I spent Tuesday through Friday of the week after Thanksgiving teaching eight woodworkers SketchUp just north of Atlanta, Georgia. The class was held in the regular meeting place of the Gwinnet Woodworkers Association, the classroom at Peachtree Woodworking Supply. Six of the students were local members of the club, and the other two traveled from Asheville, North Carolina and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I always admire the dedication and drive of people who are willing to park themselves in front of a computer for several days of intense learning. It’s well worth it because the ability to use SketchUp makes time in the shop more productive and predictable. These classes are aimed at the skills needed to plan woodworking projects efficiently and get out to the shop to build things for real.
The big advantage of taking a class instead of teaching yourself with videos or books is that in between my presentations of how to do things, there is time to practice. With a small class, my assistant and I spend time with each student, and we can spot (and correct) the cause of problems.
Getting good at SketchUp involves learning to navigate a different world as well as making things in a specific way. It takes practice to develop hand and eye coordination and to learn the sequence of commands. In class, we focus on practicing the skills that make 3D modeling fast and fun and solving the issues each student is struggling with.
We were blessed with a great group of students who made us feel at home, even though we tried our best to stretch their abilities. Here are some of the things they had to say about the class:
Finally had a chance to do some models in SketchUp that I’ve been wanting to do for some time. They are wonderful and my skills are increasing exponentially with the added practice. However, I do have one gripe. Do you know how frustrating it is to be looking at a web site and try to ORBIT! It doesn’t work.Thanks to both of you for coming to Atlanta this past week to give the Sketchup class. I enjoyed the four days with you and learned a lot. Now . . . I’ll just need to spend some time practicing and keeping my skills current.