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David's Hudolin TARDIS Build

Started by davidnagel, Jul 09, 2015, 10:48 am

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Jul 09, 2015, 10:48 am Last Edit: Sep 22, 2015, 11:12 am by davidnagel
Hello forum goers!

It's about time I stopped being a lurker and started being a proper contributor - by building a TARDIS! Yes, I am finally going to build that famous blue box, that box of magic that makes any fan skip a beat whenever it is seen onscreen or in person.


Since the 1996 TV Movie, without a doubt MY TARDIS was always be the Richard Hudolin box. Others have gone before me; especially the fantastic builds Russell and drgonzo, I doubt mine will ever compare to those but there's no harm in trying!.  Years I have spent devising ways of constructing the thing but I had a specific brief:

  • dismountable by one person (accounting for construction complexity and weight)

  • buildable within a reasonable budget

  • fit in an average car

Nye on impossible task? I don't know yet, lets see how it goes! I haven't done any woodworking or such projects for well on 10 years now, so this is going to be a new challenge. Yes I've built a dalek and K9 but my dad was always on hand (as dads usually are when you're a teenager building things in His Garage) but now I'm out on my own and while Father of Mine is on call when I need him, its really about time I did something on my own...

Budget played a huge part in this build also, my tight-ish budget hasn't allowed for purchasing of everything in one go but I have done my best to find and buy what I can. What boggled my mind most was the varying price tag on plywood! Price per sheet jumped around from anything from £18 to £40 a sheet, I realise there are loads of different types of plywood but I just wanted plywood! ANY plywood would do!! And if the price of the plywood was going to be hassle, suppliers would then exaggerate the delivery charges, biggest quote I had for 4 sheets of 8x4 was almost £230! Eventually, I settled on a mid-range priced sheet with free delivery. I had had hopes to get the supplier to precut the sheet into what I needed but unfortunately they didn't offer that, awe well, I get to test out my rarely used jigsaw instead!

Onto the build! Plywood arrived late June so first job: mark and cut the sheets to form the walls. Then cut out the window and panel apertures.  But that didn't happen until 5th July! Boy does a child and full time job take your time away! I'll start by cutting the back and side walls first, to get my jigsawing skills up to scratch before doing the doors!


All marked up and ready to go.

Once a few holes were drilled at each corner, the jigsawing can begin!


I couldn't find another build that does this, but I am not cladding the plywood, I am simply cutting the holes out and then adding depth and backing each panel hole. This technique will work perfectly for me as it accommodates the brief's weight factor. We lose the cladding's join lines, those could be scored in later, but the paintjob may make everything disappear!

Adding depth to the apertures, these are just strips of left over 12mm plywood glued to the edges of the panel holes.

Backing the apertures. I cheated again, an eBay seller custom cut 24 of these hardwood panels out for me to simply glue into place, not bad for £30.

A quick stack up with precut central divider and the first top lintel length, this time provided precut by a local Bedford timber suppliers.

Adding the triangle mouldings. (the only trim I could find (because no major hardware store stocked this stuff!!) was this 15mm triangle moulding) This was the most difficult bit!! trying to cut the moulding was such a pain, all angles and getting it wrong! Extra hard because I didn't have a mitre saw that would allow me to cut at the 45 degree angle needed. Not until 17 August when I bought a mitre saw under the impression it was faulty, but worked like a charm! So in went the moulding, albeit some more neater than others!

Repeat, rinse until all the walls magically materialise.


All the walls were completed September 15th

The plan is as all the wall panels are separate doors (the central divide hides the "seam") for transportation reasons (lat packs nicely!) they will be held together by nuts and bolts. Further nuts and bolts will fixate them to the posts...



On July 11th 2015 the posts wood arrived, precut, from MDF. I wasn't prepared to suffer the inhalation of the dust created from MDF so I let this Brilliart (misspelling intentional) company from London do the work for me, delivery included came to £170. July 21st is when I could get these things together.

Word of warning for other to-be-builders, buy LOTS of clamps - you'll need them! I was too eager to get these pieces together to make some progress, so I went ahead and started gluing and weighing stuff on top in lieu of clamps and in places the pieces aren't quite together enough, so there are a few gaps. Clamps would have made this alot easier! I made things extra difficult for myself by not spreading no nails glue sufficiently along the lengths, hence the gaps. Fortunately or unfortunately the posts now don't measure correctly but the gaps will not be seen when all painted up :)

Sealing the posts after gluing and lining up with that popular method of putting these lengths together is used, thank you TB community :)

Quarter round mouldings (no nails) glued in. Boy did the mouldings/beaming (who knew this stuff had so many names!) make this build more expensive, I couldn't find them anywhere cheaper than £4 per length and I needed 3 per post! So that was almost £50 but fortunately an online company came to the rescue and delivered all the rounds for around £30 - thats a lie, not ALL the rounds as really I was still missing ONE but fortunately there was enough off cuts of the others that I managed to make up the last one, woo!

And finally all glued after investing in some clamps!! we have 4 chunky (and very heavy) posts! Finished September 6th

You may have noticed this diary is all a bit out of order ("days like crazy paving") as it seemed more appropriate to group into sections instead mixmatch updates over time :) plus having only one table work surface to use kind of restricts my ability to have a few things on at once - especially when they're gluing, I prefer them all to be ON something that isn't the floor!

More shortly!


Sep 15, 2015, 07:48 pm #1 Last Edit: Sep 15, 2015, 07:49 pm by davidnagel
Phew! Finally something else out there for you all to see my terribly slow progress :p


Ha!  Yeah your comment on clamps is spot on, I did the same thing.  I love your columns!



Sep 15, 2015, 09:39 pm #3 Last Edit: Sep 15, 2015, 11:06 pm by davidnagel
Thanks ed.

Damn I just realise some pictures are up side down, may need to go back and fix those!!

EDIT: And fixed.


Hurrah! Another Hudolin!
Hi, David- Hope you are well. Your build is already looking fantastic!
Keep up the good work I shall be following this one with great interest!!

All the best



Not exactly an update! Unless you think gentle persuasion and making a dogs ear of something counts as an update!

Like you Russell, and many others, one cannot help but notice things that are TARDIS-like on my travels...

photo 1.JPG

Anyway, with the première of Series 9, I had a little gathering of friends to watch the first episode "The Magician's Apprentice" so did my darndest to get the box into a serviceable shape that one could get the full "Unearthy Child" experience, from garage door to Police Box to TARDIS Interior.

Alas my day didn't go too well when trying to persuade the new post bolts into the not-quite-thought-out base.

photo 2.JPG
The new base bolts.

photo 3.JPG

Back to my original idea for that one!

Anyway, with Sean's console all setup in the garage, I couldn't help but do this to my garage doors:


to lead into the console room, "Inferno" style:

photo 4.JPG

Angelus Lupus

Very nice set-up! A quick time-jump from the very beginning, via 3's exile on Earth, to the end of the classic era.
Once your Tardis is standing proudly finished I bet it will all look amazing.
A mixed-up non-conformist, trying to fit in.


Hello David,

It nice to see the TARDIS exterior coming on despite the minor set back.

It's interesting to see the console from this angle and distance.  Am I correct in thinking the picture gives the impression of there being more space than there is in your garage?

Am I also correct in assuming that's Mathew Chambers at the controls?

All the best,


Yes Angelus, it is a bit of a time warp from one end of the series to another.

Sean, some of the shot is misleading but the garage is roughly 10ft wide by 20ft wide I think - not quite TV studio dimensions, but as you can imagine, there may be enough space to shoot a fan film here one day soon!

That is indeedy my fan film partner in crime, Matt Chambers behind the wheel. There are a few other shots that others took of themselves with the console that I'll include in the other thread, so yes, your console was star of the show! More so than Capaldi was I think!!


What can I say!
Just caught up with your progress (You go away for a weekend...)
Just to say, I LOVE:

Your shed doors
Your console (Super jealous...)
And your dogs!

I bet they love to get into everything!!



There is an establishing scene just for a split second, in the beginning of "Inferno" where The Doctor is first pulling into his laboratory/hut, where they show the doors.  I'd swear they are blue with white-trimmed multipaned windows.  and a white sign on the left door.  I don't know if it is my imagination, coincidence, or an intentional nod to the classic 1963 TARDIS. 
"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.


Sep 23, 2015, 07:45 am #11 Last Edit: Sep 23, 2015, 07:50 am by galacticprobe
Volpone, you're right about the blue doors, multi-pane "TARDISy" windows, and the white sign on the left door, but the window frames are the same blue as the door. (A nod to the early Troughton TARDIS doors, perhaps?)
I know this isn't the best screen grab, but it's the best I could do at the moment. This is about 2/3rds the way through Part 1, and right before the Doctor drives up; in fact that soldier is on his way to greet the Doctor as he's driving up, but this is the last look of the doors, at least in Part 1.

From the inside, though, the doors are grey with the same color window frames - sort of a nod to the interior doors of the Cushing TARDIS in "Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D." (See the first image here:

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


Hi, all!

Well, It might just be me, but I think I'm always seeing doors that look like TARDIS doors in episodes of Dr Who & SJA.
For example, in the last Christmas special, when Clara goes out on to the roof to confront Santa, the doors behind her look just like TARDIS doors.
Sorry, don't have a screengrab, but I bet Dino will be able to find one!  ;)

Then again, maybe it's just me!



Sep 26, 2015, 04:46 am #13 Last Edit: Sep 26, 2015, 04:55 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: russellsuthern on Sep 25, 2015, 07:30 am
...I think I'm always seeing doors that look like TARDIS doors in episodes of Dr Who & SJA.

Russell, have you seen your optometrist lately? (Or... maybe a shrink? ;D)

Quote from: russellsuthern on Sep 25, 2015, 07:30 am
For example, in the last Christmas special, when Clara goes out on to the roof to confront Santa, the doors behind her look just like TARDIS doors.
Sorry, don't have a screengrab, but I bet Dino will be able to find one!  ;)

You guys don't like putting any pressure on my at all, do you? :D

TARDISy door and windows... Last Christmas... at first sight... (sounds confusing; seems apt):
Clara, shortly after stepping out onto her roof to watch the mayhem;

and even in "long shot" that still looks like a TARDISy door, and windows.

Quote from: russellsuthern on Sep 25, 2015, 07:30 am
Then again, maybe it's just me!

Mmmm... Nah. It's not just you! ;)

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


Thanks, Dino,
I knew we could rely on you!!
Don't worry, I can't think of any other examples just now!!

Ps: My last shrink ended up having a breakdown & retiring to a Tibetan retreat... ;)
It wasn't the fact that I kept seeing TARDISes everywhere, it was more the voices in my head telling me to paint everything blue...