Project: TARDiS

eendje001

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Dec 1, 2005
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tardiscase.jpg


The Reason
As you are probably wondering, why on earth (or beyond) would anyone build a custom case in the shape of a tardis?

To this question there are only two proper answers. Firstly, because i can. Secondly, because of this little machine:

tardis00.jpg


With a machine like this in my computer room, i needed to have a case that would fit in its surroundings, so i ended up thinking about building my own tardis (from the classic Dr. Who series) pretty quickly.
In the course of the past 27 seasons the series' tardis exterior changed quite much, so i tried to design a blend of all different versions.

The Idea
I started off with a bunch of sketches, which ended up in a simple 3D-design
Technical drawing (PDF - front)

tardis-line.jpg


De uitwerking
As the original police boxes the tardis was based on were made of cast iron, i ran into a problem right away. There was no way i would be able to make one from cast iron myself. Luckily, the later seasons came to the rescue, and featured a tardis made out of wood. This made the first step on the road to get this project finished.
So i walked over to the store for a decently sized collection of wood.

tardis01.jpg

tardis02.jpg


Firstly i started preparing the base of the case.
tardis03.jpg


The next thing to do was to fit the corner pillars in to place. The four posts will ensure the structural integrity of the entire case, so proper fitting was important.
tardis04.jpg


Testfitting the walls to check for any errors in measurement.
tardis05.jpg


After the walls were tesfitted, i started with preparing the walls itself. Not only did it mean sawing a LOT of small pieces of wood, but also i faced the difficulty of glueing them in the right place one by one.
tardis06.jpg


After i finished the basis for the first wall, the tardis actually started to take shape.
tardis08.jpg


The walls are fastened to the pillars by using small bearers normally used for holding shelves up. The front of the case isn't glued to them, since it'll need to be removable to be able to work at the insides.
tardis10.jpg

tardis11.jpg

tardis12.jpg


After attaching the four walls, and making the holes for the windows and grates for the ariflow it's starting to look mor eand more like the tardis.
tardis13.jpg


Being finished with the lower part of the case for now, i started on the top part. Since i wanted to be able to detach it at all times, it needed to be an accurate fit. To make the two parts seemingly fit together seamlessly, i added a flexible layer between the two.
tardis14.jpg

tardis15.jpg

tardis16.jpg



After a few days of relaxing, i made the signs that are on the top side of the tardis.
tardis17.jpg

tardis18.jpg

tardis19.jpg

tardis20.jpg

tardis25.jpg


Next i added the LEDs behind the signs. Since i generally pretty much suck at soldering, this was the single most dreaded part of the entire mod.
tardis22.jpg

tardis23.jpg

tardis24.jpg


After a few days thinking on a way to finish up the roof, and several attempts using different materials, i settled once again on wood.... :)
tardis28.jpg

tardis30.jpg

tardis31.jpg


With the following result.
tardis29.jpg


For the next step, i applied two base layers of ground on the case.
tardis32.jpg


After the base paint dried, i applied two layers of dark blue paint and added the grates and windows to the case.
tardis35.jpg

tardis39.jpg

tardis40.jpg


After the paint dried, the gruesome process of adding the window details, with 8 seperate windows requiring 16 individual pieces cut to measure each, this took a lot of time and patience. It was woirth all the effort though.
tardis44.jpg


Which after painting made the case look like this:
tardis48.jpg


That's it for now, i'm a lot further along on the case already, so i'll update the worklog as soon as possible.
 

Mohonri

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Jul 29, 2005
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Very nice craftsmanship. So, uh, when does it change from a model to a computer case? :p

 

aj@x

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Oct 16, 2005
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158
Damn! that is so sweet dude! i am a huge Doctor Who fan too :D
 

H8Mondays

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May 10, 2005
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That is great! I love Dr. Who. Always been partial to Tom Baker's version. Excellent workmanship.
 

Whitedog

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Jun 5, 2004
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Wow. This is an excellent reproduction of the Tardis! I have been a fan of the Doctor since the late 70's and just think this mod is the bomb! Great work so far! I can’t wait to see the finished project! I hope you will provide specs for some of us who would like to build one for ourselves! Those of us who are not nearly as talented as yourself with the carpentry skills!
Thanks’ for the pictures and progress updates!
WD
 

Haven

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Oct 11, 2002
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I have been planning on making the door to my home office a Tardis door....I never thought about making the case a tardis. It looks very cool. I can't wait to see the internals mounted.
 

revenant

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very nice... that brings back some memories... I used to watch a lot of who back in the days... when I was a wee lad. :) So are you going to make it like way more roomy on the inside than the out, like the real Tardis? heh ;)
 

eendje001

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Dec 1, 2005
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12
Thanks to you all for all the encouraging comments.. :)

A small update of the stuff i didn't have time for to post in the starting post, as promised in the same post... ;)


A proper tardis needs a light on top, so i got this nice miniature fixture to mount on top of the case. For size reference there's a package of cigarettes next to it... :)
Also in the pictures are the power and reset buttons that i'm going to use as outer control buttons.

tardis51.jpg

tardis50.jpg


Where in the original tardis there's a police phone behind the panel in the front, i figured it would be a nice accessible and still out of sight place to put the buttons.
Inmiddels ben ik ook begonnen aan het luikje op de kast waar de knoppen achter komen. In de echte tardis zit hier de police

First i made it with a little piece of carton in the frame, all for proper measurement.
tardis53.jpg


After that, i added the actual text in there. In front of it i a piece of lexan, to give it a nice shiny and authentic look. For easy access i mounted a small (approx 1 cm) handle.

tardis54.jpg


After thinking very long on a way to make the case seem bigger on the inside than on the outside, i finally settled on using mirrors. By mounting two mirrors opposite aechother on each side of the case, it would generate an effect of an endlessly propagating hallway filled with hardware.
Practically this meant i had to get the mirrors perfectly parallelly aligned, which meant hours of work to fit and djeust their setting. The result was amazing though.

Before i testfitted the mainboard
tardis55.jpg


And after the testfitting...
tardis57.jpg


After the amount of work i put in aligning the mirrors, i needed to get my mind off tiny margins, and i set myself to soldering the toplight together, and mounting it on top of the case. The effect when turned on in the dark was pretty nice.
tardis60.jpg


Next to that, i mounted the little door on two transparent hinges.
tardis61.jpg


Then i decided it was finally time to try some hardware testfittings. I pulled out the mainboard i intended to use, the MSI KM4M-V and i mounted it on the mainboard support.
tardis63.jpg

tardis64.jpg


To mount the hard drives and power supply, i glued an aluminium strip to the bottom of the same, behind which the power supply fits snugly. The hard drives themselves are attached to two simple rail profiles, and then hooked on the same angle strip.
tardis65.jpg


All that amounted to the following...
tardis62.jpg


More updates will follow soon... :)
 

Brent_Justice

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Apr 17, 2000
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That is so freakin awesome, what a perfect setup for a computer, lots of space for components. The mirrors were an excellent idea!
 

travis712

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Dec 29, 2005
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Love the mirror. You should make a few of these and sell them on ebay, hell you could make a small business out've it :p
 

revenant

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whoa... I was thinking about this today on the trip home and thought mirrors would prolly be best for making the inside seem huge compared to the out... lol.
 

RudeBelch

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Jan 5, 2006
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That's one sweet case mod!

Man, the DUtch government doesn't mess around with the warning on packs of cigarettes: "Roken is dodelijk" translates to "Smoking is fatal". :)
 

SAS91

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bored-sarcasm said:
that is awesome. i actually though that was an endless array of wires until i read the description.

x2, the mirrors look awesome great job!
 

Skolar

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Aug 19, 2004
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Beautiful craftsmanship. Is woodworking a hobby or do you do it for a living?
 

QwertyJuan

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RudeBelch said:
That's one sweet case mod!

Man, the DUtch government doesn't mess around with the warning on packs of cigarettes: "Roken is dodelijk" translates to "Smoking is fatal". :)

It's WORSE in Canada.... they have pics of peoples tar infested lungs on the packs ALONG with stuff like "smoking can kill you"

QJ
 

reins

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Dec 13, 2005
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bored-sarcasm said:
that is awesome. i actually though that was an endless array of wires until i read the description.

X3 :). Amazing work. Wood cases seem to be the most creative :cool:.
 

eendje001

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Dec 1, 2005
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Skolar said:
Beautiful craftsmanship. Is woodworking a hobby or do you do it for a living?

It's purely a hobby... :)
To make things worse, the tardis is the first thing i made out of wood, besides sawing a few shelves now and then.

Wood's a very forgiving material though... :D
 

typhoon43

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Apr 5, 2001
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Beautiful job so far. I grew up watching Dr. Who. Make sure you have Alex's Math star in there somewhere. I miss that little guy... :p
 

Darkala

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Nov 8, 2005
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i do not like wood cases, ive never seen one i like. but this, is purely badass, and very nice work.
 

BellaCroix

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Mar 25, 2004
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As a former Who-vian (now coverted to MST-ie) I have to say... that's AMAZING!

Can you dress-up a Barbie doll as Ace (Sophie Aldred) next? Don't forget the Nitro-9!

Good job man!
 

KatirZan

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Oct 8, 2002
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nice

ook wel grappig dat je er af en toe nederlands door heen gooit :p

Just, when 99% of the members speak english...i just addept to that :p

nice job on the box...looks just like the original :D
 

jahcs

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Aug 26, 2005
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Awesome work!

Will you be putting a mirror on the 3rd inside wall also?
 

Majin

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That is so awesome!
Dr. Who brings me back.
I can't remember any proper names of the characters or anything, but I still remember the show.

What a cool Idea for a case.

Not to mention you have a frickin pinball machine in your room!
That is hella cool!
 

eendje001

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Dec 1, 2005
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It's been a while since i updated the worklog, but here it finally is, the next update... :)

This fase of the project needed a lot of time to think small things through, not only i had to find a way to direct the airflow, also i needed ways to fix everything in place, without permanently attaching things (i wouldn't like to demolish half the case just to put in a new mainboard when needed)
So after a lot of thinking and trying several things out, i ended up with a few nice ways to do things...

Firstly, i started off with the fan-mountings. Since there's room between the 'door' and the mainboard-tray, it would cause a 'false' airflow, that would disrupt any effecient way of cooling the thing. Considering the only place i have limited room is on the bottom part, i needed a way to bnoth attach the fans there, whilst simutanuously block the airflow to the beforementioned gap.
To do this., i attached two wooden, sloped bars on the back of the door, that when the case is closed, close off the gap. The distance between the bars is set to 79mm, so that an 80mm fan would fit snugly in between there, without any need for glue or screws. The depth of the bars made it possibl;e to mount the fans approx. an inch away from the roster, which turned out to be the optimal place for a combination of maximum airflow, and minimal noise.

tardis66.jpg

tardis67.jpg


Building from this idea, i made a fan-holder for the top-fan as well. This one didn't need any airduct functions, so it was fairly easy to construct.

Without fan mounted:
tardis69.jpg


With fan mounted:
tardis69b.jpg


Nest to this, i went to work to attach all the hardware the box needed to function properly.
Even though the case in itself is pretty large, i wanted to keep the top part as free from clutter as possible. This caused a lot of troubled trying to fit everything into the bottom part.

Some things were needed that you can't see in the pictures..
- The mainboard-tray is held in place by two wedges which keep the board snugly in place.
- All cables from the top part are worked behind the mirrors, which keeps the top part nice and clean.

After all this, it started to look like an actual pc was residing inside the case.
tardis70.jpg


The last thing i did was drill a hole in the back of the case for the cables.
tardis71.jpg


Now all that remains to do is fixing all the small damage caused to the paint, and retouch several newly drilled holes...
 

eendje001

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Dec 1, 2005
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jahcs said:
Awesome work!

Will you be putting a mirror on the 3rd inside wall also?

Nope, the effect would be ruined, since i can't put a full size mirror there (due to the fan)
 

rogue_jedi

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nice work on the case so far. i'm not exactly familiar with doctor who (seen it once? i think) but it looks great.

i like the effect with the mirrors a lot.

the black knight always triumphs!
 

Majin

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rogue_jedi said:
nice work on the case so far. i'm not exactly familiar with doctor who (seen it once? i think) but it looks great.

i like the effect with the mirrors a lot.


Alot of shows, mostly Sci-Fi, have taken things from Dr. Who.
It's a great show, worth checking out.
 
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