The Original Console Room Vacuum Forming the Roundels Moving House The Rebuild


My console

Costume party in the TARDIS

I’ve had several different designs for the roundel panels in the console room. The first attempt had ˝ inch MDF screwed to 1x8 pine planks. The inner edges of the roundels were 4” strips of 1/8” bathroom board cut very carefully to size and jammed into the hole. This really didn’t work very well as I had to tack them in place and the bathroom board was too hard to make the nails flush. Also I never did really figure out how to fit lighting behind that version. I made one panel as a prototype and ended up cutting it up and throwing it away. The white backing was the smooth white lighting diffuser material (acrylic or styrene – both work, though the acrylic is stronger and more flexible).


Strange yellow cast on the walls

The next design was much more refined. I cut two ˝” MDO panels (plywood with a paper veneer) with roundels and placed 1” spacers between them (to reduce weight – 2” thick solid material would have been great but terribly heavy). The roundels are lined with smooth lighting diffuser sheeting cut on a table saw. I cut them slightly long and then trim them by the millimetre until they snap into place and hold tight without gluing. Some I did actually glue with caulking, others I didn’t bother.


Cutting roundel holes in the panels

Earlier panels were cut with a jig-saw, but a router works much better... I stapled 2x4 foot sheets of lighting diffuser behind them. They split, but not enough to show on the outside.

The panels are nine feet tall – the roundels are on a 24” grid and are 20.5 inches in diameter. The panels with 3 roundels wide are thus fairly unwieldy, though I’ve been able to move them without assistance. Plywood comes in 48x96 inch (4 foot by 8 foot) pieces, so I tiled the area with several of them, then tiled them differently on the reverse side for extra strength. Wherever there’s a seam on one side there’s unbroken wood on the other side, so in spite of being joined, even the large panels are quite rigid. I used spackling paste and wood filler to cover the joins and screws and glued the spacers in place also. I've since discovered that my roundels are too large - the ones in the show were 18" (presumably on 21" spacing).


tiling plan

Cutting edges for the roundels from lighting panel


Glueing the spacers

Assembling the panels

Here's a panel being assembled - actually all held together with glue, but largely hollow so it doesn't weigh too much.