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Mystery Science TARDIS

Started by michael27, Nov 08, 2019, 03:24 am

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Nov 08, 2019, 03:24 am Last Edit: Nov 08, 2019, 03:25 am by michael27
I'm currently designing a finished basement for my house.  I really wanted to work a TARDIS into it somehow.

The basement has an L shape.  The main room will be open, and the branch will be a home theater room.  So why not go through the TARDIS door to get there?

basement render.jpg

I'm going with the Tennant box, the size works better for the space than the Smith/Capaldi, and the flat inside door will look good in the theater room I think.

The basement finishing project won't commence until next Spring, likely, but I'm going to start documenting the build.  I bought my first part, the lamp casing!  I was reading the build diaries, and saw the lamp used by cdkshipbuilder http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=9820.0.  I had to run out to Lowe's and pick one up as soon as I could!  The mounting arm is easily removed, and the "bronze" part is actually plastic, so it will be easy to attach a base and corner posts.



Quote from: michael27 on Nov 08, 2019, 03:24 am
basement render.jpg

Why not make the sink look like a UNIT lab sink? (Just my inner fanboy talking, pay no mind.)
why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.


I've been working the last few months on the basement, but nothing really fun to show yet.  I decided to do a little fun work this week.

Tried out some different Krylon spray paint blues. The kids are very invested in this project, so I painted some samples and took a vote. The Oxford Blue was unanimous.

A little bit of sawing and drilling, a little dremel work, and the light is ready for paint!


I'm using some WS2812B (Neopixel) LEDs for the light.  I picked up a 16 x 16 LED Matrix off AliExpress awhile back to play with, and it happened to fit exactly into the space between the base and top of the lamp housing.  I wrapped it around a 2" dowel rod, secured it with zip ties, and screwed that in the center to the base block.

The glass that came with the light was clear.  Using the LEDs really required some diffusion.  I used a frosted glass film applied to the inside of the glass cylinder, which looks really good, but didn't offer as much diffusion as I wanted.  After some trial and error and consulting the internet for ideas, I found that four layers of wax paper just inside the tube got the look I was going for.

The light looks crazy bright in the picture.  I turned it way down, but it still overloads the phone camera sensor.



Been working on the theater room the last few weeks.  Put in the TARDIS base.  Cutouts on the front are to attach the corner posts.  The left and right walls will be built as part of the room.  There's 1/2 inch space in the center for a plywood insert.  There was a post somewhere here where someone had inlaid a brass Seal of Rassilon in the floor, it looked really cool.  I'm hoping to do that at some point, but will probably start with a plain floor.


Been working on the rest of the basement a lot lately, and almost have all the walls framed.  I'm getting ready to frame the police box walls.  I wanted to make sure the wood grain really stood out, so I followed what I'd seen for the actual 2005 TARDIS and tried torching the wood to enhance the grain.  It really was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and the results are outstanding!  

These are some 1x6 boards that I'm using to dress the outside of the corner posts.  I picked out some that had some good grain lines.  

The first picture is what it looked like after torching it.  I'm looking at this thinking, wow, that probably just ruined this board. But...

Here it is after using a steel brush to clean out the charred softwood.  It looks amazing, and isn't even painted yet!  This wood was super smooth before any treatment, and you can really see the grain stand out now.  I had been considering using this technique for the TARDIS floor, but wasn't sure how it would turn out.  Now I'm pretty sure that's the way I'm going to go. (Torchwood, of course.)


The wood burning is a really fun method, and it looks great too!


It's been awhile...  I got the frame built since the last time, and have been working on a lot of the rest of the basement framing, plumbing, etc.

I got the top put on, and had to try out the lamp on top.  As you can see from the pictures, my original intention was to put the lamp in the center of the police box, under the beam.  When I was building the box, though, I changed my height, as the door felt really cramped; I added a few inches in height.  That didn't leave a lot of room for the light, and it's not very visible from normal height around the room.  What to do?  I've gotta deconstruct the connection points and move the whole thing 10 inches out so the lamp can be in front of the beam, and I can add a proper roofline.

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What a pain.

Never mind, it will be worth it one it's done.

Finding the right space for your TARDIS can be more frustrating than building it!

Can't wait to see how you get on.




The thing that amuses you is the change of plans; you probably took this into account initially and then forgot about it:  "Geez, this seems really cramped.  I should've just designed it bigger.  There, that's better.  Now for the lamp.  D'OH!" 

And I laugh *with* you, not *at* you.  Because I do that just about on a daily basis.
"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.


Oh, absolutely that's what happened.  I've really learned how to better accept that things may not be right the first time and am more willing to redo them to make improvements. 

Where does the time go?  Been doing a lot of finishing touches getting ready for my first inspection, but did want to share the new TARDIS location.  I'm really happy with the move, it brings the whole right side out for display, and makes for much cleaner lines inside the theater room as well.  You can see I've also built out the soffit around the pipes, with the recessed area for the TARDIS roof and lamp.



I finished the theater room drywall, including the inside walls of the police box.  Next I'll be working on getting the drywall up in the main room.  I got a start on it awhile back, as you can see here, but had to stop because the piles of drywall were in my way.  Now I've got room to move them around (and less of it to move).  I also moved my wood shop area to the theater, so I can start working on the TARDIS doors and exterior.

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Almost done with hanging drywall, so I started working out some other details. (Really, I just wanted to play with LEDs again!)  One of the more complicated construction items is the TARDIS doors.  I put together a mock-up of the window so I could test some design ideas.  The doors will be assembled from multiple layers of plywood.  I'll be using SOSS invisible hinges.  I originally planned to get the power transfer hinge option, but then actually looked at the price.  I opted for a concealed door loop that fits in the door edge to provide power for the window lights.  The mock-up was a good idea, I got some good practice using the router and learned some things to do better next time.  I'm using WS2812B LEDs and routed a pocket about an inch around the window so they aren't directly next to the opening.  All the LEDs for this project will eventually be hooked up to a master controller so they can be synchronized for different scenes.  For now I just hooked up a cheap bluetooth controller to test it out. I just used some left-over plexiglass and frosted window applique for this one, but I ordered some frosted and pebbled plastic sheet to use in my final build.

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I feel like I am really building a time machine, how is it 2024 already?  I finally got the rest of the basement basically completed, so I'm finally able to start focusing on finishing the TARDIS.  The first task is to complete the doors and walls, then add the top and lamp.

It is super satisfying to finally start building the doors.  Seeing the rails and styles assembled is a great morale booster.  The doors have a central 1/2" plywood layer, with 3/4" plywood on each side to allow for the window depth and LED installation.  The rails and stiles are built from 1x board stock (3/4" actual), so that ends up with a beefy 3-1/2" thick door.  Instead of building actual panel door stiles and rails, I just attached them together with pocket screws. Then I used a 45 degree chamfer router bit to shape the inside edges.  The corners have to be sanded out to square, but this looks like the method that the actual prop may have used, so that's even better.

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