T.A.R.D.I.S. Media Case

This page is to document the design and build of a TARDIS inspired media case. The case is about five ft. tall to the top of the light. The inner case is 44 inches tall and slightly over 2 ft wide on the outside. My intent is to equip the case with light and sound effects. This will be accomplished with a commercial, licensed sound maker and an add-on circuit to drive some LEDs from the sound signal. These will be triggered by switches located in the top area.

Also available on this page- CAD (.dxf) file, a plan and a cut-list PDF files based on the CAD file, and Google Sketchup file (showing individual parts). I started this project in QCAD and then moved to Sketchup 8 running under WINE on Linux (updated 9/15/12). A number of modifications were made in sketchup as I was able to create 3D parts and assemble them. I have tried to back-port those changes into the CAD file. A number of graphics found on the internet and modified to fit this project are also available as will be schematics and assembly drawings for the electronics once I have them figured out:

The first and second half graphics are for the partial signs on the sides of the box. Print the graphics and have them laminated, or place them under thin acrylic sheets.

9/1/2012 Build Day 1

Materials purchased, I overpaid for the pine boards. I will redesign to use plywood. At any rate all of the pieces are cut and dry fitted for the cases themselves. I still have to cut the dadoes for the shelves to set in but the saw is all set up for the morning. total cost to date $163.77 + taxes.

day 1

9/2/2012 Build Day 2

Cases have had dados cut for shelves and cases are glued up. Here's a picture of the last case setting in the clamps. The backs are just setting in place to keeep the box square. I have to tweek them a little to insure they set flush as the backs of the smaller cases are the front of the TARDIS.

day 2

9/3/2012 Build Day 3

Cases have had backs fit and glued, so the basic cases are complete. Started cutting trim work and laid out and painted the window areas with white appliance paint. The epoxy based paint will have the gloss of glass, but I may have to apply a plastic sheet over them.

day 3

9/4/2012 Build Day 4

Started cutting and fitting the 'rails and stiles'. One panel is finished except the sign and window trim on the side. Parts are all cut for the other front cabinet and the sign parts are glued up. I will print the signage and laminate it and glue that to the case. Tomorrow should see everything but the top finished. The shop is so hot I can only work for an hour or so at a time and have to go to the house and cool off in the A/C. This works well as I take a break every time I have a set of glue ups in the clamps. day 4

9/5/2012 Build Day 5

Finished most of the trim work on all three cabinets. I have cut and preliminary fit all the pieces for the roof except the small detail at the top of the posts. I will try to get them glued up tomorrow, but that's 'yard day' so I may not get much shop time. I also need to fabricate the police sign pieces for the sides. I am waiting for the sound device so I probably will not attach the roof proper until that comes in and I can figure out how to mount everything. I also have to find something to use for the light fixture.

day 5

9/6/2012 Build Day 6

Glued up the top pieces for the front cabinets and discovered that I had made the top 1" narrower than the apparent depth. This required a quick fix by laminating a 1/2" piece on each side. This throws the line off where the roof panels meet at the corner, but still looks better than before. I made my first prototype of the light, some problems with the design, so the second version is on the lathe now.

day 6

A friend came by the other day and took some pictures, below is one of me laying out the windows.

Me at work

9/7/2012 Build Day 7

Family game day, so not much progress. I glued the top piece to the left front cabinet and put the side sign on, sanded and primed inside and out. I made the second light, there is a closeup below.

day 7

9/8/2012 Build Day 8

Sanding, priming, painting and working on electronics. I went by Radio Shack to pick up a battery clip, transistors etc and spotted two kits. #276-1323 "Digital Recording Module and Velliman Mini-kit MK103RS "Sound-to-light Unit". Both use 9v batteries, so I just strapped both to the same battery pack. After recording the TARDIS sound from the 'Doctor Who in your Pocket" I removed the microphone and record switch from the module. I the built the other kit and tested it. I removed its microphone and strapped the speaker in parallel. Now when I press the button it plays the TARDIS sound ONCE and quits. (The pocket device keeps repeating if the switch is kept closed). I will mount this to a drawer that goes in the top section of the rear cabinet.

day 8

9/9/2012 Build Day 9

Not much work today, spent time in the pool with some grandkids. Finished assembling the kits and connecting them. Interesting note - I had cannected the output of the recorder ro th emicrophone inputs with the speaker in parallel. Well the speaker works as a mike and any noise set off the LEDs. While troubleshooting I removed the speaker so the is NO input to the sound to light module. The drain on the battery is enough to trigger it and ut no longer responds to environmental noise. Pictured is the tray with the parts mounted. I will have to remount the switch as it needs to protrude about 1/8" when fully depressed.

day 9

9/10/2012 Build Day 10

No pictures today. Just sanding priming and painting.

9/11/2012 Build Day 11

Not much time in the shop today, went to WPB to see Indiana Jones on IMAX, that took most of the day. I finished painting before we left though!!! (Well, some touchup to do.) I will affix signage and door handle and hinges and take pictures in the morning. Will start updating the graphics to an 'As-built' status this week. There are a few places where I would make changes if I wanted to be totally accurate. There needs to be another layer around the 'doors' including a mullion strip in the center of the front and on the rear edges of the back cabinet. In this scale they would only be about 1/8" thick and thats a problem. Doing it again, either do not use MDF or seal it with shellac prior to painting. Cut (or sanded) surfaces suck up the paint without taking color. I propbably need a new saw blade as most of the beveled edges are ragged. I definitely need to make a 'zero clearance' throat plate at the 22.5 degree angle for the bevels. The factory throat plat is just too open and the beveled edges got way too rough as a result of the two issues. Unfortunately, zero clearance plates are a bit hard to make for my saw.

9/12/2012 Build Day 12

Finished and in place.

Finished almost Finished almost

Copyright 2012, Thomas Sturgill (thsturgill @ yahoo . com )