Details -- Inserting an Ebony Spline

comments (7) October 28th, 2012 in blogs

DaveRichards David Richards, contributor
thumbs up 7 users recommend

I've been working on a Greene & Greene-inspired bed recently. I needed to add an ebony spline to the corners between the posts and the top rails. Here's a video to demonstrate how I did it. Since I have the pro version of SketchUp, I could have used the Solid tools to do this but I didn't for two reasons. First, the method I am showing can be done with the free version. the second reason is that the Solid Tools convert components to groups during the modification. This breaks the component's relationship to the others in the model. Then I would have to convert the group back to a component and replace the original copies with the new, modified component.

The Solid Tools are great for some things but for my work flow I consider the entire process. In many cases, using Intersect Faces and the Eraser winds up being less work than using those tools.

Toward the end of the video I rounded over the ebony spline using the Round Corner plugin. It makes quick work that.

So without further ado, on with the show.



As requested, here's a sketch from before the false spline was created.


And after cutting the recess for the false spline.

posted in: blogs

Comments (7)

DaveRichards DaveRichards writes: Matt, thank you very much. You're certainly right about making them in the shop.

Dan, I just drew it as built but I imagine saving ebony was one reason. The real splne is made of the same wood as the leg.


Posted: 2:50 pm on November 1st

MacGregorWoodWorks MacGregorWoodWorks writes: Did you use the false spline to save on the ebony, or is there a structural reason for the separate splines? Thanks for the info.

Posted: 2:25 pm on November 1st

MLZettl MLZettl writes: Outstanding tutorial, Dave. I do a lot of G&G work, and making these splines and the associated geometry in Sketchup has always been a little tedious. There are some great tips and tricks that you have shown that simplify the process considerably. Now all you have to do is make the splines in the shop, and that is an entirely different matter. (-;

Posted: 3:12 am on November 1st

JonasMac JonasMac writes: Dave

Thanks for the reply . It cleared matters up for me .

Jonas Mac
Posted: 5:24 pm on October 30th

DaveRichards DaveRichards writes: Jeff, I hope you find the plugin useful.

Jonas, I don't mind the feedback. Sorry I didn't make an exploded view of the joint. I'll see what I can do about adding one. I figured the joint was fairly self explanatory but I guess not.

Posted: 7:42 pm on October 29th

JonasMac JonasMac writes: Dave

Hope you don't mind the feedback
I found the video , with the false spline and the real spline difficult to follow . I know I would have found it easier if there was a diagram / pulled apart view of the elements forming the corner joint in the beginning of the video as an aide to understanding the moves you were making during the video .

Dont let this put you off doing videos , I eagerly await and learn from them .

Jonas Mac
Posted: 6:56 pm on October 29th

JeffB JeffB writes: Interesting. Thanks for the link to the plugin.
Posted: 9:17 pm on October 28th

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker

About Design. Click. Build.

Learn the art and science of designing furniture in SketchUp with Fine Woodworking's official blog. Moderated by a devoted community of woodworkers, we feature step-by-step SketchUp tutorials on designing components, downloads of pre-built 3D models of furniture parts, and news and information about the evolving world of digital furniture design.

Buy the Video
Don't miss Dave Richard's brand-new DVD/video download, The Basics.

Buy the Book
Get Tim Killen's popular eBook, the Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers.

Basic SketchUp Tutorials 
Learn the basics of building furniture in SketchUp with these classic posts from the Design. Click. Build. blog.

Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp
How I Draw in SketchUp
Axes in SketchUp
The SketchUp Move Tool
The SketchUp Rotate Tool
The SketchUp Scale Tool

Materials, Colors, and Textures
Applying Wood Grain Skins in SketchUp

Easy Dovetail Joints in SketchUp

Digital Project Plans

Download and modify SketchUp files for select projects from Fine Woodworking. View all.

Top Sellers:
Matt's Monster Workbench
New England Pine Cupboard
Garden Bench

Meet the Authors



I am a Biomedical Equipment Technician. I maintain anesthesia and respiratory equipment for the largest medical facility in southeast Minnesota. I...
view profile

Tim Killen

I am retired from Bechtel Corporation after 36 years in Engineering and IT management. I grew up among woodworking machinery in...
view profile


view profile