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Bobby's Bobby Box

Started by rob, Aug 24, 2019, 08:43 pm

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Aug 24, 2019, 08:43 pm Last Edit: Jan 06, 2020, 03:37 pm by rob
Many years ago, I was given the remains of a standard TARDIS prop. I had been informed that it was lethal! The 8x4 ply sides were attached with hinges. When opened they slotted into a green base with blue blocks of wood to keep them upright. Then a solid heavy structure was placed on top. Like the original prop, it was prone to collapsing on the person below!

It was not accurate, not finished and certainly not safe. It was due to be burned.

WHAT! I hear you shout... burn a TARDIS!

Exactly! I volunteered my services for keeping it and building a better one! After years of wanting my own police box, (photos will follow of my Crich experiences and wardrobe endeavours), my opportunity had arrived and my intention then and still today, is to build it with the wood given and with very little expenditure...

I am now on my 2nd year of building (I don't do much work on it) and thought I would share with this community my labour. I'll keep the posts going chronologically and give you plenty of pics and updates.

This summer has been the most fruitful but first of all here is how it once looked...



This is an interesting story.
Looking forward to seeing more. :)




Aug 26, 2019, 01:51 pm #2 Last Edit: Aug 26, 2019, 02:33 pm by rob
After many months of deliberation, thoughtful planning and weighing up the materials I had inherited, I began to make Bobby's Bobby Box!

To begin the project, I kind of just went for it! No particular style in mind although I grew up with the 80's box. I loved the shade of blue and the style, especially during the McCoy years. However, I had vetoed this in favour of an original box for design ease, St John's badge, and the flavour of an original box...

As mentioned before, I had conceived the idea to make it extremely cheaply, therefore I chose to use pallet boards for the floor and 'roof'. I got hold of two boards in great condition. However, my plans changed when I couldn't get two the same. I tried cutting down a pallet but it didn't work.

In the end, I used the green boards the prop stood on. They were 2cm thick ply boards. I hand sawed them to size using the measurements of the intended 'roof' pallet, approximately 100cm x 100cm.

I then used the 2x4 planks that were left over from the roof to create the step and gave support in the middle using the blocks of wood. I left 3mm around the edge for the sides to slit into. This all sounds confusing but I have ended up with a solid base to build onto!



Aug 29, 2019, 11:43 pm #3 Last Edit: Aug 29, 2019, 11:45 pm by rob
With the base ready, I turned my attention to what was stage one of the roof. My idea was for a pallet to hold the shape of the TARDIS and then stage 2 was to continue to build up the roof externally in the future.

The pallet would be attached to the other end of each of the four main sides. To make a cuboid. Unfortunately, the pallet had not been made with equal sides! This meant I had to add wood to one of the sides to extend the width! It still wasn't perfect. My TARDIS is being made with slightly inaccurate measurements!

Here is the pallet that was made for the roof section. You can see the base in the background.



Sep 04, 2019, 09:59 pm #4 Last Edit: Sep 04, 2019, 10:12 pm by rob
Once I had the base and the 'roof' with the same measurements, my attention turned to the four posts.

Originally, I intended to buy four 10x10cm beams. My idea was to create a groove running along them for the sides to slot into. However, the cost of the beams was too much - especially as I was driven to keep costs down!

So I decided that I would purchase four 3x3cm beams of wood. This came to £14. Wow! My first big spend! My plan was now to create the outside posts using planks of wood but more on that later.

I screwed the first panel to the 3x3cm beams and then continued to drill the others.
The 'roof' and base were screwed to the panels as well. I did not drill the posts from under the base or from on top of the roof to make them more secure. Time will tell if I should have!

For the base, I screwed the 2x4 planks of wood on to the sides, cutting them to length as I went. Each long screw went through to the blocks of wood on the base. Very tough to do!

So the structure is starting to take place... What do you think?



With my limited metric skills and my beefy 4x4" cornerposts, 3x3cm seems dangerously flimsy.  But I guess if you're screwing a cladding/fascia to it, it could work really well.  The picture actually looks very promising.  You're not doing it so the TARDIS accesses the shed behind it, are you?  Even so, it looks like you're off to a good start.  Best of luck. 
"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.


Looking good.

I think it should be fine.
Once the walls are on It's own weight should keep the structure nice & secure.

You can always add more L shaped braces at the end if you feel you need more support.

Keep up the good work!



Sep 05, 2019, 09:40 pm #7 Last Edit: Sep 05, 2019, 09:41 pm by rob
Thanks for the comments. It is very sturdy and hopefully the more features added it will be sturdier. The 3x3 posts will have reinforcements too!


Here is a photo of the front of the original box. As you can see it was not a finished product and not in great condition!

This was when I cut the sides and length down. It had a few challenges like calculating which part of the flat was in the best condition.



Sep 13, 2019, 10:09 pm #9 Last Edit: Sep 13, 2019, 10:19 pm by rob
Earlier this year, I began searching for wood to use as the posts. Having disregarded the idea to use solid posts, I was looking for two planks of wood to screw together to make an L shape. They would go round the corners of the TARDIS.

On each post, I calculated that one of the planks would be 10cm wide. This would be screwed to a plank 7.5cm wide. This would mean the edge of the first plank would increase the width of the second plank resulting in equal widths.

In the end, I purchased from my work the wood I needed. The plan worked brilliantly! They were just right and were screwed from the outside - through the sides - into the 3x3cm posts on the inside.

It suddenly took a little more shape...


You are probably wondering why the window is by the base! Well I knew it would be repainted so the old paint work didn't matter! In fact since this photo was taken I have reversed each flat so the blue is on the inside!


I am sorely tempted to kibbutz, but nothing I can say will change what's been done to date, you'll figure out anything I'd say, and if I say anything it won't be as fun to see how your build turns out.  Fixed point in time and all that.  So I'll just say that I'm happy, surprised, and just a tad disappointed that your corner post plan turned out about the way you expected it.  The story is so much more fun when you've made a math error or put the strips together wrong, and then you have to improvise a solution. 
"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.


Sep 20, 2019, 07:34 pm #11 Last Edit: Sep 20, 2019, 07:40 pm by rob
During this summer, work began again on the box!

I used outdoor filler to fill in the screw holes and other areas that needed patching. I then used outdoor sealant to fill the gaps along the posts and the base.

I also located a good sheet of wood from a skip to use as a roof. This is the first stage of my roof project! I painted all sides of the roof with gloss to make it waterproof. I'll post more info about the roof later.

For now, here is a very white TARDIS!



Sep 25, 2019, 09:55 pm #12 Last Edit: Sep 26, 2019, 06:02 am by rob
After giving it all a good undercoat, I went to work at the 'Police Box' signs. I'm afraid I didn't take any 'working progress' pictures but the four signs came together nicely.

I've made it so far using three sections. I used some good solid wood for the main part of the sign and behind it I placed wood that is smaller in length to fit between the posts. On the outside, I used ply to create the edging.

My intention is to place glass inside and then surround it with more plywood. My worry is that water will become trapped and cause condensation...

In terms of the actual sign, I have decided against having them made due to the cost and instead opting to buy adhesive letter labels. I have already got some sent to me but they turned out a bit too large... More news on them soon.

I have also begun painting the box blue! It was very exciting as this happened! It really felt like it's getting there but there is so much more to do!

I have left parts white as I will add the features first before painting yet more blue! You may also notice that there is no door in yet! Thats right - you cant get in!

l'll upload a recent closer picture of the signs shortly however for now here is 'Bobby's Bobby Box' with a coat of blue!



I like that you're going with the Police Box/Brachaki POLICE BOX signs.  I've got a soft spot for them over the modern/TYJ version. 
"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.


Oct 07, 2019, 09:45 pm #14 Last Edit: Oct 07, 2019, 09:47 pm by rob
So how do you get in?!

After much thought I decided to go with one door into the TARDIS. I'm sure that this site might discuss at length one door or two but for me it came down to trying to keep a balance between the TARDIS prop and an original 'Police Box'. I'm going to put a desk in and I'll put it down by the left side, like an original Police Box.

So to get in, I sawed through the front side. Once in, I found my hammer that I once dropped down while working on the roof! I then turned the panel into a door. It's all temporary until I can add the features.