Glass Tardis

A good friend of mine and his wife just had a beautiful baby girl, and I wanted to give them something different. Turns out, the mom is a big fan of Dr Who and so I had the idea of making a stain-glass Tardis nightlight.

So I looked around the interwebs to find a couple of pictures of the Tardis to get the scale/ratio right, and set to cut glass:

Since it’s a small piece, I used the copper-foil technique to assemble the thing. Cutting glass is something that need practice (especially with this type of glass that breaks like candy rather than like the usual clear glass) but it’s not that hard. The hard part in the Tardis is to setup a “production chain” to cut all the sticks and squares all of the same sizes. I made a rig (shown at the far left in the picture above) that allowed me to cut series of sticks and squares one after the other with no change in setup.

Once all the pieces are copper-foiled, we assemble the side (notice the extra white square in one of them).

Soldering is also a bit tricky, but an assembled face looks like this:

Which are assembled at right-angle to form the box:

Making the top wasn’t completely trivial, but I took care to leave a rather large hole to accommodate either a more powerful light or simply a candle.

The next step is to wash the thing with flux remover/stabilizer, and brush excess specks of lead.

The base of the Tardis is a MDF board with a light socket, spray-painted Tardis blue:

Which can serve as an electric base. The Tardis can also be used with a candle (since there’s a vent at the top):

* *

And there you go, a Tardis nightlight. I do hope it will accompany little Emmeline through a magical and inspired childhood (and I have no worries, knowing her parents).

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