Mobius's Metropolitain Police Public Recycling Bin.

Started by mobius, Jul 22, 2019, 02:19 am

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Hello again, it's been a while! A couple of weeks ago, roughly, I suddenly got this idea, looking at the brown paper shopping bag in my loo, into which I toss recyclables, I thought, "why don't I build a blue box to put that thing in and make it a Tardis?" recycling containers are always blue around here anyway.  I posted about the idea on, I think, a faceboot group for Tardis owners, or builders, one of those.  Anyway, today I started the project in earnest, opting to wing it, and measure and make it up as I go, instead of drawing up elaborate blueprints.

I brought a shopping bag down into my workshop and measured that, to see how big the interior dimensions had to be, then carefully extrapolated how big the footprint of the walls would be assuming half inch thick plywood, then added a bit to that to figure out how big to make the bottom, completely failing to take into account the extra width the detailing muntins mullions, corner columns, rails, and stiles, would add to that sum, this I realised after I chopped down a nice piece of plywood to be the bottom, and mitred down the corners nicely. however, I think I can use that bit for the roof, and still had enough scrap wood laying about to build the whole thing anyway.
so I made a base, drew right on it to calculate the dimensions of the walls in plan view (top-down),  cut the walls, assembled it, carefully counter-sinking and pre-drilling so as not to split the wood anywhere, that went almost perfectly, except somehow the top of one wall didn't align with the top of its neighbour, probably because I didn't take care to make sure every piece of wood I was running through my saws, scrap wood all, were truly square in every corner. oh well, the lid will hide the difference! possibly the signs will actually make the top level, which would be nice.

so far, I have a box with an uneven top, a lid, which might work out, but I have plenty more 3/4" thick plywood if it isn't big enough looking in the end, and the details drawn on 2 sides in pencil so I can use that as a cutting guide for the detailing bits. It won't have glass windows, so that simplifies things, it won't light up, it's just a dustbin really, going to hinge the top and that's it. will probably make a lantern of some sort for the top. will I be able to resist putting an electric light in it? We shall see! meantime, here are some progress photos of my latest build. I haven't forgotten my other unfinished ones, a model I started in school in the early 1980's that still needs signs, and that's all really, and the bathroom in my workshop, I painted the door blue so far, then paused. eventually I'll finish that one. I also plan on making a little free library at some point but it might have to wait til I move.


My workshop motto, "measure once, cut twice!"

that's better.  

At this point the walls are just standing on their own. my work bench is pretty level.

What happened there Ted?  

Yeah that looks great. d:


It's always a matter of time...


I suppose I could belt-sand down the top to level it off. might do. the only thing I'm not really sure on is how to do the windows, should I paint them, and paint the muntins and frames before attaching them, because painting them when it's all assembled will be a pain. I guess so, probably black for the glass. haven't decided what any of the signs are going to say yet either. I'm making it up as I go!
It's always a matter of time...


Nice work.
Great to see you back!




thank you so much! feels great to be back here, so much to catch up on, been busy looking after my elderly folx, working, and making comic books.
It's always a matter of time...


someone on failbook suggested making it square and then I'd have room for rubbish on one half, and recycling on the other. for a moment I felt completely daft, of course! but this was really for my loo, which is pretty small, that'd feel too big for that room. but I might make one like that later for somewhere else. hmm. anyway, a half Tardis is novel, other than an old blue box from jelly babies I haven't got one that isn't square from the top. having a full sized bigger on the inside, walk-in Tardis right in my bedroom is kind of ...enough, especially as I something think about looking for another ...companion lol. another 20" tall one in the room would be overkill. I've felt since building the big one, I don't feel compelled to buy everything that looks like a call box anymore, phone covers, wallets, cookie jars, etc. I have a few small ones, still in storage mostly, 5 years since moving, or 6 now? good heavens. but yeah. anyone else feel that way?
It's always a matter of time...


drafted a PTO sign. the top signs will probably say Police public recycle Box. maybe I should modify a St John's emblem to include the recycling symbol, a triangular Mobius band with arrows.  (edit: I have since edited this sign, needed a hair more space between stuff, and in.)

PTO sign 50%.jpg
It's always a matter of time...



chapter 2, in which I remember to wear a dust mask whilst cutting wood.
today due to the rain, alas, I could not fix porches for people, and so therefor had no choice but to work on my tiny time machine. and so I did. I milled all the trim detail wood, measure, cut, glue, nail, repeat. several hours later everything was cut.


first bits on


starting to look Tardisy!


the oops I cut the base too small but now it's the roof, looks ok as the roof!


oh no, it's really too small.


actually, it works. that reveal is just another detail! :D tho it means I can't get my thumb under the lid to lift it unless I bevel a little thumb hole thingie.  hmm. maybe I'll put a knob on it or something.


next the window muntins, have to be less than 1/4" thick, though it's been hot enough for me to have easily consumed the large number of popsicles I would need (ice-lollies), to get the sticks to mill the muntins, I  found the edge of a door I ripped down, just the right thickness. so I milled that down and had more than enough.


there's nothing like a Tardis materialising on your workbench! (not that way! that'd be awesome though.)

20190722_174025.jpg 20190722_181530.jpg

spackled the odd gaps here and there.  And now I can measure for my signs and size them for printing.
So I thought I'm done for the day, been at this for hours, then thought, what if I used a blue marker on the muntins instead of painting them, which would be messy? but I couldn't find mine. went out, the nearest shop had one dark blue one left, and several paler blue ones. I saw it as a sign, I was wrong, it was too dark, I should have gotten a lighter one, but I don't think it'll work anyway, having tried it out on one with the too dark blue sharpie. what about spray paint? yes great idea! I'll buy some tomorrow. on my way up out of the dungeon, what is that can atop the stairs? spray paint. blue. feels full. I have no recollection of buying that! but no one else would have done. I took that as a sign, I think it'll be enough to paint the whole thing, probably. I think I shall end up gluing the muntins on and just carefully hand painting the windows black with an art brush. oh wait, yes, it was for my dad's car, touch up. must've been.


onward and awkward! supposed to rain tomorrow so I might be able to finish up! but, probably not. I'm starting to think about what to do for a lantern. I'll go look at night lights tomorrow.
It's always a matter of time...

Davros Skaro

If your needing a knob to open your Tardis lid, then if you make your light for the top sturdy enough, it could woke for opening the lid as well.

Just a thought,



I thought about that. we'll see how sturdy it ends up being! thanks!
It's always a matter of time...


That looks like an insane amount of work to make something to hold a paper bag.  lol. 
"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.


ha! doesn't feel like work though, since no one's payin' me! d: labour of love. it's low stress, mostly, since I'm not trying to precisely replicate any particular version of a call box, just eyeballing everything, so far material costs have been zero too! and no deadline. :D I have put quite a few hours into it, but it feels great to be Tardis building again! really must get around to finishing up my other unfinished ones. I have a toy one I made in high school that still needs signs and window muntins, I think, never did make myself a siege mode version, despite making the printable colour version available, at least someone used that! and my workshop bathroom door is blue, but that's as far as I got with that. I also really want to make a zero chamber, to be buried in, preferably after I've died.

I still can't get used to spelling muntins correctly. I always thought it was muntons, and that still looks better to me. also sounds like possibly some kind of pastry. thank you for your comment. :)
It's always a matter of time...


Chapter 3, in which more stuff happens.

I sized and formatted my signs, copied to a thumb drive, taking them to Kinko's to print out as my computer can't currently see my printer for some reason, though it sees it when I scan something with it, it's a combo unit, I love computers.  

now then, where were we? ah yes, late last night I went down to the shop and glued the muntins on the front windows. that aren't really windows and won't really be. then, I ran out of tightbond III wood glue so I stopped and watched Good Omens pt 3 which was smashing.

today after fixing some things for other people, for money, hoorah, I picked up more glue, went into Kinko's/fed-ex copy shop and got the manager cross at me, I think he was having a bad day. I asked one bloke for some cardstock to print on at the self service machine, something I've certainly done before a dozen times or more. these machines have gotten too complex for their own good these days however, I studied the screen, I'm sorry, one of the screens, carefully, and was pretty sure I had informed it that I put heavy paper in tray #1, and tried to print my black and white document, with the top signs. it chose to take some thin paper from another tray instead however. so then I sez 2 can play at that game, I moved the cardstock to the lower tray, kept the upper tray open so it couldn't select that one if it wanted to, but forgot to tell it what thickness of paper it would be dealing with, and it promptly jammed. I think the manager who was trying to fix the other self service machine was already having a bad day, he seemed stressed. but after telling me I was naughty, took my thumb drive, told me the machines had a hard time with .Tiff extension files, (though I pointed out it printed it once) anyway he printed them for me on cardstock, and said let's call it even, I think I paid for one black and white copy, possibly 2, and got a colour one for free. so it all worked out in the end.

got home, cut out all my signs, they are not all the same size because I didn't do much measuring, and that's fine, they're close enough, and all fit in their respective places. I did end up making a St John's recycling medallion for a lark. glued on the remaining muntins, and started contemplating the lantern. I tried an old pill bottle, the right size and shape, and it would light up easily enough! but I don't think so. what I really need is a nice old wooden something that was milled on a lathe, oh what's this? a pepper grinder I was supposed to fix for someone but couldn't because it has a worn out nylon gear inside which you can't get a replacement for, so he bought another of the same overpriced things. it's perfect except, it's hollow, and too big. I toyed with chopping it down, but instead I think I shall look for an antique wooden doorstop. that'd be perfect. there's a reclaimed lumber place near me which I have avoided going into for literally years after seeing the wonderful things a friend of mine found there, but I think I shall have to finally check it out, I bet I'll find just the right thing in there, hopefully for not too terribly much moolah.

20190723_165718 reduced more.jpg


It's always a matter of time...


looking at the pic with the signs sitting on it, I realise I forgot the central stile should be more than twice it's width to accomodate a central mullion on top of it. oh well, next time! XD that's what I get for winging it completely and not drawing up a blue print. I think I'll use an aluminum roofing nail to represent the yale lock. just predrill and stab it right through the middle. chop off any pointy part that comes through the inside. If I was making this for someone else I would have taken great care to make it much more slick. good to have fun tho and not worry about how it comes out.
It's always a matter of time...