Police Box‎ > ‎

The Project


    Please read this WHOLE document before deciding to build your own box. You might decide this is too much to deal with.

    As you read this guide, you will obviously notice I am not a carpenter.  Most of what I know comes from my father and watching television shows such as the New Yankee's Workshop on PBS.

    As personal advice, remember to measure twice and cut once.
    Lecture: From the experience, go to Lowe's and not Home Depot if these are your choices. I have picked up countless warped lumber and over-priced accessories from Home Depot and do not suggest shopping at Home Depot. Lowe's is my favorite choice for shopping. I found I could pick up corner-braces for the same price at Lowe's and get screws for them which Home Depot did not supply. I mean, get for real.


    My initial efforts in building a Police Box stem from computer rendered versions when I was in college (see the link to the right). I was going to use the calculations from the computer-generated version ("POV Ray-Traced") that I created in 1996, but I needed to take the calculations beyond rendered planes. I needed substance for the calculations.

    I considered doing a full-scale for a few seconds and knew that I could only have this IF I had a house. I considered building the box with latches for assembling and disassembling, but this was too much to deal with. Eventually, I scaled down the calculations to a half-scaled version. This achieved a few important things:

    1. Simplicity
    2. Low-cost
    3. Immediate reward
    4. Fits through standard 36-inch wide door

    Please note that I do not have the Doctor's tools and can not perform "Block-to-block computation".  As a result, my version will not be "perfect" by any means.
[POV-RAY Trace of TARDIS Image]

1. Design

One of the most important issues in designing the box is determining which variant of the Police Box will be used. Since I am a picky person, I had to pay attention to some basic details.

Police Boxes come in different colors and shapes. For someone who wants to build one, this is a very annoying task when all you really wanted is a Police Box that looks like a TARDIS. There are some choices which were deliberately left out since they are not common characteristics that we acknowledge today for a "TARDIS" appearance AND they were not really necessary when viewing the box at a distance. I have 3 basic designs, but the last design is my end goal.

1.1 Choices

  • The version 1 is probably the simplest design that somewhat resembles season 18 with the exception of the stack which is colored in blue. I believe that this version will be the simplest for the builder. The other two version are different only by the added detail work which is optional.

  • The version 2 has more detail for the posts. The posts have a 1/8-inch bead that is around each corner (see version 2 post). The detail is noticed on the earlier years of Doctor Who (ie William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton). The post is constructed in the same manner as the version 1 post. The detail work is accomplished by sanding/planing the corners and adding a 1/4-inch plywood to each face of the post. This was the simplest way to optionally add the detail work.

    This version is probably how I should of build the box; however, the next one is what I built.

1.2 My Choice

  • The Pseudo-Tech Manual version has a thick stack for the roof. Also, some London Police Boxes have more than one stack which was evident from "Logopolis" which some may or may not of noticed. Personally, I wanted the version 2, but it was too late and I was trying to "go by the book" (ie Doctor Who Technical Manual).

    The approach taken is to build the version 1 with a thick stack. After version 1 with a thick stack is complete, I will provide details for adding the 1/8-inch round corners depicted in version 2 post. This will produce a result like version 2 except it will have a thick stack. I think I have mentioned thick stack enough so that you get the idea about what is distinctly different with MY built version. Right?

1.3 Notes on Design

  1. Color of a TARDIS is light blue and Police Boxes have a dark blue. I will be painting mine with a combination to give an old look. This will require light with dark using a wash technique.

  2. Jam jar (ie light at the top) has struts on some and others not. Some have circular caps and other not. I have chosen to have struts and a square top with a bubbled top.

  3. Handles on Police Boxes are below the key-hole on some and above. I chose to have it below though above is supposedly the correct location.

  4. Police Boxes have a handle and phone in the call access panel. I chose to avoid the handle and accessible panel due to the scale of my version. (This was a tough decision on my part.)

  5. The 8 recess panels (including windows) on each side of a Police Box are angled at 45 degrees. I chose not to do this. This is tedious detail and I did not have the proper tools to do this. I felt that the observer would not notice this detail.

  6. Post of non-square design. The approach to building a completely square post was not self-evident during my building process. My approach is to use one 4" (actual being 3-3/4") and one 3" (actual being 2-3/4") to create one post. (see version 1 post) Using some simple arithmetic, you will note that one side will be 3-3/4" and the other will be 3-1/2" (ie 2-3/4" + 3/4").

  7. Side Note: If you are building version 2 or the Pseudo-Tech Manual version, the way to fix this is to put a 1/4 inch lattice between the wood for the side that is thinner. This will correct the measurements; however, my measurements will not conform to this correction and you will have to redo my measurements.

  8. Some Police Boxes have the recess for the title "POLICE BOX" extending to left and right edges. I chose to add padding to the left and right.

  9. Police Box has the doors opening inward. I chose inward since I wanted my box to be as close to a Police Box/TARDIS as possible. Others may choose to modify my design by having the doors open outward. The reason to consider this is to maximize the storage space for whatever you plan to store. Having the doors open inwards reduces storage of items by 25-50 percent.

I will provide e-mail assistance to anyone who has problems building with my design and measurements.


[The Blue Box Project Image]
[The Blue Box Project Image]
[The Blue Box Project Image]

2. Preliminary Building

With the idea in mind, the next step I took is to create a paper cutout.

Paper cutout serves a few purposes:
  1. Gives you an idea of how big the box will be
  2. Allows you to determine where in the world you are going to put the box
  3. Let's you know what you are in for
  4. It's fun and easy!

2.1 Cutout

    When you make your cutout, you can use newspaper or trashed printer paper. I used printer paper (which I have tons of from the dot matrix days). With the measurements I have below, use a pair of scissors and cut all the pieces and tape them together. When you are done, you can hold up your cutout and see where in the world you are going to put this. Remember to stand forward, left and right. The box is relatively square and will occupy a square space.

2.2 Measurements

  • light - 2-3/4" x 4-1/2"

  • roof (orange) - 1" high

  • stack (pink) - 1-1/2" x 18-1/4"

  • roof base (green) - 1-1/2" x 22-1/2"

  • title side (purple) - 3/4" x 2-1/2"

  • inner post (light blue) - 3/4" x 3-1/4"

  • outer post (blue) - 4" x 44"

  • foundation (red) - 3/4" x 27"

2.3 Photo Comments

    My cutout is a bit detailed since I have never built one and I needed to make sure it was going to look like a real Police Box/TARDIS.

[The Blue Box Project Image]
[The Blue Box Project Image]

3. The Wall (updated 7/21/2002)

No. Not Pink Floyd. We are talking about the walls of the Police Box/TARDIS. One would think that the foundation would be the first to build. Since building contractors have little choice, they usually do have to build the foundation first. In our case, we are going to do the sides first to ensure that the measurements for the foundation is what we want. This eliminates mistakes and money thrown away. I have already made the mistakes so you don't have to. ;)

The general idea behind building each of the sides (as well as the doors) is to use the lattices to makeup for not cutting out a solid piece of wood. The lattices are 1-1/2" in width and 1/4" in thickness and will provide the illusion of recessed panels. The instructions below should not be used as the only means for building the side and personal deduction and observation should always be used.

OBJECTIVE: 3 rectangular sides with cut-outs for the windows. Lattices and posts may or may not be assembled (builder's choice).

3.1 Basics

    The sides we will cut will be large than the space they occupy. This will allow us to nail the side to the post and corner brace it to the foundation. See the Side Cutout to the right for the general idea.

    To begin, cut the following.

    (1) 1 x 8" x 4" sheet of plywood cut into
    • (3) 21" x 42" for the walls

    • (2) 8-7/8" x 38-1/2" for the doors (This will be done in the next section. Make sure these are FLAT. These are for the doors and these need to be flat.)

    Take one side and mark/remember the bottom-left corner. Check and make sure the bottom-left sides are completely square. If the bottom-left corner is not square, try using a different corner.

    From the side cutout diagram, measure the following.

    1. Measure 28-3/4" from the bottom up for the bottom of the window.

    2. For the left window sides, measure the following from LEFT to RIGHT

        3" for left side
        9" for right side

    3. For the right window sides, measure the following from LEFT to RIGHT

        12-1/4" for the left side
        18-1/4" for the right side

    4. Measure 7-3/4" up from the 28-3/4" to mark the top of the window opening

    These measurements will layout the perimeter of the window.

    The window size should be 6 x 7-3/4" which is the same size of the recess panels. For these to be windows, we need to make these 1/4" larger than they should be. Use a ruler to make this correction. The reason we need to extend this by 1/4" is to cleanly fit the plastic/glass for the windows.

    Once you have finish the measurements, DO NOT cut the windows. We will do the lattices for the recessed panels to ensure that the window was penciled at the right location. This is a "double-check" which will save us head-aches and mistakes.

3.2 The Lattices

    To begin, we need to cut lattices to form the recess panels that will be shown on each side. Start with one set for one side at a time, so that small mistakes are made instead of big ones. Use a miter box to ensure square cuts.

    (3) 1/4" x 1-1/2" x 8' lattices for ONE side cut into
    • (4) 1-1/2" x 42"

    • (12) 1-1/2" x 6"

    Cut one and only one 6" lattice and one 7-3/4" lattice for creating a template of the width and height for the recessed panel. Use the Side Lattices diagram. Pay attention to the following.

    1. There should be a 1/4" gap between the two center lattices. This is not clearly shown in the diagram. This slight measurement difference will be very useful when we deal with the doors. This will allow the doors to open and close without sticking. See Side Lattices diagram.

    2. Lattices should be around the FIRST pencil marks for the window. If you lift up the lattices, you should see the extra 1/4 inch which was extended for the window. If this is not what you see then the measurements are incorrect and need to be done again. Remember, once the window is cut, there is no going back and you will have to cut another side.

    If everything appears to be in the right place, remove the lattices and cut the windows. I will personally mention that this is the hardest work that I had to deal with. The primary reason is because I had to key-hole cut each window by hand.

    After cutting the windows, place the lattices back on the side. You should notice lattices around the perimeter of the window (prior to 1/4" extension measurements). If the lattices are not on these lines, then we have messed up and need to start over.

    As you are cutting, do not be concerned if your cuts are not clean square cuts (mine were not). Remember that the lattices will go over the window slightly. The lattices which will be placed on top for the recessed panels will hide the cutting flaws. So, the rule of thumb on this is "bigger is better." (Note: Do not go beyond about 1/4" with this rule.)

    When you are done with one side, place the side with the cutout window on top of one that is not. Use a pencil and draw the 2 windows on the one that is not cutout. This will ensure that each side is exactly the same. Make sure you stack the sides completely square when doing this in order to avoid mistakes. Do this for the third side also.

    Do not cut the second and third side yet.

    Go back to the first side. If you are confident that the lattices cover the windows appropriately, apply wood glue to the back of the vertical LEFT and RIGHT lattices. Do not glue the other pieces yet. I am minimizing your possible mistakes in the same manner as I minimized my mistakes.

    Before doing 2 more sides, I suggest you do the posts for one side. After you have done this successfully, come back and do the other 2 sides. We only need to make mistakes to one side and not every side.

3.3 Photo Comments

    For the first photo, once I had all the measurements down, I decided to sketch one of the sides on a sheet of plywood. After some consideration on whether the plywood would warp or be unsuitable for the structure, I decided to use it anyway. The reason is because I would use 1x2's to reinforce the square shape of the box on the inside. This eventually proved to be a sound idea. The only part I was to be concerned about are the doors ( I will explain this later, *lol*, DW Red-Nose day joke).

    The second photo as a pretty solid visual representation of my efforts for building one of the sides. The doors were created with lattices from Lowe's (1/4" x 1-1/2" strips).

    The reason for using lattices should be self evident, I did not want to buy thick wood and have to cut the recessed panels. That would be a pain in the rear. To avoid doing this, I resorted to the next best thing. Please take note that the panels are suppose to recess with an angle of 45 degrees, but I was not able to find lattices with this property. Since my construct is "child-size", I decided to skip on this detail.

    You will notice that the second lattice photo has strips of lattices on the left and right. When I found out that the box had no definition, I ripped the posts from the sides and added pieces of lattices which gave the box more definition.

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


4. The Posts (updated 7/21/2002)

In this section, only the basics of the post will be constructed. The detail work for the 1/8" corners will be covered in another section.

OBJECTIVE: Pair of posts nailed to 3 sides

4.1 General

    As you may remember, the box is not completely square but the observer from a distance will not notice this discrepancy.

    To start, we will only be nailing the basic post to the left and right of each side. Cut the following.

    • (4) 1 x 4 x 44" for the front and back sides

    • (4) 1 x 3 x 44" for the left and right sides

    • (3) 1 x 3 x 20" for support at the bottom of each side

    Note: Remember to keep the scrap pieces. This will be used to make the roof.

    As I have mentioned before, try not to use warped lumber. If your lumber is warped 1/4" when doing this (as one or two of mine were), I suggest you have the wood bow outward and not inward. By having it bow outward, you can plane the surface (later) until it is flat.

    For the back side (ie opposite of where the door would be), use two 4 x 44". For the left post, align one 4 x 44" to the right of the left vertical lattice. For the right post, align one 4 x 44" to the left of the right vertical lattice. The post should be 1/4" below the door to accommodate the plywood floor (see the offset in the POSTS diagram marked in blue and purple). Follow the right diagram for details.

    Nail from the reverse side by applying one 3/4" nail to the top and one to the bottom for each post. Turn the side around to verify that the posts are level and straight. Use a vertical level on a horizontally level surface to verify.

    In my opinion, I suggest leaving the side this way for now. Once the foundation is made, we can place the sides together and determine if something is not square. If something happens to be wrong when that time comes then we only have to deal with 2 nails on each post for removal and re-nailing.

    Take the 3 x 20" and nail this at the lower back of the side which is elevated by 1/4" to the posts as shown in the POSTS diagram in purple. Nail this piece from the front side. Again, the reason for 1/4" is for the floor that will be inside the box. I cannot stress this enough when assembly takes place.

    Complete the other two sides using the rest of the cuts (ie (2) 4 x 44" and (1) 3 x 20" for each side).

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]

5. The Doors (updated 11/18/2010) (in construction)

No. Not the music group. The doors to the actual Police Box/TARDIS.

OBJECTIVE: 2 doors with window cut out and lattices glued in place. Lip should exist on top of each door for closing flush to the step detail above the door.

5.1 General

    The doors are cut in the same manner as the sides. You will notice that the door is about 4" shorter than the sides. The reason is because of the step detail above the door is not part of the door. Look at door brace photo to the right. The beam that is above the door in this photo will have the 3-step detail work that will go above the door.

    Take the (2) 8-7/8" x 38" which was cut in section 3.1. With the left door, mark/remember the bottom-left and ensure the bottom-left side is square. With the right door, mark/remember the bottom-right and ensure the bottom-right side is square. If the door is not square, try using a different corner.

    Mark on the back of the right door, RIGHT, and on the left door, LEFT. We really do not want to get these mixed up.

    Use the Doors Cutout diagram as you measure the following.

    1. Measure 28-3/4" from the bottom of the door to mark the bottom of the window

    2. For the window on the left door, measure the following from LEFT to RIGHT

        1-1/4" for left side
        7-3/4" for right side

    3. For the window on the right door, measure the following from RIGHT to LEFT

        1-1/4" for the right side
        7-3/4" for the left side

    4. Measure 7-3/4" up from the 28-3/4" to mark the top of the window opening

    For these to be windows, we need to make these 1/4" larger than they should be just as the sides were done.

    When placing the lattice on the door for verifying, make sure that the right door has the lattices flush to the right and the left door has the lattices flush to the left. Do not worry if the lattices do not even out from right to left for the right side or left to right for the left side. The vertical door trim will hide this. Isn't it nice how we can hide these flaws. :)

    After placing the lattices and determining that the windows are penciled in the right location, remove the lattices and cut the windows.

    When cutting the windows for the door, be careful. The width from the top and sides of the windows is only about 1-1/2". You do not want to break the plywood even though it should be strong enough. Remember that this door will be thicker when the lattices are placed on top.

5.2 The Lattices

    For the left side, place the lattices LEFT to RIGHT. For the right side, place the lattices RIGHT to LEFT. There should be a 1/4" lip behind each window (same as the sides). Also, you will notice at the top of each door a 1/4" which is not covered by the lattice. This is intentional so that the door will make a clean close when the door is closed and locked.

5.3 Photo Comments

    I don't know if I should say anything about this venture except, that trial and error is always expected when starting. I created the doors for the box during this attempt and laid them out on the sketch that I did on plywood. Unfortunately, I did some recalculations and found that the measurements were not correct after I cut it and I had to start over on this part. So, what you are seeing is what I had to throw away, but it gives you an idea of what I was doing

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


6. The Foundation (in construction)

Hey. I don't think this one is a rock group. Anyway, we now have all the sides to the Police Box/TARDIS built. We need to measure the sides and determine the correct measurement for the foundation. At this point, you may or may not need to vary your measurements from mine to compensate for results that did not turn out exactly as you anticipated.

OBJECTIVE: a semi-square foundation.


    The foundation is not completely solid. This is a builder's preference. I chose to put at least (4) 1 x 3 so that it is relatively solid.

    In order to have clean sides on the foundation, the 1" x 4" will need to be cut at a 45-degree angle using the miter box. Cut the following as shown in Foundation Bottom diagram

    • (4) 1 x 4 x 27" (shown in blue colors in diagram)

    • (4) 1 x 3 x 19-1/2" for floor support (shown in green colors in diagram)

    • (4) 1/4" x 22-1/4" x 22-3/4" for the floor (pink color)

    Assemble the frame cuts (blue colored) with the corner braces (purple colored), Foundation Bottom diagram. Please note that the thickness of the corner braces are exaggerated so you know where they are suppose to go.

    Take the floor and nail it to the frame with 3/4" nails around the perimeter, Foundation Top diagram.

    Take the floor supports and slide two underneath the floor to one end and two underneath to the other end. Make sure you do this on a solid flat surface. Foundation Bottom diagram shows you where they are suppose to be (green colors) and Foundation Top is where you should be nailing them.

    Nail the floor supports that are under the floor.Personally, I would suggest nailing one end of ONE floor support and the other end, flip it over and make sure its nailed where you want. If not, use the crow at the end of the hammer to loosen it and nail it again.

Photo Comments

    The Photo of the bottom only has one piece at one end and another piece at the other end. This was taken before I added another piece at both ends. I found that only one piece at each end did not have the proper support for the floor. This was my judgment and you may feel differently when you build yours.
[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


7. Raising the sides (updated 12/9/2010) (in construction)

Yes. This section could of been named differently, but I opted not to.

OBJECTIVE: a semi-square foundation with 3 sides assembled.


    We should now have 3 sides and 2 doors built. Assemble the 3 sides with the foundation as shown in Side Locations Top View diagram. Make sure that the 4" post side is to the back and the 3" post sides are to the left and right. Use angle braces (shown in red) to assemble the sides to the floor.

    Make sure that the angle braces have enough distance from the angle brace on the joining side. I personally had mine too close and had to remove the angle brace and place it further from the joining side. Also notice that the sides should assemble flush to the perimeter of the plywood foundation.

    Take the 1 x 4 x 44" from section 4.1, and assemble them as shown in the diagram (colored in purple).

    Secure the top of each joining side with corner braces. The corner braces should be placed 3/4-inch from the top, see Side Locations Front View. The corner brace is used to assemble the joining sides and for the roof that will be placed on top.

    Do not be concerned with the missing step on the floor of each side.  A 3/8" x 3/4" piece of basswood will be used to complete this detail.

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


8. The Roof (in construction)

Yes, flying through space with the top down is a nice thought, but we need a roof despite how nice that thought would be. Also, I could of named this "the Tops" which is a rock group. ;)

OBJECTIVE: a semi-square foundation with 3 sides and completed roof with light foundation.

8.1 Roof Foundation (updated 7/29/2002)

    A frame box is needed for the roof (similar to the foundation). Cut the following with a miter box. Use the Roof Top diagram as a guide.

    • (2) 1 x 4 x 22-3/4" (shown in dark blue in diagram)

    • (2) 1 x 4 x 22-1/4" (shown in light blue in diagram)

    Using the Roof Top diagram, the roof is assembled in a similar fashion as the foundation. Angle braces (shown in purple) are used to assemble the base of the roof foundation.

    After doing this, you can either place the roof on top and build with it fastened OR you can put this piece on the floor or your work bench and work from there, see Roof on Floor. Either way will not make a difference; however, I went ahead and assembled mine as I went so that I could see if the roof looked right as I was building.

    To complete the roof foundation, a layer is needed. Take some left over pieces of lumber or personally cut some wedge and place them 1/2" from the perimeter as shown in green on the Roof Top diagram. Nail the wedges.

    Next, we need to build another frame box. I suggest that you measure from each wedge piece to get the appropriate lengths for the sides. The lengths should be around 22" x 21-1/4".

    To assemble, nail the pieces for the frame box into the wedge pieces. This is a point in the building where we can get away with not using the corner braces to build the frame box.

    Take the frame box and assemble it with the 3 sides of the box. The corner braces are 3/4" below the top and the thickness of the frame box is 3/4", so the frame should be flush with the top of each corner. Make adjustments if necessary by adjusting the corner braces for planing the corners.

    Once you have determined this is positioned correctly, screw or nail the frame box to all 4 corner braces.

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]

8.2 Thick Stack

    At this point, the builder needs to decide how he wants his roof built. As I mentioned earlier, I will show how to build a thick stack.

    Take some left over pieces of lumber or personally cut some wedge and place them 1-1/2" (shown in green) from the Roof Foundation perimeter (shown in pink), see Roof Stack Top diagram. Nail the wedges.

    Next, we need to side track for a second and create a foundation for the roof. This is accomplished by cutting the following and placing them as shown in red, see Roof Stack Top diagram. Note the 3/4" gap that is exactly in the middle.

    Important: Do not nail this after you have cut them. When the Light Foundation is made and placed on top of these two beams. We will be able to move these two beams and adjust to make sure that the beams have an opening for the wiring going to the light fixture, see Roof Pitched Front Section 8.5

    • (2) 1 x 3 x 18-1/4"

    Now lets finish the stack. A frame box is needed to finish the thick stack. Width for the stack is not important and using 1 x 3 as opposed to 1 x 4 is sufficient. The selection is builders choice. I chose 1 x 3. Again, measure from each wedge piece to get the appropriate lengths for the sides.

    Again, nailing is all that is needed for this (ie no corner braces). Nail the miter cut pieces to the wedges.

    For the second stack, measure the following:
    • (2) 1 x 3 x 18-1/4"

    • (2) 1 x 3 x 17-3/4"

    For a frame box and place the frame box on the wedges and nail these to the wedges.

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]


8.3 Roof Lattices

    As shown in Roof Lattices diagram, measure and cut lattices to go around the perimeter of the foundation and stack. You might want to "try" and miter cut along the thickness rather than the width for a nice clean look.

    If you are not miter cutting these, remember to have at least one set of the lattices for each stack be 1/2" more to compensate for the adjacent lattices...diagram soon to follow.

[The Blue Box Project Image]


8.4 Light Foundation

    Before creating the roof, we need a foundation for the pitched roof to fall on. The Light Foundation Front View shows what we need. To construct this, we will need to cut the following.

    • (4) 1 x 2 x 4" (used for the inner post)

    • (4) 1 x 3 x 3" (used for the outer post)

    Take the inner post cuts and assemble them into a long rectangular square. See Light Foundation Top View and look at the inner post layout.

    Use a vice to secure two sides at a time and then nail the pieces. Be careful when nailing since pieces are narrow. In fact, glue and place the pieces in a vice as you build the inner post.

    Assemble the outer post by nailing the pieces into the inner post. Make sure that you do not nail through the hole in the middle of the inner post. The hole is made available for the light fixture which will attach to the top of the box. When assembling, glue is also an optional method.

    Take note of the Light Foundation Front View. The tops of the outer post are planed/filed to a slope. This will be done when the pitched roof is placed on the outer post. We will plane/file the outer post as the pitched roof is placed down and is relatively flat with the surface.

[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]

8.5 Roof Pitch

    Unfortunately, I do not know the best way to build the pitched roof. I had some trial and error on figuring out how to build this correctly without making a lot of mistakes. Needless to say, I made mistakes.

    End result is that I measured the top. I transferred the measurement onto light-weight plywood. I drew a line from each opposite corner and cut the pieces. I ended up with 4 triangle pieces. Look at Photo Pitched Roof and Photo Pitched Roof Closeup to see what I did.

    Alternatively, I will supply the measurements after the puddy so that you don't have to do the puddy work (hopefully).

      With puddy,
      • (2) ?" x ?" x ?"

      • (2) ?" x ?" x ?"

      Take the points that relatively belong to where the light fixture and cut about 1-1/2".

      Without puddy,
      • (2) 18-1/4" (bottom width) x 7-3/4"h x 2-3/4" (top width)

      • (2) 18-1/4" (bottom width) x 8-1/4"h x 2-3/4" (top width)

    From Roof Pitched Front Closeup, the ends of the cut pieces will need to be planed/filed to a slope.

    Also, take notice of the Light Foundation which the roof is leaning against (marked in purple). The outer post of the light foundation needs to be planed/filed to rest relatively flat against the surface. Do not be too concerned if the roof does not become flush with the inner post of the Light Foundation. Lattices will be used to go around the top of the inner Light Foundation to form the base of the Light Fixture. From the diagram, you will notice the green lattice that creates a 1/4" crevice between the roof and the inner light foundation as it sits on top of the outer light foundation (I hope you followed that).

    Also, notice how the non-square sides are going to a square top for the light. I thought this was slick when I built it.

    Assemble the roof pieces and Light Foundation. After you have made all the adjustments needed and the basic appearance seems right, remove everything except the Light Foundation.
    Lightly pencil where the Light Foundation is. Also, double-check that the Light Foundation has an opening between the support beams. We need this opening for the wiring of the light. Carefully, move the beams so that there is an opening. From section 8.2, the support beams were NEVER suppose to be nailed.

    Nail the support beams and toe-nail the Light Foundation to the support beams. Make sure at least 4 nails are supporting the Light Fixture. We do not want this to come loose. Also, make sure that the support beams do not block the opening created by the light fixture's inner post.

    If the "puddy" approach was used, you will notice an increasing gap going from the corner to the Light Foundation. As I mentioned earlier, wood puddy is the best way that I know for fixing this. I suggest doing a small amount, wait for it to dry, and repeat until the gap is gone. When doing this, pay attention and make sure the puddy underneath the roof does not form glops. This does not really look pretty even though no one is really going to look up from the inside.

    When this is done, add 1-1/2" lattices around the base of the light fixture to complete the roof. As in section 8.3, you might want to "try" and mitre cut along the thickness rather than the width for a nice clean look.

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


9. POLICE BOX (in construction)

Still alive? I am very happy if you got this far.

9.1 Police Box framework (updated 7/21/2002)

    Now we need to create a frame to go around each of the titles. First, we will cut the simple part which is the basic "POLICE BOX" title (the green and purple). Cut the following:

    • (2) 1 x 3 x 22" (used for the front and back)

    • (2) 1 x 3 x 21-1/4" (used for the left and right)

    After cutting these, the blue and green pieces will be cut from lattices to give the recess feel for the "POLICE BOX" title. First, cut the simple green pieces as follows:

    • (16) 1/4" x 3 x 1-1/2", (length of each should be the same as the width of the 1 x 3's)

    Unfortunately, there is no pre-cut way of doing the part that is blue in the Police Box Title diagram. A specialty cut pair for each side will have to be made. Each pair is for the top and bottom. My approach for cutting these was to use a Dremel tool set (rotary tools). This was a simple way of making the cuts that I needed. Using the method which you feel best suits for this task, cut the following:

    • (4) ?" x ?" x ?" (used for the top)

    • (4) ?" x ?" x ?" (used for the bottom)

    Diagram likely to follow.

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]

[The Blue Box Project Image]

10. Detailing (updated 3/15/2003 - in construction)


10.1 Recess Panels

    This task did not necessarily have to wait until this moment. The earliest point at which this could of been done was after the POSTS were done. The main reason is because of mistakes.

    Take the one set of lattices that were cut from Section 3.2 and place them in their appropriate locations based on the Side Lattices diagram. Take the box and place it on its side when you do each side.

    For each side, I glued all of the lattices. To ensure that the pieces are bonded well to the surface, place your Calculus, Physics, and all of your old college books on top of the lattices (at least that is what I did).
    Make sure that the lattices still have the lip over the window so that the glass does not fall out when one is placed in.

[The Blue Box Project Image]
[The Blue Box Project Image]
[The Blue Box Project Image]

10.2 Post Caps

    Two small pieces need to create the caps for each of the posts. Assembling two pieces was the simplest way for to create the post.

    • (4) 1" x 1-7/8" x ?" (used for the top)

    • (4) 1" x 2-1/2" x ?" (used for the bottom)

    The inset of the post caps to the post is 1/2".

    assemble a pair of each cut piece to the top of each post and glue them. Avoid nailing since these are small pieces.
[The Blue Box Project Image]

10.3 Side Steps

    The steps above the door is kind-of a pain. Using a 1-1/2" lattice. Basically, (2) 1-1/2" and a (1) 3/4" lattices are stack with an off-set of 1/2" to 1/2" to 3/4" going bottom to top, respectively. The 3/4" wide lattice is the part that is a pain. This has to be cut by hand for assembly.

    Diagram to follow.

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


10.4 Beaded Posts

    Basically, the shape of the post is created by sanding the sides and cutting strips of 1/4" plywood strips for each of the post faces. For the face that is close to the sides/doors, strips of basswood is used.

    • (8) 1/4" x 40"
    • (balsa is fine, basswood preferred - harder material)
    • (4) 1/4" x 3" x 44"
    • (front and back sides)
    • (4) 1/4" x 2-1/4" x 44"
    • (left and right sides)

    You might have a problem with the 1/4" x 40". This is not sold in stores. I was able to find a 36" piece. End result is that I bought 8 1/4" x 36" pieces and one extra to make the extra 4" that I am missing. When the box is painted, no one will notice that two pieces were butted at the top where the steps are. The two coats of paint will hide this construction detail.

    As for the 44" strips, if the person at your favorite hardware store is REALLY nice, they can cut these pieces for you. Some places don't like cutting these because of how thin the wood is.
    For cutting these, I found myself using my Dremel set. I cut outside of the lines I drew and then filed them clean and square where appropriate. This detailing really does not have measurements, since building a box like this can have discrepancies in measurements. I suggest taking your ruler and marking the places for where the pieces are suppose to go as shown in the TOP VIEW and ANGLE VIEW.
[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


11. Jam Jar (updated 3/15/2003 - in construction)

The jam jar for the London Police Box was used to help Police Officers be aware of civilians that require assistance in London. For Doctor Who, the light is used to indicate that the TARDIS is in transit to a destination. Our jam jar light will be decorative; however, I have clearly fashioned in the design an opportunity to light the jam jar.

11.1 The Basic Light (updated 3/15/2003 - in construction)

    The light consists of a jam jar, 4 struts, and a cap.

    Unfortunately, here is the "not so clean" part.

    I used a Dremel to practically build this part and a lot of wood putty. If you want to follow my direction, here is what you need.

    • (1) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 1/2" (light-cap)

    • (4) 1/4" x 2-1/2" (dowels for struts)

    • (1) 2" x 2-1/2" votive (cylindrical preferred)

    Initially, I used one sheet of 3/8" plywood and cut a 2" circle in the middle with a Dremel. I sandwiched this with a solid piece and glued them together. This was not pretty and done a little too cheap.

    The correct way is to take the 1/2" piece above and cut a 2" circle in the middle with a Dremel or some other wood cutting accessory you might have handy. The basic idea is that you want to create a circle that is big enough to fit the closed end of the votive into the wood. The depth needs to be 1/4" or more. DO NOT CUT STRAIGHT THROUGH THE WOOD! The same goes for the foundation where the open-end of the votive will sit in.

    The end result of the pieces should be like the diagram to the right with a 1/4" distance of the cut circle to the edge for the top and bottom.

    The 1/4" struts need to be 3/8" from the corner edges. When drilling these, make sure to drill only 1/4" into the light-cap. The same goes for the light foundation. If you find that the struts are not square to the surface when assembling, try to drill more perpendicular to the surface and drill a deeper hole into the foundation. If you need to do this, you will have to cut longer dowels for the struts. You will have plenty of cheap left over dowel since they are usually sold as a long stick, so this is not a big deal.

11.1 The Cap Bump (updated 3/15/2003 - in construction)

    The cap bubble is interesting. At first, I bought a 2" hardwood disc from a crafts store and rounded the edge. This did not turn out well at all! The best approach was to put a smoothed topping of wood putty on the top. Smooth the putty and wait for it to dry. After drying, you most likely will notice cracks. If you did not do this in portions, it is not a big deal. Just fill in the cracks with some more putty and wait for it to dry. When the piece looks solid and done, use a file and sandpaper to round the top and make it look like a smooth bubble. If there are still some cracks, just add some more or just wait until you paint and have the paint fill in the cracks.

    As a side note, if a full-scale Police Box is built, hardware stores usually carry the jam jar that is identical to what is used for the London Police Box. I found this at my local hardware store; however, I could not find a half-scale version. The alternative is to get a votive which is sometimes sold at a crafts store, or sold with a candle inside. I bought a candle because the votive was more cylindrical and not trapezoidal.

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]

12. The Panes (updated 3/15/2003 - in construction)

We cannot have the rain coming into the box, so we are going to need windows. The pane was not a pain. It was quite simple. (I know bad joke)

    Two choices are available for windows: plastic or glass. Though glass would be authentic, it has a greater chance of breaking. I chose to use plastic sheet of "cracked ice" (sold at Home Depot unfortunately) which is used for covering fluorescent lights. Using a razor, I carefully cut the necessary pieces for each window pane. Be careful when you do these since these sheets break easily. Though these break easily when cutting, they are cheap to replace. A good buying factor.

    Next, we need to mount the plastic window into the frame.
[The Blue Box Project Image]

13. Door Accessories (updated 10/26/2010 - in construction)

Lock and handles.

    For the lock, a simple utility lock is all that is required to lock the doors. Using the rotary set (Dremel set), you can cut a hole in the door to fit the lock.


[The Blue Box Project Image]

14. Painting (updated 10/26/2010 - in construction)

A splash of blue.

    First the box will need to be primed. Unless you want the interior white also, I would suggest covering the windows before priming.

    Glidden's Mediterranean Blue is the choice that one friend of mine gave me; however, I thought this was too dark. Personally, I found at the end of the project that a simple gloss blue is probably all that needs to be used, but this is a builder's preference.

    Also, it is probably worth mentioning that the Police Box in Doctor Who has been painted countless times over. The varying colors make it difficult to choose what is the "correct" or "ideal" color to use.

[The Blue Box Project Image]


[The Blue Box Project Image]


15. Detailing (updated 10/26/2010 - in construction)

Adding the call sign and titles to the sides.

    The Public Call Panel requires 4 miter cuts at 45-degrees.  I used the 1/4" x 1/2" strips of wood to create the inset.  The pieces should be painted darker than the color chosen for the Police Box. Before assembling these 4 pieces into the panel, the text for the Public Call Panel needs to be placed into the panel.

"The Blue Box Project", since January 2002