Hinge Mortises on the Tablesaw
Simple Tape Trick for Tight Fitting Through-Mortises
Finishing Technique for Greene and Greene Furniture
The Essential Tool Chest
Capture More Dust from Your Router Table
Simple Cabinetry with Pocket Hole Joinery
Speed Up Handplane Honing with Your Ruler
How to Sharpen Hollow Chisel Mortising Bits
A Woodworker's Guide to Grain Direction
Smoothing Plane Tips and Techniques
How to Sharpen a Spokeshave
Customize Your Router for Centered Mortises
Drawbore Your Mortise-and-Tenon Joinery
Workbench Tool Storage Solutions
The Coolest Cutting Board Ever?
Easy Errors to Makecomments (12) April 26th, 2010 in blogs
One of the most important byproducts of using SketchUp is the high quality of drawing integrity - something you can count on when in the shop. However, there are still many things that can go wrong. Just like working safely in the shop requires constant attention, I think there is a need to be attentive in making your model in SketchUp.
There are a few areas where I particularly need to be careful to avoid errors. I'll show you four of these areas that quickly come to mind.
Error 1 - Dimensions not placed properly
Many of the parts in furniture are complex shapes and non-orthogonal. Dimensioning these complex shapes can be a challenge. It's easy to snap your dimension to a point that really is not the correct point but one very close by. I find that it is important to zoom in closely when making dimensions to ensure that you are on the proper point.
Also, in the view below, it is easy to create various dimensions of the length depending on how you move the mouse, the camera view, and where you click. Do you mean to show the top-to-bottom dimension along the axis, or is it to show a dimension that is aligned with the shape? It requires some attention to detail to make sure you get the dimension you want. I find that it is important to orbit around the model after dimensioning to make sure I've got it right.
Error 2: Getting Wrong Dimensions in the Cut List
Many of you I'm sure use the plug-in to automatically create a CutList from the model. This plug-in depends on the size of the component definition. If there is text or dimensions or other extraneous graphics in the component definition, you will get erroneous cutlist results.
In the view below, I have a centerline coming out of the mortise in the middle of the post. That small line helped me align a bed bolt, however it sticks out beyond the faces of the component and throws off the results in the cut list. So it is very important to check the components for these anomalies and to do a final check on the cut list results.
Error 3: Templates not full size
I use Layout and PDF output for most of my full size templates, arranging them on large scale paper. In this way, students and customers can use print services such as Kinko's to produce the templates. When loading these scenes into Layout, you define a scale as 1 to 1. However, during re-sizing, shuffling, and arranging the various templates, you can inadvertently change the scale. I always find it important to do a final check of the 1:1 status of every template. Click on the template and in the SketchUp Model dialog box on the right hand panel, check the View tab to ensure the Full Size 1:1 scale.
Error 4: Not having a smooth tangent arc
Occasionally in my rush to make a component, I fail to maintain a tangent connection of the arc shape. In the view below I've shown a top rail for a chair. The rail is symmetrical therefore, I typically make only half the component, and copy/flip to make the whole. I usually don't notice the problem until after I've connected the two halves. I now watch more carefully in placing that first arc or bezier at the center of the half shape.
Perhaps you've found other areas of potential errors. We always encourage your feedback in the comments below.
posted in: blogs
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.
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
Meet the Authors