Saturday, April 11, 2009

Up on the Roof

"When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it's peaceful as can be
And there the world below can't bother me
Let me tell you now"

Lyrics from "Up On The Roof" by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, as sung by The Drifters, 1962

Well, the last line of this song goes:
"Everything is all right (up on the roof)"

Sadly, in my case, this isn't true!

Yesterday I decided to take a look up on the roof of the TARDIS now that is has been exposed to the Florida weather for a week, and I didn't like what I saw. We've had some really hot weather, some quite cold weather, and some rain in the last two weeks and the roof has borne the brunt of it. The primer is cracked and peeling slightly, and I was really hoping that this would serve as a good barrier against the elements.

Fortunately, there is no actual damage per se, so I can remedy this situation without it causing too much of a delay. I've ordered some "Liquid Rubber" to help seal the roof with a thin layer of a rubber-type compound, which I will then re-prime and paint over with the final cover. This stuff is used on boats and RVs, so should hopefully serve pretty well in protecting the roof.

To finish on a more upbeat note, the last wall panel is now installed, so work can begin on the doors. Fortunately, when I had the ply for the wall panels cut last year, I got the doors done at the same time, and the construction will be, for the most part, pretty similar to that of the walls - the only complication is the little door for the phone. This will require cutting out with a little more care and precision than the holes I cut out for the window, since I wan't my phone cupboard door to fit snugly!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Like a barber's chair that fits all buttocks
William Shakespeare (English Dramatist, Playwright and Poet, 1564-1616)

Fitting the walls was much easier than I anticipated. I wouldn't have been at all surprised if they didn't fit correctly, or that they'd appear to be well skewed, but they fitted like a charm!

The installation instructions - simply lift the panel into the TARDIS shell, ensure that it is evenly space on either side, and just screw it to the corner posts - job done!

Here's a pic with two of the panels installed - it's taking shape!

Some more shots from the outside. Note that the gap between the top of the wall and the roof is supposed to be there. It will be covered up later when the light boxes are installed.

Looks odd from the side without the walls installed, but these two are waiting on the primed wall panel, and the doors, so more soon!

A brief treatise on wall construction!

“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”

So, I didn't really go into any detail on how the walls were put together, but it really was very simple.

Take a sheet of 8mm plywood already cut to size (about 83" x 44") by our friends at Home Depot/Lowes (I forget which now!). Layout two 6x1 (about 5.5" wide), one for each side, and a 8x1 (7.25" wide) in the middle. Then, cut ten lengths of 4x1 to fit in between the side and middle sections (like cross bars), which in my case was around 12.875".

I calculated that the "height" of each inset section was going to be 16.5", so I cut two spacers to this length to aid the laying out of the cross bars, and then loosely laid out all the pieces on top of the plywood for fitting. I was then able to "draw" in my rectangular inset sections onto the plywood and remove all the pieces, having first labelled where they originally went first, since they couldn't all be cut precisely to size.

This left me with a sheet of ply with 8 rectangles drawn onto it, 4 per side. The top rectangle needed to be cut out, since this is where the windows go, so using a jigsaw it was simple task to cut these out. Then, the cut wood was then glued down in position onto the ply and weighted down until the glue had set.

After the glue had set, I turned the ply over and using some 7/8" stainless nails, nailed all the pieces to the ply since I didn't really trust the glue on its own. On my first wall panel, I actually used screws, but once I completed it I decided this was massive overkill and that the nails would suffice.

Having completed the wall sections, they then needed treating with my wood preserver, and priming with my oil based primer before they could be fitted into the TARDIS shell.
“The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune's spite; revive from ashes and rise.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Spanish writer, author of the masterwork 'El quijote', 1547-1616)

It's been a long time since I rapped at you last. Well, I was back in the UK for a about 3 months, so naturally nothing happened on the TARDIS, but now I'm back and like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, so the work on the TARDIS continues!

So, I need to takes some pictures soon, but essentially, since I've been back I've managed to:

1. Construct the last side panel
2. Weather proof and prime two of the side panels
3. Install the two painted side panels into the TARDIS itself.

Pictures to follow, but it really is taking shape now! This weekend, I expect to complete the installation of the third side panel, and then start on the doors. With a little bit of luck, I'll have the doors ready for weather proofing and priming over the weekend, so I should be able to install them early next week.

It's getting there!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back in the USSR.... ok, UK I mean!

I probably should've posted this earlier, but progress has come to a screaming halt because I'm now back in the UK until mid-March.

Before I left though, I did manage to complete two of the side walls for the TARDIS, leaving me just the following:

  • Last side wall

  • Doors

  • Frames for windows on side walls and doors

  • Light boxes

  • Lamp fitting

  • Signage

  • Final prep and painting

Really there isn't that much left to do now as the vast bulk of the construction is now complete - if I'd been a little more proactive in Nov/Dec, it would be complete by now!

C'est la vie!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"An' here I go again on my own: Goin' down the only road I've ever known: Like a drifter I was born to walk alone"
Whitesnake - lyric from Here I go again

"One man can make a difference, Michael"
From Knight Rider 

Two quotes today to make up for none on the last post!

Anyway, Back again!

So, where was I! Oh yes, the construction.

This was an awful lot of hard work for one man on his own - it really is a two man job, but I'm currently in a gang of one so I had to make do with me, myself, and I.

Essentially, I had to prop the roof section up so that I could attach two of the corner posts to the bottom of it. Once this was done I then had to flip the whole assembly (risking the whole thing splitting and falling apart) to attach the other two. This doesn't sound like much, but believe me it was physically knackering, and I kept hearing various parts of  the assembly creaking as it strained under its own weight - with another strong pair of hands I'd have been able to support the assembly much better when moving it around, but to cut a long story short, I got it done.

Once I'd done this,  the next step was to fit the base to the corner posts. In the original "plans" I had, the builder cut L shaped holes in the base with a jigsaw and slotted the corner posts into the base. However, he'd used a single sheet of ply and I'd used several "floor boards", so I decided to take off some of the boards so I could fit the posts and then I'd cut the boards to fit.

Well, this was an awful lot of hard work for one man on his own 

So, you can see here that I've now got a strange horizontal gazebo!

For the record, here's a bit more detail of the "joins".

Can you see the mistake here? Think before you drill that's all I'll say on this one!

Anyway, having done this, I've been filling the various holes to cover the ends of the screws and coach bolts, but then I had to put the remaining floor boards back on, and to do that, I really needed the TARDIS vertical!

So, today, I took a trip down to Home Depot to try and buy some kind of "dolly" that I could put the TARDIS on so that I could wheel it about. Sadly, they had none in stock, but I did find something better that I'll document in another post. 

Using these items, I got the TARDIS out of the garage and "erected"! 

"Look at my mighty erection!"
Dave Fox, today

As it happens, cutting the floorboards to fit was childs play for an old hand at the table saw like myself. I won't bore you with the details, so I'll cut to the eye candy.

Note for all the nit pickers here!

1. The colour is a base coat - not the final colour
2. The ground here isn't level, so if it looks like the TARDIS is on the piss, it's the ground.... mostly.... I expect!

Some more detailed pics for the record!

Note the little bits of 3/4" square dowel I've used here to level up the floor boards where they were short around the corner posts!

Now that's craftsmanship for you! ;)


Sunday, December 7, 2008

I was going to find another quote on time, but since I've already used two I thought I'd omit the quote today!

Anyway, it's been a long time since I rapped at ya on the Type 40 Project!

I can give all sorts of reasons as to why nothing much has been happening, and most of them would be true, but to be honest the real reason is fear laced with a little laziness!

Fear, because the next step had to be the assembly of the basic frame from the components I'd already made, and there was every chance this was going to be a disaster. You see, it's really a two man job to get this all assembled, and I'm currently in a gang of one. I was worried that in trying to put it all together on my own I was going to end up stressing some of the wood and ending up with a pile of firewood.

Well, today marks two weeks and a day before we have to return to the UK (boo hoo! sniff!). I could no longer afford to procrastinate, so I took a trip out to Lowes to buy the carriage bolts I needed to put the thing together.

Now, the problem here is it's been about 3 weeks since I last did any work of note on the TARDIS, so I've already fallen into bad habits. Today, I just guessed at the length of the both I'd need, and when looking at them at Lowes I decided that a 5" bolt (3/8" diameter) would do.

Well, when I got it all back, I found that I was really about 1.5" too long, but having just forked out over $15 I wasn't going to let that deter me. So, I started assembling it with my overlong bolts with the view that I'd chop off the excess amount if necessary.

Second bad habit came up, shortly after I'd started. You see most of my power tools are 18V cordless. Now, I've two batteries, but since last working on the TARDIS I'd neglected to put either of them on charge. It didn't take much drilling and bolt cutting to end up with two depleted batteries and not a lot of work done. It also occurred to be that I'd bought too few carriage bolts since I bought a bag of 15, figuring I'd need 8+, but it turned out that I'd need at least double that just to bolt the corner posts to the roof so I was already 1 bolt down.

So, a trip back to Lowes was needed to spend 76 cents on just one carriage bolt.

Anyway, I'm running out of time here now as I have to go out for dinner, so I'll continue this story with the next post!