Wednesday, April 17, 2013

TARDIS Build Update - Part 6

As with all blog posts recently, MUCH has happened since my last one.

For those of you new to this build, I am taking the tactic of focusing on my build MORE than my documentation. Crazy. I know. The downside for followers of my work (Hi Mom!!!) is that my photos are all pretty crappy, and tend to be taken in fits and starts. This means the actual building is not being documented. Still, who cares.

This post is kind of a mish-mash of recent happenings and also TARDIS stuff, so if update-salad is not your thing, I suggest you immediately return to AICN or something more mainstream. :P

I'll start this post out with a money-shot of Team Tardis themselves, Ewan and I.

This was taken during one of our Sunday build sessions.

Here's Ewan with one of his recently completed door slat and rail assemblies.

If you haven't been keeping up with my build videos on youtube, now is your chance to get on board. Part five of my build diary is actually pretty darn hilarious (IMHO) and shows that Team Tardis knows how to party.

And now kiddies, sit back and I'll tell you a cautionary tale. It's a riff on the "Measure Twice, cut Once" motif that has been the mainstay of my life for the past five weeks. Don't get me wrong. Team Tardis measures twice, and cuts once. You don't gotta tell me that stuff. However, when an incorrect number is used on said measure that you do twice, it doesn't matter how many times you verify it. If your basic assumptions are wrong, precision doesn't really matter.

The long story short is that I glued SEVEN of the cove strips onto the posts in the wrong location. It wasn't until the seventh one went in that I accidentally found out I was putting them in the wrong place.

A couple lessons learned from this. One is that TightBond III is RIDICULOUSLY strong. The bond created by this glue is actually structurally stronger than the wood itself. This means that when I attempted to separate the strips from the posts, the wood failed before the bond failed. This is actually great news for the project as a whole, but crappy news for this particular step. I lost a grand total of about 20 hours of work, and spent an additional 50 bucks in material to fix this blunder.

The time was spent doing really annoying tedious work. First I had to cut the strips, which are 1 1/8" wide. I did that on the table saw. Then I had to router the cove into them. This took FOREVER because it was really slow going, and was also pretty error prone. Because I'm not using the highest quality tools, my results were mixed, and the wood often got damaged. After that it was a matter of precision cutting them to length, and gluing them in place. Because the posts are wonky and twisted in subtle ways, it was hard to get them perfectly into position.

Here's what it looks like when I'm gluing a strip into place.

As mentioned, I did seven of those before realizing they were wrong. Then I had to remove them, which was a collossal pain in the ass... and seriously noisy. After attempting to chisel them off, hammer them off and pry them off, I finally found a method that worked. I used a piece of scrap wood and a hammer to just pound them into submission. I ended up clobbering my hand once, which led to some bleeding. Ouch.

I then had to repair all the damage I did to the posts during strip removal. Finally, I had to remake all of the cove strips, as they were completely destroyed during the removal process. Oy.

The other thing I really learned from this is that wood is weird. I would take a straight board, cut it in half, and end up with two crooked boards. I just don't get it. Wood is weird. In speaking to my good friend Bill Fischer (who happens to be a mechanical engineer) about this, he managed to put a label on my pain. Wood is not homogenous or isotropic, which actually makes a lot of sense. I'm used to dealing with things like aluminum, steel, or resin, all of which ARE homogenous and isotropic. Basically what this means is that they are structurally consistent. Every square inch behaves the same way as the one next to it. Not the case with wood.

Anyhow, with the cove strips now in their proper place, work could begin again. Here you can see one of the side walls in its proper place, the correct distance from the face of the posts. Looking Good!

As of this writing, here is where things stand. I've kind of just thrown it together for this picture, but you get the idea. Two walls are fitted and in place, the front doors are where they need to be, and overall things are starting to look EXTREMELY TARDIS.

Directly as a result of my involvement in Star Trek Continues, I was brought on as BTS guy for another amazing Trek project, Star Trek Renegades. Renegades is set in the same TNG/DS9/VOY universe and timeline that we have all come to know and love, and takes place about 11 years after the final episode of voyager. Which I think makes it real-time. Anyhow, I am currently in the process of filming and producing a series of interviews with the cast of the show. My first one was with Tim Russ, which was a really fun experience. The first clip from this interview is already online, and I hope you'll take a moment to check it out. Not only to learn about Renegades, but also to see that I'm interviewing Tim Russ! Funny how much has changed in just a year, and how far my little youtube channel has come.

There are plenty more segments to come from that conversation, so please subscribe to my channel if you want to stay on top of it.

My second interview for that project was with an actress named Adrienne Wilkinson, who portrayed Xena's daughter. She plays the captain of a ship on Renegades, and is also a descendent of Khan. Not a bad role, if you ask me. I headed up to the hollywood hills to shoot her interview. We had a really great setting, and I think I managed to capture some of my best interview footage yet. Not only was it visually really great, but Adrienne was also a really fun and charming interview subject.

Here's where we shot:

And here's the view of the Hollywood hills from her balcony! Pretty darn cool!!!

But believe me, it's not all hard work for Team Tardis! The now world famous "Tardis Girls" invited me to join them for "Food Truck Friday" up in Granada Hills last week. I guess the best way to describe it is as a gathering of some of the greatest food trucks in SoCal. Well, I guess that's actually a really accurate way to describe it, as that's exactly what it is. This picture does not do it justice.

If you are in the mood for a little taste of local culture, I highly recommend this event.

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