May 20, 2024, 04:21 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

It's About Time I Made a Box

Started by tinkering_timelord, Mar 21, 2019, 12:44 am

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TARDIS builders is back! I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well. I was in the middle of starting up on my Police Box again, with the return of nice weather when I realized that the site had gone down, much to my dismay. Thankfully, I had a file of references pictures saved to my computer, but all the same it's fantastic that the site is back.

So! Where to begin? Progress has been rather scattered, but I have at last finished all 8 window frames. That is, until I decided that I wanted to have the inside of the box match the inside of the AWJ box, so I've modeled up the interior window frames and bought transom latches and hinges for half the windows.

awj box interior window frame.jpg

Unfortunately, this means I'm only 1/3 of the way done with the windows now, but I'm excited to see how they turn out. I'll also have to buy some chain, to keep the windows from opening all the way. Only the windows on the left and right walls will open. Playing around with ideas for the back wall, but I'd like to have some kind of backdrop, or maybe a pair of classic series interior doors, complete with glowing roundels. Only time will tell.

I've also mostly finished the base and sign boxes and am currently working on cutting and assembling the boards for the corner posts, but more on that in a future post!


One of the things that's really important to me about this build is replicating the texture and color of the box. This TARDIS has a very prominent wood grain (similar to the Edward Thomas box for the 9th and 10th Doctors). To achieve this effect requires burning the heck out of the wood with a plumber's torch and scraping away the soft wood with a heavy duty wire brush.


I know Ed Thomas also covered the wood in a sealant called Idenden (according to a lovely series of articles about the various TARDIS props by Will Brooks), but I've opted to skip this for now, although it's early days so I may change my mind if I can find a place to source it from.

This method of treating the wood creates a fantastic look, but wearing a mask and eye protection is essential as it creates a lot of dust and soot! I played around with the paint as well and have opted for Thai Teal as a base coat, with an added wash of Cobalt Blue and Black paints to add some variation.



This is looking really good, like the fact your following the same principle as the original with burning back the wood to reveal the grain, will look great painted up.
And your windows look cool!


*in Dalek voice*

"TARDIS materializing!"


I still have a ton of work to do, but I couldn't resist a stack up of the bits I have so far (including hanging the window frames from a bit of string!) and a mock up of the call box signs. The process to bring out the wood grain is very tiring and messy and is slowing down my progress. But it'll be worth it in the end.  ;D


I actually performed a 'double take" at those photos!

At first I wondered if it was a bit of Photoshop illusion...until I read the mention of strings.

That's just too cheeky!




Quote from: redfern on Aug 07, 2020, 06:29 pmI actually performed a 'double take" at those photos!

At first I wondered if it was a bit of Photoshop illusion...until I read the mention of strings.

That's just too cheeky!



Haha, thanks!


Been very busy caulking, sanding, painting etc for the past couple of days. I'm pretty happy with how the corner posts are coming along!


I also finally got around to buying the materials for the doors and walls. I got the cutouts for the interior paneling finished (which I've put facing out just to see how the box looked more complete) and have cut most of the 3/4 inch board to length. I suspect getting the bevels just right will be the trickiest part. I'm also not entirely happy with how the sign boxes fit, so I'll probably end up working on those too. Overall I feel like I'm making decent progress. It's so nice to look out the window and see a TARDIS slowly materializing!



Coming along great!



Time for the weekly update. I got all of the stiles and rails beveled and cut to size and the first two walls are done! At least for the most part.


It's at this point that I'm realizing my build will be far less accurate than I was hoping. For one thing, the panels look too deep, and slightly narrower than the original box. I've also had to omit the notches in the corner posts due to poor planning. I could try and figure some other way to carve the notches, but I had several disastrous attempts on a test piece which has really discouraged me from risking messing up the corner posts, which would be expensive and labor intensive to replace. Look at this mess!


Also it seems one of my posts is warped and twists to the left towards the top. Most of this isn't super noticeable, but it still bugs the perfectionist in me. (There are a lot more differences, but I won't go into them here)
Overall, I'm still really pleased. The rails and stiles on the first two walls fit together pretty well, and the bevels looks nice and neat. There are some gaps, but nothing much larger than an 1/8th of an inch at the widest. I'm hoping wood putty or wood caulk will cover most of the issues. Once all four walls are done I'll pick the best one for the doors and cut it in half with a saw. I'm wondering if anyone has used slip-pin hinges (or lift-off hinges) for the doors on your builds? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for checking out this update. :)



It's coming along nicely. How did you try to cut the notches? Do you have a router?


Ok, I'm convinced. I like the Jodie box enough to build it now. How very dare you!


Agreed! It's coming along very well!
You're definitely capturing the look wonderfully!

If you still want to do the notches later, I think it could be done. I'd probably clamp on some guides and do multiple passes with a handheld circular saw. And follow your wise method of perfecting the technique on a test piece rather than your beautiful posts!

If the panels look too deep (I think we estimated 15mm for Jodie's box) you could probably inset thin ply panels and glue them on, then fill the edges if needed. It'd be a little tedious, but doable.
It's one of those things where you're probably the only person who'd notice, and may be a lot less obvious once the walls are painted dark blue.

No prop replica is ever going to be perfect. Even the contemporaneous TV props vary from each other a little. We've actually been telling them apart at times by the wood grain...

liftoff/loose-pin hinges:
I used these on my recent build.
They come in left and right handed versions, because you can't turn them upside down like regular hinges. So for double doors you'll need the same number of each.
I have a special tip with these: when you mount them, arrange that the top hinge half with the pin is a bit lower than it "should" be. This makes it hugely easier to get the door on. You put the lower lift-off hinge of the door over the lower door frame pin then you can just lift the upper one over the upper pin.
If the hinges on the frame are spaced the same as the door, then as you lift the top one on, the bottom one will generally pop off, and you'll have to try again.


The Old School method would be with a chisel and a mallet.  Then clean it up with a file and/or sandpaper.  Chisels don't get used that often nowadays, but there are still more than a few times where I need a quick notch in something or to make a couple parts fit together, where I'll whip out a chisel to do some fine-tuning.  And if you screw up and take out too much material, you can fill it with Bondo.  I've really learned to appreciate Bondo while working on my A-Team van.  Meanwhile I heard from another property manager who uses it for lots of non automotive projects so I won't think twice about patching rotted wood with it or stopping a gutter leak or some other thing. 
"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.


Quote from: timewomble on Aug 22, 2020, 07:29 amIt's coming along nicely. How did you try to cut the notches? Do you have a router?

Thanks! Yes, I do have a router, but it's a bit unwieldy and the bit kept slipping for some reason.


Quote from: davidnagel on Aug 22, 2020, 12:01 pmOk, I'm convinced. I like the Jodie box enough to build it now. How very dare you!

Can't say I'm too sorry about it haha It'll be nice to see another Jodie box, I look forward to your build!