Introduction: TARDIS Bird Feeder

About: Professional work in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help... Currently under contract designing environmental monitoring equipment.

Winter is approaching and lord it is time to start feeding the birds again!

I borrowed the TARDIS plans and printouts from :

Tardis Bookshelf with Sound and Lights by Gears4Brains

to get the proper dimensions!

This was hand built without power tools over the course of 2 weeks while working on other projects.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

I used 1/8 inch plywood and 1/4 inch thick scrap pine strips (survey stakes).

You will be needing

  • various hand saws
  • files and rasps
  • metal ruler
  • clamps
  • razor knife
  • wood glue
  • primer
  • non toxic paint
  • masking tape
  • wood filler
  • sanding block and paper

You may want to download and print the plans and decals from The TARDIS bookshelf link.

For scaling I chose to double the dimensions shown in the blueprint but instead of inches, I used millimeters.

Also I changed a few of the components for function and construction.

Step 2: Cut Your Wood

The plywood is measured then clamped down. All plywood cuts are done with 3-4 strokes of a sharp razor knife with moderate pressure along a metal straight edge.

The 4 side pieces are 75mm by 181mm

The strips are all cut at 6mm wide

  • 16 at 156mm
  • 40 at 24mm

the base is 200mm by 200mm

The 4 police signs are 11mm by 92mm

You will need to 45 degree bevel both ends of a quarter inch thick pine strip that is 200mm long

Hand sand all the cut edges with 150 grit sandpaper.

you will also need to cut 3 quarter inch thick pine strips 120mm long

Step 3: Glue and Assemble

Glue 2 long pine strips together in an "L" shape. these need to be clamped until the glue is dry.

Glue and clamp the 3 120mm pine strips together as shown.

The 4 200mm pine strips need to be glued together in a square then clamped together with masking tape then the square is glued to the 200mm base and the entire assemble is clamped with weight until the glue is dry.

The doors need to be done in steps.

all long strips should meet the lower edge of the side panels.

Starting at 2mm from one edge, glue one longer strip down then glue the top and bottom 24 mm strip in place. Glue a second long strip in place. leave a 2mm space then glue a long strip in place followed bu the top and bottom 24mm strips then finally the last long strip.

You should have about 4 mm left over on the last edge. clamp this all down with some weight until the glue is dry.

remove the weight and glue the remaining 24mm strips in place using a 30mm spacing then clamp this down until the glue is dry.

It is important to have all side panels made this way.

When the base is dry, drill 4 small holes, one in each corner buy spinning a 1/8 inch drill bit with your fingers. do not use a power drill as this will splinter the plywood.

Step 4: Prepare the Corners

Once the "L" has set, cut it into 190mm sections, i cut mine at 200 but had to cut more off later.

These need to be reduced in size so that they are 12mm by 12mm. This was done with a hand plane. while the piece was clamped down.

The pieces are then sanded smooth.

Any imperfections in the wood are repaired with wood filler then re-sanded.

Be sure to sand any sharp corners down to a bevel.

Step 5: Make the Roof

In order to keep the seeds dry, the roof needs to be a little larger than the overall sides. I know this deviates from the plans but it will still look convincing.

Mark the roof slats in a square then make lines from the corners.

The center will be the high point and the edges will be low.

Using a rasp begin making the bevel shapes to the sides. Continue until you have the shape desired then sand the surface smooth. use a large sheet on a flat surface to get the sharp angles on the roof.

Sand the bottom smooth using a large sheet of sand paper on a flat surface.

Mark from corner to corner on the bottom

then cut and glue small strips of pine to form a square that is slightly smaller than 73mm per side.

This is glued together and taped in a square then glued and clamped to the underside of the roof.

The peak "light" is hand cut and shaped from a 1/2 inch thick piece of scrap wood. is is about 3/4 inch long

A small flat is sanded on thee peak of the roof then the light is glued and clamped in place until dry.

Place a 1/8 drill bit in a tap handle and hand drill through the center of the light all the way through the roof.

Step 6: Prep and Assemble the Body

Using wood filler, fill the small gaps between the horizontal strips on the side pieces. once dry, sand smooth and remove any overhanging bits that spoil the lines of the panels.

Along the wider edge of the side panels, run a small bead of wood glue then mate it to one of the corner pieces, keeping the top of the panel even with the top edge of the corner piece. Do not glue the other edge yet.

Repeat this for all 4 panels then clamp until the glue has dried.

Now rum a bead of glue along the other edge and mate it to one of the other side panel assemblies, clamp until dry then add another panel.

The final panel is the glued in place and clamped with tape as shown. Wait until the assembly is dry.

Step 7: Prime the TARDIS

I wanted a grey base coat to give the blue a darker tint.

First dry fit all the pieces together and sand any spots that are not right like the roof fit and the seed opening height.

A light primer layer is sprayed uniformly over the entire surface making sure to cover all angles so that there is not any bare wood showing.

The windows are made by cutting uniform rectangles 6mm by 12mm from masking tape then carefully placing them uniformly in the window pane areas of the panels.

The base is fine if left flat, I had a roof section that was made too small and I glued it in the center of the base to assist the gravity feed of the bird feed.

The light on the roof was papered off then painted white. once dry the white was partially masked off as shown.

Step 8: Paint and Detail

Paint everything the desired shade of blue.

Since this is a feeder you want to choose a water based paint and let it dry several days before you place feed in it.

Once the paint is tack free but not completely dry, remove any masking tape like shown for the windows. This will allow the grey primer to show through creating the illusion of glass panes.

The details of the police call box are sized and printed out on a laser printer. The size of the 4 call box signs are 90mm by 9.5 and the size of the door sign is 24mm by 30mm.

The signs are sprayed liberally with clear coat then applied like stickers to the desired areas. once dry the call box signs are affixed above the doors as shown. I used a 1/4 inch screwdriver bit and masking tape for aesthetic placement of the signage.

Step 9: Make the Hanger

First sand the feet of the TARDIS then glue it to the base and leave it to dry.

I used a 22 cm piece of 1/16 welding rod (very stiff wire) to make a hanger.

First bend it at 90 degrees in the middle then bend about 3/4 of an inch of the ends at 90 degrees in the other direction as shown.

Use side cutters at an angle to create a sharp point at the ends.

Press this down into the TARDIS so that the point is about an inch from the top.

Reach inside and press the points into the corners as shown this is at a depth of about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch.

Use about 16 inche of string and tie it to the point then feed it through the hole in the roof then tie a loop, leaving enough so that the roof can be tipped off to fill with bird feed.

Hang wherever and enjoy your creation...

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