Drawing Dovetails With a New Plugin
I’m always on the lookout for SketchUp plugins that will save me time and make drawing easier. This weekend a new commercial plugin called WUDWORX was released and it really speeds up the drawing of dovetail joints. There have been several dovetail plugins released in the past; I wrote about one of them awhile back. WUDWORX is the most user friendly one I have run into.
Installation is done by extracting the contents of the ZIP file into the Plugins directory. To make the toolbar usable you’ll need to enable the Extension. Go to Preferences>Extensions and tick the box for WUDWORX. The Preferences dialog box is accessed under the Window menu on the PC and under the SketchUp menu on the Mac. Then turn on the toolbar under View>Toolbars.
The toolbar looks like this:
The button on the left activates the plugin while the right one opens the Dovetail Specifications dialog box which looks like this:
The settings are straightforward. Tail Angle will accept a slope as shown or an angle. If you enter 0 as the Tail Angle, you’ll end up with box joints. From base determines the direction the dovetails are drawn. So far I’ve found that leaving that set to Yes works for most situations. Thickness is set to the thickness of the component that gets the tails. The drawer sides for example. If this is set to 0 the plugin won’t push through to remove the waste. After you’ve made your settings, click on OK. The settings are persistent which means they’ll remain across SketchUp sessions until you change them. There’s more information about these settings here.
To use the plugin, click on the left button on the toolbar. click to set the starting point and click along the base line of the joint. Then move the cursor in the direction of the joint. The two videos, below show how this works. You can also access the plugin through the Plugins menu.
This video is by the author of the plugin.
And this is a video I put together to demonstrate the plugin being used on the apron and drawers for Tom Fidgen’s Sharpening Bench.
If you draw SketchUp models to joinery level, I think you’ll find this script to be a worthwhile addition to your collection. You can get the plugin at this site.