My New Series Doctor Who Tardis Build (image heavy)


Sr Member
This is how it ended up.


Overall Build Drawing
This drawing can be scaled to exact measurements.

I've been researching Tardis builds at the Tardis Builders forum. The process has been somewhat painful as the BBC, who owns the rights, approaches sharing of information in a polar opposite fashion to Lucasfilm, who embraces fandom in areas like R2 building and costuming.

Anybody that's ever tried to build a Dalek knows exactly what I'm speaking about.

Edit: I originally said that in the builder's forum, there is no real exchange of information there, which wasn't really fair in retrospect. There is a lot of information there that will help a build. But nothing like openly and freely shared drawings such as Star Wars R2 Builders have access to.

Anyway, off my soapbox.

At its most fundamental, a Tardis build is a woodworking exercise. As with any woodworking project, the more tools you have, the easier it is, but you can do it with relatively few tools as well.

After quite a bit of research, I started my NST knockdown build recently. This is being built like the show prop and never intended to be out in the weather. This is important because the actual show prop build method could never withstand rain.

After a lot of consideration on materials, I settled on wood that I believe matches the wood shown in a photo at the builders forum of the Matt Smith Tardis before it was weathered. I selected #2 spruce from Home Depot, which is a dry, generally straight, white wood with tight red knots because it appears to match exactly. It happens to come from Sweden. By and large it's a nice piece of wood.

It's my plan to show quite a bit of detail on the build hoping that others can see the process and feel less intimidated by the project.

In case anybody has missed it, you can also check out Deck5's very nice classic Tardis build here: Classic TARDIS (picture-heavy)

First trip home from Home Depot with boards.


I started with the posts as I plan to have the bottom of the posts *plug into* holes in the base and wanted to ensure they would fit snuggly.

Board selection started first. The board all have some defects, so I spent some time orienting each to minimize the visible defects.


I decided to use only biscuits and glue to make the posts.


It's definitely a handful gluing and clamping a post because though the boards are pretty straight, they aren't perfect and there are many gaps to close.



Both ends of the posts have to be trimmed square. I made up a sled for my portable circular saw with a carefully set square board on the bottom to aid in this process.




Once trimmed, I sanded all the glue off and edges even.



And so far, all I have is 4 square posts. Whew.

Last edited:
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Very clean work. Biscuits make for a very strong join (the glue makes them swell up in the slots -- for anyone who might not know). I had a smaller collection of clamps on hand, and so used screws here and there to close the gaps.
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Nice to show the pics. I wish I had the space for creations like this.

Please keep the updates coming!
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Ok, the build looks cool but the real talking point is your shop - it looks amazing!!!! So jealous.:love
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Yep...I'll be subscribing to this thread.

I so wish I had the time, talent, space, tools and money for something like this. It's times like this I curse the fact that I'm so good looking and not rich. :)
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Ok, the build looks cool but the real talking point is your shop - it looks amazing!!!! So jealous.:love

And all those tools, too. Good clamps, those.
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

I am incredibly jealous of your workspace. Can't wait to see the progress!
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Getting started today, I carefully oriented each post so they would have the same locations of the vertical joints and marked their locations and roughly marked the area each will receive a routing profile to match the prop. An important step because messing this up would mean starting over on a post.



The 4 posts will *plug* into the base so they will be stable without having to screw them in place each time it's moved, and this should also make it much easier to assemble and disassemble.

Same wood and same process use to make the inserts as the posts, just smaller to create a snug but not too tight fit inside the bottom of each post. They are 10" long and stick out 4". The edges of the top and bottom of these inserts were knocked off with a 45 degree router bit to aid assembly. The assemblies were pushed through the bit on my router table with a backer board to prevent tear-out when the bit exited the piece.






I used Gorilla Polyurethane Glue for assembly as it works great when you can't easily apply glue to both surfaces, as well as it works better for a joint where you are sliding one piece into another and don't want it to stick on the way in. Just remember, you have to wet the surface prior to contact or the glue won't set up as it requires the presence of moisture to cure. The foaming out is common with this glue and easily cleaned up with a knife or chisel. Another use note for those who haven't used it before. Always use gloves because this material will not come off your hands after it dries. Unless you sand it off. Ouch.

Last edited:
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

All those toys and gadgets.. it's the dream shop for... everyone.

I can wait to see what's next!!
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Looking great so far....looking forward to seeing this build progress.
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Hey Philip, looking good! That is a very impressive workshop. I agree with the others here, I'm so jealous! I could so do with a big Ford truck too.

I was just gonna have a quick look at your thread but after having had a good look around here at other threads, I just had to join this forum!

re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Work continues on the posts. There's a lot of effort require on the top end of them as there is an irregular area that as to be cut out, ideally with a router and template. You could do it with a chisel and patience, but it would sure take awhile. Each one has a left and a right orientation, so I made snug templates for each and routed them out with a short pattern bit 3/16" deep. The following photos are the progression of building one jug, setting up the router and the final cut.






Two of the long vertical edges get a 3/8" wide by 3/16" deep rabbet (notch) cut on them. A rabbet router bit was used for that.



Finally, the other two long edges get a 45 degree chamfer.


All that's left now on the posts is to figure out how to plug the post tops so you can't see down into them. Next up, building the base.
Last edited:
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Awesome, I'd like to do the same project. I'll be watching your build closely
re: My New Series Dr Who Tardis Build (image heavy)

Surely you'll chisel out the little round corners the router couldn't get into? :D (Nice work, btw!)

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.