New Project – Kitchen Dresser – 1750
Beginning a new project sometime starts with a new way to capture the details in SketchUp.
It’s always tough to decide on a new project. It used to be easier—we had gaps and specific needs in the home. But now the rooms are saturated with home-built museum replicas. So I have to consider where the new project ends up. Sometimes that means the shed out back, and even there, space is limited. The children’s homes are also full of my furniture, so not many options there.
Finally, after reviewing my numerous books for an idea, I’ve chosen to replace an old piece in the house with a kitchen dresser as shown in Lester Margon’s book, “Masterpieces of American Furniture”. I have some nice sugar pine that will work well with this period piece. Here is the SketchUp model.
Often I start a project in SketchUp with a photo image. In this case, Margon shows a beautiful one-page drawing of the dresser. I wanted to improve the quality of the scanned images that I import to SketchUp. Often, I use lower quality blurry and “keystoned” images that make it harder to replicate detailed shapes.
My idea for improving the image of Margon’s drawing was to use an iPhone attached to a tripod (I don’t have a fancy camera). I developed a SketchUp drawing for an attachment mechanism as shown below.
Here is the arrangement I used with the tripod.
The tripod allowed precise adjustments so that the iPhone could be squared up with the page in the book. After capturing the entire drawing, I zoomed in to special shaped areas of the dresser, such as the scrollwork on the header, sides, and crown molding. These closeups made it easier to trace-over and capture these intricate shapes and moldings.
Here are the images in SketchUp. You can see the trace-over shapes that I’ve captured in SketchUp. Of course, all of these images are adjusted to full scale in SketchUp.
Here are closer views in X-ray. Using this method of capturing the images provided sharper edges in the background for my trace-over of arcs and lines.