WHEN South West TAFE’s pre-apprenticeship cabinet-making class was given an open assignment in 2009, student Irwin Lowe knew exactly what he wanted to build.
While his classmates set to work on coffee tables and dressers, he was mapping out plans for a TARDIS — an acronym for time and relative dimension in space, as any Dr Who buff could tell you.
Based on the original 1963 television prop of a time machine disguised as a London police box, Mr Lowe’s replica comes complete with LED lighting, doors and wheels.
“I’m actually working on it as we speak,” he laughed.
“We were assigned a free project to demonstrate some of the skills we had learnt during our first year.
“I thought ‘oh well, I might just make a TARDIS’.
“It ended up requiring more than what we’d learnt.
“I think the teachers were thinking more along the lines of a coffee table or small stool.”
From plans he found on the internet, Mr Lowe has been working on his replica one day a week for the past two-and-a-half years.
“It’s as close to the original Doctor Who prop that I could get,” he told The Standard.
“I’ve changed a few features.
“It’s made from Vic ash (timber) so it’s quite heavy — it’s a lot more solid than it needs to be.
A part-time pharmacist at Camperdown’s Murray Fry Amcal Pharmacy, Mr Lowe began cabinet-making as an outlet from his often “intense” occupation.
“It takes my mind off it,” he said.
“It’s something completely different.
“... (And) it’s a fulfilment for me.
“When I went through high school, I sort of missed out on manual skills.
“It’s been really confidence-building.”
This year Mr Lowe is studying certificate three in cabinet-making and is looking forward to future projects.
“I want to get on and build other things,” he said.
“I’ll probably do something a bit more conservative.”