Introduction: Light Up Tardis Bedside Table With Built in Lamp
I SWEAR I make more than just Doctor Who stuff... But looking at my builds you may think I'm a nut. I just like to build stuff for my kids and you can guess which show is popular in the house....
My daughter wanted a new bedside table for her bedroom and I joked that it should be a Tardis. Needless to say she was all over that and I was committed to another project.
I designed the lighting so that the top light and the inside lights can be turned on separately or together. The front doors open, and there is a shelf inside so she can pack it full of (for the lack of a better term) crap. Its too bad it's not bigger on the inside as then maybe her room wouldn't look like a tornado hit it....
The main tool I used to make this was a table saw. I milled the whole thing out of three 2x4 studs, a 2 foot by 4 foot sheet of 1/4 inch thick plywood and a 24x30 inch piece of, premade, wood glued together to make a sheet. The lamp parts I picked up at a lamp electrical store and the shade was from Wal-Mart (I added the ribbons on the shade).
Most of my dimensions are in inches, but when I remembered I also wrote down centimeters sometimes, so you may see both once in a while. Especially when its an odd size cut.
If I sat down and worked on this project straight it probably would have taken me a week or two.... But life gets in the way and this took me almost 8 months. At least my daughter is happy with the end results and told me it was worth the wait. She loves to show it off to her friends now.
Step 1: The Base
Using a sheet of premade wood (picture 5), I cut the base of the table out.
Using the table saw I cut the base 16 1/2 inches wide by 16 1/2 inches long.
(Picture 1) To create the beveled edge I then measured a line all the way around the outside, a 1/4 inch in from all the edges.
(Picture2) I also marked the line over the edge of the wood base.
Set your table saw blade to 45 degrees and move the fence back towards the blade a 1/4 inch plus the width of the blade. Now when you cut your base your saw should cut just enough off so that when you look at the base your line you marked on the board would be gone once cut. I'd test this on a piece of scrap first to make sure you have your measurements correct.
(Picture 3) Because on most table saws the fence is only on the right you will have to turn the base over and cut it upside down. Cut your base on all four sides.
(Picture 4) Once you flip it back up after cutting you should have a beveled edge all the way around that is only 1/4 in at the top.
Step 2: Corner Posts Part 1
Let me start with, DO NOT throw away any cut offs. You will end up using the majority of the cut offs at a later date.
Take two 2x4's and cut them into approximately eight 24 inch long pieces. If they are off by a half inch either way that's okay. You will be trimming them down later to finish them.
(Picture 1) Take each cut 2x4 and rip (the short side) of the board. 2x4's are not square and by cutting one side of the board you will square it off. ONLY CUT JUST ENOUGH to take the rounded corners off. it'll end up being around an 1/8 of an inch. Pretty much the thickness of the blade. If you take more off than you need you'll end up having to buy more boards later as you wont have enough materials.
(Picture 2 and 3) Set the fence for a 2 3/16" cut. Place the previously cut edge against the fence so that once your board is cut, the larger piece will be square on both sides. The cut off will be around 7/8 of an inch or slightly larger. Set aside the cut offs for now, you will come back to them.
(Picture 4) Take the larger board you just cut (the long edge should be 2 3/16"). turn it on its side and rip the board so that short edge is now exactly one inch. Your cut off will be about 3/8 of an inch. Set this aside for later.
(Picture 5) I cant stress this enough. The cuts you make will get smaller and smaller, Please make sure you use a push stick when cutting to keep your fingers away from the blade.
Step 3: Corner Posts Part 2
(Picture 1) Now you need make a 45 degree cut in your 2 3/16" by 1" pieces.
(Picture 2) Make sure that you DO NOT cut into the long side ( 2 3/16" ). The 45 degree cut needs to start right at the corner just below the face of the long edge so that once cut the long edge is still 2 3/16" in length.
(Picture 3) Once you have ripped all 8 boards, they should look like the pile on the left side of picture 3. Next take two pieces and glue them together along the 45 degree cuts. Wood glue works best. If you've never used wood glue before the best way to apply it is to smear it in a thin layer all over the face of both pieces you are gluing together, let it get tacky for 30 sec to a min and then put the pieces together. They will stick together much better both while drying and once dried.
(Pictures 4 and 5) I stood up the pieces on the long end so that one end is relatively even when gluing them together. Don't worry if they're not perfectly even on both ends as you will be trimming them down later anyway. You will need to figure out a way for the pieces to hold together while they are drying. Taping them and / or clamping them would work. I didn't have the patients to do that so I used an air nailer with finishing nails to pin them together while they dried. If you use a nailer, do not nail within 2 inches of each end. I found three nails held it together while drying.
Once done you should have 4 corner post built. set them aside and let them dry for 24 hours.
Step 4: Corner Posts Part 3
(Picture 1) You are now going to cut the corner posts to size. It doesn't matter which end you start with but I started with the end that's almost even. Even though the end looks even it might be out enough to cause the post to not sit correctly. So I cut the end using my chop saw to ensure that the post is perfectly flat. I only cut off the with of the saw blade,
(Picture 2 and 3) As you can see in the pictures the other end was nowhere even close to even. Again this didn't matter as the posts were made around 24 inches and you will now cut them down to 22 1/4 inch in length.
Step 5: Attaching Corner Posts to the Base
(Picture 1 and 2) One at a take a post and place it at a corner and using a pencil draw around the corner post on the base.
(Picture 3 and 4) As you draw around each corner post, number the base corner and then number the bottom of the post too before moving onto the next post. As you set your post you'll find little imperfections in the cut, the base, etc. Numbering them will make sure that the work you put in to set each post in the exact spot you want it will not have to be re-done. Once you have marked the base for all four corner posts, go back and mark an 'X' where you'll want to drill though. Two screws are enough to hold things together while the glue dries.
(Picture 5) Now pre drill each mark you've made from the top of the base through to the bottom. This will ensure there is no guessing where to put the screws in from the bottom.
(Picture 6) I flipped the base over and using a counter-sink drill bit re-drilled all the holes. This just helps the screws sit flush when you put them in and helps prevent the wood from cracking. You could get away without doing this, but be very careful and go slow so the wood doesn't crack.
(Picture 7) I used 2 1/2 inch number 8 screws. Fully attach one post before moving on to the next. If you don't you'll have screws hanging out and it will be hard to work with the base that way. Put two screws in from the bottom only until the tips are poking through.
(Picture 8) Next take the corner post that corresponds with that spot and gently place it back on the corner, lining it up with the marks you already made. Once you are happy with the placement, push down on the post so the screws that are poking through make a mark into the bottom of the post. I circled the indents made in the picture so you can see them better. Next take a drill and drill into the base using the indents as a guide. I only drilled in about an inch. You don't need to drill the whole length of the screw going in. This is just to guide the screw in a straight line as it enters the post.
(Picture 9) Now put glue on both the base and the bottom of the post. You don't need allot. I would suggest you use your finger and smear it around so it covers all the surface areas that will be glues together. Wait 30 seconds or so, letting the glue get tacky. Then place the post back on the base and drive the screws in from the bottom. The screws will stay in permanently so make sure your happy with how they sit under the base. Now move onto the next post and repeat.
(Picture 10) This is how your side table should look once you are done all four sides.
At this point I let the glue dry for 24 hours so that when I added the walls, the post would not move.
Step 6: Squaring the Side Table, Making Parts for a Future Step
Not quite sure what to call this step so it ended up being a little wordy.
(Picture 1) While the glue dried overnight, the base started to curl. It is only spruce so is to be expected actually.
Putting the walls in will fix this issue if you have it. But before you do that you'll need to take some measurements. So to straighten it out I decided to cut some parts now that I'll use in a future step.
(Picture 2) You will now need to cut into your third 2x4. Cut 15" off the end of the board. You will mill this piece you just cut down. You need to make four pieces that are 1/2" x 1" by 14" long. The reason I suggest 15 inches long initially is that its easier to refine and make perfect cuts with smaller pieces. as you can see in the picture I cut the pieces down progressively so as to make sure the cuts were perfect.
Hold off cutting the 45 degree angle until later. For now you just want the 14 inch long piece.
(Picture 3) Now you can use this 14 inch piece to straighten out the table. I put it between the corner posts at the top to hold them apart. I then measured the opening between the posts at the base on all four side to confirm they were all the same size. They all came out to 11 3/4" give or take a 1/16 of an inch.... Close enough. I also measure from the inside corner post to the inside corer post and they were all 14 inches.
Step 7: Making the Walls Part 1
Take out the spacer you placed at the top to hold the posts apart and set it aside for now.
(Picture 1) I bought two small 1/4" thick good one side sheets of plywood (They were 24"x48" in size). Again its easier to make exact cuts with a smaller sheet over a 4x8 sheet.
Now is the time to decide where the front of the side table will be. I picked the side with the least imperfections in the base and posts.
(Picture 2) I was able to get three panels out of the fist sheet. but I only cut two panels initially. Cut the first two at 14 inches wide, Leave them longer than you need for now (mine were 24 inches long). Take the two panels you just cut and dry fit them into the table to make sure they fit. I put the two 14" wide panels in-between the posts that were leaning towards each other to straighten the base out.
(Picture 3) Measure the width of the back panel, which should be 13 1/2" wide, and cut the third panel to that width. The back panel will need to fit in-between the Left and right panel, as you can see in the picture.
(Picture 4) Your side table should look like this when everything is dry fitted.
We'll come back to the front doors later.
Take the panels out and now cut them all to 20 1/2" in length. Dry fit them all again after to ensure they are all the same height now.
Step 8: Making the Walls Part 2
(Picture 1) Before removing the panels, take a pencil and draw a line down the outside of each panel where it touches a corner post (the line is faint in the picture). On the inside of each panel mark were each one goes (Left, right, back and which way is up). now remove all the panels.
The panels will be glued and screwed in place to ensure a solid unit when done. Between 1 1/2 inches and 2 inches in from the top and bottom, pre-drill four holes in each panel outside of the lines that you drew so that the screws will go into the posts once installed. Because this is thin wood you need to pre-drill so as to prevent the wood from cracking. I again flipped the panels over and counter sunk the holes so that my screws would sit flush.
Smear glue all over the panel outside the lines you drew, the area the panel will touch the post, and also all over the inside of the post (Picture 5 shows this). Place the panel in the correct spot on your side table and screw the panel in. Be sure that your screws are not long enough to go all the way through the post. I used 3/4" number 8 screws.
I installed the left and right panels first. These were the two sides for me that the base curved on. Installing them first corrected the curve of the base.
(Picture 3) I noticed that when I drew the lines on the back panel, they were not straight. This is another reason to draw these lines, it helps you figure out if everything is square while you can still correct it.
(Picture 4) I dry fitted the panel back into the table and used a large clamp to pull the two half's tightly together and re0drew the lines. You can see the corrected lines in picture 3.
(Picture 5) Prepping the back posts with glue.
(Picture 6) placing the back panel. Its not screwed yet as there is still the gap on the left (Picture 7) and I even noticed a slight gap on the right (Picture 8).
(Picture 9) I placed the clamp over the back posts to squeeze everything together again and screwed it all down.
Hopefully you will be luckier than me and everything will be square and you can skip a few steps here.
Step 9: Starting the Roof
(Picture 1) Now you are going to go back to the 1" x 1/2" top pieces you cut earlier. I'd suggest dry fitting them all before you make the 45 degree cut. one at a time placing them (Picture 2) around the top to make sure they are a tight fit. Maybe I should actually say very tight fit. Then before pulling them out mark which location they came from( you can see I marked mine in Picture 4). You may find your dimensions are a little out and you may have to try top piece in a few locations to see where it fits best.
(Picture 3) Now you can make the 45 degree cut on each top piece. NOTE: Just like when you cut the corner posts, do not cut into the 14" long edge when making the 45 degree cut. Start the cut on the short 1" face so that after you are done cutting, the long edge is still 14". Now dry fit all four top pieces back into the Side table. They are to be flush with the top of the Corner posts (as seen in Picture 6). You may have to put two top pieces in together (for example the front and left piece) to get them to stay with friction. You may then find you have to lift a corner partially out to get two pieces to sit together before pushing them back into the corner of the post.
(Picture 4) Before removing all the pieces you just fit in, mark the wood where it meets the posts, do this on both sides of every piece. (Picture 5) Also mark under each piece inside the corner posts. I removed the pieces in this photo so you could see where I marked on the inside of the post.
The reason you should mark everything is so you know where to glue. this will save you from having to clean up excess glue later if you apply too much. Remember when gluing put a little bit of glue on each top piece as well as the inside of the corner posts and then rub it around with your finger first. you don't want a glob of glue in one spot, rather a thin film over the whole area. Let the glue sit for 30 seconds to a minute before starting to place the top pieces. By doing this you will get a much better hold once set.
(Picture 6) Once all your top pieces are glued in your stand should look like this. the top pieces should be flush with the top of the corner posts.
Step 10: Plexiglass or Lexan
Ideally for the 'Police box' signs you want opaque white Plexiglass or Lexan. And you only want it about 1/8" thick. This stuff is really hard to find. The only place I could find it would only sell it to me in a 4'x8' sheet. Way more than I needed. So I continued hunting around.
I finally found a small sheet of plexiglass that was just over 1/8" thick at Home Depot. It was clear but it had a white plastic film on both sides of it to protect it from damage. I tested it and the light shined through it perfectly. I went with this sheet of plastic, but I did not remove the white protective film at any point. When I had the signs vinyled later on I had to be sure to leave specific instructions not to remove this cover.
You will need the Plexiglass or Lexan you have chosen for the next step.
Step 11: Starting the Sign Box Part 1
You will now need to start on the box the "Police Box" sign will sit in.
(Picture 1) From your previous cuts you should have pieces that are 2 inches wide by a 1/4 inch thick. You will need to rip these pieces down so that they are now an inch and a half wide, but still a 1/4 inch thick. set aside the cut offs as you will be using these later too.
(Picture 2) if your table saw has safety fences on it, you will need to remove them now for the next step.
(Picture 3) Lower the blade into the table so that only an 1/8 of an inch of blade is above the table.
This is where you will need your Plexiglass (or Lexan).
(Picture 4) Set your fence a 1/4 inch from the blade. You then will take the 1 1/2 inch by 1/4 inch pieces of wood and run them across the blade so that you get the effect seen in this picture. Cut all your pieces first before moving on to the next step. I made sure to cut at least eight boards, you might want to cut a few extra for safety.
Now measure the thickness of your Plexiglass or try fitting it in the groove of the wood you just cut. In my case my Plexiglass was just over an 1/8 on an inch thick. which made it slightly thicker that the blade of my saw. If you have the same issue, you will need to move your saw fence over (away from the blade), quite literally a hair. Now run one piece of wood through the saw again and then test that the Plexiglass fits in the groove. If it doesn't, move the fence a hair again and cut again. You want the Plexiglass to just slide into the grove. You do not want it to be able to move around. Once you have the fence moved to the correct distance, cut all the remaining boards to match. Again, they should all look like the board in Picture 4 when you are done. To see why you need the Plexiglass to fit into the grove, jump to Step 21: Making the 'Police Box' signs.
(Picture 5) Measure the width of the night stand from a spot that is level with the top of the walls. It should be 16 inches wide. make a mark that is an inch and a half in from each side. The distance between them should be 13 inches.
(Picture 6) Taking one of the boards you just made, cut it to 13 inches long with a 45 degree angle at each end. Remember again to make sure the outside long end is actually 13 inches.
(Picture 7) Now hold up the newly cut piece to the night stand. The piece you just but should match up with the marks you made on the stand. In this picture you can see I made two marks on the wood. There is a close up shot of one of the marks in Picture 8.
(Picture 9) Now hold the board against wall into the corner post as you can see in this picture and mark the wood again. Do this on both ends of the piece of wood. Once done you should have four marks on your wood.
Step 12: Starting the Sign Box Part 2
(Picture 1) Now connect all the marks on the piece of wood as shown in the photo.
(Picture 2) You will need to do some fine cutting for this step. You can use a jigsaw, but you will need to be really steady with the cut. If you don't have access to a band saw, you can also use a fine toothed hand saw so that you can cut slowly.
(Picture 3) Now dry fit the piece you just cut to the night stand, make sure that your 45 degree cut is facing up. The piece should sit flush with the top of the wall as seen in this photo. There should be no gaps between the cut piece and the walls and corner posts (Picture 4).
(Picture 5) Before you mark the night stand, make sure the piece to be glued on is sitting exactly 90 degrees to the walls.
(Picture 6 & 7) As before when gluing, spread glue on both pieces to be glued and wait 30 seconds to a minute before pressing them together. Use clamps to hold everything together while it dries.
Now do this step again for the other two sides of the bedside table. Leave the front until last.
Step 13: Starting the Sign Box Part 3
(Picture 1) To place the bottom of the sign box across the front, you need to do the other three sides first. Once they are glued in place, draw a line from the bottom of the pieces on the side (the arrow is indicating where I am talking about) around the front of the bedside table. Do this on both sides.
(Picture 2 & 3) Measure in an inch and a half from each corner post and make a mark like you did before on the other three sides. Now mark and cut the sign box piece like you did before and cut it out.
(Picture 4 & 5) Because you don't have a wall to clamp against this time to ensure the board does not bow, use a piece of scrap wood and clamp it to the bottom of the board to hold it straight and then clamp everything to the side table while it dries. It is very important that this piece does not bow while drying as if it does, it will be difficult to have the front doors open and close, along with it letting light out from the inside.
I should have mentioned it before, but you do not want any of the sign box boards to bow as it will make it difficult to place the signs in them later.
Step 14: Cutting Trim
You will have a bunch of pieces lying around now that should be 3/8 inch thick and one inch wide.
You need to cut a 15 degree angle on these pieces. And you will need allot of them. You may even have to mill down more wood to get enough that you will need to finish this project.
(Picture 1 & 2) There are two ways you can accomplish this. If you have a router you can use a 15 degree tapered bit to trim all the pieces.
(Picture 3) Or you can use your table saw and set the blade for 15 degrees. Make sure that when you cut that the wide edge of each piece of trip is still around the one inch mark.
(Picture 4) You will need a large amount of these trim pieces to continue.
Step 15: Detailing the Side Panels Part 1
(Picture 1 & 2) Start by measuring the distance between the corner posts at the top and the bottom. The reason for this is not every cut you have made will be perfect. If you are off a little from the top to the bottom, it is no big deal, you can correct for this as long as you know about it.
(Picture 3) Once you know the distance between mark the mid point both top an bottom and draw a line connecting them. This line should be all the way down the center once done.
(Picture 4) Now you could measure from the top of the base to the bottom of the sign box... Or you could just cheat like I did by holding a piece of trim in place and marking off where to cut. Sometimes laziness has its rewards... Make sure to hold the bottom of the trim away from the side wall at the base so the trim piece is relatively parallel to the wall when you go to mark it for cutting. if you don't you will find your trim pieces are always too long when you cut them.
(Picture 5) A close up shot of how I marked the trim.
(Picture 6) Once you have two trim pieces cut, dry fit them to make sure everything looks good and then draw a line (Picture 7) so you know where to apply the glue. Make sure you don't confuse which trim went in which spot as each side could be slightly different. As always with gluing, spread glue on both pieces to be glued together and let them sit before pressing them together. Make sure to add glue to both the wide edge that will sit against the wall, the narrow edge that will sit against the corner post and each end . This will help strengthen the side table once it dries.
(Picture 8) Clamp everything down while it dries.
Step 16: Detailing the Side Panels Part 2
(Picture 1) Now you will be adding the center trim. Again we are using the 1 inch trim with the 15 degree angle. Cut your trim to fit the length of the panel.
(Picture 2) Place your trim on both sides of the center line. Measure to ensure that the distances are the same on both sides (Picture 5, A and B are equal). In my case both were 3 and 3/4 inches across.
(Picture 3) Mark where the trim will be placed then remove them to apply glue.
(Picture 4). Clamp in place while the glue dries. Do not worry if there is a small gap between the trim pieces, that will be covered later.
Step 17: Detailing the Side Panels Part 3
(Picture 1) Next is to add the trim at the top and bottom of the panel.
(Picture 2) Take a piece of trim and rip it so that the bottom edge is only 3/4 of an inch wide.
(Picture 3 and 4) I used a cut off saw to cut the ends at the 15 degree angle needed so that trim fits between the trim already installed (Picture 5). Glue and clamp down these pieces before proceeding.
Step 18: Detailing the Side Panels Part 4
(Picture 1) Back in step 14 you made trim with a 15 degree angle on one side. Now you will need to run the trim through the router or table saw to make another 15 degree cut on the other side. Once done the bottom of the trim will be just under 1 inch due to the cutting process.
(Picture 2) Cut the trim pieces to fit in between the previously installed trim. Do not run ahead and cut all the pieces you need right away. Measure each one individually as I guarantee each one will be slightly different. Your dimensions could be slightly off from the top to the bottom or even the wood could be different sizes.
(Picture 3) Measure 4 inches up from the bottom and 4 inches down from the top (picture 4).
(Picture 5) Dry fit all these trim pieces until you have the exact location laid out. Place two pieces of trim on the lines drawn in Picture 4. The arrows in picture 5 show where the lines are located in relation to the trim. If everything works out the center piece should be exactly 4 inches from each of the other trim pieces that have been placed already. If your dimensions are off, its not the end of the world. If this has happened locate the center of the panel top to bottom and mark the center point. Place the center trim. Then measure the mid point from the middle trim to the top / bottom trim and mark the center point. then place your next trim pieces. The key is you want all the trim to have the same size box between them. Pictures are a little out of order but in Picture 7 you can see what I am trying to explain.
(Picture 6, 7 & 8) Once you have your trim where you want it take a pencil and draw a line down both sides of each piece to make it easier to place them down once glued.
(Picture 9) as you work your way around the table, I would stand back before gluing the pieces down to see how they lined up with what I have already installed.
Now go back and repeat steps 14 through 18 on all three sides of the side table.
Step 19: Holes for Shelving Pins
Now is the best time to install pin holes for installing shelves.
Using a scrap piece of wood, about a 1/2 inch thick,1 1/4 inches wide and about 14 inches long, place it against the inside of the door frame and draw a line using the scrap piece down the inside. The pins will only go into the left and right side of the inside panels. Set the scrap piece aside, you will need it shortly.
(Picture 1 & 2) Measure the inside of the side table from the bottom to the top of the panel. mark the mid point.
(Picture 3) Place the scrap piece back into the side table and mark the center point on the scrap piece. I placed the scrap piece against the top inside of the side table as I felt the roof was more level than the base. I found I had a slight warp in the base and I didn't want to transmit that into the shelf.
(Picture 4) I measured in from the edge of the scrap piece a 1/4 inch and drew a line parallel to the edge. I then marked off one inch lines from the original center line I made. I made two below the center line and four above. I felt seven postilions for the inside shelf was enough.
(Picture 5) before you drill your holes, make sure you have your shelf pins handy. You want your holes to the the same size as your shelf pins (picture 7).
(Picture 6) Drill all the way through the scrap piece at each marked location. Try and keep the holes straight.
(Picture 7) You only want to drill into the side table the depth of the shelf pins. Measure the thickness of the scrap wood as well as the depth of the pin and mark that on your drill bit with a piece of tape.
(Picture 8 & 9) place your scrap back into he side table with the thicker piece towards the front door of the side table. Drill each hole only to the depth of the tape on your drill. When you do the back of the side table, flip the scrap piece over so the thicker portion is towards the back wall. Once done, you want all your holes to be 1 inch from the corners. I have test fitted one of the pins in Picture 8.
Step 20: Continuing With the Sign Box
The next step is easier to do than it is for me to explain it.
(Picture 1) The best way to go about adding the top part of the 'Police Box' sign is to make a jig. In this case it is a simple piece of wood that you will place on top of the existing 'police box' sign you installed in steps 11, 12 and 13. you want this piece of wood to be able to just barely pass under the roof piece above it. It should be really tight but still fit under.
Now make the top of the sign the same way you made the bottom part. Ensure you have a 45 degree cut facing down on both ends. Before you glue though make sure that both sides of the top and bottom part of the sign line up. Otherwise you will not have a perfect rectangle once assembled.
I've also drawn in Picture 1 where the top part of the sign will fit so you can see that it is below the roof piece and not level with it.
(Picture 2) Clamp and glue the top of the 'Police Box' sign down. Using the wooden jig will help keep the sign straight as thin pieces of wood like to warp.
(Picture 2A) After I finished typing this part up I found more photos that I took that might help. In this picture you can see how the boards may warp on you.
(Picture 2B) I used an angle finder to ensure that my marks lined up from the bottom and top sign board. the pencil tick on the board that is sideways is where I would cut into the board around the corner post.
(Picture 2C) Double checking that the boards will be square before gluing and clamping.
(Picture 3) In step 11 you should have made extra boards to use to make your 'Police Box' sign. Cut one with a 45 degree angle on the grooved side of the board. See the pictures for better details. Instead of trying to measure the exact size, hold the board with its back against the top and bottom sign board. Mark where you need to cut.
(Picture 4) Once you have cut the side piece, test fit it to ensure it will be a tight fit. Holding so that the groove is closest to the side table, mark were you need to cut the extra off.
(Picture 5) Now connect the two marks and create a line across the piece. It may not be straight because your top and bottom sign boards might be slightly different sizes.
(Picture 6) When you go to dry fit the side piece you will have to flip it around so that the groove lines up with the top and bottom board. Once everything looks good, glue and clamp in place.
You will only do one side of each 'Police box' sign. You must leave the other side open so that you can insert the sign later on. Make the other side right away but be sure to tag them where they belong as each one will be slightly different. Do this for all four sides.
Step 21: Making the 'Police Box' Signs.
(Picture 1) Time to start make the 'Police Box' sign. Measure the opening on the sign box as shown in the picture. Cut your sheet to a hair narrower than what you measured so that when you slide the sheet in it is tight, but not so tight that you have to force it. Cut the sheet so that it is longer than what you need.
(Picture 2) Mark the end of the groove on the top and bottom sign boards. The arrows in the picture point to where i'm talking about. Slide the board in and mark your sign board. Draw a line connecting the two marks.
(Picture 3) Yes there is no Picture 3. I screwed up numbering them....
(Picture 4) Once cut and placed back in your board should stick out just a little. this way it will fit in the groove of the end piece that is to be fixed later.
(Picture 5) I dry fitted the end piece to make sure it sat tightly. Do not glue it on at this point. Take it off and take the board out. we'll get back to them later.
I sent my boards out to a vinyl sign company to be done. I probably could have had the stickers printed and put them on myself but I didn't have the patience for it. I've added the sign here for you to download.
(Picture 6) I ended up making a second side table for a charity silent auction. The point of the photo though is to show you were the wording is supposed to line up with. The 'P' lines up with the left side window, and the 'X' lines up with the right ride window.
Step 22: Finishing the Roof
(Picture 1) Draw a line through the center of the wood box as seen in the picture. This will be the edge of the roof once installed.
(Picture 2) Using the same sheet of wood that you used to make the floor of the side table, cut out the top. In my case it was about 13 inches by 13 inches. Also cut out 4 1/2 inch strips at least 13 inches long out of the same sheet.
(Picture 3) Bevel the edges of the strips you cut at 45 degrees so that you can make a box outline.
(Picture 4) The box outline you just made should fit under table top that you already cut. The purpose of this is to give the table a little more height.
(Picture 5) Glue and clamp the table to the rest of the side table. Once set, draw a line from each corner, creating an 'X' across the top. This will mark the center of the table so you can drill a hole later.
(Picture 6) Next you will need a plain ordinary paint stir stick. Cut eight once inch lengths.
(Picture 7) Sand one edge to 45 degrees. You want to sand the side of the stick, the part you didn't cut, Picture 8 shows how the cut piece is in relation to the original stick.
(Picture 9) Clamp and glue the detail pieces on each corner.
Step 23: The Front Doors
I forgot to take a picture of the first step, but this is easy to do without a picture. Using the plywood that you used for the other three walls, cut a piece that fits the front opening perfectly. Once you have the board, cut it down the middle. (Picture 1) The thickness off the saw blade will give you the gap you need so that the doors can open.
Once you have the two panels, build up the doors with trim the same way you did the other three walls. The difference is though that you don't have to measure for the center point. Just run the two long trim pieces up the sides of the panel (Picture 2).
When your two doors are done, pick your left door and measure the size of the panel shown in picture 2 with a star on it. The reason i say pick your left door is that I had an oopsy with the trim in that panel and chose that one as it would then be covered and hidden....
(Picture 3) You will need to cut a piece of wood the size of the panel and 1/4 inch thick. Also cut yourself a bunch of pieces 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch and longer that the panel you measured. You'll fine tune the lengths when you go to install them.
(Picture 4) Glue and clamp the panel into place. Once dried you can then use the other 1/4 inch pieces you cut to form a border around the panel (Picture 5). If you are a nit-picker like me, you'll want the two side strips to be longer than the two cross strips as this is how they are on the actual prop.
Now set the doors aside, we will come back to them.
Step 24: Finishing Detail Trim
Go through all your cut offs to this point as you might have these pieces already. In my case they where what was left over from a previous cut. If not you need to mill four pieces of wood that are 5/8" wide, 1/4" thick and the length needs to be the same or greater than the height of your doors. I say greater than as it is easier to trim down the length as you need them.
(Picture 1) The finishing trim will cover the gap in the center of every panel, and cover the opening in the doors.
(Picture 2) Trim a piece to fit from the base to the bottom of the 'Police Box' sign. Mark the center of the trim at the top and bottom, and then at the base draw a line from the gap in the wood this trim will be covering. Do this on the other end as well under the 'Police Box' sign. Glue and clamp the trim in place.
(Picture 3) Do this on all three sides of the side table.
(Picture 4) You will attach a piece of trim on one of the doors except that you will only glue half of the trim to one door only (Picture 5). On the show the right door is the one they normally use and it opens inwards. Because of this I put the trim on the left door (even though these open outwards) to match the TV prop.
Step 25: Window Frames
Unfortunately I cannot find the photos I took of the window frame build. I was able to find what was left of my original frame, albeit there were some parts missing. I've done my best to re-create it here for you. I just know it will all turn up after I post this build.....
To build a window frame you will need to cut a bunch of pieces of wood that are 1/4" by 1/4" by at least 4 inches long.
In total to build a window frame you will need:
2 pieces 3 3/4" long
4 pieces 3 3/8" long
3 pieces 7/8" long.
Before you go ahead and cut all these pieces though, measure the spot the fame will sit into to make sure my dimensions match what you have built. You may have to fine tune your window frames dimensions to fit.
(Picture 1) I have drawn blue lines in this picture where the pieces are connected. As you can see there are a few pieces missing, but you can get the general idea how it all goes together. The Blue dots represent the missing pieces.
It actually took me close to two weeks to make this frame as perfect as I wanted it. This one was my second try. I found with my first attempt, two of the outside lengths weren't parallel. I also kept coming back and sanding and painting a few times until I was happy with it. Because it took so long to make one I decided to just make a mold of it and cast all eight window frames that I needed. This way they would all be exactly the same. Don't panic and think it will take you this long, I was doing this as well as regular things that get in the way like life, work, etc... I'm also a little too detail orientated sometimes.
Anyway, to make a mold you need to ensure your part to be molded has no cracks as the molding material will seep into the smallest holes. Another reason I filled and sanded it so many times.
I'm not going to go into how to make molds or casts as there are many, many resources on the internet and Instructables that can go into it way better than I can. Just be sure to prepare your frame properly and read and follow all the instructions on the boxes.
I used Smooth-On Mold star 15 slow to make the cast and Smooth-On Smooth cast 300 to make the casts with. I highly recommend you spend the extra money and by the release agent spray too. With it the casts pop out of the mold with little effort.
(Picture 2) Once you have cast all your window frames, make sure you prime and paint them. If you don't the manufacturer of Smooth-On says on their package that their product will yellow over time without being painted.
Step 26: Cutting Out the Window Openings
(Picture 1) You will now be cutting out the openings for the windows. Take one of the window frames you built and place it on the side table. Trace the inside of the window frame onto the panel it is in. I have highlighted in the photo in red where I am talking about to do the tracing.
(Picture 2 & 3 ) Once you have the window traced out go back over it and draw a line just outside the original trace. You don't want to see the wood paneling through the windows when cut, but if you cut too far you wont be able to mount the windows.
You will use a jigsaw to cut out the windows.
(Picture 4) Drill out the four corners. You need to use a drill bit to cut a hole that your jigsaw blade can fit into.
(Picture 5) I recommend using a metal cutting jigsaw blade when cutting out the windows as you will get a much cleaner cut.
NOTE: For this build I only cut out the left, right and door windows from the side table. I did not cut out the back as since it will be against a wall there was no need to have light shining out the back. Also, when you cram a side table full of crap you don't have to worry about popping out the back windows at any time.
Step 27: Drill a Hole for the Lamp Hardware
Before painting you will need to drill the hole for your lamp hardware in the top of the side table. If you have not bought your lamp hardware yet just drill a small 1/4 inch hole for now. It will act as your pilot hole when the time comes to make the hole bigger.
Step 28: Painting the Side Table
Now its time to put the first coat of paint on the side table. It is easier to do the first coat on the doors before you attach them. I used 'Rich Navy' as my colour. I found it was the closest match under different lighting conditions.
Only apply one coat at this time.
Step 29: Attach the Doors
(Picture 1) To attach the doors I bought a 1 1/16 inch by 24 inch piano hinge. It was the smallest I could find. The hinge will be too long so you will have to cut it down with a hacksaw. Cut it so it fits the door frame completely (Picture 8). When you cut the hinge, keep it closed and cut downward through the hinge into the bracket (Picture 2). If you try and cut through the bracket first you will just wreck the hinge.
Next lay the hinge out open, (Picture 3) and spray paint it with black primer (Picture 4). If you can find dark blue primer you can use that, but you want a primer that is as dark as the Blue paint or darker. The reason is some of the paint on the hinges will come off after a while and you will not notice the difference if the primer is dark. If you use white primer it stands out like a sore thumb.
(Picture 5) I used 3/4 inch #8 tapered head screws to attach the doors. If you go longer than this they will go all the way through the door.
(Picture 6) Start by attaching the hinge to the frame. Keep the hinge flush with the front of the door frame. Only put a screw in every second hole.
(Picture 7) Now hold the door in place and screw the hinge into the door. Make sure you put something very thin like a couple of toothpicks under the door so that it will open freely once attached. When you screw the hinge into the door use the holes that are offset to the ones in the door frame. See the picture for details. The reason you need to do this is that if you put a screw in every hole the screw heads will hit when you try and open the door and you will not be able to open the doors properly.
Once the doors are attached, do the second coat of paint on the side table. Paint over the hinges with the second coat.
Step 30: The Back 'windows' on the Side Table
Earlier I said not to cut out the back windows. We will now deal with them in this step.
(Picture 1) Place a window frame where you want the window and trace out the inside of the frame again (Picture 2).
(Picture 3) Just outside of your trace line, tape up your side table so there is no over-spray (Picture 4).
(Picture 5) Spray paint the window black. Even though it is shiny in the picture I used matte black. Do two coats.
(Picture 6) Once dried, place the window frame back on the side table and draw out the lower left and lower right pane (Picture 7). Do this to both sides.
(Picture 8) Without removing the previous mask, tape off the windows so that now only the two panes are showing.
(Picture 9) Spray with a light grey paint, two coats.
(Picture 10) Once your paint is dry, remove all the masks.
(Picture 11) Once done, you will have a simulated window on the back of your side table. Do not glue the frames on yet, that will be in a later step.
Step 31: Details and Handles
(Picture 1) Back in step 23 you made a box in a panel where the phone would have gone on a full sized real Police Box. On the panel in picture 1 that has the 1 on it is where you need to place the 'Free for use of public' sign.
(Picture 2, 3 & 5) Print out the sign so that the four black dots end up in the corners. When you glue it in place you may have to come back every so often to check the glue hasn't curled the paper up.
(Picture 3, 4 & 5) Print off the St. John Ambulance sign and glue it on. One tip to make your life easier for this is if you have a Xyron sticker maker, this sign is small enough to fit through to make it a sticker.
Once both signs are glued and dried you'll want to spread a couple layers of Modge Podge over them to seal them down. Later on you will be spraying varnish over the side table and if you don't seal the signs they will turn yellow.
(Picture 7) Now find your favorite drawer handles from your local hardware store and attach them to the doors. I used brushed nickel handles as I liked the look of them best. I did have to cut the screws down though as they were too long.
(Picture 8)Placing the handles about a 1/2 inch in from the edge of the doors centered them on the trim on the outside.
Step 32: Police Box Sign End Caps and Varnish
Remember the end caps for the 'Police box' signs you made back in step 21? Now is a good time to make sure they are painted and ready for later. In Picture 1 I have pined them to a piece of cardboard (Picture 2 & 3) and lettered which one belongs where on the side table. Each one of mine was slightly different so I had to keep track of where I built them for.
(Picture 4) One of the advantages of pinning them through cardboard is that I wont get paint on my fingers and I can spin them around instead of turning the whole sheet of cardboard.... so i don't get paint on my fingers...you get the point.
Paint the end caps with two coats of paint.
Now remove your door handles and set them aside, you don't want to get varnish on them.
(Picture 5) I used a spray varnish for the side table. It took two or three cans to do the 10 to 15 coats I applied. I'll have to admit I lost count after 10.... If you want your side table to have that thick glossy look of professional furniture, you'll need at least that many coats over the entire side table. Every time you do a coat over the side table, don't forget to do a coat over the end caps. You don't want them to look less glossy than the rest of the table once attached.
Step 33: Drilling More Holes
You will actually need one of the electrical parts from the next step but to clean up that step I moved the hole drilling forward to this step. You need to drill a hole just the size of the electrical cord in one of the back corners. I chose mine based on where I knew the wall plug would be. I drilled the hole through the thinner part of the rear panel as it would be less work to clean it up after and it would hide it better from the outside.
Step 34: Electrical Part 1
(Picture 1) I'm not the best at describing these components but i'll do my best. Printing off this picture and bringing it with to an lamp electrical company might help. Some of this stuff you might not find at a regular handyman store.
A) 8 foot electrical cord ( I wouldn't go any shorter than 8 feet, 10 feet would be better)
B) 13 inch chrome tube, threaded at each end.
C) 2 washers
D) Washer cover
E) Two 1/4 inch light sockets
F) Two 25 watt frosted bulbs
G) 3-way lamp socket
H) One marette. (I know I have two shown but ended up only needing one)
I) Four compression attachments (Sorry, I don't know their real name)
J) 3 feet of electrical cord
K) threaded connector. (Threads fit the 13 inch pipe)
L) 2 inch threaded pipe. (Threads fit into the connector)
M) One nut to fit on the 2 inch threaded pipe.
(Picture 2) To start assembling the lamp pieces that go on top of the table, from left to right, is the 13 inch pipe, the threaded connector, the 2 inch threaded pipe, the washer cover, and then the washer.
You might find you need to cut down the 13 inch threaded pipe a little. I wanted an equal amount of thread into both sides of the connector so I had to cut off some thread from the 13" pipe. To cut some of the threads off put the nut on the 13" pipe first. Then cut off the part of the threads you don't need. Then after you can spin the nut off and it will straighten out any of the threads that were damaged while cutting.
If you haven't already, drill the hole in the top of the side table to fit the 2 inch threaded pipe. now take the piece you have assembled above and place it in the hole.
(Picture 3) On the underside of the table, place the other washer and tighten the nut. Everything above the table should look like picture 4.
Step 35: Electrical Part 2
Try as I might I was only able to get 3 wires to fit into the 13" pipe. So I had to modify the plans I found online on how to wire up a 3-way lamp socket.
NOTE: ENSURE YOU HAVE THE POWER CABLE THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE SIDE TABLE BEFORE YOU START WIRING. Otherwise you will have to undo everything and pull your cables out as the plug-in will be on the inside of the side table. This may involve much cursing!
I placed my interior lights in a line parallel to the front door. This way the front gets the best amount of light.
I have both the original wiring plan I used, as its description is much better than mine, and my modified version here for you to use. Rather than me try and describe how to wire this (and confuse the heck out of you with a terrible description) , you're much better off to just follow the plans shown.
Once I had the wiring done I ran the wire down the corner that was closest to the hole at the bottom and stapled it in place.
Step 36: Assembling and Attaching the Windows
(Picture 1) I found non glare Plaskolite at Home Depot for around $7 for a sheet. I chose this because it is thin and easy to cut as well as it blurs whats behind it if you hold it away from on object (Picture 5). The actual Tardis prop seems to do the same thing when I look at photos of it.
(Picture 2) I found that using superglue does hold, but eventually it lets go so I ended up switching to Gorilla two part Epoxy. Only mix a little at a time into a paper cup and then use a Popsicle stick to apply it to the window frame before attaching the Plaskolite. This stuff sets fast so making too much will just waste it. ALSO, it only takes a few dabs around the frame and a couple in the middle to make this stick. You do not need to paint the frame with epoxy. Too much and it will squeeze out and look terrible when it dries.
(Picture 3 & 4) There is a film on both sides of the Plaskolite. One side has writing on it and the other side doesn't. I glued it onto the window frames without taking either of the films off. I found that the side without writing gave the plastic a more frosted look. Once glued on I took the film off with the writing on it. It helped protect the Plaskolite from damage while i was working with it.
(Picture 6) To attach the finished windows to the side table I used the same two part epoxy. Using a Popsicle stick again, just dab around the outside of the window before setting it on the side table. You may need to weigh it down while its drying. Again a little goes a long way. Don't forget the two back windows don't need any Plaskolite, just glue them in place.
Step 37: Finish the 'Police Box' Sign
After painting and varnishing the side table you'll want to prep the area where you will be gluing the end cap on. Scrape the paint off the area's the arrows are pointing at in Picture 1. This way the glue has something better to adhere to than a glossy surface.
(Picture 2) Insert your finished 'Police Box' sign then glue and clamp the end cap on. Do this on all four sides of the side table.
Step 38: The Lamp Shade
(Picture 1) Go out and find a lamp shade you like. Something to keep in mind is the more taper there is in the lamp shade, the harder it is to add the ribbon to it. Ideally you should look for a barrel lamp shade. The pictures here are of when I made the second lamp shade I did. In picture 2 you can see the difference between the two lamp shades. I also picked lamp shades that don't need extra attachments like a harp. These ones have a ring that goes under the light bulb, Picture 1A.
(Picture 3) I went to a fabric store and found a one inch ribbon that was an almost exact colour match.
(Picture 4) Using the Modge Podge again, apply the ribbon around the top and bottom of the lamp shade. Because this shade has more taper than the barrel shade, it took some stretching of the ribbon to make it work. After fighting with it I finally had to cut the ribbon and do it in a few stages.
Step 39: The Interior Shelf
Measure your interior dimensions of your side table. From the same sheet you cut the base and the table top from, cut your shelf. When you go to cut the shelf take 1/8" off your dimensions on both sides and both ends of what you measured. Your shelf pins take up a little space on the walls and this should cover for that.
Also, in the corner that the electrical cord is running down, you will need to cut off a 45 degree piece to accommodate the cord. Cutting in a 1/2 inch should be enough.
Once cut give your shelf 2 coats of paint. I only varnished the top side of my shelf with about 4 or 5 coats.
Step 40: Make Your Friends Jealous
There you have it. By the time you are done I promise you will have friends trying to talk you into making them one....
If anyone out there in Instructables land goes ahead and makes one, I'd love to see your finished product!
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