My Dumb Projects
Sunday, June 24, 2007
  T.A.R.D.I.S. DVD Cabinet

I became a re-born fan of the new Doctor Who so I was compelled to make a Tardis. I don't have the space for a full size TARDIS so I decided to make a miniature version that would house my Doctor Who DVDs.

To keep the rough grain look, I decided to use 3/16" Basswood. I inserted a strip of MDF for strength. The panel frames were cut out of 3/32" strips and glued together using a MDF jig to keep them all the same.

To add the interior router edge I had to build a jig for the router guide (1/4" MDF) to rest against. I then glued each frame to a sheet of 3/32" basswood (with the window areas cut out).

The routered edges on the door panels.

I added some styrene for the post details. I guess I could have used basswood but I thought that plastic would offer better protection against eventual bumps.

The panels were glued into the posts and beveled trim was added around and between the panels.

The base was cut out of 1/2" MDF with a 1/4" MDF insert to keep the walls square.

1/4" MDF was used for the area over the doorway with beveled strips to frame the doors.

The Police signs were made with 1/16" basswood. Eventually I'd like to add lighting to this model so I made the boxes removable.

I painted the insides black for the (eventual) backlighting.

I cut the roof out of 1/2" MDF on the table saw.

The final touch to the roof was a bit of corner detail. The roof is still removable.

I made the phone door out of plastic with a brass rod inserted as a hinge.

The door inserted into the door.

For door handles, I used staples.

I used pliers, tin snips and files to shape the staples into the handles for both the phone door and main door. They were CA glued in place.

I found some tiny brass hinges to attach the doors. Unfortunately I had to hang the doors to open out because of the limited space inside once the DVD's are inside. Oh well...

The window frames were cut from strips of 1/16" basswood. I made a jig out of MDF so they would all turn out the same.

After much experimentation, I figured out the window glass. I used .02 clear styrene, frosted it with Krylon Matte Finish and then added clear caulk, stippled with a toothpick, for the "shower glass" panes.

For the top lamp, I needed two plastic frosted tubes to make the inner and outer lamp lens. A Bic pen and a Dial Complete pump (area around the spring) supplied the parts.

The Lamp top and bottom were lathed out of a dowel, with brass rods forming the posts. To make the cage around the outer lens, I masked off the panes with scotch tape and painted with primer.

The assembled lamp.

To eventually light the windows, I built a interior box out of 1/4" MDF with tin foil reflectors.

The inner box was lined with black felt.

The lock was "lathed" out of a golf tee with a power drill and a file.

I picked up a doll house lighting rig with little bulbs pre-wired to a battery pack. I put a bulb behind each window, in each police sign and in the lamp.

The final TARDIS! The phone door sign is a laser print from a tight screen cap.
Hi, great cabinet. I have a project in mind for a reduced size TARDIS, is the 3D model or plans available? Would you be willing to build another? What would the cost of such a thing be?


Give me a yell through IM or email and we'll talk. Addresses are in my profile.
wow. amazing. you sure spent a lot on time on it.

the only thing is that the doors open the other way...

good job on it though
I planned to hold my DVDs in it so there wasn't room for the doors in open inward.
cool project!

I have already started making a replica TARDIS (and it doesn't look very much like it because of restrictions I had at my shop).

But anyways, how do you make the tapered top of the TARDIS? What should I do to make the tiny little pyramid on the top?

Thanks for your help! And I'll definitely will be referencing your work when I decide to make a more POLISHED TARDIS!
I kinda cheated on my TARDIS roof, making it from a solid chunk of MDF and just sanded the bevels on it. If it were any bigger, I would've framed it out and built it like the real thing to save weight
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These are all the dumb things I find myself obsessed with building when I SHOULD be doing something more productive.

As a kid I built lots of plastic model kits, never knowing that one day those skills would actually be of use.

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
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