SketchUp, Compound Angles and 3D Printing

What do middle school students and amateur carpenters have in common? Neither group realizes how tricky and troublesome compound angles can be. Carpenters will have fits trying to run crown molding and one group of middle schoolers recently hit a … Continue reading

Pythagoras and SketchUp, Model a Wacky Room

Pythagorean Theorem in SketchUp Step 4

Most good builders know and use the Pythagorean Theorem, even if they never heard of Pythagoras or slept through high school geometry. It’s easier to remember 3-4-5 than an ancient Greek and it’s a reliable way to make something at … Continue reading

SketchUp For Cabinet Shop Project Management

In the cabinet business, good planning and keeping track of everything is essential. That’s one of the main themes of my book “The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker”. There are common tools used that have been around for quite a while to … Continue reading

Make an Exploded View in SketchUp

What I like most about modeling in SketchUp, compared to working with pencil and paper or in 2D CAD is that I don’t have to worry about what finished drawings or details will look like until after I’ve built a … Continue reading

10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

Back in 2012, I wrote a series of posts titled “10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp” The series grew out of a presentation I gave at a woodworking conference. It turned out to be a popular series, … Continue reading

The First Thing to Learn About SketchUp: Navigation

A few years ago my son talked me into playing a video game, one where we had to run around an imaginary world with people shooting at us. I sucked at it, big time. I got blasted before I could … Continue reading

Print Full-size Patterns from SketchUp

In my post on making a template for through mortises, I used a full-sized paper pattern that I printed from a SketchUp model. A reader posed the logical and obvious question “can you print a full-size pattern from the free … Continue reading

SketchUp 2013 (& Newer) Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet

With the release of SketchUp 2013, many of the tool icon images changed. What hasn’t changed is that for efficient work in SketchUp, you should be using keyboard shortcuts instead of clicking on the icons in the toolbars, at least … Continue reading

Make a Mortise from a Tenon with SketchUp

Here is one of my favorite moves in SketchUp, exploding and redefining components to move geometry from one component to another. If you don’t speak SketchUp fluently, that means I can take an existing tenon from a table apron and … Continue reading

Cabinet Doors and Drawers in SketchUp-What Size Should They Be?

I recently received the following question from a reader, and as it is asked often it makes sense to post the answer here. At first glance it is a technical question, but my answer veers off into philosophy, and bounces … Continue reading

Last of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

component redefined

Components Can Be Redefined SketchUp is a powerful tool for designing furniture and other woodworking projects. In the design phase, you can quickly make objects, copy and compare variations, and see how things will look in three dimensions. But that’s … Continue reading

9th of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

half blind dovetail is easy in SketchUp

Paste in Place is My Best Friend My primary goal when modeling a project in SketchUp is to get away from the computer as soon as I possibly can. One of the main reasons SketchUp is the ultimate design/planning tool … Continue reading

8th of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

Stretch Complex Parts in SketchUp

The Power of Reusing Details Designing on the computer can be far more efficient than drawing with pencil and paper. The advantage isn’t so much in making the original drawing, that takes some time no matter how you do it. … Continue reading

7th of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

Making a copy in SketchUp

Don’t Draw if You Can Copy & Copy is Part of the Move Command It’s easy to miss the obvious when you’re learning something new, and that was my experience when learning SketchUp. Once again, my AutoCAD experience was more … Continue reading

6th of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

Make a Component

Components Are Crucial My abilities in SketchUp took a great leap forward when I gave up on drawing and began modelling, and I was able to take that step when I got a grip on using components rather than dealing … Continue reading

5th of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

Just Type The Number I think this post is more about me and the way my brain works than it is about learning to use SketchUp. Now that I’ve become somewhat adept at modelling, I really admire the simple and … Continue reading

4th of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

Click and Let Go, ClickClick, and ClickClickClick One thing I plan on emphasizing in this year’s SketchUp classes is using the mouse effectively. Modeling in SketchUp is a very efficient process if you click the right way at the right … Continue reading

2nd of 10 Things I Wish I Had Known About SketchUp

Using point inferences to move

Those Colored Lines and Dots Mean Something Learning how to use software that’s new to you is like adapting to the way things are in a foreign country. The language is different, the customs are different, and behavior that is … Continue reading