Introduction: Making a Time Machine

Picture of Making a Time Machine

I needed to bring some bible characters back from the past (as you do), and so obviously needed a time machine.  As there were none on the open market I decided to make one.

You will need:
- Several lengths of wood. I used 2x4cm baton, and 5x5 cm for the base.
- Coat hangers.
- Some bolts and brackets (just what I had to hand)
- 8 large butt hinges with removable pins.
- 2 smaller hinges.
- 2 small pulleys.
- Some suitable thin cord.
- Black paint.
- 6m of Velcro.
- 8m of suitable material for a covering.
- A big bright light source.
- A blue revolving light.
- and a smoke machine...

Step 1: The Frame - Part 1 - Basic Shape

Picture of The Frame - Part 1 - Basic Shape

The design principle was that this should store flat.  Time machines need to be at least as big as the people they are going to bring back from the past or future.

The frame is made of wooden baton and hardboard corners for strength. 

The hardest part of the frame is getting the geometry right.  I used a cardboard model to work out just how big everything would be.  (Unfortunately I don't have a picture of that).  The process is to make panels out of card, and fit them together using a bit of tape so that you can see what the shape will be like in 3D.  You can then measure the dimensions and angles. the dimensions you would scale to something approximating the size you want.

As an example: a piece of card for the door panel that measures 18cm, scaled 10 times would be 180cm, or 1.8 Meters.

Once you have worked out the lengths you can get your baton.  In the UK we can get this from DIY shops in bundles of about 6 lengths each 2.4 meters long.

Lay the cut lengths out on the ground and MEASURE THOSE ANGLES. this is vital, as when you come to screw everything together, those angles need to be correct, or the whole thing will be wonky.

Step 2: The Frame - Part 2 - the Door

Picture of The Frame - Part 2 - the Door

So, you have got the frame done right?

What about that door?

The door is a frame within a frame.  The inner frame being hinged on the bottom edge.

The door presents some tricky problems. One of which is that the use of bits of hardboard to get the angles right is not so easy on the outer part of the frame.

Therefore, I use left over bits of baton to add struts to the door.  These also have the added feature of giving the door something to close up against so that it does not go to far when closed.

Step 3: The Frame - Part 3 - Putting It Together.

Picture of The Frame - Part 3 - Putting It Together.

I  use a selection of butt hinges with removable pins to keep everything together. I started off using the removable pins that came with the hinges, but these were difficult to get hold of when removing.

So I switched the pins for bits of coat hanger wire.  This is great wire because it is hardened and keeps it's shape well once bent.  This means that you can push on the wire to get it into the hinge without it bending.

I cut the wire longer than the hinge and made some handy finger loops on the end of the wire.  I can now pull these out really easily. (See picture)

To erect the base part of the time machine, we lay the panels on the ground, around the base, then put the hinges together and put the pins in.  Once the base hinges are joined, we lift the door and one of the side panels and hinge it together, then do the same for the other.

At this point I use a 26lb weight to hold the back down because it is front heavy :)

Step 4: The Frame - Part 4 - the Roof

Picture of The Frame - Part 4 - the Roof

I had to by a tall stepladder for this bit!

The roof is four laths of wood from the two top corners of the door frame and the two rearmost corners of the side panels.

They join to a centre column.

The centre column is bolted to the base and has a bracket arrangement on the top.

I'll let the pictures with notes do the talking here...

Step 5: Covering the Frame

Picture of Covering the Frame

I painted black, all the parts of the frame that might be seen.  This is much smarter.

The frame is covered in White lining fabric.  I wanted something that was opaque, but would still allow the light to shine through it.  This first picture shows the fabric being chucked over the frame to get an idea how it might look. I was also toying with the idea of a one piece cover.... Nah... too complicated!

To measure the covering for the side panels and the door, I put each panel down on top of the material and drew round it, leaving a generous spare for a hem. I then cut it out.

Pinning everything up was a game, until I did it in two stages.

Stage 1 - pin the whole thing to the corners as you roll the hem.
Stage 2 - then go round and pin the hem using the same pin.

Hmmm. that's not easy to describe... the pictures might help.

The hem is about an inch thick, and is sewn on the inside and outside of the seem edges to give a nice crisp finish.

The hem is also where the Velcro is sewn.  I was going to Velcro every inch of each panel where the material met it.  I soon stopped that idea when I priced up the Velcro!

The Velcro on the frame is simply stapled to the wood, and is only present at the corners, and a couple of saggy bits at the front of the side panels.

Step 6: Lighting!

Picture of Lighting!

One big 300 Watt Clear ES bulb is fitted into an ES Bulb holder which is permanently screwed to the centre upright.

I wanted the Time Machine to pulse with light, so I bult these dimmer switch boards.  I will detail these in a separate Instructable, because they are so useful and I didn't actually make this one for this project.

Basicly it is a double gang dimmer switch (rated to 400 Watts) with a single input and 2 outputs, and all labelled for convenience.

Step 7: A Blue Light

Picture of A Blue Light

Time machines should have a blue revolving light on the top.

Here is mine, attached to a bracket to hold it on the very pinnacle of the roof.

Step 8: In Action!

Picture of In Action!

What can I say!


GB_Costumes (author)2012-01-16

I can't wait to build one of these, then go back in time and post how to make one, and then I'll receive the credit for making this. Thanks!

Jamestownsie (author)GB_Costumes2017-01-22

that's not right to take credit for things other people have done so plz do just appreciate that they did help you could others would

Jamestownsie (author)2017-01-22

wow I want to see what I will be like in the future! AND SEE MY KIDS AND FAMILY! It will be so cool, daring but amazing

SierraH4 (author)2016-01-16

Can you go back 22 years?

lils505 (author)2015-08-05

How do you use it

o_z (author)2015-05-19

I hope i dont have bad luck i dont want to get killed by the big bang.

o_z (author)2015-05-19

how do you control it?

player2030 (author)2015-01-06

Please stop building time machines and going back just for selfish purposes. ...I have been traveling back in time for 4 years to fix your crap... and inadvertently creating several time lines, now I don't even know if I am in the correct time line...

annoyingfeatures (author)2009-10-24

awesome 5 *s

Would you please stop being a child...I have spent the last 4 years going back in time and fixing your crap. Now, I don't even know if I am in the right time line I am supposed to be ...

sotty swan (author)2012-09-18

Could this be made out of pvc pipe for easy travel & set up?

timhodson (author)sotty swan2012-09-19

Sure it could. You'd have to do something clever with joining the tube at the corners... I doubt that the angles would be standard pipe fittings.

The only concern I would have is the weight of the fabric and roof making the PVC pipe bend outwards in the middle.

Treasure Tabby (author)2012-01-16

Humm interesting. Looks a bit like one of those pylon things from the Land of the lost shows.

Eldjotnar (author)2011-10-02

It looks like a combination of the TARDIS and the time machine from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Awesome, though.

hedgesci (author)2011-10-01

is it bigger on the inside than the outside? lol

vostapchuck (author)2011-10-01

its a joke??))

NeedToGoTo1987 (author)2010-02-19

i need one taht wrok :( aaah getting desperate! i need to get to 1987 to go to a guns n roses concert now!

Omg, no joke that is exactly what I want one for too!!

uberzombiebob (author)2011-01-25

redesigned tardis fail. police public call box FTW!

DJ54 (author)2009-11-08

 This is pretty cool except you forgot the beer to make the trip faster :)

bwpatton1 (author)2009-11-01

Awsome!!! Now I can travel back to 1975 and buy that missile silo for ten bucks!!! FREE LAND HERE I COME!!

dung0beetle (author)2009-10-23

Where do you hook up the flux capacitor? And how do you correct time dilation? Does it come in "Police Box" shape?  So many questions, so little time (or is it?)

JakeTobak (author)dung0beetle2009-10-23

It doesn't need to come in a "Police Box" shape. If it has a functioning chameleon circuit it can appear as just about anything.
But does it have a chameleon circuit?

nice call i was wondering the same thing.
Koosie (author)2009-10-23

Yay, now my car won't be old and outdated! Not if I go back to 1992!

lemonie (author)2009-10-22

I really like this. Any thoughts on adding a pumped-up sound system to it?


wupme (author)lemonie2009-10-23

You gotta be carefull with that.
If you travel backwards in time the records will play backwards. And we all know where that leads...

wupme (author)2009-10-23

Does ist have batteries?
Because if i travel back to lets say 500b.c., i dont think they got the right voltages there for me to come back.

ChrysN (author)2009-10-22

Wow, this is pretty coo!

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