Jul 31, 2021, 12:55 pm

News:

New, New TardisBuilders!


TARDIS Office Door

Started by phillbarron, Sep 30, 2015, 11:38 am

Previous topic - Next topic

phillbarron

Sep 30, 2015, 11:38 am Last Edit: Sep 30, 2015, 12:26 pm by phillbarron
Hi all!

I'm a nearly lifelong (from around aged 4, I think) Who fan from the UK who's always wanted his own TARDIS but never had the time, space or skills to build one.

I work from home and have recently swapped my larger office for my daughter's smaller bedroom, giving her more space for her toys and me less space for mine. As compensation, I've decided to turn my office into a TARDIS.

Sort of.

Initially I had intended to make the interior a (as close to practical) replica of the TARDIS too with some kind of trompe l'oeil painting on the rear wall to create the illusion of space ... but it turns out this was a stupid idea since I do need somewhere to keep all my stuff and the room is very small (6ft x 9ft).

So Plan B was to create something reminiscent of a TARDIS interior which was also office-y. Since my very first memory of Doctor Who is The Robots of Death, I decided to opt for something which felt a little like the Season 14 interior and came up with this:

2015-09-05 16.28.06.jpg

As you can see, there's more than one geekdom at play in there.

The next step is to turn the outside door frame into a Police Box.

This forum has been incredibly useful, you should all pat yourselves on the back for sheer awesomeness - the wealth of information and research available here is staggering.

Looking at the other bedroom door builds, I decided I didn't want to just paint or clad the existing door. I want doors which open properly, damn it! I also wanted to make sure there was enough space above the door frame for a roof and a light, so it made sense to put the sign box in the doorway itself. I also wanted to add a base because I feel it looks odd without one.

This meant there wouldn't really be space for the three steps under the sign box, so I figured one of the NSTs would be best. I much prefer the older, narrower TARDISes (TARDII?) but inexpertly scaling Bill Rudloff's excellent plans (thank you!) to fit the doorway (height reduced to 88%, width to 77%) makes it look more classic anyway.

I should point out at this juncture that I have little to no clue about wood. I have very limited tools - drill, jigsaw, Dremel-like thing ... and that's about it. All work needs to be done outside (in England, in September/October!) clamped to a rotten bistro table ... I was not expecting great results.

But I've started with a pile of wood:

2015-09-11 11.46.31.jpg

... and hacked at it until I got this:

2015-09-13 18.42.34.jpg

The doors are just propped up there, made from 5.5mm ply. I'm going to clad them front and back and hopefully work out how to mount them properly. The posts are narrower than I'd like, but I'm limited by the banister to the left and the other door to the right - I feel it shouldn't go over halfway between the two doors.

I was planning to make a vaguely Tennant coloured box ... but now I'm thinking I prefer the white window frames. With drip sills. I'm also thinking I might narrow the sign-area in the sign boxes to make it more Hartnell. All in all, I suspect it's going to be a proper hybrid.

I've made a little progress since that photo:

2015-09-19 12.11.06.jpg

Namely blocking off the window and making the lamp lid and the 'stepped' roof. Other than that I've spent more time working in my office than on it. Hoping to push on over the next few days though.

I think I know what I want to do. I've just bought a Flight Control TARDIS to strip the electronics out of for lamp lights and sound (seems the easiest, cheapest way) but I'm still searching for something to make the lamp out of. Any suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading, more updates to follow.

galacticprobe

Oct 01, 2015, 07:05 am #1 Last Edit: Oct 01, 2015, 07:05 am by galacticprobe
It's looking great so far, Phill! (And your computer screen looks just like mine!)

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

phillbarron

Oct 01, 2015, 03:19 pm #2 Last Edit: Oct 01, 2015, 03:20 pm by phillbarron
Managed an hour of cutting and gluing today, including the obligatory "cut one rail too short because I'm tired" and the ever classic "didn't buy enough wood because I calculated by total length not how many bits come out of each length".

Happy with the effect so far though:

IMAG2037.jpgIMAG2038.jpg

The sign is just a test printout playing with sizes. It's not even on the correct door. Hopefully I'll get the front of the other door gluing tonight.

Volpone

 :D I don't think I've ever seen a TARDIS build where the builder didn't get excited enough to do a makeshift sign.  Go ahead and print out the POLICE BOX sign and do the window trim in masking tape while you're at it.  You know you want to. 
"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.

phillbarron


phillbarron

Squeezed (squoze) another couple of hours in today. I decided to go for the single pane of perspex with stick on ... I want to say mullions, but I'm not sure that's the right word.

Anyway, single pane of perspex. Because I was initially going for a skinny Richmond/Thomas TARDIS, I'd gone for frosted opal. Now I'm looking at something closer to Brachaki, but am still going for the frosted perspex - partly because people might have to sleep in there, partly so I can work late without flooding the hall with light (a long standing problem with the transom light above the old door) and partly so you can't see in and spoil the TARDIS illusion.

I made sure I cut the window holes 5mm each side larger than the recesses so the perspex will be permanently sandwiched between the rails and stiles:

2015-10-03 10.41.24.jpg

Just needed to trim them to fit, which I did with my not-Dremel tool thing:

2015-10-03 10.44.12.jpg

I even splashed out on some clamps to make the whole thing easier to glue (£6.95 for ten!):

2015-10-03 11.22.04.jpg

Which leaves me here at the moment:

2015-10-03 17.57.18.jpg

Or rather it doesn't because I have to dismantle the whole thing every night to prevent injury - especially with the base/step at the bottom. Without the doors in place it's far too easy to stub a toe (or ten) walking into the office.

I have some 2mm hammered glass-effect perspex coming for the lower panes - ironically I was just at a friend of my wife's house today and found out she has an entire door panelled with pebbled glass. 18 or 21 panels of pebbled glass which she is desperate to change for something 'prettier'. If only I'd found out before I'd sealed the perspex into the door!

Actually, I probably wouldn't have bothered anyway - I suspect these doors may get a lot of slamming when my daughter's friends come round to play.

I still have one stile to glue on at the rear of the phone panel door. Before I glue it on I want to rout out a channel and seal a telephone cable inside, I really want a working telephone on the panel door - haven't decided if I'm going with The Empty Child GPO box and candlestick affair or some kind of wall mounted Bakelite-style thing. I don't want a box behind the door because I want to be able to reach in and unlock the door (in case small child wanders in with the key and refuses to come out).

The problem I have now is I don't have a router and probably can't justify buying one just for this. I'm currently trawling my friends for someone who might have one. Until I've found one I can't fit the last stile which means I can't hang the door either. Still, plenty of other bits and bobs to do in the meantime.

Other than that, the electronics have arrived in the form of a 9th/10th Flight Control TARDIS (£2.15 - proper bargain!). I intend to fit the door opening switch to the door frame so opening my office door will set off the breathing sound. The dematerialisation switch will be located outside somewhere.

galacticprobe

Oct 04, 2015, 05:23 am #6 Last Edit: Oct 04, 2015, 05:37 am by galacticprobe
Ah, Phill, these are looking so great! Why can't you live closer to me than 4000 miles or so away? I'd have you come over and help me with the door I want to put on my entertainment room (which has no door at the moment).

As for your wife's friend and that pebbled glass door of hers, please let her know that if she ever does replace that door with something "prettier", you would like the old door. Then you could take your time removing the pebbled panes (and chucking the rest, which would be splinters by that point). This way, if ever someone needed some pebbled glass, you could offer up some as a gift. Even one pane to someone that wanted to mould it and cast his own in clear resin would be helpful to many members.

Keep checking around for that router. I don't know if you have them in the UK, but in the US we have places known as "Woodworking Hobby Shops" that people can take their projects to and (for a small fee) make use of the shop's tools for an hour or two. (You pay for the time spent, not the tools you use.) If you can't find a friend with a router, then maybe you could find one of those shops and take your door there to do the routing, which would allow you to move forward with the project.

And I've looked back through your diary and didn't notice any mention of the doorway's dimensions. Could you please post that? Just the width and height of the actual open area. It might help me figure out how to go about building my doors. (I'd thought of using an 8-paneled door I saw at one of the home improvement stores near my house, but now I'm thinking that wouldn't allow me the "double door" effect - unless I rip that door down the center, and that would make things look off.)

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

phillbarron

Quote from: galacticprobe on Oct 04, 2015, 05:23 am
Ah, Phill, these are looking so great! Why can't you live closer to me than 4000 miles or so away? I'd have you come over and help me with the door I want to put on my entertainment room (which has no door at the moment).


If I lived closer, I would ... despite suspecting you're far more capable than me in the first place!

Quote from: galacticprobe on Oct 04, 2015, 05:23 am
As for your wife's friend and that pebbled glass door of hers, please let her know that if she ever does replace that door with something "prettier", you would like the old door. Then you could take your time removing the pebbled panes (and chucking the rest, which would be splinters by that point). This way, if ever someone needed some pebbled glass, you could offer up some as a gift. Even one pane to someone that wanted to mould it and cast his own in clear resin would be helpful to many members.


I did offer to take it off her hands if and when she replaces it. Not sure how serious she is - I kind of get the impression it's right at the bottom of the home improvement list.

Quote from: galacticprobe on Oct 04, 2015, 05:23 am
Keep checking around for that router. I don't know if you have them in the UK, but in the US we have places known as "Woodworking Hobby Shops" that people can take their projects to and (for a small fee) make use of the shop's tools for an hour or two. (You pay for the time spent, not the tools you use.) If you can't find a friend with a router, then maybe you could find one of those shops and take your door there to do the routing, which would allow you to move forward with the project.


Ooh, those sound great - not sure if there's anything like that over here. Or at least near me. I think I could pay someone to do it for me, but then I'd feel like I was cheating! I've found someone who's got one - but he uses it daily, so now I've just got to find the time to head over to his house with the plank so I can do it there and then.

Quote from: galacticprobe on Oct 04, 2015, 05:23 am
And I've looked back through your diary and didn't notice any mention of the doorway's dimensions. Could you please post that? Just the width and height of the actual open area. It might help me figure out how to go about building my doors. (I'd thought of using an 8-paneled door I saw at one of the home improvement stores near my house, but now I'm thinking that wouldn't allow me the "double door" effect - unless I rip that door down the center, and that would make things look off.)


I considered cutting my existing door in half, but I'd still have to crop it to get the sign box in the doorway. And it wouldn't have had the panelling. I think this whole build is going to come in at around £100 (~$150) which is probably cheaper than buying a panelled door anyway. I have seen some eight panel bi-fold doors which could be easily spilt and rehinged ... but they were way too expensive.

My door was 2020mm x 823mm x 40mm or 79 5/8 x 32 3/8 x 1 5/8 inches.

These are "plans" I've been working from:

2015-10-04 19.56.56-1.jpg

2015-10-04 19.57.41.jpg

2015-10-04 19.57.57.jpg

2015-10-04 19.58.18.jpg

2015-10-04 19.58.33.jpg

2015-10-04 19.58.46.jpg

Don't know if they're useful (or even legible - my phone's main camera died, these are from the forward facing one), but after I'd worked out all these measurements by scaling them against Bill Rudloff's plans, I drew this scaled version to check they all fit together:

2015-10-04 19.59.06.jpg

Which they do!

Even though I've deviated from them quite a bit.

Does that help?

Phill

galacticprobe

Oct 05, 2015, 05:46 am #8 Last Edit: Oct 05, 2015, 05:54 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 04, 2015, 07:48 pm
If I lived closer, I would ... despite suspecting you're far more capable than me in the first place!

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Phill, but I think you overestimate me. I may be "the Doctor" when it comes to working on electronics, but when it comes to building something out of wood, well, I wasn't all that bad - I did build the wooden gate going to my back yard, but that was when I didn't have a bad back... and my neighbor got me full of rum while I was working on it! It came out "okay", but then an absolute perfect fit wasn't all that necessary as it is with an internal door.

Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 04, 2015, 07:48 pm
I did offer to take it off her hands if and when she replaces it. Not sure how serious she is - I kind of get the impression it's right at the bottom of the home improvement list.

Well, at least she knows you want the door, so when the time comes hopefully she'll ring you up, and not just chuck the old door.

Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 04, 2015, 07:48 pm
Ooh, those sound great - not sure if there's anything like that over here. Or at least near me. I think I could pay someone to do it for me, but then I'd feel like I was cheating! I've found someone who's got one - but he uses it daily, so now I've just got to find the time to head over to his house with the plank so I can do it there and then.

Sounds like you've hit the jackpot. I'm sure that "someone" wouldn't mind taking 30 seconds to make the cuts. But for future plans, if you can find one of those "hobby shops", they can be very helpful. As for paying someone to make the cuts for you, that wouldn't be cheating anymore than it is when someone pays a sign-maker to print out the signage needed on a build. So have no guilt feeling about that.

Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 04, 2015, 07:48 pm
I considered cutting my existing door in half, but I'd still have to crop it to get the sign box in the doorway. And it wouldn't have had the panelling. I think this whole build is going to come in at around £100 (~$150) which is probably cheaper than buying a panelled door anyway. I have seen some eight panel bi-fold doors which could be easily spilt and rehinged ... but they were way too expensive.

If I could find a bi-fold 8-panel door (4 panels per side) I'd jump all over those! But all I've found is a standard-sized 8-panel door. It would still look like the real thing all painted up, with a center divide added, but it would open like any ordinary door, which is why I'm considering building my own.

Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 04, 2015, 07:48 pm
My door was 2020mm x 823mm x 40mm or 79 5/8 x 32 3/8 x 1 5/8 inches.

Those are the same dimensions of my doorway, except for the height. Mine's a little taller - 84 inches - so I may have to make some alterations so I don't end up with a TARDIS door that looks a little "squished".

Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 04, 2015, 07:48 pm
These are "plans" I've been working from:

Don't know if they're useful (or even legible - my phone's main camera died, these are from the forward facing one), but after I'd worked out all these measurements by scaling them against Bill Rudloff's plans, I drew this scaled version to check they all fit together:

Which they do!

Even though I've deviated from them quite a bit.

Does that help?

Yes, Phill! Those will help immensely! I can sharpen the images a little and they're legible enough. With luck, my doors will come out looking something like yours, though without the roof part. (The wife doesn't want that part of the kitchen wall marred, since she's just painted it.)

Thank you so much for sharing these with me! (Well, and with everyone else, now that you've posted them.)

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

phillbarron

My pleasure!

Depending on how tall you are, you might find you have enough space to put a bit of a roof in the doorway itself - you do have an extra four inches to play with!

The roof and lamp on mine are stuck to a bit of plywood which is jammed into the transom as opposed to glued/screwed to anything. I can remove them easily without any damage if it comes to moving/selling the house.

Although personally I think a TARDIS doorway would be a selling point!

galacticprobe

Oct 06, 2015, 07:50 am #10 Last Edit: Oct 06, 2015, 08:05 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 05, 2015, 07:30 pm
Depending on how tall you are, you might find you have enough space to put a bit of a roof in the doorway itself - you do have an extra four inches to play with!

I'm 5'9" (was 5'10" before all of those back surgeries!). Putting a roof in the doorway wouldn't really work once you take into account space needed for the "Police Box" signs, and the three steps below them (like on the original Brachacki, and some of her descendants). Those alone might even make the doors a bit on the "mind your head" side. So I have to find where The Evil One hid the tape measure and start measuring things.

Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 05, 2015, 07:30 pm
The roof and lamp on mine are stuck to a bit of plywood which is jammed into the transom as opposed to glued/screwed to anything. I can remove them easily without any damage if it comes to moving/selling the house.

Unfortunately I don't have a transom over this, or any other door in my house. And that's the wife's worry: putting screw holes in her newly renovated kitchen with freshly painted walls, and having to patch the holes and match the paint when it comes to selling the house for something better, which she says she is considering us looking into in about five or so years, once Stormageddon starts school.

Quote from: phillbarron on Oct 05, 2015, 07:30 pm
Although personally I think a TARDIS doorway would be a selling point!

Well, to that one I say:
BigYes.jpg
If I walked into a house that was for sale and saw a TARDIS doorway in it, I would jump on it in a heartbeat (2 hearts - hearts beats?) Especially if it was like scarfwearer's old house. (You should really track down that thread if you haven't already!) Unfortunately I would have to encounter a buyer that was as much into 'Doctor Who' as I am. When the time comes, if I do... Fantastic! But, if I don't, then those doors will be coming down, and I'll be hoping there isn't too much damage to the frame from screw holes, so I can patch and paint.

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

phillbarron

I have seen scarfwearer's build - it's amazing. I'd love to do something like that one day, but I suspect it would involve having a considerably larger house.

Just another thought about a roof - is there maybe a way you could build something on a bit of ply which lies flatish (to the wall) but screws to the top of the door frame? SO the vertical bit is just leaning against the wall, but there's a horizontal bit screwed to the frame. If it's rigid enough to not fold forward or bend away from the wall and your door frames are proud enough from the wall to make a good base then you could potentially have something which leaves no visible (or at least easily fillable) marks behind.

Obviously you know your doorway far better than I do! So maybe that wouldn't work, but I'm envisioning a bit of ply exactly the same shape as the roof/lamp/cap with extra bits glued to that.

While I'm in fantasy mode, you could use clear acrylic instead of  ply - that way you could hide LEDs inside the 'lamp base', leave the 'lamp' clear and it might light up whilst still only being a few mm proud of the wall.

galacticprobe

Oct 07, 2015, 08:53 am #12 Last Edit: Oct 07, 2015, 08:53 am by galacticprobe
You've definitely got some great ideas, Phill! Now I'll have to take a real close look at that door frame. I know my corner posts will end up lopsided as one edge of the frame is almost flush with the wall (just enough room for a quarter-round bit of moulding like on the Brachacki model), so I have to see what else I've got to work with. But I definitely like that idea for the "lamp" (and there's an outlet not far away that I could plug into).

Now... to get The Evil One to cough up that tape measure...

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

phillbarron

Tiny bit of progress today, I managed an hour's work. First off I finally decided to go more vintage on the sign box:

IMAG2063.jpg

And then I had a go at my first ever mitering:

IMAG2065.jpg

Which, you know, didn't quite go to plan. Ah well, I'll try again tomorrow.

Volpone

That's what wood putty is for. ;) 
"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.