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Goldendale's First TARDIS

Started by Bob's your Uncle, Nov 06, 2015, 03:36 am

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Volpone

No kidding.  This has to be the most robust TARDIS I can remember.  There have been some very good carpenters that have made some very sturdy and well-built TARDISes here, but I can't recall one that is as sturdy as this. 
"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.

Bob's your Uncle

Dec 24, 2015, 06:50 pm #31 Last Edit: Dec 24, 2015, 07:48 pm by Bob's your Uncle
Well, with Phase 2 complete, it's time to move on to Phase 3 - The Roof.

As always, this phase started with a trip to The Home Depot. The shopping list included six 8' long 2 x 6's and one 4' x 8' sheet of 1/2'' plywood.
A $37.22 investment, bringing the Total TARDIS Investment to $344.73.

The first step is to make a full size drawing of the roof design.

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Next I cut four pieces of 2'' x 6'' to fit between the corner posts, on top of the police box signs. I cut a 17 degree angle on the top to match the roof slope.

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After I cut (and recut) these to size, I screwed the corners together and brought it down to the work bench to make it easier to work on.
I wish that my workshop was bigger on the inside, because it sure is getting smaller by the minute.

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Layer #2 did not fit together as well as I planned. I cut one of the sides a little too short, but I figured that since I'm going to fiberglass the top, a small gap wouldn't be a big deal.

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After seeing that gaping joint on top of my TARDIS, I decided that I could do better.
Using clamps, shims and lots of Gorilla Glue, I was able to tighten up the gap.
The Quality Control Department was very happy with the results.  ;D

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Next came layer #3. I made sure to get everything clamped tightly in place this time.

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I don't know. Maybe I'm using too much Gorilla Glue.
Is there such a thing as "too much Gorilla Glue"?   ;D

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Much better.

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Moving on to the top lamp support.
"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Bob's your Uncle

Dec 24, 2015, 07:51 pm #32 Last Edit: Dec 24, 2015, 08:40 pm by Bob's your Uncle
The top lamp support starts out as four pieces of scrap 2'' x 4'', cut to make a box 8-7/8" square.

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Next I cut up some more 2'' x 4'' pieces a little narrower than the first, with a 17 degree angle on the top.

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After consulting with my friend Mike, the veteran electrical associate at The Home Depot (and a long-time Doctor Who fan), I came up with a plan to mount the lamp to the roof. The idea is to be able to change the light bulb from inside the TARDIS. It will be easier to wire and have less chance of water leaks around the light fixture.  

So, lets cut a huge hole in the top of the TARDIS!   :o

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A test fit.
Not too bad. :D

The top of the light fixture will be modified to try to keep the look of the original Crich police box.
I've never redesigned metal light fixtures before. How hard could it be?  ::)

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A test fit on top of the TARDIS with some scrap plywood pieces to temporarily hold it in place.

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And back on the ground again (with legs), to make it easier to work on.

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"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Volpone

I hesitate to give unsolicited advice, but have you considered flipping the light upsidedown?  I mean all the wiring and stuff is in the top.  So why not just flip the bugger over.  Then you can just cut off everything below the wiring and make your own top.  Of course then you've got to figure out how to keep water from getting in around the glass and at the wiring. 
"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.

galacticprobe

Dec 25, 2015, 06:29 am #34 Last Edit: Dec 25, 2015, 06:32 am by galacticprobe
Volpone, remember there is never any "unsolicited advice" here; it's called "suggestion contributions", and if not for those, there would be some ideas that are never considered. (And as we've seen in the past, some of those ideas have sprouted some great plans that have made peoples' lives easier.)

And you do have a good idea there. Greg mentioned that he wanted to be able to change the lamp bulb from inside the TARDIS (rather than having to climb on top to get at it like the Doctor did in one of those 'Pond Life' webisodes). Mounting the lamp fixture upside-down without a "top" would leave the bulb open from the inside. The wire going to the lamp's base (which would now be the top, under the lamp cap) wouldn't be very visible, especially if it was run on one of the edges that faced a lamp cap strut; one of the back ones would be best. From there putting a Crich-type lamp cap on top would be easy.

As for keeping water out (not seeping in through the lamp where it enters the box at the base), a little bead of clear calking around the base of the lens where it meets the box would prevent that. Sealing the rest of the box at the lamp base would stop other possible leak spots. And with the bulb being accessible from inside, you would never have to open the lamp assembly from the outside - just reach up (maybe with help of a step ladder) into the lamp's insides, remove the dead bulb and insert the replacement.

Does any of this help? (And does it make sense?)

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

Bob's your Uncle

Dec 25, 2015, 05:47 pm #35 Last Edit: Dec 25, 2015, 05:49 pm by Bob's your Uncle
Thanks Volpone, I'm always open to advice, solicited or not, but in this case Dino is spot on. I'm considering attaching the lamp base to the top of the TARDIS and then bringing the fiberglass coating up over the base of the lamp. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, as I've no experience in that type of thing. I'm scouring the internet for fiberglass tips now.

Then, like Dino said, I will either modify the cap on this lamp, or search the secondhand stores for something that looks closer to the Crich box. I've already decided that an exact match will probably be out of the question, but changing it down the road will always be an option.


Merry Christmas,
Greg
"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Bob's your Uncle

Jan 11, 2016, 04:30 am #36 Last Edit: Jan 11, 2016, 05:01 am by Bob's your Uncle
Alright, the holidays are over and it's time to get back to work. My TARDIS is calling to me.   ;D

I cut the plywood up into polygons (?), and I only messed-up one. Luckily I had enough plywood for one more try.
I started with two sides to keep everything centered and straight.


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Then the other two sides, using lots of glue and finish nails.

My angle cuts were not all that great. This is the worst corner.
When the TARDIS Quality Control Department saw this, she was not pleased.

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I calmed her down (enough to still get dinner) by telling her that caulking and Spackle would do wonders.
Not my best work, but I can live with it.

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So there it is. Caulked, puttied, sanded and ready for the part that I've been dreading. FIBERGLASS!
I read a number of websites to learn what I could about fiber-glassing. I found one tip that sounded like a good idea...
I mixed the first batch of resin and hardener and then thinned it down 50% with acetone.
This thinned fiberglass is supposed to soak into the wood creating a stronger bond. It seemed to work fine, but it took a few days to dry completely.

This is how it turned out.

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I didn't go all the way to the bottom yet, I'll do that section after I attach the roof to the mainframe, then run the fiberglass down, over the top of the ''Police Box'' signs.
"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Bob's your Uncle

Jan 11, 2016, 05:11 am #37 Last Edit: Jan 11, 2016, 05:12 am by Bob's your Uncle
I had to share a photo of my TARDIS in her first snow (or close enough).   ;D
This is some of the same snow that fell on Volpone's TARDIS. He is a mere two hundred miles west of me, on the other end of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

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Greg
"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Bob's your Uncle

Jan 12, 2016, 05:57 am #38 Last Edit: Jan 12, 2016, 06:38 am by Bob's your Uncle
I agonized over this next decision for quite awhile. Whether to install the lamp fixture on top of the fiberglass and seal it with silicone, or to embed it in the fiberglass so that it becomes part of the roof. My main question was...will the expansion and contraction of the metal lamp, compared to the fiberglass coating, cause a crack in the surface and possibly a water leak? I decided to go for it. They do it on cars, why not TARDIS'?

So I pull the lamp fixture out of the box, buff off the paint on the bottom so the resin sticks better, drill holes in the base to attach it to the plywood.....

When I notice that the whole thing is crooked. It leans to one side!!

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WOW!   :o

I tried to straighten it by hand, but it wouldn't budge.
It's too late to return it, I've already drilled holes in the thing (but i will definitely be having a stern talk with my friend George, who runs the electrical department at The Home Depot. He might want to start personally inspecting every light fixture box that comes into his department).  ;D  Come to think of it, he's not really a Doctor Who fan, he might have done this on purpose.  :o  (He probably likes Star Wars).  ???

Speaking of quality control, wait until the QC Officer see's this problem!
Her first reaction was...''Return it anyway! Everybody else does!''.
But, we decided to use it anyway. It will lean from front to back, to make it less noticeable from the front, plus it's 10 feet in the air, we may not even notice it after all.
I'm going to blame it on the Chameleon Circuit.  :D

Next, I attached it to the roof with four screws.
Ready for fiberglass.

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"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Bob's your Uncle

Jan 17, 2016, 08:15 pm #39 Last Edit: Jan 17, 2016, 09:24 pm by Bob's your Uncle
I have three words to summarize this fiberglass experience....

Stinky, Sticky, and "I hope to God this works, because I am never doing this again!"   :o

And expensive. Sorry, that's four.

But seriously, if I had this to do over again, I wouldn't! I'd find some other way to seal the roof before working with fiberglass again. The smell was overpowering, the dust from sanding gets everywhere (dust masks weren't made for people with Santa Claus beards), and the goo is still on my fingers a week later. But it is strong...I guarantee you that this roof will survive any hurricane or tsunami that makes it's way to Goldendale!

I forgot to update the TTI after last weeks shopping trip for fiberglass supplies.

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For the big can of resin (3/4 gallon), two quarts of acetone, four sheets of fiberglass cloth (8 sq. ft. ea.), brushes, measuring cups, rubber spreaders, dust masks, we add a grand total of $103.98. Bringing the Total TARDIS Investment up to $448.71. The CFO of this TARDIS Project informed me that it might be time to work on less expensive parts of the TARDIS.

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With the lamp attached, I started adding the fiberglass cloth starting from the top down, letting it overlap the bottom of the light fixture. I used staples to hold it in place in the corners.

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At this point in the process I took my camera back to the house. I didn't want it anywhere near that sticky, stinky stuff. There really wasn't much to see anyway. The first coat of resin over the cloth was really rough. After it dried I had bumps and air gaps. I had to cut out a few holes in the cloth so that the second coat would fill them in. It took a lot of sanding to get this first layer ready for the next.

I was worried.

The second coat went on smoother than the first, but I mixed too much hardener into the resin and it started hardening faster than I could work. In my hurry to get it applied, I ended up with streaks and lumps.

A lot more sanding and I'm still worried.

After figuring out the right mixing ratio (the instructions on the can are complete gibberish), the third coat went on a lot better. It filled in the majority of the imperfections, but I decided on a fourth coat just to get it as smooth as possible.

After the final sanding, and a little Spackle to finish off a few rough spots, this is it.

The Roof!

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This fiber-glassing took the better part of two weeks to complete, up to this point. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. It was a lot of work, but I've learned a few tricks for going into the next step...Attaching the Roof to the Mainframe.
"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Bob's your Uncle

Jan 18, 2016, 12:26 am #40 Last Edit: Jan 18, 2016, 12:31 am by Bob's your Uncle
I got a bit of a disappointment in the mail yesterday. The TARDIS handles that I ordered were delivered.

How can that be a disappointment, you ask?

I ordered a pair of 5" handles and a 6" handle, (the extra will be used on the inside of the telephone box), and I got all 5" handles for all three.
I really hate the hassle of returning things.

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So, adding $22.02 to the TTI, for a new total of $470.73.
"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Bob's your Uncle

Jan 18, 2016, 12:43 am #41 Last Edit: Jan 18, 2016, 01:18 am by Bob's your Uncle
Well, I need help lifting the completed TARDIS roof up to the top of the Mainframe.
There is no way I can do it myself, and I know the Quality Control/CFO personnel won't help, being dainty and all.  ;D

So who better to ask than my friend Andy. He is 6'4" tall, lives down the street, works at the same Home Depot (same department, too), and is a huge Doctor Who fan! He's planning on building a scaled-down TARDIS for his cats. (I'll make sure he posts it here).

We had the roof up in no time at all.

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The roof was attached using lots of Gorilla Glue, screws and finish nails.
Next came the detail at the top of the corner posts...

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Add a couple of 3/4" x 1" pieces and some quarter-round...

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Next add a couple of 1" x 1" pieces...

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Then more quarter-round...

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Glue it all together, and Bob's your Uncle, we've got a finished corner post.
The long pieces of quarter-round will be added as soon as the CFO decides to release some funds into the TARDIS Construction account.

I then added a thin angled strip of wood to the top of the "Police Box" signs to allow water to run off better. If I had thought of this earlier I would have built the sign boxes differently, but it worked out fine and you don't really see it from the ground. I just didn't like the idea of water sitting on top of the boxes even though they will be fiber-glassed. I'll fill in the corners with plaster or something before the first coat of fiberglass.

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"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

Volpone

Intriguing.  Looking at the last pictures, your box is looking more like an actual police box than any of the TARDISes from the series.  (That's a good thing, IMO.) 

It is coming along nicely, although if I were a betting man, I'd bet that within 2 years you'll decide you don't like the lamp and you'll redo it.  (Not that there's anything wrong with that, and I could very well be wrong.) 

The fiberglass work is most impressive.  This thing is going to be a tank when you get done.  And if I may make one more unsolicited suggestion, at least put some resin on the tops of your corner posts and the top of your POLICE BOX signs.  On mine, the corners is where the water gets in. 
"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.

Bob's your Uncle

You may be right about replacing the lamp, I'll have to see what the future brings. It shouldn't be to difficult to make the switch later.

And, yes, the plan is for the fiberglass to cover the top of the posts and sign boxes, the challenge will be in forming the fiberglass cloth around the details of the corner posts.

Stay tuned.  :)
"Listen. All I have to do is dive into another dimension, find the time traveler, help her escape the monster, get home before the entire dimension collapses, and Bob's your Uncle."

'Hide'  S07 E09

ThisJustinOnline

Quote from: Bob's your Uncle on Jan 17, 2016, 08:15 pm
I have three words to summarize this fiberglass experience....

Stinky, Sticky, and "I hope to God this works, because I am never doing this again!"   :o

And expensive. Sorry, that's four.


I've used Fibreglass for strengthening helmets but never a wood build. How water proof does it end up making it? Before I make my next build I want to make sure it lasts a LOT longer than 4 years.