Thursday, May 9, 2013

TARDIS Build Update - Part 11

It has indeed been a while since my last blog update, the work on the tardis has been screaming along. Fear not! Also, since my last post, I have NOT had a close encounter with a saw blade. Apparently I learn from my mistakes.

To finish up the roof, I used my router to cut a chamfer along the edge of the inner lip that I installed in order to keep it in place on the base. This helps in the assembly of the roof ,and happens to work really well.

I believe this is the first picture I have of the tardis fully assembled. All of the primary construction elements are in place. From here on out, it's all details.

Because the thing is so tall, it's actually kind of hard to get a look at the pyramid that sits on top. I think I'm standing on a chair here.

Honorary Team Tardis member and award winning costumer, Hannah Black came by one day on her lunch break to check things out. I snapped this picture. When posted to Tumblr with the caption "Hanhardis", the internet shut down for a few days due to overuse.

Back to the main plot, a big box of water jet cut window frames arrived from master builder Philip Wise. The frames are great, and I love them all. Even though I only need eight of them.

I ended up doing some more work on the door sign, as a minor calculation error caused the sign to be too narrow. As of now, it is absolutely perfect and I consider it done.

The window frames that Philip sent were all cut slightly too big, which allows me to router them down so they fit perfectly in MY tardis build. As experience has shown me, measurements are extremely subjective when it comes to woodworking, so Philips plan of leaving some wiggle room was definitely the right one.

Here's the first window in place after re-sizing.

After A LOT of work on the router, including the building of a jig which would allow me to shave off a measured width from the frames each time, I got all of the frames in place.

A sheet of pebbled plex showed up, which I then cut into the proper sized pieces for the windows. Please note that these go in the bottom left and bottom right sections of the window frames.

At about the same time, my lantern showed up. Mine is the one on the left. At the end of the day, depending on which screen grabs you are looking at, it appears that Ewans is more accurate. It has the correct number of vent holes around the base. However, the overall shape of both lanterns is really great, and I'm absolutely thrilled to have this part of the build locked down and rolling.

Also we have some castings of the correct lantern topper.

After a ton of work with the dremel to pull the lantern apart and cut off the top, it's all primered and ready for painting.

Here's how it looks all primered and put back together, minus the struts.

And now the project really takes a turn into the un-fun zone. While this is all work that had to be done, it was just so painfully tedious that it made my brain melt. The fact that there were eight of these window frames to be managed made it really tough. I had already invested a lot of work sizing the frames properly, so this wasn't even the beginning.

I started out doing some puttying on the insides of the frames. The water jet cutter caused some blowouts and tiny places on EACH of the window openings that needed to be attended to. There was also a texture left by the cutter that I wanted to smooth out. In short, every surface of the window frames needed attention. Recall that there are eight of them. ouch.

Distraction came with another Team Tardis build day. Ewan is seen here working on laying up his first wall.

We also managed to glue up Ewans roof pyramid on this day. The roof base is also complete, meaning that the next step here is to attach the pyramid to the base.

With all of the window frames now sanded and puttied, it was time to paint. Long story short, these need to be primered first, then painted. This is not how I did things. I thought painting directly on them would work, but the auto paint I chose wasn't nearly opaque enough to cover the primer, so I ended up doing everything twice. This included three trips to two different auto parts stores to buy the paint I needed.

For reference, here's the paint I used. I don't have any inside intel into what the BBC woodsmen used on theirs, but this is what I used on mine. White is white.

Here's the primer I used. I usually steer FAR clear of rustoleum products, but this one seemed to do the trick.

With the windows painted, it was time to turn my attention to attaching the plex. Like Philips build, I used VHB tape to do it. A roll of the stuff cost me 75 bucks, and I'm pretty sure I burned through more than half of it. I started by gluing on the clear and the pebbled. Cutting the clear to the proper size and dimension took MUCH longer than I expected, and it took me quite a while to figure out a tactic that would allow me to cut the stuff without damaging the plex. I ended up using a coping saw and a jig that would support the weight of the plex as I cut it. The first few times the plex snapped off right as I was nearing the completion of the cut. Oy. Very frustrating.

Today I went to a local plastics place and picked up a bunch of white plex to go behind the clear plex. I used VHB tape once again to secure this.

All told, these darn windows took about five days to get finished. BUT, once in place, they look just great.

That is where things stand as of right now, on the evening of May 9. I have my "Police Box" signs on order, and hope they arrive soon. Aside from a little bit of clean up, I think I'm about ready to paint. I picked up my paint today, mind you. For a gallon of the stuff and reducer, it was just under 500 bucks. Tardis buildin' ain't cheap.

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