i'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT (darn caps lock - sorry) that a better design for me would be one that snaps together with no bolts and nuts required. Assuming that your transport is big enough for a whole wall then I'd build two side walls complete with signs and posts, then 2 police box signs which slots down into or over some mountings and simply hold the structure together that way. Back wall would be a 1-piece sheet with panel and window details then front doors fix to the 2 sides walls you already put up. Roof on top and you're done. That's pretty much how mine already is ( and it's breaks down and transports well, if heavily...) excpet I used nuts and bolts to secure the signs boxes front nad rear and that's really getting a bit fiddly to do regularly - I plan to retrofit with some sort of metal mounting plates someday.
4" brass door hinges with removable hinge-pins worked great for us (TARDIS shown at Gallifrey One every year). Reason to use brass - no risk of things seizing up due to rust!
About 13 hinges hold the main structure together and onto the base with no slotting at all (two side wall-sign-post assemblies as above), along with another 3 hinges on each door. It makes for a very quick breakdown and reassembly, but those walls are hernias in the making.
The hinges also serve as positioning keys if their locations are not perfectly symmetric from wall to wall. Not sure how it would be with 4 doors (wall assemblies only held together at the top by the sign box assemblies), but I can attest that with only 3 doors (with a half-wall that includes the sign box in the back) it is a VERY stable structure once everything is locked together, despite the roof being just set on top. It would be even stronger if the roof were locked down with another 8-12 hinges (or with a full wall in the back, but only one way in or out might spoil some of the fun).
Only caveat is that you pretty well have to store the box fully assembled (roof off is probably OK) to make sure everything weathers and warps together as a unit, otherwise alignment of the hinges can be quite problematic. I would imagine this would be the same with a slot built structure, with or without hinges. I've found that keeping things assembled like this actually helps minimize any warping from occurring in the first place, but then we used mostly plywood, which is generally more dimensionally stable than lumber to start with (unless you use something like teak).
Oh, also best to not drive the hinge-pins all the way home either, otherwise they are an incredible pain to get out again. Medium sized mallet or hammer and a large screwdriver are essential tools for assembly and disassembly, as is a bag to keep from losing any of the pins in transport.
Post by Scarfwearer on Jul 26, 2006 16:52:32 GMT 1
I have an anti-recommendation:
In an effort to make my fixings as discrete as possible I used long bolts and furniture fasteners - the cylindrical kind which take a bolt screwed into the side.
I found it was very difficult to drill the holes accurately enough to allow the bolts to reach the fasteners at exactly 90°, and I ended up widening the bolt holes a lot to make enough 'give' to get them to fit. They still don't all fit.
Oh well. I'd recommend going with one of the other methods listed above.
Mine's designed so the top signs and their housings (the steps underneath, etc), slot over the four walls at the top and the whole thing locks together like a giant wooden puzzle, no real bolts or anything required. However, for the removeable phone box and a few bits here and there, we used those metal screw housings that hammer into the wood, so the bolt screws into them instead of the timber. Can't remember what they'recalled ... probably the exact same thing Crispin mentioned above ...