do something similar with the hardboard, leave bits sticking out which I can score and fold over, glue a thin bit of wood or something inside to strengthen it and stop it falling apart after.

Hopefully you can see on this one what I was planning

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I've written fold on the wood itself so it shows up in the photos.

So far so good  :D


Feb 22, 2014, 12:07 am #3 Last Edit: Feb 22, 2014, 12:18 am by darth_baldrick
So, the plan for this night was going to be cut out the side.
Fingers crossed it works as I haven't bought spare wood yet!

A quick check before I start that this stuff will fold like it does in my head  ;)


Yep, works for me so back to work with my old mate Stanley.

Got onto the last couple of lines to cut by about 1am and.... OUCH!   :-X

Straight into my hand, silent swearing and time to stop for the night I do believe.
But hey, it looks like a side now so not all bad!  ;D



So Friday night I had time to draw out the 2nd side.

side 2.jpg

But I was getting side tracked by the TV as well, so only got to score out a bit and cut one corner!

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Saturday we had people coming round, but I had about 10 mins in the morning and did a couple of cuts with a bigger handsaw
And then finished that off today (Monday).

side 2 cut.jpg

Only spent about an hour or two in total on the side though.

I also have to start thinking about cutting out the head piece, but as I couldn't remember where I left the offcut from the side that had to wait.
Found it in the end though, I'd managed to pile it under a load of bits including the grey paint I bought for K-9!  ::)

So next challenge, trying to make his head the right scale so he doesn't look a) too small like Beetlejuice in the waiting room at the end of the film or b) too large like something from Tim Burtons Alice in Wonderland!

Only time will tell.....  ;D


A lot of fine attention to detail you have there I'm sure it will be a great K9 in no time. Keep up the good work.
why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.


Thanks, although it may look like detail, but all the lines and stuff are actually so I can work out scaling from a 9" toy to a 3' wooden version!  ;D

It's not all smooth sailing as my next update will show!


Mar 05, 2014, 12:27 am #7 Last Edit: Mar 05, 2014, 12:34 am by darth_baldrick
So, I've rolled a few evenings into this update, as I'd not got to spend more than about an hour a night at any time in the past week.
In fact I think there's about 3 or 4 hours in total for the week.

Time for K-9 to grow a head. Definitely not just going straight to wood on this one, as I can imagine it'll just end in disaster.
so a paper version first, which sounded simple enough.
Simply measure the size of the old toy body and measure the size of his head.

So the toy was something like 6" long on the base and the longest point of the head was 3".
In my mind then I simply add one inch to each measurement until I get to the size of the wood version.

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Looked OK, but thought I'd best cut it out of the paper to get a better idea.

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Doh, that's no good, he has a shrunken head!
Another few pieces of paper and a second attempt...

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And now the nose is miles too long.  >:(

3rd attempt (now the 2nd night) with the help of my wife who's having to climb over the pile of scrap paper from the night before!

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That's better, but it's off putting seeing a brown body and a white head, it's like I've turned K-9 into a St Bernard!

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Black and white pic looks a bit better.  :D

So now the dreaded time to mark up the hardboard and cut it out.

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So final bit done today was to try and make the second side of his head. Just hold it on the next piece of wood and draw round it, cut it out and done.

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It was only after doing that, I suddenly realised that I should have turned it over and THEN drawn around it.
Something for tomorrow night I think.

Soon be time to put it together, now that will be a challenge!  ;D


Just a small bit done on this, as I spent some time in the day doing Tardis painting.

So I've redrawn the head the opposite way around on the last piece of hardboard

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Then as there was still a bit of light outside I did the biggest cuts with one of the trusty rusty saws!

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NOW I have 2 sides of a head!

Next stages will be to make all the folds in the pieces so I can work out a size for the centre of his back and also the top and bottom of his head.

Thinking about it, I seem to have a flat pack K-9! Could never get one of those in Ikea!



Mar 07, 2014, 05:57 pm #9 Last Edit: Mar 07, 2014, 05:57 pm by galacticprobe
I can't wait to see this thing take 3-D form!

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


Apr 19, 2014, 09:28 am #10 Last Edit: Apr 19, 2014, 09:31 am by darth_baldrick
So, the glorious (well, dry) weather they promised us for Easter hasn't happened so far, it kept raining yesterday!  >:(

Which of course meant no Tardis work, so it was time to get on with a bit more K9.  :D

I'll post this as 2 updates as I took a lot of photos.  ;D

First up, trying to make the folds in the hardboard.
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Which seemed easy enough, until I tried to fix 2 pieces together!

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I initially tried with a bit of tape, but as I was doing this, the folded bits started to come off. Noooo!

Nothing else for it but it'll have to be screwed together

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As you'll notice, there's only one screwdriver good enough for building a K9!

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So by cutting a few small pieces of wood and fixing them to one side first, we could then screw the back piece on

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Of course you also need a small helper to reach the low down bits...

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Next was trying to cut the hole out for the neck, I'd found a pipe joiner in the DIY store for £2 which looked the part.
Now I know it looks like I'm trying to make a tea towel holder in the first pic, but it was the only way I could think of making a circle that big!

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It also seemed I'd gained another supervisor!

That seemed to work ok though, so with a big of wiggling, I managed to get the piece through the wood.

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From there it was simply a case of doing the same with the other side.
Or maybe not.   >:(

Like a total idiot, I found I'd done exactly the same with the side as the head, I made 2 sides the same way round.   ::)

At least this time I hadn't completely cut it out so could draw the right shape on the back of the 2nd side, then flip it over and all should be ok.

20140418_154032 (Custom).jpg

Except the only way to do that and get it the same size, was to take the first bits apart again!

20140418_161144 (Custom).jpg

At least that seemed to wok ok though

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NOW, I could repeat the bit of fixing wood to the sides to join them together.

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However, one thing that does tend to happen when you have a little helper, is things can change from what you are building, to something entirely different.... Say hello to the K9 car!

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And of course the K9 house

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And finally the K9 tent (with a little help from Yogi Bear as the roof!)

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So anyway, back to the build.
Next up was to fix some wood around the edges of the back of K9.
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Now to fix from one side
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And then the other
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Well, if nothing else, it's definitely going to be bigger than my original toy which means it should look ok at Halloween as a decoration!

Finally for the evening was doing the folds on the 2 head sides (which will probably end up coming off as well, but you never know).

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And that was pretty much it done for the night (mainly as it was after 9pm by now!)

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So that's it for the day, depending on the weather this weekend then it should either be TARDIS updates if it's nice, or more K9 if it's rubbish, so far this morning its looking like K9 will be getting some more attention!


I've just given this a proper read for a first time, and suitably enjoyed it :) looks creat and I love your ingenuity, sheer "Let's give this a go and see if it works" attitude. That's how everything should be made!
I tried to a K9 out of hardboard last summer too, didn't get very far, found all the angles too complicated, but I still have the hardboard lying around so I might have to copy you slightly here, the folding technique is genius!
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?


Glad you like it so far, if it's gave you a couple of ideas to restart your own then even better.  ;D

My idea with the folding was that it's like an extra thick cardboard and could probably work quite well.
Unfortunately for me, my toolkit to cut it with consists of large handsaws and an old Stanley knife, both of which are a bit too industrial for the job, especially combined with me being so heavy handed!  :D

I have another update from today to post but suffice to say, the folds had to go on the head as well!


Haha the head sounds tricky! Actually contemplating that was a secondary driving force in me giving up first time :P
Doing pepakura Iron Man suits I've become familiar with scoring lines and folding to the correct angles etc - I just hope that'll serve me in good stead with hardboard...
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?