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Murphy's Laws for TARDIS Builders

Started by galacticprobe, Dec 15, 2017, 12:00 am

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Dec 15, 2017, 12:00 am Last Edit: Dec 15, 2017, 12:14 am by galacticprobe
Okay... since the input on this has been quiet for a long while, I'll guess we've just about gotten all of the "Murphy's Laws" out of our heads. So here is the list we've put together. (NOTE: Let's try to keep this one as "The List" only. If anyone has more to add, or to discuss, please do it in the Topic that spawned this, If any new "Laws" are thought of, just post them there, and I'll transcribe then into this list by editing this post. That way we can keep things neat.)

And so with that:

Murphy's Laws For TARDIS Builders

1) Your TARDIS will always take longer to build than you think, even if you take into account the fact that it will take longer to build than you think...

2) If you need to work inside (fiddly windows) it will be brilliant sunshine. If you need to work outside (painting) It will be hacking down with rain.

3) If you touch your paintwork to see if it's dry yet - it won't be.

4) If you need a nail, your toolbox will be filled with only screws, & vice versa...

5) Measure FIVE times, cut once (still goes wrong sometimes...)

6) Centimeters & Inches are NOT interchangeable...

7) If you pick up two bits of wood to see if the glue has stuck them together yet, it won't have...

8 ) If you buy extra material you'll get it right first time & have loads left over. If you only buy enough to get the job done, you'll bodge it up & have to go out to buy more.

9) For every 100 (approx.) hammer strikes to a nail, you'll hit your thumb once...

10) If you carefully chisel your hinge rebates into your doors, when you get to the other door, you'll find that one of the places you need to chisel will have a wood knot in the way.

11) If you build your Tardis from a pile of planks, and one of them later decides to warp, it will be in the door stile of the opening door. Guaranteed. It even happened to the real props sometimes.

12) If you have ten boxes of different sized screws, and you need four of one size, there will be three left. And the shop will be shut.

13) It doesn't matter what size length of wood you need, all of your stock will be 47 inches too long, or ΒΌ-inch too short.

14) If your work is split between two buildings, then wherever you are the tool you need it will be in the other building. If you have two such tools and try to keep one in each building, they will both end up in the other building.

15) The tool you need can't be found until 3 days after buying a replacement.

16) The weather is perfect, tools are to hand and motivation is 100%, but you've forgotten today is when you have promised to take the other half shopping.

17) You spend a while measuring, marking and checking before cutting only to realize you've used the material you've already cut for something else.

18) Last night you spent 2 hours scribbling notes, working out angles, multiplying measurements and designing the part. Today you can't find that piece of paper.

19) Just like toast, if you drop a glued/painted part it will land "wet side" down and ruin your carpet, or end up covered in dirt.

20) The shade of blue you thought was "it", probably isn't.

21) It doesn't matter what colour you paint your box, she'll look whatever colour she likes on the day.

22) No matter what shade of blue you choose, it will never be the blue you want. Further to the previous law, if you replace it with a different blue, it will still not be right. Your "blue" is unobtainable. Might as well paint the thing pink.

23) When buying material, try to remember you need at least 4 of everything. (You should buy 10-20% more material than you think you'll need.)

24) You haven't bought enough screws/nails/bolts.

25) Your extension cord will always bee too long or too short.

26) Even if your TARDIS were bigger on the inside, it's still a lot bigger on the outside than you expected.

27) The hardware store should have a bird feeder or something that will be fine for a lantern.

28) You know you've got the right item somewhere & can't find it; you later find out that someone has thrown it out on you in a clean up, & they threw it out in a way so you didn't know about it.

29) If you find a shop-bought item used on the actual TARDIS, it will either have been discontinued yesterday, or will be tomorrow.

30) When you think you have finished your TARDIS, you'll realize you forgot something important, like having forgotten to build an ENTIRE BLOODY ROOF STEP!

31) As soon an you're on a roll one of the following will occur, a) your mother will need taking to hospital, b) your car will break down, c) your second cousin twice removed's second best friend will have a baby and require your unique skills in post-natal care, d) Trump, e) your wife will throw a fit.

32) If you have an outdoor TARDIS, water will get in. It is inevitable.

33) As soon as you've made your outdoor TARDIS absolutely weatherproof, Mother Nature will create stronger-penetrating weather! (Mother Nature may or may not be a critic; she definitely has a sense of humor.)

34) You make a special trip to the dollar/pound store to buy an item they had loads of last week, and find they've sold out. So you go to a hardware/craft/hobby store to buy the same item for five times the price. When you go back to the dollar/pound store, they have re-stocked that very item & the shelves are overflowing with it.

35) You don't make a list of the supplies you'll need for your TARDIS build because you are sure you know what you need so well. Once you get home after your supply run you find out the one critical item of all is the one you forgot.

36) After much deliberation you decide which iteration of the TARDIS to build. Your build is well underway (the corner posts and the base completed). You head to the shop to get wood for the wall panels, and upon pulling out your much-abused set of plans, you realize that you haven't been building a Tennant box; you've been following plans for the Hartnell box instead!

37) Hybrid builds are ALWAYS acceptable.

38) Thou shalt build thy TARDIS in a manner that pleaseth thee. (And yea verily, the nit-pickers can place it where the sun shineth not.)

39) No one, not your wife/dog/boss/friend/son/daughter/dad/mum/neighbour, will ever be as excited about your TARDIS as you are. Nor will they ever understand, and you'll forever be trying to tell them "why".

40) Reversing the polarity doesn't actually work.

41) It isn't really bigger on the inside.

42) Even if it is sunny enough to paint outside, the surface will be so warm that spray paint will dry on contact without having time to spread, leaving a bobbly texture that will need sanding down.

43) Every time you go in the workshop you step backwards onto one of those little screw trays you left on the floor, which scatters small screws all over the place. You spend time fishing screws out of sawdust and swearing you'll never leave a box of screws on the floor again. The next time you go into the workshop, it happens again.

44) You can have bits around for years and find no use for them, but as soon as you have a sort through and toss out anything from your bits box you'll need it less than a week later.

45) You've saved a few bits and pieces knowing they will come in handy one day; you come across them frequently when looking for other things, but then as soon as you have a use for them they're nowhere to be found.

46) You will only notice you missed a spot after you've cleaned the brushes, hung up the coveralls and put and put your regular shoes on again; and if you try to touch up that spot without changing back into your painting shoes and coveralls, you WILL get paint on your clothes.

47) It doesn't matter how small and easily accessible the spot is, you will somehow manage to get paint on your clothes.

48) No matter how careful you are with the glue or how little you use, you will always, ALWAYS, get some on your clothes or fingers, and that stuff doesn't come out easily.

49) However carefully you apply putty, with the first coat of paint you will still see all the dents, cracks and gaps, forcing you to apply more putty... and more... and more.

50) Somewhen on your TARDIS building journey in either the research or building itself, you'll make an earth-shattering discovery, identifying an unknown component or finding same for sale somewhere, perhaps utilizing a different construction method. You get all excited about your discovery thinking users on your Builders Forum will really appreciate and it will set the appropriate section alight, only to discover upon double-checking that there's already a thread for it as someone else beat you to it years ago.

51) It's even worse if you post your revelation in a blaze of glory, only to have some smart aleck point out the thread it's already in!! (This is why so many people start their postings with, "I don't know if this has been mentioned before, BUT...")

52) No matter how much chaos is going on in your life, a well-meaning individual will ask, "When are you coming back to building your TARDIS?" (Most of the time you will be working on something else.)

53) You can guarantee that anybody new spotting your TARDIS will immediately ask, "Is it bigger on the inside?!" (The next thing they say is: "You should build those things to sell- You'll make a fortune...")

54) Your TARDIS will always cost you more than you think it will, even if you take into consideration the fact that it will cost more than you think it will. (See Law #1 if you want to try and factor in what the cost of labour would add.)

55) Your TARDIS will never be finished; you'll never be completely happy with it; there'll always be changes you want to make, not just tidying up or regular maintenance, but changing components, changing the shape, the size, mixing elements you like from multiple incarnations of the original prop.

56) Every time you think you've got your TARDIS finished, you'll be watching an episode old or new and think "Oooo that would look good," and it will eat away at you until you do it.

57) You build a Dalek or two, you build a TARDIS, you build a console, you even build a console room to put it in. Then you realize you need to move house.

58) You get most of the way through your build and realise rather late that you've got some of the dimensions wrong.

59) Your loved one is sick and tired of there being a Dalek in the bathroom, a TARDIS and a half-built console in the bedroom, and now you have to rent a storage place.

60) DO NOT start a build diary until the build is already complete. If you start the diary in tandem with the build you'll excite people, the build will turn out crap (by your standards), you'll dread posting pics of the finished thing and feel you've let everyone down.

61) We have no one to impress, but ourselves. Tardis building / prop building is supposed to be fun. If you don't like what you've done, keep it until you make something better... unless you need the parts.

62) We are our own worst critics, no one else need apply for that position. (The position is filled.)

63) Try not to point out what you perceive as "flaws" in your construction; nobody's going to notice (and true fans and fellow builders are too polite to point out any they might notice).

64) If you build something that is blue, taller than it is wide, has panels and windows and a door, a light at the top and some signage, you're a success. Heck, even if you try and fail or your box eventually falls apart, you count as a TARDIS Builder.

65) You spend ages making a component look really great, when a dazzling new piece of info turns up on the TARDIS Builders' site proving you've made it the wrong size/shape/colour. (Back to the drawing board.)

66) When photographing your build, depending on lighting and flash conditions, some of the details you put so much work into will not show up in your photos; however at other times in your photos, those practically invisible errors will show up like a sore thumb!

67) Always remember, no matter what your build, the TARDIS Builders will be here for you. (Total Internet crash excepted.)

68) Mentis morbum TARDIS aedificium est. (Loosely translated: "All TARDIS Builders are a bit dotty"!)

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

tony farrell

Dec 15, 2017, 05:46 am #1 Last Edit: Dec 15, 2017, 05:47 am by Tony Farrell
I see number 68 is a quote from me - you're learning Dino!  (Now, if I could just persuade you to remember the history of the Pertwee phone panel........ ;))


Rassilons Rod

In the cities in the streets there's a tension you can feel,
The breaking strain is fast approaching, guns and riots.
Politicians gamble and lie to save their skins,
And the press get fed the scapegoats,
Public Enema Number One.


Google translate's efforts with Latin are entertaining:

Mentis morbum TARDIS aedificium est => The building of mental illness TARDIS

Also I happened to notice while trying to select the text that they have a definition for 'TARDIS' there:

Definitions of Tardis
a time machine.
"The Proclaimers were once asked where they would most like a Tardis to drop them in history, and expressed a wish to be flies on the studio wall while Van Morrison and the Chieftains recorded their Irish Heartbeat album."
a building or container that is larger inside than it appears to be from outside.
"The mind is like a Tardis , far bigger on the inside that it appears on the outside."

If you're wondering who The Proclaimers are, search for "david tennant proclaimers" on youtube.

Thanks for curating these, Dino! I'm sure all Tardis builders will relate to a lot of these.


Dec 15, 2017, 07:08 pm #4 Last Edit: Dec 15, 2017, 07:20 pm by galacticprobe
Quote from: Tony Farrell on Dec 15, 2017, 05:46 am
I see number 68 is a quote from me - you're learning Dino!

Indeed it is, Tony! When you added that one to the growing list in that other thread, I knew this would be the perfect "end line" for the list going by the 'Murphy's Laws of Combat' I've got... that one's last line reading "Murphy was a Grunt." (And in case no one is familiar with the term, at least in the US it's a term used, jokingly, for soldiers, just as "Squids" are Navy, "Jarheads" are Marines. Coasties are "Puddle Pirates"... even though we sailed in waters just as deep as the Navy ships did! The Air Force has too many to list here, but a few are "Zoomies", "Flyboys", "Wingnuts" (with some crossing over into the Air Divisions of those other services). But having "All TARDIS Builders are a bit dotty" finish off that list is the icing on the cake!)

Quote from: Tony Farrell on Dec 15, 2017, 05:46 am
(Now, if I could just persuade you to remember the history of the Pertwee phone panel........ ;))

Well, I've learned that it got its black/charcoal grey background in Season 9! (Now I'm trying to remember the story it appeared in: "The Curse of Peladon?")

Quote from: Scarfwearer on Dec 15, 2017, 10:22 am
Google translate's efforts with Latin are entertaining:

Mentis morbum TARDIS aedificium est => The building of mental illness TARDIS

After reading all of the Build Diaries as they grow and seeing what people go through to get their TARDISes looking exactly how they want, I can agree with this one!

Quote from: Scarfwearer on Dec 15, 2017, 10:22 am
Thanks for curating these, Dino! I'm sure all Tardis builders will relate to a lot of these.

You're more than welcome, Crispin! It was fun watching that list start, and then start growing (with contributions coming in from almost all members, so I know they already relate!). After a while I just couldn't see all of them being scattered throughout the thread, so I just grabbed each one as it was listed and started the compilation. Some I grouped together because they seemed to go together, but it was really fun watching it grow. I doubt it's done, but if someone ads another to that other thread, I'll edit the above list to keep things neat and tidy.

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


These gave me a good giggle while reading hahaha

I'm building an R2-D2 as well as a lot of these apply to that as well!

You make the whole of time and space your back yard and what do you have, a back yard... I can't see it anymore but you can, and when you see it I see it - Matt Smith, 11th Doctor