Building a TARDIS... Doctor Who.

My friend George and I suddenly decided yesterday that we'd really love to build a TARDIS.

Considering this thing is 8+ feet tall, and we'd like it to be portable... does anyone have any suggestions for materials? I think more than anything I just need to go to Home Depot and look for supplies.

Any brainstorming help will be appreciated. :D

Oh, and if you don't know what a TARDIS is...

Or, see below. The TARDIS pictured with the ever lovely David Tennant. :D

P.S. I'm not starting on this until the Robot Plushie instructables is up, which will be by Saturday night, if not sooner. :)

Picture of Building a TARDIS... Doctor Who.
My husband and I are planning on building our own tardis when we get back to the states, we will be following the directions though off of:

Hope this helps anyone in the future that wants to build their own :D
WAIT! Did you say back to the states? Does that mean you, like me, are one of the rare American Dr. Who fan?
Not true. I know a lot of American people who are Doctor Who fans. Most of them being teenagers. Most of them being recruted by me :)
Rubbish. I'm American and I am neither a teen nor one of your recruits. I am the same age as Paul McGann.
LOL yessss we are few and far in-between. Not enough Americans enjoy the WHO but I am hoping that I can get more people hooked :)
Im an American Teenager! even Rarer!!! lol
ive gota bout 5 friends at school who have seen the episodes!
lockpick Gnara3 years ago
I am an American teenager 2. The only person i personally know is my friend who is a sic-fi geek (like me) who I told about Doctor who.
lol i know how you feel i am one of the only people who knows about doctor who at my school and yes i am American
ME 2!!!!! me and my friend watch doctor who in first period as much as possable.
Gnara lockpick3 years ago
lol. nice.
4/5 i told.
the 5th was my bf... he already knew about it and had been keeping up with it.
I love Doctor Who
Honestly, David Tennant is the best of them yet......
David Tennant is the best. Judging by the commercials I've seen on BBC it looks like Doctor Who is taking a visit to America this spring.
That and I'm also in the states
Make sure you take plenty of pictures and post an instructable.

Kiteman6 years ago
Use the same materials that the original uses - plywood and 2x1 timber.

The "real" Tardis really is just a wooden box, and it even wobbles when they slam the doors.

One fan-build:

Another fan-build:

One thing i would like to point out is if you use to much plywood for the TARDIS it may turn out like Tom Bakers TARDIS (All respects and all) and it was a little shaky.
In the first video they forgot the phone on the side...
The early versions of the Tardis didn't have it sticking out.
ERNESTRIPIO3 years ago
i am from mexico i am a dotor who fan! soy de mexico y soy un gran fan de "el docor" hay alguien mas de mexico que sea fan?
A few years back I tried building the TARDIS - not the outside, but rather the control console. It wasn't very sturdy - I was 14 at the time and all I had on me to build with was poster board, which sucked because I couldn't do much with it and it warped during the more humid months. It also was made in the style of the old series, which was perfectly fine but I would have proffered the new series console better. Never finished it though. Ah, well, maybe one day I can get around to something made from actual wood! 

Anyways, good luck on your projects! 
MichellePar4 years ago
I want to build a garden shed, and the space that I want to put it is just the right size for a TARDIS. My husband and I are discussing options.....
Oh! Take photos! Post an ible!
If we only knew how to make it bigger on the inside.... :)
Mirrors, it is all done with mirrors LOL
A hidden door through your neighbour's hedge?
Hee hee hee! It is a stone block retaining wall, so I don't think that will work so well, but great idea!
~~~~~~ Hi ! Michelle.....when did you get here ? And welcome ! Yes, you must publish an Ible if you make that....please please ?
I just found instructables two days ago, when looking for plans to make rain barrels. I've been having a lot of fun checking out what people can do. If we go through with it, we will for sure document the whole process and do an ible. :D
Ah, I was kind of hoping I had some infuence....oh well, I have been trying to get people I know to come here, but only a few have, and fewer yet have gone "pro"... I've been here a number of years, having found it through the online version of MAKE magazine ( some of the things from here get published in the magazine, and vise versa. It's nice to see a familiar face though, thanks for comming no matter the reason :-)
Ward_Nox4 years ago
i SOOO know what i would use this for
Treknology4 years ago

In response to the OP, from the base to the top of the light fitting is 10 feet.

Recommended construction materials for portability: Styrocard (as used in advertising). If you want more duability, even the lightest plywood will be a substantial leap in weight.

Errors in scripts indicate that such police boxes were used by public to detain the "who dunnit" until police arrived. Blue-prints make it clear that these boxes, like their modern counterparts, were actually mini-stations with the phone being available when the box was un-manned.

The Jamalam5 years ago
Why don't you use some form of light wood? Plywood and MDF would work alright. You just would need the facilities to cut them, shape them etc. Maybe you could in fact start by making a miniature one and seeing what you would need?
jessyratfink (author)  The Jamalam5 years ago
Oh, whoops, I though you had replied to my previous cloth TARDIS post. So what I took from that is to make a wooden frame. :P
jessyratfink (author)  The Jamalam5 years ago
That's what I was thinking - scaling it down at first would be good! And with wood, I could add hinges to make it collapsible. That would work really well!
Kiteman5 years ago
Since this thread has resurfaced, have you gotten anywhere with it?
jessyratfink (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
I'm afraid this was one of those late night slightly tipsy ideas that never came to much of anything. I did a ton of research, and we nerded out appropriately for a few weeks planning it, and then nothing. I was considering making a metal frame and doing in out of cloth, though. I think that's a brilliant idea!
Oh, go on....
jessyratfink (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
Sort of treating it as a tent, I suppose. I know that you can buy tent rods online, though I wonder how I could get them to the shape I need. Or, I could build all the sides and the top individually, and make cloth covers for them and piece them together somehow. I wonder how thin plumbing pipes would work? This might just need to be my next big project. Though right now I have three - the Tardis, a mermaid costume, and a book headboard. Aww jeez. Too many ideas and too little time. :P
Too many ideas and too little time.

The sign of a true Maker?
My friend and I were discussing something similar in the pub this afternoon. Simply, you buy a pitch at a large music festival and erect cloth cubicles. Charge people, maybe a pound for 5 minutes use. Making these look like Tardii is an interesting twist. there's nothing in there just your own personal space for 5 min
What do you think?

jessyratfink (author)  lemonie5 years ago
That's a great idea and I'm sure people would enjoy it. Now to work out the details!
sir-zeke5 years ago
i plan to build one of these later this year
Doctor What6 years ago
I'm in agony. The next season is airing in 2010... What do I do? AAAAAHHHHH! I don't even have Torchwood or Sarah Jane!
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I still need to finish season 3 because of technical difficulties. :( Perhaps that should be my goal this week!
I promise not to spoil the ending. But I wasn't happy.
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I don't know that it could get worse than the ending of season 2. Never have I cried that much... well, since the ending of the Dark Materials trilogy, I guess. :P
(removed by author or community request)
Did I say too much?
Deleted comment so I didn't spoil the ending... You think it's going to be happy and all, but no. Never ever.
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I'm gathering that from the show. My friend George is so mad that I haven't finished season three because she wants to talk about the end of it so bad. :P
It's making me mad too! I really really want to say what happens to Donna, but if I do, you'll cry. I almost cried. Almost. (okay, just a little)
Shut up! Don't say any more! I
Too late!
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I finished season three, and then realized you were talking about the end of season four. I kept waiting for Donna to show up and she didn't. :P The season three finale didn't make me cry, though, so yay for that!
Oops, I got season three and four mixed up... Season three had an awesome ending! Especially since you find out that Captain Jack is the Face Of Boe.
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I just finished season four! Poor Donna! It's awful. I cried. But at least Rose will be happy. I was excited about that. But now I'm so worried about the next season... I wasn't happy at all with what was revealed in the Forest of the Dead episode, and I wonder if that stuff will be coming about now. I think perhaps I'm going to make my way through the old Doctor Who now. I've only seen the new stuff.
Same here. I've been thinking about checking them out, but I don't like watching TV on the computer, so the only option is for me to pick up the 500 dollar collectors set. Which is alot when you are 16!
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I didn't even know there was a collectors set... not that I could afford it anyway. :P I've been searching high and low for the episodes, but I'm not paying $40-50 for three like they have on amazon. Ugh. I'm moving onto Torchwood for the time being. :)
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
Eep. :( I have to finish it tomorrow. Now I definitely need to know!
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I didn't see it thankfully! :P
Two words. Okay, one. Porta-John.
Plasmana6 years ago
Are you really build a TARDIS that can travel though space and time?!?!
Never mind the frivolity - did Jessy get her project done?
jessyratfink (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
Building the TARDIS, you mean? We actually haven't started yet on account of it being high 80s-mid 90s every day. Plus, George is very fair skinned and she'd catch on fire at this time of year. I think it's going to be a fall project.
Ah, I grok.

And George is a girl - interesting...
Yeah, I know her on the book, Georgina hates being a girl, she wants to be a boy, and call her self "George".
REA6 years ago
I could try building a mini one.
Don't forget aRemote Control Dalek.
CameronSS6 years ago
Oh, and if you don't know what a TARDIS is...
You mean those people are real? I thought that was just an urban legend.

From the Wikipedia article: "The type of police box the TARDIS resembled was normally constructed out of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made out of wood, and later on from fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set. The props have also varied slightly in their dimensions and designs over the years, and do not conform precisely to their real-life counterparts."

Styrofoam would be easiest to build, and lightest weight when complete. However, it's not particularly durable. More durable, but harder to build, would be 1/4" plywood sides, with 1x2 and 1x4 for the trim. It would still be pretty light, but heavier than foam. If I were building one, I'd probably make one out of fiberglass. It would be almost as light as foam, and more durable than plywood. However, if you don't already know how to use fiberglass, or know someone that does, it'll be hard to do.
jessyratfink (author)  CameronSS6 years ago
I don't have any experience with fiberglass - and while I considered foam I am worried about its durability. :) Plus, I'm not sure paint will look the greatest on foam. I'm thinking plywood is my best bet. I keep coming back to it.
howabout for the four pillars long pillars of block polystyrene, with plywood attached to it, the density of the polystyrene combined with the wood would make it easy to paint and Very lightweight, for the panels you could have the same going across, and on the exterior you could put thin pieces of wood over it for Extra strength ... howzat?
bumpus6 years ago
Well what for portable do you mean? Like having it be able to disassemble, AND THEN be portable.. Or just have it be light-weight?
jessyratfink (author)  bumpus6 years ago
It'd need to be pretty lightweight. I was thinking easily disassembled and reassembled more than anything else so that we could move it from place to place. Lots of hinges and such, most likely. This is what I'll be thinking about at work today. :P
maybe you could mix together the ideas, like a thin wooden outside with foam interior? it would be fairly lightweight but still a little sturdy
the official tardis used for filiming is an put together take apart wooden thing. So they can put it easily in the back of a van.
Hooray! Distraction from Work! :D
KentsOkay6 years ago
Heck yah! Cardboard maybe?
Doctor What6 years ago
I've been thinking about this for a while. If you wanted to make it portable, you could put it on a pallet (used in warehouses), and add heavy duty swivel casters (with brakes of course). I severely doubt that my parents would let me make one, they already vetoed the bed of nails idea.
jessyratfink (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I'd say a bed of nails is a bit more risky, hahaha. I still haven't made it to Home Depot to look at parts, but hoopefully that will be coming up this week. :)
No it's not! I came up with an idea on how to make it safe for kids who haven't figured out not to touch sharp objects without knowing what they are doing. Put a piece of plywood on the top, and put bolts through the bed and the top plywood and wingnut them together!
Goodhart6 years ago
Looks like some have gone a little over the top, to me LOL

With the 2005 series revival, a variety of TARDIS-shaped merchandise has been produced including a TARDIS coin box, TARDIS figure toy set, a TARDIS that detects the ring signal from a mobile phone and flashes when an incoming call is detected, TARDIS-shaped wardrobes and DVD cabinets, and a USB hub in the shape of the TARDIS.
I believe on set they use a series of mortise and tenon joints screwed together.
Actually, the BBC just used a juice carton.
Oh, they must just shrink the actors down using one of the alien artifacts that the US government is hiding that Gary McKinnon was looking for...
Oh, I just got put on the US watchlist!