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Tardis built for outside use

Started by tardisforshed, Sep 14, 2008, 10:51 pm

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Sep 14, 2008, 10:51 pm Last Edit: Feb 08, 2010, 07:48 pm by Scarfwearer
I am currently assembling Wood and plans to build a tardis for outside use.

Obviously MDF is not appropriate. I intend to use exterior treated ply and dress fence palings for the outside construction. I live in NZ and will be using macrocarpa, which has a natural 20 yr soil rating, to avoid any treated timbers in the framing.

as I will not be needing to pull the tardisn apart, i intend to use heavier construction, perhaps solid posts, and just run a router down the edge rather than attach moldings to avoid any gaps or cavities that water can trap and cause rot.

I am building it as an entranceway to my workshop / garage so it will only be three sided. It is intended that it will appear to have "landed" next to the shed. However when you walk in the door , the large garage will open up, thus creating the larger inside than outside effect.

i intend it to be full size or  7/8 depending on the height to be under the guttering of the workshop.

As I need to build the ground up to the level of the entrance by 100mm or so I intend to make a poured concrete base rather than wooden floor, might even bring it up to the floor level of the workshop.

My question to you all is does anyone have any experience building a heavy construction, exterior grade, not designed to be taken apart,  near full size tardis?
I would appreciate any hints / traps I haven't thought of.


Sep 15, 2008, 05:13 am #1 Last Edit: Jan 23, 2010, 02:26 pm by scarfwearer
Colin Sorvan is currently building an outdoor TARDIS in Canada.  He is using railroad ties for his base.  Check out his build thread.  Railroad ties would be cheaper than pouring concrete, I'm sure.
Bill Rudloff


Sep 15, 2008, 09:25 pm #2 Last Edit: Jan 23, 2010, 02:26 pm by scarfwearer

As Bill pointed out, I'm building an outdoor box.  I certainly thought about making a concrete base, but decided against it when I realized how heavy the base would be.  I don't expect to buy a new house any time soon, but wouldn't be surprised if it happens a few years down the road.  I've never poured concrete before, but the concrete guys I've worked with say that many amateurs end up with poor results because they don't manage to get all the air bubbles out before it sets. 

I also thought about building with solid posts, and while I did find a 3/4" corner round over bit for my router, to make a solid post I'd have to cut off the part which holds the bearing guide onto the end, and I didn't want to do that.  You can see what I did on my build.

The big problem with outdoor boxes is obviously water.  If you can construct your box so that water won't be sitting on it anywhere, you shouldn't have as much of a problem.  I tried very hard to eliminate all my horizontal surfaces and make everything slope instead. 

I also understand that where the wood touches concrete is a place that is more likely to experience wood rot, you may want to look into that and see what measures you can take.



Sep 16, 2008, 11:34 am #3 Last Edit: Jan 23, 2010, 02:27 pm by scarfwearer
Thankyou both for your reply.

I will have a good look at your construction, thanks.

I will maybe do a concrete base, but as I have to pour at least a slab for the tardis to sit on, may just need to have some moulding around on  base.

i intend to waterproof and isolate from the ground by using usual bitumen products we use in Nz to isolate wood structures (houses and sheds) from concrete.

Did lots of concreteing in my mispent youth so will not be too much of an issue i hope

hopefully elevating the tardis off the surrounding concrete will help with the water issue.

I agree in trying to keep avoid any horizontal surface. i have had a closer look at some other constructions now. Some people seem to be not beveling the panels, which I cannot afford to do. , I intend to make a sheet construction and the lay bevelled planks on the ply.
I did consider bevelled "planks" cut out of ply . However I am concerned this will expose the layers of the ply  on the bevels and give a slightly ribbed appearance, It will also expose the layers to water and allow seepage into the ply. Solid boards may  therefore be better.

i have a new (old) table saw to play, and a router with so will do a bit of trial and error.

I agree that with reasonably heavy ply , structurally there is no need for heavy framing. will have a look at a few more photos of others' construction and decide. I may frame with 2"x2" and router the posts. I also only have to build two sides and a front door. The end wall is the opening to my workshop so in theory there is about 25% less work in creating three sides.

Thanks again for your help, This is truly a wonderful site.
Takes a while to get to.

I intend to place drawings and construction photos as i go if that is any help to others


My TARDIS is an outdoor structure.  I wound up using 4x4s for the corners.  Since I wasn't going for 100% accuracy I didn't lose any sleep about not having rounded corners.  Besides, 4x4s in America tend to be slightly rounded, so it was good enough for me. 

That said, the thing I didn't take into account is the width.  I'd based my design on some blueprint of the Brachaki prop I'd found online that had all the dimensions.  (Don't have a link, but it should be out there somewhere).  The problem is, my corner posts wound up being far too narrow.  I just dug out my printout to make this post.  The actual flat surface of the prop posts is 4".  Since 4x4s are actually 3 1/2 x 3 1/2, I was already an inch too narrow on that part of the design.  But then you need to add in the 1/4 rounds.  Looking at the blueprint again, I'm surprised to see that each of the posts is actually 6" wide.  So between my two posts, I gained about 7" of additional door.  The upshot of all this is that my door panels wound up being far more square than they should've been.  Just something to keep in mind--if you change one dimension, it impacts *ahem* relative dimensions. 
"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.