DaveRichards

Rochester, MN, US
contributor


I am a Biomedical Equipment Technician. I maintain anesthesia and respiratory equipment for the largest medical facility in southeast Minnesota. I also do some training in the use of that equipment. My wife, Kari and I have a three year old son, Ian.

In my spare time I like to work in my garage woodworking shop. Ive made a wide variety of wooden items from salad tongs to boats. I started using SketchUp several years ago with version 3. It is an ideal tool for the woodworker. I use it for designing projects, working out joinery details and figuring out the order of operations to make efficient use of my time in the shop. My drawings range from simple sketches with little detail to completely rendered images used for presentations and publication.

Ive made a wide range of SketchUp models from tiny parts for medical equipment to large architectural and other construction projects. Most of my models, though, are furniture and other woodworking related items. Ive been helping other woodworkers around the world learn how to use the program for about three years. Im excited to be teaming up with Fine Woodworking, Bob Babcock, Tim Killen and the rest to help you learn how to use this extremely useful workshop tool.

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Contributions

A Transition from Leg to Stretcher

While perusing some of the used furniture sites, I came across a mahogany coffee table designed by Edmund Spance and manufactured in Mexico in 1953. I modeled this coffee table loosely after that...

Pommels and Other Square to Round Transitions

The transitions between round and square sections are a common feature on things such as table legs and columns. Drawing them correctly in SketchUp can be a bit of a challenge if you aren't familiar...

Placing Back Rest Spindles on a Chair

I had an e-mail from a gentleman in Peru recently. He was trying to draw a chair something like these. He was trying to work out how to draw the hoop and then get the spindles into place. I expect as...

SketchUp 2014 Maintenance Release 1

The folks on the SketchUp team have been hard at work and today released Maintenance Release 1 of SketchUp 2014. If you are using SketchUp 2014, it would be a good idea to download this version...

A Simple Way to Show Proposed Changes

Sometimes we need to show others proposed changes to an existing object. This might be the addition of cabinets in a kitchen or maybe an extension to the kitchen. We want to show what already exists...

Adirondack Chair -- Placing the Back Slats

Of all the pieces of furniture woodworkers make, chairs are probably the most difficult to get our heads around. Most cabinet work involves making rectangular boxes with square corners. Chairs are...

Screw Threads in SketchUp

Last week I had an e-mail conversation with a fellow who has been doing a bunch of 3D printing. He is working on an adaptor for something in his shop and wants to print a threaded part. He was...

3D Basecamp Recap and a Lesson Reinforced

Last weekend my family and I drove out to Vail, CO for SketchUp 3D Basecamp 2014. I look forward to these trips each time because it gives me a chance to see some friends and to find out first hand...

Drawing a Bin Pull

I was asked about a method for drawing a bin pull type of of drawer pull. A long time ago I did a tutorial showing how to do that but that one seems to have evaporated into the ether so here we go...

Save Your Components

I've written a number of times about strategies for working efficiently in SketchUp. One of those strategies is to use components. I've often demonstrated some of the power in using components such...

Putting a Bevel on a Gouge

Way back in one of my early blog posts I demonstrated a way to cut the bevel on a gouge. I had a request to revisit the process and unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, the video disappeared before I...

SketchUp 2014 Is Now Available

Today Trimble announced that SketchUp 2014 has been released. The most obvious changes in SketchUp are the addition of two new Arc tools and a redesign of the 3D Warehouse which makes it easier to...

A Woven Cane Seat

Once in awhile I need to illustrate elements such as the woven cane seat on this stool designed by Josef Hoffmann. Although the individual canes could be drawn, it would be tedious at best, create an...

A Barrel Chair --part 2

In my previous blog post I drew the frame and panel for this barrel chair. In this video I'm showing how to get the seat frame, feet and the decorative buttons put in. There are two plugins used this...

A Barrel Chair -- A Follow Me Lesson Pt. 1

This is the start of a barrel chair loosely based on a chair designed by Josef Hoffman and built by J. & J. Kohn in Vienna, Austria in 1901. The main part of the chair consists of a bent plywood...

Sneak Preview -- Pixel Perfect Plugin

Printing to scale directly from SketchUp has always been a bit of a challenge. Especialy if you want to print full sized patterns to take to the shop. Users of the pro version have it pretty easy...

Showing Veneers in SketchUp

This morning while I was poking around on the internet I came across some photos of an antique round table with a veneered top. The veneer was laid out in an interesting pattern with a star in the...

Materials--Adding a Finish, the Mac Version

Last week I showed how to edit material images on the PC. Things are different on the Mac, though. Here's how it works. First you'll need to tell SketchUp which app to open to edit the image file...

Materials--Adding a Finish

Recently a friend send me an e-mail asking how if he could change the color of the wood grain material he had created for a model he was working on. It's actually an easy thing to do as I'll show...

A Colonial Drop Leaf Tavern Table--Dealing With Intersecting Curves

In the last few weeks I've recieved a number of questions in regard to drawing things with intersecting curves. Although the questions have been asked about a variety of different models, the...

Patterns for Lathe Work

In a recent blog post I wrote a bit about drawing chess pieces and how to go from a profile to the 3D shape. Once you've got a turned shape, it might be nice to make a pattern you can use at the...

The Sketchucation Plugin Store

If you're like a large number of SketchUp users you have a love/hate relationship with it regarding plugins. There is a vast array of plugins out there that can speed up your drawing work or make it...

Chess Pieces--A Look at Follow Me With Small Parts

I had a conversation a little while back with a new SketchUp user who wants to draw detailed pieces for a chess set. In a nutshell, the process involves drawing a section of the chess piece as a...

Drawing the Butterfly Stool

When I have a little free time I enjoy perusing several websites that specialize in selling used furniture. I often get design ideas from the images. The other day I came across a piece I'd not seen...

The Tape Measure and Protractor Tools

Earlier this week I had an e-mail conversation with a friend and long time SketchUp user. We were talking about resizing his model or rather part of it. We started out talking about the Scale tool...

SketchUp 2013-- A New Maintenance Release

The SketchUp and LayOut teams have been hard at work and they've released another maintenance release for SketchUp 2013. If you are using it in either version, it would be worth updating so you can...

CutList 4.1.7 Is Now Available

There's a new version of the CutList plugin for SketchUp. It appears to be mainly a packaging update to ensure compatibility with other extensions and to meet criteria for SketchUp's Extension...

Adding a Crown to a Cabinet

Recently I drew the SketchUp model for the plan for Mario Rodriguez's Vanity Cabinet. Drawing the crown molding was an interesting excercise. I had few dimensions to work with and at first it seemed...

Dovetails on a Sea Chest

The Push/Pull tool is one of the fundamental tools in SketchUp. It is probably the most commonly used tool for making your models 3D and for modifying them. The Push/Pull tool has a couple of...

Working Efficiently -- Shortcuts

Lately I've been thinking a great deal about working efficiently in SketchUp. As with your work in the shop, working efficiently in SketchUp can improve accuracy, reduce errors and the time you spend...

SketchUp 2013

SketchUp 2013 has been out for a few weeks now. Here's a look at a few new features as well as some tips for migrating from an older version to the new version. These things apply to both 2013 Pro as...

Bent Parts--Figuring Out Materials

Have you seen Matt Kenny's beautiful Bowfront Wall Cabinet? When I was working on the plan for it, I needed to be able to indicate how wide the veneer and flexible plywood pieces need to be to make...

Announcement: Release of CutList 4.1.6

The author of the popular CutList plugin for SketchUp has just released an update which you can download here. This release fixes an issue which recently cropped up in which the HTML layout page...

Working Efficiently in SketchUp

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day about finding ways to work efficiently in SketchUp.  

SketchUp 2013 Released Today

SketchUp 2013 was released today. You can download the new versions, Pro and SketchUp Make (the free version) from the SketchUp site.  There are many under-the-hood improvements in the new versions...

The Adjustable Screw

In the past I've written about making and saving components for future use. I've stressed repeatedly the use of components instead of groups and how to leverage components to save yourself work and...

Curved Surfaces in SketchUp

I've been wanting to do another blog post to demonstrate handling curved surfaces in SketchUp. While trolling the internet the other day I came across this side table by Robert Sukrachand that has...

A New Way To Install Plugins and a Tool for Creating Custom Toolbars

Recently Sketchucation released the Plugin Store, the fastest and easiest way to get and manage plugins for SketchUp. Once you've installed the Plugin Store plugin, you'll have access to hundreds of...

Intersects to Create Mortises

There are several different Intersect Faces options in SketchUp. The one most folks seem to use is Intersect Faces>With Model. I find in most cases that Intersect Faces>With Selection is more useful...

A Curved Leg With a Simple Inlay

A gentleman sent me a Sketchup file looking for a little guidance in drawing legs something like those on this table. He'd gotten up to the point of rounding over the outer face after which he wanted...

Drawing Curves Through Points

Often when you are drawing curves in SketchUp, you can manage using the Arc tool locating the end points and either the height of the arc (the bulge distance) or the radius. The Arc tool only draws...

Designing a Bandsaw Box

I received an inquiry from someone asking if SketchUp could be used to design bandsaw boxes. Although I hadn't really thought about doing so, I realized that it would work well for this. Often all...

The Right Way to Approach It

Where do you start when you are drawing something in SketchUp? What is the right way to draw it? Often it doesn't really matter as long as you get to the end successfully. It can be like the age old...

Coming Clean with Solid Modeling Techniques

Recently I had a discussion with a friend about modeling in SketchUp. We got to talking about things that create problems for users when drawing. These issues sometimes cause problems  Here are a...

Countersinking Holes

There was a question in the Knots SketchUp forum concerning drawing countersunk holes. I decided to do a quick demo showing a way to create them using the Move tool. There are other methods but this...

A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

The other day I received an e-mail from a reader who was struggling with small step stool he was trying to draw. His stool has angled legs that are wider at the bottom than at the top. The bevels and...

Wudworx--A Handy Plugin Set For Joinery

Almost exactly two years ago I wrote about a plugin tool set called Wudworx which has been very helpful for me in speeding up the process of drawing dovetail joints as well as basic mortises and...

Drawing a Water Wheel

One of our readers e-mailed me and asked about drawing a waterwheel in SketchUp. He's setting up a plan for a wheel to be built as a kit and shipped to Honduras where it will be assembled and set up...

Drawing a Shop Cabinet in SketchUp - Casters and Drawers

In my previous blog post I showed drawing the case for a shop cabinet designed by a fellow woodworker. Now it's time to add drawers and some casters so we can move the thing around the shop. He and I...

Drawing a Shop Cabinet in SketchUp - Part I

Last weekend, during an online training session with a woodworker who is learning SketchUp, he suggested the things we were doing might be useful for others who are in the same boat. We were working...

A Raised Panel Door with a Cathedral Panel

The other day a fellow asked about drawing frame and panel doors with arched or cathedral panels for a pantry cabinet he is designing. He is planning to have some tall doors at the bottom and a...

A Little Puzzle Box

Last weekend I spent a little time in the shop and made some little boxes to use as Christmas gifts. They are based upon a puzzle bank I found in the book Puzzles in Wood by E. M. Wyatt, published in...

Adding Diagonal Bracing

Every so often I have a need to add diagonal bracing to a project. The braces on the side of this book shelf are a good example of that. In the shop you would make the brace longer than needed, offer...

More Details -- A Bail Pull

The other day a friend of mine asked me how to draw this drawer pull with the bent bail. It looks pretty difficult but thanks to a plugin called Shape Bender. Take a look at this video.   Note, if...

How To Show Different Material Options

A couple of days ago I got an e-mail from a fellow who had drawn a SketchUp model for a project. He wanted to show his client some different wood options and asked how to do that. Here's a way to do...

Details -- Inserting an Ebony Spline

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...

SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

Earlier last week the SketchUp team and Trimble hosted 3D Basecamp in Boulder, Colorado. For avid SketchUp users 3DBC is a great time to network with and learn from other SketchUp users. I had an...

Revised CutList Plugin Available

I've been meaning to post a notice that there is an updated version of the CutList plugin. Finally I'm doing it. Version 4.1.4 is available here. The main updates according to the changelog have to...

Creating Hardware For Your Models

Often the SketchUp models I draw are made to be shown to a client with the aim of gaining their approval for the construction of the piece. To help the client visualize the piece I often need to add...

Adding Some Realism To Your Models

At some point you'll need to show your SketchUp model to someone else. You'll probably want to have a nice looking picture to show. There are a number of options for how to do that. From what I see...

Sliding Dovetails

I answered a question recently about drawing sliding dovetails in SketchUp. I wound up making the attached video to show how I do it. It's quick, easy and painless and everything lines up...

A New Maintenance Release for SketchUp 8

The folks at SketchUp have just released a new maintenance release of SketchUp 8 today. It contains some bug fixes including one that appeared when Apple pushed an update for Safari. But the main...

Showing The Details

So you've created a SketchUp model of your project and included the joinery and other details so you can build it in the shop. How do you go about showing those details? There are several options...

Using Offset and Auto-Fold for Drawer Bottoms

A few weeks ago Tim demonstrated a great way to draw beveled drawer bottoms. As with nearly everything in SketchUp, there's more than one way to do it. Here's an approach that I find works well for...

Quick and Easy Flutes

The other day I was talking with a fellow about SketchUp and we got onto the topic of details and the return on the investment of time spent drawing them. I've always held the opinion that one should...

A Move Tool Exercise

 In the last week or so I've tutored several students whose key stumbling block with SketchUp was the Move tool. To a person, they were finding it difficult to accurately move elements of their...

Turn Your Model Into a Real Object

Generally around here we focus on drawing SketchUp models that will be used eventually as the references for projects we'll build in the shop. Another application that might be useful to you is 3D...

Divide and Conquer -- Handling Complex Geometry

Break down complex shapes into manageable chunks to make it easier to handle.

Details, Details -- Drawing Cockbead for a Bow Front Chest

The other day I received an e-mail from a woodworker who was asking about how to draw the cockbead around the drawer openings on a bow front chest model he is working on. He managed to get the...

Component Axes and Flip

Recently, during on of my online tutoriing sessions, my student and I were talking about the components in a corner cabinet model he was working on. He had drawn the components insitu as Tim and I...

Printing Patterns for Templates

Every so often I field questions about how to print full size patterns from SketchUp models. If the user is using the pro version, I suggest that the create a scene in SketchUp and send it to LayOut...

Drawing a Joggling Board

The other day I received an e-mail from a reader who is learning SketchUp. He was having some difficulty with a few details on the model of a joggling board he was trying to draw. He asked me how I...

SketchUp Has a New Home

This morning an announcement was made of SketchUp leaving Google and moving to Trimble. There's a blog post on the SketchUpDate blog here. It'll be interesting to see what new stuff comes out of...

Personalize Projects for Clients

When I am designing projects for clients I often try to find things I can add to the images that make the piece a little more personal to the client. A while back I designed this combination wash...

Mac Tool Bars

There was a question in the Comments section of my blog post announcing Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers -- The Basics about setting up the toolbars on Mac. Here's the answer. First, toolbars on...

Leveraging the Power of Components

The other day I was working on a little table that has legs that splay outward from the corners. I had the table nearly completed when I discovered I needed to add pegs to the the legs to retain the...

Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

First there was Tim Killen's ebook "SketchUp Guide For Woodworkers" and now there's Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers -- The Basics the video. This DVD, running over an hour...

A Turned, Octagonal Pedestal

The other day I got an e-mail from a reader asking about how I would make a turned octagonal pedestal for a round table. Here’s how I did it.  The pedestal could be made in one piece but I...

Materials From a Photo

One of our regular readers sent me a SketchUp file he had been working on. It looked like this when I got it. His question related to painting his model to match the photo. He had imported the image...

Graduated Dovetails and Curves

A friend and reader of the blog sent me an e-mail the other day asking me how I would go about drawing dovetails similar to the ones I've got here. The pins and spacing between them are graduated...

Learning the Fundamentals

A group of friends are learning to use SketchUp. Each of them are at different points along the learning curve. They asked me to give them some sort of SketchUp homework to kind of force them to...

Warming Up

Back in FWW#196 Gary Rogowski wrote an article advocating some morning warm-up exercises as a way to start his day in the shop. He likes to cut a quick dovetail joint in a couple of scraps. It's not...

Mitering Moldings

A friend of mine in the UK is working on a SketchUp drawing of a tall clock. this morning he sent me his file asking for some direction as far as mitering a molding made of several separate pieces...

Opposing Arches

Our reader, noman1, asked about drawing a pair of opposing arches. The video shows one way to draw them. The method is slightly more involved than it might be but it isn't at all difficult. These...

A Leg With Curves

A reader asked me to describe how to make legs of the sort shown on this table. Here's one way to do it.      

Happy Holidays

To all of our readers, here's wishing you a happy holiday season. Thanks for your help.

SketchUp 8 M2 Released

Yesterday Google released the second maintenance release of SketchUp 8. There are more than 150 bug fixes and other under-the-hood tweaks. For those who have difficulty installing plugins from ZIP...

Using Match Photo

There's a feature in SketchUp called Match Photo which allows the user to import a photograph and use it as a reference for drawing. It was originally intended to make it easy to draw buildings but...

Exchanging Components

In my previous blog post I wrote about locating the insertion point of components to make it easier to place them. Doing that makes it possible to just drag and drop them into other models. They wind...

Component Insertion

In my previous blog post I wrote about setting the insertion point for components to make them easy to place in models. A couple of readers let me know that they weren't sure how to do this. Some...

Make It Go Faster

  The other day I was involved in a discussion about how to speed up the drawing work. The point was that no matter how much time was spent creating the drawing of a project, you still have to...

Making Exploded Views

Exploded views are a common way to show details in a drawing of a project. They are an excellent way to show how the parts relate to each other. One of the many advantages of creating a SketchUp...

Where Will You Put Your Dreamshop?

So you've designed the inside of your your Dream Shop. Now where are you going to put your new shop building? You could use SketchUp to help you decide. To do this, you'll want the Google toolbar. If...

Pie Crust -- Variations in the Recipe

Limiting file size and showing different construction options in your sketchUp model.

More Iron Work -- A Twisted Basket

In the comments to my post on drawing twisted spindles, Scott asked about creating a twisted basket for a spindle. I hadn't thought about this before and I wasn't quite sure of the best approach but...

Cardinal Points -- A Little Known Aspect of the Move Tool

Recently I was working through some SketchUp training documentation in preparation for a class and came across a discussion about an aspect of the Move tool when it is used on circles, polygons and...

Save the Changes

Often, when I am working on a project for a client, the project will go through multiple revisions as the design evolves. This is generally a collaborative effort between my client, his client and...

It's A Matter of Perspective

A week or so ago I was chatting with a new SketchUp user. He was asking if he could control the perspective in his views of his model. As it turns out there is a lot of freedom to control the...

A Little Iron Work -- Some Quick Twisted Spindles

This afternoon a friend asked me if I had a good way to draw twisted iron spindles similar to the one on the left in the photograph. I hadn't really thought about drawing an iron railing before but I...

Editing SketchUp Materials

Sometimes I find I want to give the idea that the wood grain material I've used in my SketchUp model has been stained, shellacked or varnished. there are some limited controls available under the Edit...

From 3D Model to Shop Plan -- A Workflow Example

The other day a friend of mine was asking me about how I go from a 3D model in SketchUp to a plan or shop drawing. He was looking for an efficient way to do the same thing so he can spend more time...

Putting Slats on an Adirondack Chair

I had a request for the contents of a blog post I did on the old blog platform. I no longer have the text and images but I found the model so I could redo it. Perhaps this will be new for some...

Creating New Materials

Last week  I was asked to describe how I make wood grain materials for use in SketchUp. Here's a bit of the discussion we had. To start with, I find some useful images. For wood grain materials...

Drawing With Plugins

The other day I was looking through an old book and came across a ladder back chair with a rush seat. I thought it would make an interesting excercise in SketchUp and commenced to drawing it. I made...

Resizing a Model

In my previous blog entry I mentioned that, after drawing the model to the dimensions of the original, I would like to make it slightly deeper. I also think wider would be good. At the request of one...

Using a Reference Sketch—Another Approach

In my previous blog post entry I wrote about tracing a reference drawing to get the basics for a 3D model. sometimes the reference drawing isn't at all useful for tracing. It may not be drawn...

Tracing a Reference Drawing

Once in awhile it happens that you want to draw a SketchUp model from a sketch on paper. Perhaps it is something you've drawn out by hand or as in this example, it's from a an old book published in...

Stopped Curved Chamfers

When I was working on the SketchUp model for the plans to Michael Peckovich's Arts and Crafts Dining Table I had to draw the chamfers on the curved end caps of the hayrake stretcher. The...

Reusing Your Models

Students of programs like AutoCAD learn early to never draw anything twice. The same applies in SketchUp. If you can do so, reuse components you've drawn rather than redrawing them. I written in the...

Drawing a Flame Finial

I've been asked several times to show how to draw a flame finial. Here's one way to do it. I used three different plugins for this; Tools on Surface, Weld, and Extrude Edges by Rails. I created the...

Kitchens In SketchUp

I had an e-mail today from a reader who is interested in using SketchUp for laying out kitchen cabinets. He was asking for suggestions on how to make this an efficient task. He also wants to be able...

Hand Drawn in SketchUp

One of the strengths of using SketchUp for woodworking projects, or, for that matter, just about any project, is that it can help you communicate clearly with your client even if that client is a...

Rounding Corners on Legs and Stretchers

One of our readers contacted me today asking for a suggestion on how to draw radiused edges on components when those components meet. The example he used and which I am using for this demonstration...

Installing Plugins from Zipped Files

In the last few weeks a number of folks have contacted me regarding problems they've had installing various plugins that are downloaded as zipped files. Installing these plugins as well as extracting...

Making Waves

Guidelines and a simple, native script make it easy

Biscuits and Gravy

The other day a reader asked e-mailed me to ask about how to cut draw biscuit slots in SketchUp. Although when I'm drawing models for my own use I don't draw these sorts of details, the process is...

A Star Exercise

This isn't strictly a woodworking project. I just wanted to get you thinking outside the box a little.

More Than One Way

The other day I was asked about the best way to draw a tapered Shaker-style leg in SketchUp. I don't think there is a best way to do it although some ways might be easier than others. Just as in...

Watermark Your Drawings

Sometimes it is useful to add a watermark to your SketchUp drawings. Perhaps you want to add a notice of copyright or you'd liked to mark the images as drafts. You could do this in some image editors...

A Look At The Camera Tools

A friend of mine and I were talking the other day and he suggested I do a blog post about the tools on the Camera toolbar. It's a fairly straightforward set of tools but I think there are a few often...

Bombe Chest - An Exercise in Complex Geometry - Pt. 2

In part 1 of this series, I showed a way to create the complex surface on the front of a Boston Bombé chest. In this installment I'll go through creating the case side, drawer fronts and the...

Cut List Plugin Installation

I've been contacted by several folks who have had difficulty getting the CutList plugin to work. The problem seems to come from the way they are installing it. Here are some screen shots that will...

Bombe Chest - An Exercise in Complex Geometry - Pt. 1

I have a bunch of great woodworking friends who use SketchUp. They are always coming up with challenging projects. One of my friends asked me about how to go about drawing a chest like the one...

A Tiled Floor - Creating a Material in SketchUp

Some friends of mine e-mailed me yesterday to ask about an easy and efficient way to create a tiled floor in SketchUp. Here's what I came up with for them. One option would be to draw the tiles as...

CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

The Cut List plugin written by Steve Racz is one of the more useful tools in my Plugins folder. I use it on nearly every SketchUp project I do these days. In my previous blog entry I announced the...

Cutlist 4.1.1 For SketchUp Released Today

I've written in the past about the very handy CutList and Materials plugin. The author has been busy during his southern hemisphere winter making some modifications and additions. Today he...

A Fluted Quarter Column

I was working on a SketchUp project recently that required some small fluted quarter columns. Conveniently, the March/April 2010 issue of Fine Woodworking has a great article by Jeff Headley on how...

Turn a Straight Border Pattern into a Curved Border Pattern

One of our readers and a new SketchUp user was looking for a way to create a curved pattern for the rim of a bowl he has turned. He has a straight Celtic knotwork border to start with and wondered if...

SketchUp 8 Pro: A Look at Some of the Solid Tools

As Tim mentioned in his last post, one of the new additions to SketchUp 8 Pro is the Solid Tools set. This is a powerful group of tools for performing Boolean operations. In this post I'm going to...

Sculpting A Chair Seat

A friend of mine has been learning to use SketchUp. He decided to use a model of the beautiful Welsh stick chairs he builds. It's a pretty complex thing to draw especially as you're learning the...

Raised Panel Doors: Adding An Intermediate Rail on a Tall Door

In the previous blog entry I demonstrated a couple of ways to make raised panel doors. I ran out of space for images in that post but I wanted to show how to make the intermediate rail in a tall door...

Easy and Easier Raised Panel Doors

Here are a couple of quick ways to draw raised panel doors. One is down and dirty and gets the idea across. The other is more detailed and would provide needed information for a cut list if desired.

Trying on a Different Look

I was chatting with a woodworker the other day about SketchUp. He's fairly new to it and was asking about how he might go about showing his clients various options for their kitchen projects. Hes...

A Lattice for a Wine Rack

Components and the Flip command make easy work of drawing a lattice grid for a wine rack.

A Decorative Carved Fan in SketchUp

Carved fans and shells are a defining detail on Queen Anne-style furniture. The other day I had a request from a friend to show how I would go about drawing detail such as this. As with most things...

A Look At Outliner and Report Generator

Sometimes a SketchUp model can become complex enough that it is difficult to locate specific parts easily. They may be located inside the model or otherwise out of sight. If you use a lot of nested...

Quick and Easy Mortises and Tenons

Mortises and tenons aren't really very difficult to draw in SketchUp but it can be tedious work when you have a lot of them to do. Recently a mortise and tenon plugin for the commercial Wudworx tool...

An Upholstered Chair Cushion

Our reader, Nollie, asked about how to make a cushion for a dining chair he's working on. Here's a simple approach to create a cushion. I'm using a model I did awhile back of Kevin Rodel's Arts and...

An Elliptical Table Top

The other day a reader asked about how to draw an elliptical table top. Coincidentally I just did a drawing of a small table with an elliptical top. Here's how I drew that top. While there are...

The Blacker House Chair Leg Detail

One of our readers asked about how to draw the indent detail from the Greene and Greene-designed Blacker House chair legs. As with most procedures, there are perhaps a number of ways to approach this...

A Barley Twist in SketchUp

A friend of mine asked me if I could draw a two-start barley twist. With a couple of plugins, this turns out to be a fairly easy proposition. I used the Draw Helix, Weld and and Extrude Edges by...

Sugar Scoop - A Follow Me and Push/Pull Excercise

The other day I had an e-mail from a reader who was asking about how to draw a wooden scoop similar to the one shown here. Like the Ruhlman-inspired leg in my previous blog entry, it is easier than...

A Ruhlmann-Influenced Leg

Recently I was looking around for ideas for a small cabinet design. I saw a piece by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann that was interesting. I decided it would be a good starting point for my own design...

Handcut Dovetails....in SketchUp

In a previous blog entry I demonstrated a very handy plugin for drawing dovetails. It works very well and is exceedingly fast. After seeing that demonstration, several readers asked me about how to...

Printing Templates--Two Approaches

Recently I've fielded some questions about how to print templates that span several pages. Tim has written about this in past but here's another go at it. Since I have the pro version of SketchUp, my...

A Quick Look at Bezier.rb

In my previous blog post I used a plugin called Bezier.rb to draw some of the curves on the turned portions of the leg. I had several requests from readers about using that tool so I've done a little...

A Sheraton Leg in SketchUp

Watching Philip C. Lowe's current video series showing how to make a Sheraton-style leg got me to thinking about drawing it in SketchUp. The turned portions at the top and bottom are fairly...

Components & Make Unique -- A Simple Piano Hinge

A reader made a request via the Knots forum to see a tutorial on making a piano hinge. Here's an approach to doing that which leverages components to make for a quick job and results in a hardware...

Drawing Dovetails With a New Plugin

I'm always on the look out 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...

Jefferson's Bookstand - Another Workflow Example

  There are a lot of ways to approach drawing a model in SketchUp. I think most users develop a work flow that works for them. Recently I've spoken with several woodworkers who have told me...

Clock Numbers, Again

As Chuck Miller over at Fine HomeBuilding is wont to say, "There's a better way."   In SketchUp there's nearly always more than one way to do something and sometimes one way is better than the...

Numbers on a Clock Face -- Preparing 3D Text for Use

Recently I've been doodling out a mission style hall clock based on one shown in an old book titled "Mission Furniture: How To Make It. After hunting around for a suitable clock face image, I decided...

Adding Materials to Your Model

A few weeks ago I demonstrated my process for drawing a piece of furniture using this fern stand based on a drawing in a book called Mission furniture: How To Make It. Now I'd like to show you how I...

Modifying a Model

  So after you've drawn up your model and shown it to your client, they come back and ask if you could change the dimensions. "Sure," you say, "I'll just start from scratch and make a new...

Moldings By Follow Me

Recently there have been some questions regarding the use of Follow Me to add a molding around a cabinet. I did a quick little video demo that will hopefully clarify and perhaps even expand your...

A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

There are a lot of ways to draw things in SketchUp. Some folks like to draw the parts for a project in...

SketchUp and the Lathe

One of our readers asked me about the possibility of using SketchUp to design turned vessels. Tim and I have both shown examples of turned legs for tables and other furniture but there's no reason...

Save Components For Future Use

After you've gone to the effort to draw things that you might use again such as molding profiles, hardware, frame and panel doors, save those components to make them easy to retrieve later. Here are...

Drawing Curved Slats for a Chair

A friend of mine asked me about drawing some curved back slats for a chair. The slats I was thinking about are something like you might see on a Maloof-inspired rocking chair. I thought this would...

Wrapping Beadboard Around a Curved Surface

My friend Dermot emailed me today with a little puzzle. He's working on an island design for a kitchen and he'll end up rendering this image to show the client. His client wants to see bead board on...

Creating Orthographic View Drawings

Often it is useful to have the standard orthographic views of your model. There are several ways you can do this in SketchUp. You could create separate scenes using the standard ortho views and...

Adding a Bullnose

In a recent blog entry I used a little bow front cabinet designed by Matt Kenney to show how to create a curved edge by picking off an existing curved edge in the model. Well, Matt's been working on...

A Look at the Rotate Tool

Like the Move tool, the Rotate tool is fundamental in SketchUp. Being able to use it easily and correctly will help make your experience with SketchUp more enjoyable. Here's a little video demo I...

Make It Fit

When you are working in the shop on a project, there comes a point where you need to shift from working off the plans to working off what you've already built. Doing so helps to avoid making parts...

New-Fangled Workbench: An Exercise in Control

I've been thinking it is time to have a real workbench in my shop. Choosing the right bench design seems to be more difficult than picking the right tablesaw or handplane though. In an effort to help...

New SketchUp Version Released

Today SketchUp version 7.1 was released to the public. For users of version 7.0, this would be a free upgrade. There are some new capabilities in 7.1 along with a new render engine which should help...

Rounded Corners and Edges--Manually & Automatically

A demonstration of how to created radiused edges.

A Look at the Move Tool

In SketchUp, the Move tool is fundamental. Knowing how to use it is will make drawing easier and more enjoyable. I've done a bit of video to demonstrate the use of the tool. Hopefully it'll give you...

Upholstering Your Furniture

The other day I was asked about how to draw an upholstered surface with buttons. The application was for a headboard but this could be used for a bench seat or any number of other upholstered pieces...

Adding Details

In the previous blog post, Tim shows how he added some amazing detail to a SketchUp model of a cornice for a bookcase he built. Adding these sorts of details in a SketchUp model can be very useful in...

Placing Components

Recently I've fielded several questions about how to accurately place components in a model. There's a lot of value in making and saving components of things you'll reuse such as drawer pulls...

SectionCutFace v2.2 Another Handy Plugin

Tim's post about using sections to show details reminded me of another handy plugin called SectionCutFace. This plugin takes sections a step further by quickly creating faces at the location of the...

Plugins - An Updated List

Another look at some SketchUp plugins that woodworkers might find useful.

Dovetail Joints in SketchUp Made Easy

A new plugin for SketchUp makes it dead simple to add dovetails to your model

Another Look at Creating Plans From a SketchUp Model

I just finished up a new set of plans and thought it would be nice to use it as another example of how I create plans from a SketchUp model. This plan is my interpretation of L. Francis...

Modifying a Component - Adding Details

The other day I got an e-mail from a reader about the pull I wrote about in my previous blog entry. He asked me how I would go about adding steps to the top surface of the pull to give it a sort of...

Compound Curves -- A Contemporary Drawer Pull

SketchUp models with complex shapes and compound curves can be daunting to draw but by breaking them down into smaller parts. the process can be greatly simplified. Recently I was asked for some...

Layers, Scenes, Dimensions and Construction Drawings

My approach to utilizing layers for with dimensions and scenes when making construction drawings.

Using the Shape Bender Plugin

Here's an example of a table leg component drawn using the new Shape Bender plugin.

Another New Plugin with Great Potential for Woodworkers

A quick look at a new SketchUp plugin that allows you to bend the geometry of a flat line to correspond to a curve. Read about one example of how it could be used for furniture design.

Axes in SketchUp

A look at global and component axes in SketchUp

FreeScale 2.0a Beta

A new and amazing plugin for SketchUp

Drawing a Turning Gouge

A demonstration of the Follow Me tool and Intersect with Model

Creating an Animation in SketchUp

A quick demo showing how to create an animation in SketchUp

Turning a 2D Sketch Into a 3D Component

A repost of a blog post from the old blog format.

How Much Wood Will It Take?

A look at the CutList and Layout plugin for SketchUp

Components Make Quick Work

An example of using components in multiple models

A Pad-Foot Leg in SketchUp

Turning a complex table leg in SketchUp

More Quick Dimensioning Tips

More ways to improve the appearance of dimensions in your SketchUp models.

Pattern Making - Unfolding A 3D Shape to Make A Template

A short demonstration of the Unfold plugin

Dimensioning Your Drawings - A Couple Quick Tips

A couple of methods for improving the appearance of dimensions in your SketchUp model.

Doin' The Twist

Here's a method to create a twist in a spindle.

Making and Inserting Wood Plugs: The Boat Builder's Way

Hi Matt and Asa, I've been following along with the video series that you have been doing. I am enjoying it very much. Thanks for doing it. Whenever I see a woodworker working with plugs I...

Creating Templates for a Complex Shape

Generate templates for sections along the length of the piece to make profile gauges in the shop.

Jig Design in SketchUp - A Little Reverse Engineering

Use your model to determine the jigs or templates you need to build it in the shop.

Plywood Edge - Creating a New Material in SketchUp

Putting a new feature of SketchUp 7 to work.

A Quick Dovetailed Box

A demonstration showing how to quickly layout and "cut" dovetails.

Modifying a Dovetailed Drawer

Adding a bit of depth to a drawer.

Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

An overview of how I created shop drawings for Tim Rousseau's Frame and Pannel Cabinet Video Workshop.

SketchUp 7 Released

A few of the new features in SketchUp 7

Converting a Follow Me Molding to Separate Components

A demonstration showing how to convert moldings drawn with Follow Me into separate components.

Video: Quick and Easy Angled Chair Rail

How to draw a quick and easy angled chair rail in SketchUp

Drawing Pieces With Complex Curves

One of our readers suggested that I demonstrate how to draw a component that has some complex curves. His example was a slat for the back of a shaker ladder back chair. Take a look at my solution for this challenge.



Recent comments


Re: SketchUp 2014 Maintenance Release 1

Steve, it's a secret. I could tell you but...

Just kidding. Due to the increased security for the Program Files directory with Win7 and later they moved the Plugins folder to your User name/App Data/Roaming/SketchUp...

The cool thing is between the Extension Warehouse, Install Extension in Preferences>Extensions and the Sketchucation Plugin Store, you really shouldn't need to go to that folder directly.

If you haven't already read the following (I wrote about it in the announcement for SU2014) here it is again. DO NOT copy plugins from an older installation to SU2014. Due to the switch to Ruby 2.0, many plugins needed to be revised. Make sure you download fresh copies of the plugins you use. It might be worth taking a look at plugins you've collected but don't use and leave them out of the new installation.

If you have more questions, drop me an e-mail.

-Dave

Re: Pommels and Other Square to Round Transitions

mishad, thank you. I'm happy to know it was helpful.

Jonas, I had a thought about a possible improvement to the process of cleaning up the ends of the reeded section. Instead of moving the reeded section into place in the column, I could have copied the cone surfaces over from the column to the reeded section. The reeded section could be made substantially longer as I did with the square sections. The intersections would be made and the waste deleted. The top and bottom waste portions of the reeds could be selected with a right to left selection box and deleted in one swell foop. The resulting reeded section could then be moved into place in the column.

I don't know why I didn't think of that before.

Have a great weekend, all.

-Dave

Re: Pommels and Other Square to Round Transitions

Hi Jonas,

1) There isn't a way to lock the center of the Orbit tool but you could switch the camera to Parallel Projection and then use the standard front, right, rear and left views as needed.

2) I gather the square sections of the legs, the real pommels, have the chamfers on them? The easiest way to handle them would be to draw the square section with the corners mitered so it is basically an octagon. Then use Push/Pull as I did. It is possible to take off the corners to create the chamfers after you've made the transition from turned to square but it would be more work than just drawing the chamfers in place before hand.

-Dave

Re: Placing Back Rest Spindles on a Chair

Hi JonasMac,

1) The reason for the triangles is make it easy to align the Rotate tool correctly. Although the bottoms of the spindles are positioned in an arc around the center of the seat, that same center won't be useful for placing copies of the center spindle after it was tilted back. That did work for the Adirondack chair a few blog posts back but it doesn't work on this chair because of the tilt of the upper ring. The angle of tilt of each spindle winds up being different on this chair

2) Scaling the geometry of the spindles as I did results in them being shortened but the diameters at the ends and middle remain constant. I guess this would make the shorter spindles look fatter than the longer ones. I don't know if that would really be appropriate or if the shorter spindles should also be slightly smaller in diameter. It would be interesting to hear from a real bodger on that.

I was asked by someone why I made the instances unique and opened each one for editing before scaling. They thought it would be easier to scale them without opening them for editing. The downside to that is you don't really change the component definition and if you were to apply texture to the faces, that texture would be scaled as well. Admittedly in the case of these spindles, that might not be very evident.

Some years ago I can across a model in the 3D Warehouse of John White's New-Fangled Workbench. The author of the model used copies of one stretcher component for the other stretchers and just scaled them to fit without using Make Unique and of course without opening the component for editing. It looked fine from a distance but joinery things like joinery and holes in the rails were distorted in some of the copies. It was probably a little faster to draw but it would have been more difficult to actually use the model for anything.

-Dave

Re: Save Your Components

@Morganindustries, it sounds as if you've drawn the case side but not made it a component before starting on the stile. I'd have to see your model to be sure of that, though.

Think of making a component as putting a wrapper around a bunch of sticky stuff so other sticky stuff won't adhere to it. Sort of like the cover paper on a roll of double-sided tape or those slips of paper they put between slices of cheese in the deli.

You could send me the SKP file by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post, above.

-Dave

Re: The Beading on the HIghboy

The default number of sides for circles in 24 and the default for arcs is 12.

Re: Adirondack Chair -- Placing the Back Slats

Thank you, sir.

I think these are things anyone can learn to do. Figuring out when to apply them just takes practice.

At least it isn't juggling ocelots while balanced on a unicycle in a snow storm on a cable stretched over the Grand Canyon. :-D

Re: Screw Threads in SketchUp

Excellent, Matt! That's always my hope.

Re: Screw Threads in SketchUp

Thank you Alex.

As for the dimensions and angles, they came from tables and formulas I found by searching for 'Acme threads.' There is a great deal of information about them available. The 29° angle is used for American Standard Acme screw threads but 30° is used for metric Acme threads.

Thanks again.

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Bin Pull

Yes. that's pretty much exactly right. The cutlist shows the lowest level components so if you split a drawer front in half as I did with the pull, the cutlist would report two drawer front halves instead of a single drawer front.

You could draw half of the drawer front and copy and flip that geometry to make the opposite half if you wanted. I guess I don't do that for simple things like drawer fronts but for some, more complex, parts I might. In a case like that you might forego making the component until after copying and flipping the geometry and then deleting the seam line edges.

It all kind of comes down to what makes for less work and less time investment.

In the case of the drawer pull, I wouldn't really care about having it show up in a materials list but since it would be a relatively minor part of an cabinet model, I'd rather not invest a lot of file size in it. I'd rather put that file size into parts I might have to make myself, i.e. smoother curves for patterns and such. It really depends upon what you need out of the model, though.

Re: Drawing a Bin Pull

That's weird. I wonder where the text went for my illustration of the Outliner went. I'll try again.

The Outliner would look something like this:
-Bin Pull
----Back plate
----Back plate
----Dome
----Dome

Sorry about that.

Re: Sneak Preview -- Pixel Perfect Plugin

No. I haven't heard anything. I'll pester the author and see what I can find out.

Re: Drawing a Bin Pull

There is still a line at the seam between the two components but the edges is hidden so it doesn't show. I think I might have neglected to hide the edge on that lip at the bottom of the dome but that was just an oversight on my part.

In the Outliner the pull would show something like this:

-
----
----
----
----

If you were to include that pull in a cutlist, it would appear as two of each component; the Back plate and Dome. By splitting the parts in half the file size can be kept smaller but if you prefer having the pull as a single component, it is easy to do. If you made the pull exactly as I did, all you would need to do is open the Bin Pull component for editing, select the four components inside and explode them. If you intended to make it a single component from the beginning, you could skip making the dome and back plate components in the first place and just copy and flip the geometry instead.

I find making sub-components and nesting them useful for hardware in many cases. For example, I could easily use the same dome with a different back plate. I do a similar thing for screws and other threaded hardware. I make a single turn of the thread as a component and copy it in a linear array. Then I can quickly and easily create a new length by adding or removing turns. I've done the same sort of thing for a continuous hinge so making the hinge any length is trivial. You can see a blog post about that here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/25321/components-make-unique-a-simple-piano-hinge

I'm glad the video was helpful.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2014 Is Now Available

Gordon,

Good on you for wanting to learn to use SketchUp better. My view is that SketchUp is another tool for the woodworker. Time spent learning how to use it can be a good investment because it can save you time in the shop. It can also reduce wasted time and materials. I think it's like any of the other tools you have in your shop. The more you learn about using it the faster you become with it and the more efficient the process.

My suggestion would be to go back through Tim's ebook and at least do what you skipped over before. Perhaps you would find my DVD/digital download helpful, too. It takes a single project and follows from making an initial "sketch" through detailing all the parts to making shop drawings you can take out to the shop. The DVD is available here in the Store as both a disk and a download.

Although Tim and I both use the pro version of SketchUp, nearly everything we show can be accomplished with the free version as well. We rarely get into pro-only features since we know most of the audience is using the free version.

As for plugins, there are quite a few. My recommendation is to pretty much stick to the native tools and learn to use them before you start going wild on the plugins. There are a couple I would recommend as basic must-haves for the woodworker. Both can be collected through Window>Extension Warehouse in SU2014. They are Weld and CutList.

If you'd like, e-mail me directly and we can chat more on any of this.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2014 Is Now Available

Carl, there's a free version of SketchUp 2013, too. If you're using it to make money, you should be using the pro version.

Re: Putting a Bevel on a Gouge

Matt, I'm happy that helped. It is indeed interesting to think about how you can change the geometry with slight changes to single settings such as angle or height of the center of rotation.

I imagine there are a lot of other things this would apply to as well.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2014 Is Now Available

Jim, as with SketchUp 2013, there have been many bug fixes and performance increases with SketchUp 2014. Toolbars are handled differently now and won't get scrambled like they could in SU8 and earlier. There are some new tools that may or may not be useful to you.

If you're happy with SU8 you could stick with it.

One important thing to consider is the change in the EULA from SU8 to SU2013 and which continues with SU2014. The free version is only for personal use. If you're charging others for work you do in SketchUp, you should be using the pro version.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2014 Is Now Available

Alex, Installing SU2014 on your computer won't affect SU2013. You will not lose your license for the older version either. I can't answer about whether or not you'll have to pay the upgrade fee to get the SU2014 license. In the past it depended on when in the life cycle of the previous version you bought the license. Years ago I bought SketchUp 3.1. about a month later they released version 4 and I got that upgrade for free. Maybe it's similar now. You can go through the process after installing SU2014 and see what they tell you.

By the way, I added a comment, above about plugins. Make sure you install fresh copies of any plugins you might use. Don't just copy them over from an older installation.

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Joggling Board

Sorry, that one isn't available.

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Turning Gouge

Hi Matt,

My apologies. That video got consigned to the ether when Blip.tv decided they wouldn't host my videos anymore. I'll see if I can make up a new version in the next few days and post that one.

Dave

Re: A Barrel Chair --part 2

Hi Rance,

I'm happy to hear there was something to pick up out of that video.

There are two Bezier plugins. One of them here: http://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/bezier-curve-tool and the other here: http://sketchucation.com/pluginstore?pln=BezierSpline (check out the "More Info" button while you're there.) The reason I used the Bezier curve on the front of the seat rail is because I wanted a curve that would be like the one you'd get if you sprung a flexible batten around three points. That sort of curve straightens out toward the ends while the Arc tool gives a circular curve as if you swung a compass about a center point. It's just a personal preference thing. As far as the appearance in SketchUp goes, you probably wouldn't see any difference in the video or the render.

You can get the Weld plugin here: http://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/weld or from smustard.com. This is probably the most used plugin for me.

-Dave

Re: A Barrel Chair --part 2

Hi Nick, that was just a real quick render in Kerkythea.

Re: How Far with SketchUp - Sculpturing?

Joe, it's also worth noting that you can change the number of sides used to draw an arc, a circle or a polygon after it has been drawn but BEFORE you do anything to it such as extruding it with Follow Me. Select the edge only and change the number of sides in Entity Info. If the text box has a white background, you can modify the value. You could also change the radius in the same way.

Re: CutList 4.1.7 Is Now Available

It is probably something simple to fix it. Could you e-mail me and we'll sort you out. Click on my name at the end of the blog post, above.

Re: Free Download: How to Use SketchUp Tools

@Old Guy, after typing the number of segments, are you hit Enter? If you miss that step the line won't be divided. Even when you do get the line divided, it won't appear any different unless you have something like endpoint s enabled in the style. You would be able to select a single segment of course but immediately after dividing the line it'll still look like it did before it was divided.

-Dave

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

paperspaceman, I don't know what the application is that was used for this plan. I didn't make the actual plan document for this particular project. I only drew the model and created the views. I expect the application used for this probably cost more than buying the pro version of SketchUp. You could probably make acceptable plans using image exports from SketchUp and a text editor such as MSWord. The downside is modifications to the model will require you to export new images and replace the old ones in the text editor.

Since the time this plan was created, I have made all the plans for which I drew the models and used LayOut. If you are interested in creating professional looking plans, I would strongly recommend that you spring for SU Pro and use it with LayOut.

-dave

Re: Curved Surfaces in SketchUp

Imoisan, thank you. The toolbar to the right of Curviloft on my screen shot is for Kertkythea, a rendering application. It's called SU2KT.

Re: A Colonial Drop Leaf Tavern Table--Dealing With Intersecting Curves

As it happens, I've done a few blog posts on resizing a model. Take a look at these links.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/23220/modifying-a-model
http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/36283/resizing-a-model
http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/107847/working-efficiently-in-sketchup

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Flame Finial

Jim,

I found the video and uploaded it to You Tube. It doesn't look very clear to me but it could be due to processing going on. Hopefully you'll be able to see it well enough.

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Flame Finial

Hi Jim,

My apologies. The host I was using for my videos removed this video without my consent. I'll have to see if I can find the original and upload it elsewhere. Stay tuned.

-Dave

Re: Printing Templates--Two Approaches

@stras, did you adjust the shape of the drawing window as I outlined in this blog post?

Re: Adding a Crown to a Cabinet

Thank you.

You made a good point about changing the component axes to align with the component so the bounding box fits tightly to the geometry. I did that when I was creating the model for the plan specifically to get the cut list to report the correct dimensions although I didn't show it here.

Another reason for doing that is it can make the proper application of textures easier.

-Dave

Re: The Tape Measure and Protractor Tools

Keith,

Point at Center is indeed a useful tool. It has always been packed as part of the Ruby Script Examples plugin. Now instead of getting downloaded with the program, you'll get it through the Extension Warehouse. Go to Window and click on Extension Warehouse. In the top right corner of the window there'll be a search line. Type in Ruby Script Examples and you should go right to it.

While you're doing that, also get Bezier.rb.

If you install any other plugins, download fresh copies. Don't just move them from your SU8 Plugins folder. There were some changes with SU2013 that required updates to quite a number of popular plugins. The old versions of them won't work.

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

In case someone else comes along with the same question that riffler had, the solution was that the geometry was inside a component and the plugin won't read the geometry inside a component or group.

"The resulting face and edges are left as raw geometry. the plugin won't see edges that are inside groups or components."

-Dave

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

I wonder if there's an error in installing the plugin. How about if you e-mail me with a screen shot of the Plugins folder showing this plugin' Click on my name at the end of the blog post, above, to e-mail me.

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

@riffler, is it possible there's something else in the drawing that is causing the part to not show up?

You can copy the part you want to make the pattern from and paste it into a new SKP file. Simply select the component, hit Edit>Copy (or the appropriate keyboard shortcut for your OS), switch to the new file and hit Edit>Paste or the keyboard shortcut and it should be there.

Maybe try that and see if it works correctly for you then.

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

NYWSfan, regarding pocket holes, first, consider the return on your investment in time. Will adding the pocket holes give you needed information or will they add unneeded detail at the expense of time? If you must have them, you might first search the 3D Warehouse. I think you'll find both pocket screws and the holes as downloadable components.

If you would rather make them yourself, draw the shape of the hole and make it a component. Then you can place the component as needed, explode the hole components and use Intersect Faces to make the intersections. Delete the unneeded parts of the geometry and Bob's yer uncle.

some time ago I did a post showing how to make slots for biscuits. The process is really the same for pocket holes. See http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/33032/biscuits-and-gravy

Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013

Unless you uninstalled the previous version of SketchUp, it should still be on your computer. Assuming you are using a PC, look for a folder called Google under Program Files. It should be in there.

Installing a new version of SketchUp doesn't overwrite a previous version and you don't need to do anything special to have multiple versions on the same computer.

It isn't all that simple to copy a program from one computer to another. Programs often load files in odd places when they install and you need to be able to find them all and include them. I haven't looked into it but there may be some tool available that would help you migrate the program from one computer to another.

-Dave

Re: CutList 4.1.7 Is Now Available

Steve, you'll just have to make more construction drawings for models with mortises that require hidden lines. ;) Although I don't use it anymore, I think I've probably downloaded and use enough free plugins from Smustard that $20 isn't too much to pay Rick and Todd for their work.

Now dash away!

Sorry. :)

-Dave

Re: CutList 4.1.7 Is Now Available

Hi Steve,

I know of only one plugin that will draw dashed lines. It does work very well if you must draw them in SketchUp but it isn't free. I insert dashed lines in LayOut now so I don't use the plugin anymore. You can get Dashed Lines from Smustard at http://www.smustard.com/script/DashedLines

Best,

Dave

Re: CutList 4.1.7 Is Now Available

Take a look at this: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/31860/cutlist-411-a-more-in-depth-look

It should get you started.

If you have any questions drop me an e-mail.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013

Hi Tom,

The controversy was generated by users of the free version. ;) The proper importer/exporter is licensed and costs money so it is understandable that they removed it from the free version. If you want the capability in the current version of SketchUp you would need to go to the pro version. There are some third party importers out there but none of them seem to get it all right.

That said, each version of SketchUp is a stand alone program. That means you can have more than one version installed with no problem. So, if you wanted to install SU2013 Make, you could do that and keep your V7. You can reserve V7 for the imports and then open 2013 and do your drawing work there. It's up to you, though. I know at least one guy who is still using SU6 .

-Dave

Re: Announcement: Release of CutList 4.1.6

bm, Tick the SVG box to save the layouts as Scaled Vector Graphics files. You can then open them in Safari or Photoshop or whatever and print them.

I'm not sure that the print option from the plugin was ever finished to work correctly. To be honest, I've never needed to print directly from the plugin so I haven't tried it since the plugin first came out.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013

TXDVR, I don't have your e-mail address but you can e-mail me by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post, above.

Re: The Adjustable Screw

Tony, there's a couple of ways you could draw the body of the screw with the point. I drew a cross section of the screw with its centerline at the center of a circle. Then I used Follow Me to "turn" the screw. That's probably the easiest way. Draw from the tip of the screw up at the radius of the minor diameter of the threads, then add in the shank and the head.

You will probably need to work at a larger scale than and scale down after you make it. Then just make the body of the screw a component independent of the threads so you can adjust its length easily.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013

Jim, I wouldn't have any hesitation about just going through the upgrade process and foregoing the trial period. As a pro user you'll want to read through the information on the SketchUp site regarding the pro license stuff. there are some changes from the "old" days that you'll want to be aware of.

LayOut: It has had some really nice improvements with this version release. The biggest one is that they've increased the render speed for Vector and Hybrid rendering. It used to be that I would try to time rendering a page in Vector with dinner time or something. I could start the render then go away for awhile and do something else. Now those same pages render in only a few seconds. there's usually not enough time to take a sip of coffee before the renders have completed.

In addition there is now an option to add hatch fills. These are raster images and you can create and insert your own fills if you want. Since many of my projects require only vector lines, I don't use these fills but I expect many folks will find them useful.

Another feature I'm really happy about is automated hyphenation of dimensions. I used to have to edit nearly every dimension to manually insert hyphens between inches and fractions. Not anymore! It'll also put in hyphens for architectural style dimensions like 8'-6".

The SketchUp team are committed to annual major version releases going forward. I expect we'll see even more improvements in LayOut in the 2014.

-Dave

Re: Bent Parts--Figuring Out Materials

Yes. Family Woodworking is probably the main one.

Re: Bent Parts--Figuring Out Materials

What do you mean by "It works terrible"? That doesn't make it very easy to troubleshoot. Did you uninstall SketchUp 8 or whatever earlier version you had? If not, it should still be on your computer.

Do you want help with the problem you have with SU2013?

Re: Making a Windsor Bowback Side Chair - Part 2

Fred, it is working for me. Could it be that you need to clear the cache on your computer?

Re: Announcement: Release of CutList 4.1.6

Carl, would you be willing to send me the SKP file? I'd like to see what happens when I run the plugin on it. You can e-mail me by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post.

-D

Re: Working Efficiently in SketchUp

Ah. You need to fix that wireless mouse so it'll work for you. What kind of mouse is it and what isn't working? Just the right mouse button for the Context menu? Does the center mouse button/wheel work for Orbit, Zoom and Pan?

Re: The Adjustable Screw

A dynamic component would be cool for this. I've thought about making one, too but after creating non-dynamic components for the screws I need, I figured I have what I need. And of course users of the free version of sketchUp can make them this way.

The dumbed down version for wider views is also a great idea.

I guess you could make a scrapbook of hardware to insert in LayOut. I haven't done it because it's easier to accurately place screws in SketchUp once the component axis is properly located and they're properly scaled to suit the view. Still, for 2D views and to keep the SU file size down, leaving the screws for LO would be handy. It would be a handy way to show screws in place, too.

Thanks. You've got me thinking about a change to some of my workflow.

--Dave

Re: Working Efficiently in SketchUp

@moondog, There hasn't been any change in the way you open a component for editing with SketchUp 2013. In fact, nothing about drawing or editing the model in SketchUp has changed.

I normally use a double click with the Select tool to open components for editing. If you right click on a component that is not open for editing, you should see 'Edit component' in the context menu. Seeing 'Close component' would indicate the component is already open for editing. When you see this, is the component loosely bounded by a black dashed or dotted line box? If so, that indicates the component is indeed open. When you select a non-opened component it should be bounded by a blue bounding box.

If you want to send me your SKP file, I'll take a look at it. Click on my name at the end of the blog post.

-Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Jeffrey, I saw your comment elsewhere about using FredoScale to resize the model. It would have been very helpful to know that you were using it for resizing. That isn't a good way to resize your models. Take a look at my recent blog post which covers the proper way to do this. You only need to apply Make Unique to those components you'll be resizing. Those that are staying the same size will keep the same name.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

Steve, thanks for that. I will let you know when the next version of CutList is available. It shouldn't be long.

As to Wudworx, I didn't have any problems with it but SketchUp 2013 had an issue where once in awhile a toolbar wouldn't show despite being checked in the toolbars list. If you removed all other toolbars from the top row(s), it would appear. There was a maintenance release uploaded on Thursday, I think, and you should update to that current release at your earliest convenience.

--Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Jeffery08, first, it isn't my plugin. I'm not the author.

Second, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "stretched." If you are making a component unique and changing its size relative to another instance, you will wind up with a different line in the cutlist. If you have multiple components that are all the same size and you want them to be on the same line, make them all instances of the same component.

Obviously, if the components are different due to joinery or or something, you'll have to decide how to manage that. Perhaps you would create a copy of the model without joinery or other details. If I was doing this and I wanted parts to all be in the same line in the cutlist, I would just manipulate the CSV file in a spreadsheet application like Excel.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

It sounds to me as if you've used up the 8 hour trial period for SketchUp 2013 Pro. when that happened, it reverted to Make (the free version). It continues to show [Eval] because you could still buy a license for pro and enable the pro features including LayOut and Style Builder.

You can ignore 'eval'. It won't change anything for you.

Re: Curved Surfaces in SketchUp

@fisherco, I see the problem. With the release of SketchUp 2013 the plugin got moved into the Extension Warehouse. If you have SketchUp 2013, you can get it that way. If you're still using V8, you'll either have to wait a while until they redo the website to include the plugins they used to have for those sticking with the older version.(I've been told they will be doing that) Or send me an e-mail and I'll send you the file. Click on my name at the end of the blog post.

There's also the Bezier Spline tool set available through SCF.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

Hi RVH, No need for the screen shot. The author is working on fixing the plugin so it doesn't throw up that error. It only affects the lay out windows so if you disable lay outs, you won't see the error and you can at least get the cutlist.

-Dave

Re: A New Way To Install Plugins and a Tool for Creating Custom Toolbars

Jim, close SketchUp. clear the IE or Safari cache (depending on your operating system), restart SketchUp and try logging in again. Does that work, then?

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

FWIW, the default setup for SketchUp regarding the Measurements box is that it shows in the lower right corner and to get it to show elsewhere, you have to select 'Measurements' from the toolbars list. It was that way in previous versions as well.

I guess I should have included leaving the Toolbars window open while making the custom toolbars.

Toolbars will dock on the side of the screen. Give it a firm "push."

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

"You said, " It is now possible to create customized toolbars for the native tools. this will allow you to make toolbars that contain the tools you use without consuming drawing space real estate with those tools you don't use." But the old View-Toolbars-Customize menu is no longer available. So how do you move buttons onto custom toolbars?"

On the PC, Go to View>Toolbars. A window will open. There's a button labeled 'New'. Click it, type a name and click on OK. You'll have a blank toolbar. Now you can drag tools from the native toolbars onto the new toolbar.

"In SketchUp 8, it was possible to dock toolbars on the side of the window (at least the left-hand side). Is that no longer possible?"

Why this question? Yes, of course you can dock toolbars on the left. They did change the way toolbars are managed to eliminate issues with toolbars getting scrambled. That new system doesn't allow the native toolbars (or custom toolbars) to have two columns. To deal with that most people are making two vertical toolbars that sit side by side. Mine look like this: http://flic.kr/p/enF137 and essentially duplicate the arrangement of tools as I had them set up on SU8."

'Also, in SketchUp 8, the Measurements/Length box was permanently located in the Status Bar - now it can be docked at the bottom of the screen, but this takes up drawing space."

In SU8, by default the Measurements box is in the status bar but it can be placed elsewhere. In SU2013 it is exactly the same. I like it on the status bar because I got used to it there in earlier versions that didn't allow moving it. If you want it on the status bar don't select it from the list of toolbars.

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

Harley130, remind me of your operating system. I installed CutList 4.1.5 on XP, Win7 and Mac OSX 10.8.3 and it works without errors.

My first suspicions are either a file didn't get put in the right location or you haven't got sufficient administrative rights to the Plugins folder. You could e-mail me with a screen shot of the Plugins folder and we'll see if something is out of place. If you need a hand setting permissions, I can help you with that, too.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

David, as with prior versions of SketchUp, you can keep V8 and install 2013 along side.They can both live on the same machine.

Plugins won't get loaded to 2013's Plugins folder automatically but you can copy plugins from one folder to the other. If you saved the zipped versions of CutList and Wudworx, the easiest way to install them is to change their extensions from .zip to .rbz. Then go to Preferences>Extensions and choose Install Extension. Navigate to the location for the .RBZ files and choose one. Follow the onscreen prompts to install.

You could move other plugins but I would suggest you use either the Extension Warehouse (Window menu) or the Sketchucation PluginStore to download the most recent versions of the plugins rather than copying potentially outdated versions.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

I don't think they are trying to be cagy about it. Maybe it isn't as clear as it ought to be but I don't believe it is intentional. If you have the pro version of SketchUp already, you only need to pay the upgrade fee to get the 2013 license.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

The team was working hard on getting SketchUp ready for release. I expect they'll be adding more to the website over the next few days.

Re: SketchUp 2013 Released Today

"From this I assume free 2013 version is not an option"

No. that's not correct. When your 8 hours of evaluation of the pro version has run out, you'll have a choice of either switching to the free version or paying for a license for the pro version. This is their way of giving you a taste of the pro version hoping you'll buy it. You can't blame them for doing a bit of marketing in an attempt to sell some copies of the pro version.

So, since you currently have the pro version, take a look at LayOut and play with the Solid tools and things like that. Right now you have the ability to import and export CAD files and do a lot of other things you can't do with the free version. Take advantage of the time and see if those things are useful to you.

-Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Sorry about the missing text in the previous post it should read:

So the Outliner shows this:

-(bracket-metal)
....(Screw-metal)

It should look like this:

-(Bracket)
....(bracket-metal)
....(Screw-metal)

Apparently the less than and greater than symbols were read as HTML coding.

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Amit, that isn't created the way I instructed. Open the bracket you uploaded to the 3DWH. Go to Window>Outliner. You'll see that your model consists of a nested component called and inside that nest there is only the component called . The edges and faces making up the bracket are not a component in their own right. So the Outliner shows this:

-
....

It should look like this:

-
....
....

I exploded your nested component, made the bracket a component and then selected both and made them a component. Both the bracket and the screw appear in the cutlist then.

I uploaded the revised model to the 3DWH here: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=3c6e9fe4513060dee4b3f6370f5ad0d3 Try it and see if it works for you.

-Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Amit, did you try what I described in my previous comment? Explode the nested component for the bracket with screws. Then remake it with a new name. Do this for just one bracket to start with. Run cutlist and see if it shows four screws.

How about sending me an e-mail and we'll continue that way. Click on my name at the end of the blog post, above.

--Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Amit, I don't see any hinges in your model but the angle brackets are unusual. When I run the cutlist the parent component for the brackets show but not the child components. However, if I explode the parent component and remake it, the child components show as they should. This leads me to wonder how you made those bracket component with the screws. Do you remember exactly what steps you took to make it?

Re: Curved Surfaces in SketchUp

Kat, I'm glad you got it. Thanks for letting me know.

-Dave

Re: Curved Surfaces in SketchUp

You are shown as a member on SCF now.

I wasn't making any assumptions about your computer skills.

Re: Curved Surfaces in SketchUp

katkramer, sorry. I've written about the Bezier tool a number of times already and I figured the video was the main part of this post so it would be clear.

As to registering on the Sketchucation site, e-mail me and we'll see if we can work out the details. My e-mail address can be had by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post. One thing to note: in order to have access for downloading content from Sketchucation, you can't have an ad blocker blocking the site. Sketchucation gets the vast majority of its operation revenue from advertising and has a policy of not making content available to those who block the ads.

Dave

Re: Curved Surfaces in SketchUp

Crookehouse, no, I'm using the pro version but there's nothing I did in drawing this that couldn't be done with the free version.

-Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Amit, if you click on my name at the bottom of the blog post itself, you can e-mail the SKP file directly to me or you can e-mail the link to it in the 3D Warehouse.

-Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

You should actually only get child components--bottom level components in nests. If you didn't, I'd like to see your hinge component with the screws.

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Amit, it sounds to me as if your screws are not components but perhaps just loose geometry inside the hinge component. The plugin shows only the lowest level components. These are components that, when opened for editing, contain nothing but edges and faces. If the cut list is showing the hinge, then it must be the lowest level component in the model.

Make sure you either edit the list of part words or use one of the existing part words in the component definition names for the hinges, screws and other parts.

Typically when I create a hinge component, it is a nested component containing two hinge leaf components and screw components (no hinge pins since I don't show the hinge exploded.). When I run the cut list, I know I won't get the hinges but I do get the leaves and the screws. It's no big deal for me because I wind up editing the CSV file to get rid of unneeded information, rearrange the list and add details such as part numbers and sources to the parts. it's a small thing to add a line for the hinges and delete the lines for the leaves.

If you want to send me your hinge component I can take a look at it and see how it is structured.

--Dave

Re: Curved Surfaces in SketchUp

@JFT, thank you, sir.

@Don, my apologies. :-D

Re: A Listing of Windsor Chair Entries

Clinton, I'm sorry but it seems all those older blog posts are gone forever. I don't know if Tim still has the files and could repost them. I lost all of the content for my old posts in a hard drive crash.

-Dave

Re: Intersects to Create Mortises

@noman1, I'm glad that helped.

Don, you're quite welcome. I'm happy when folks can glean even seemingly tiny details out of these blog posts.

-Dave

Re: Sculpting A Chair Seat

My apologies. I've added the link to the blog post now. You can get the plugin here: http://www.smustard.com/script/Weld

-Dave

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

Absolutely! Start with a fresh download of the free version--it's as up to date as the pro version. You can learn to use SketchUp with the free version and then, when you get to the point where something you need to do requires the pro version, make the switch. Most everything most woodworkers will need to do can be done in the free version.

-Dave

Re: How To Show Different Material Options

Hi Roy,

There are only a few "wood" materials included with SketchUp and they don't look much like wood in my estimation. So I make my own materials. I wrote about this some time back in the blog post here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/37289/creating-new-materials

When you apply the materials to your model, apply them to faces and not components. If you apply them to the components you won't be able to correct the orientation. You will likely end up with cross grain where you don't want it. And you can't apply materials to layers. Layers are only a control of visibility for components/groups.

If you need more clarification on creating the materials to use in your models feel free to drop me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post.

-D

Re: The Right Way to Approach It

Inferencing should work for that but it doesn't always. I found as I was doing this in practice that inferencing didn't always pick up the corners. Rahter than showing that inferencing might work or night not in this case, I figured it was easier to type the rotation angle.

Re: The Right Way to Approach It

True. I could have done that.

Re: Coming Clean with Solid Modeling Techniques

David, I assume the model you're interested in seeing is the one of the molding. I'm sorry. There isn't anyway to post the model here and it isn't mine to post.

John, thank you. Changing the back face color to green is done by going to the Edit tab in the Styles dialog and choose the 'Faces' from the row of cube icons below the tabs. Click on the blue/gray square and change the color as desired. Click on the thumbnail at the top to update the style.

If you'd like to change your starting template to include the green back faces, or whatever other color you choose, follow the above steps for a new, blank model. Then click on File>Save as template, give it a name, ensure that 'Use as default' is ticked and save the file.

-Dave

Re: Free Download: How to Use SketchUp Tools

Robert,

hopefully Tim won't mind me answering.

First, regarding your scene issue, remember that scenes are like snap shots of your model. If you move the parts of the model, you'll see that in any of the scenes that show that area. It's like setting up several cameras looking at a group of people. If one person moves in the group, you'll see it in each camera.

the solution is to make a copy of the entire model and place it off to one side. Use that copy to make the exploded view. Pull it's parts away from each other and leave the original intact. I've written about this several times if you need more on that.

Now, for the Cut List thing, the plugin drills down to the lowest level components, if you are placing pocket holes as components, you will get exactly what you are seeing. Either leave the pocket hole components out of your model or explode those components so they aren't the lowest level components in the model.

-Dave

Re: Revised CutList Plugin Available

I don't know why the view type in finder would make any difference but I guess as long as it works for you...

As to whether you'll enjoy using it, I don't know. All I can say is I do and I find it indispensable for much of what I do.

Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

Here's the link to Weld.rb http://www.smustard.com/script/Weld

Download the file and make sure it saves with the extension .rb. Then copy it into the Plugins folder in the path I listed before. That's all there is to "installing" this particular plugin.

If Windows changes the file extension to something else, change it back to .rb. The file name should be exactly weld.rb and nothing else.

.rb files will open in a text editor but there should be no reason for you to open most plugin files. they simply get dropped into the Plugins folder and SketchUp will load them next time it is opened.

FWIW, I have to log in at least every time I start my browser and visit FWW, too.

Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

Dave, I meant to add that the Plugins folder on your desktop doesn't work because SketchUp is not setup to look all over your computer for a Plugins folder.

-Dave

Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

Dave, what operating system are you using?

On a PC the Plugins folder is under Program Files/Google/Google SketchUp 8/. On Mac it's under Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/.

In either case make sure you have full read and write permissions for the folder. This is especially important with Win7 or 8 and Mac Lion because you don't normally get full permissions for writing to the folder.

After that you can install the weld plugin or other plugins. If the plugin has the extension .rb, simply drop it into the Plugins folder. If it is a ZIP file, you need to extract the contents of the ZIP file to the Plugins folder making sure you respect the file structure. If there are files in a folder inside the ZIP file, they must be inside that folder in the Plugins folder.

If the file has the extension .RBZ, it is really a zip file with the extension changed. Unless you have the first release of SU8, there's an installer for these RBZ files which you'll access under Preferences>Extensions. Click on the button, navigate to the file and go through the install process.

Except for this latter option for installing plugins you'll restart sketchUp after installation.

If you haven't currently go a menu called Plugins being displayed go to Preferences>Extensions and tick the boxes you find there. then click OK.

By the way, Preferences is found under the Window menu on PCs and under the SketchUp menu to the right of File on the Mac.

Another thing to note: Not all plugins will show under the Plugins menu. Some are set up to show in other menus and/or may show in the context menu.

-Dave

Re: Revised CutList Plugin Available

whitecitywoodworker, If you haven't really given up, drop me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post and I'll see what I can do to help you out.

I don't understand what prompts you are getting when you install it. The file downloads as a zip file. If you open the zip file you should find a folder and a file called cutlist.rb. Copy both of these and paste them into the Plugins folder found on Mac under Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/. See this blog post: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/34107/installing-plugins-from-zipped-files

Make sure you have full read and write permissions for the Plugins folder prior to installing plugins to it.

Alternatively, you could change the extension from .zip to .rbz and use Install Extensions under Preferences/Extensions to install it. Find Preferences under the SketchUp menu to the left of File in SketchUp.

-Dave

Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

ralflf, it appears you have a misunderstanding about the plugins files. Your statement "...it is has an .rb extension and is not compatable with my Sketchup v8 (.rbz ext required)." is not correct. Files with the extension .rb are indeed compatible with V8 of SketchUp. In fact, if you look in the Plugins folder, you'll find files with that extension already there. All you need do is copy weld.rb and paste it into the Plugins folder and it'll be ready to go next time you open SketchUp.

You don't say what operating system you are using but make sure you have full read and write permissions for the Plugins folder before trying to install the plugin.

If you really wanted to install Weld.rb using the Install Extension button, you could. First create a zip file with Weld.rb inside. Then change the extension of the .zip file to .rbz. Then use Install Extension. RBZ files are only zip files with the extension changed, after all. In my mind it's just easier to drop the rb file into the Plugins folder and be done with it.

-Dave

Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

Noman1: You're quite welcome.

MV123: I use Kerkythea for rendering. Take a look at this post: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/57824/adding-some-realism-to-your-models In the case of the step stool, the wood grain texture is actually hand drawn and for this image I did a little additional post processing to combine the texture, a hand drawn line style and a third image which looks like shadows created with the side of a pencil. It's very subtle in this image but it adds a little bit of texture. The images are all combined in an image editor. It sounds very complex but it goes very quickly.

Re: Wudworx--A Handy Plugin Set For Joinery

Steve, I understand where you're coming from with laminating to get thicker stock for your legs. Unfortunately the Mortise and Tenon plugin doesn't handle that because the rail doesn't lie completely on the leg components.

I think I would opt to draw them manually. I'd copy the rail out so I can see its ends, draw the tenons using Offset and Push/Pull. then I would edit the leg components and add the mortise. I would basically do it as I show in http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/22911/a-fern-stand-demonstrating-my-drawing-process

An alternative that you might find useful would be to create two different sets of legs. One made of the pieces you would use to laminate the leg for use with the cutlist and a second set that are single components for the joinery. You could put the different leg versions on different layers and switch them on and off as needed.

Most likely, when you get to the point of cutting the mortises in the real legs, you no longer care that they were made of multiple pieces.

I do a similar thing for tables and workbenches. I draw the tops as single components but I make a separate version with the planks as individual components for the cut list.

I hope that makes some sense.

-Dave

Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

Yes. That is what I was trying to describe and what I showed in the blog post I linked to. ;)

Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

Rance, That method would be a possible solution. I would have had to have created a nested component of the leg and the tenon in order to have both the leg and the tenon show in a cutlist. Although I didn't make a cutlist for this stool, yet, the cutlist is always in the back of my mind and I model to make an accurate list.

If I had simply cut and pasted the loose tenon into the leg component, I would have had a component called 'Leg' with a bunch of loose geometry in the shape of the leg along with a loose tenon component. If I had run the cut list, only the loose tenon would be shown. The loose geometry from the leg would be ignored.

The solution would be to make a nested component, maybe 'Leg with tenon' containing the leg component and the loose tenon. I could have then exchanged the other leg component for the 'leg with tenon' component.

I demonstrated something similar to this putting pegs into table legs in a splay-legged table here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/46058/leveraging-the-power-of-components

-Dave

Re: A Step Stool With Box Joints and Loose Tenons

Thank you, Matt.

Bruce, I respectfully disagree with you about using Perspective view. I do not find that Parallel Projection allows better control of orbiting and zooming. (I assume you mean orbiting instead of of rotating. Those are two different things in SketchUp.) In fact I find just the opposite. Zooming can be especially troublesome in Parallel Projection due to clipping which doesn't occur in Persepective view. Fortunately, if you find it easier in your work flow to work in Parallel Projection, you can do so.

I don't use Parallel Projection for the images I create, either. We see our world with perspective and I find most people don't understand isometric views.

As to the choice to flip the copy of the component instead of rotating it, again, you can do it either way. In my mind flipping makes more sense because it is a mirroring operation. It won't make any difference in this model if it doesn't get edited but suppose a design change is needed later. Something don't to the front edge of the left leg will be done to the rear edge of the right leg. Although I didn't show it in this video, I have keyboard shortcuts set up for the various flipping operations so it is actually faster to flip than rotate.

Consider the stiles on a frame and panel door model. Start with the left stile. Copy it to make the right hand stile and, based on your suggestion, rotate the right hand copy end for end. Everything looks normal. Now open the left hand stile for editing and increase its length by 3 inches. Where does the right stile component show the length change? The change occurs at the bottom. Then you'll have to move the right hand stile up to compensate.

If you had flipped the right hand stile instead of rotating it, the length change would occur on the same end of the stile as it does on the left side and you would be finished.

Also consider case sides. Again, start with the left side component, copy it to make a right hand side. Rotate it 180° on its blue axis so the outside face is out. Now cut a rabbet for the back on the beck edge of the left case side. the rabbet will be cut on the front of the right side. How do you correct that problem without mirroring?

In general, flipping components just makes for less work and it in itself is not difficult.

Remember, though, it is your model so you can do what you wish.

-Dave

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Hi again, Simone, I'm glad I was able to get to your question in a timely fashion. Here's the response I got back from Geoff. I hope it helps. --Dave

"Hi Dave,
I have just created a large Sketchup drawing and used PostScript Plot. With a page size selecetd as A3, the postscript files viewed in GhostView display correctly.

From Simones description of the problem it seems that the plugin is not accepting the page size instruction. If I read correctly that the A4 page registration marks are being added. There would appear to be some form of corruption in the plugin. An un-install/re-install, from a fresh download, should clear the problem.

If life would be easier for you, that is not in the middle, then please encourage Simone to contact me directly through Postscript.Plot@gmail.com.

Regards,

Geoff"

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Hello Simone. I think I understood your remarks well enough. I'll have to forward your question on to the author to see if he can make any suggestions.

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Shop Cabinet in SketchUp - Casters and Drawers

Greg, the best way would be to book mark these blog pages.

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Shop Cabinet in SketchUp - Casters and Drawers

Thank you, folks.

Graph guy, thank you for the guidance on the audio. There are too many places to adjust the volume on the PC. Yankeepac, if you can't get the volume turned up, drop me an e-mail by clicking on my name up at the end of the blog post and I'll help you.

I will admit that I was talking a little softer in these last two videos. That was because I was recording them around 3 am and I didn't want to wake up my family.

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Shop Cabinet in SketchUp - Part I

Thank you Paul and Ridley.

Bruce, fortunately you can choose to leave perspective on or not. I don't find perspective problematic at all. In fact I find more difficulty using Parallel Projection. One of those problems is the dreaded clipping plane as shown here:http://flic.kr/p/dMNMzt I don't ren into that in Perspective.

Another reason for using perspective is that many people can't "read" drawings correctly when they are displayed in Parallel Projection. You can. I can. but generally people are used to seeing in perspective since that's the way our world looks.

I don't follow your comment about 90° "rotation" I assume you mean orbiting. In either mode, the angle of orbiting is the same.

In the end, there is no right or wrong. If you like to work in Parallel Projection, that's cool.

-Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

ggdevine, could you send me an e-mail and we'll get you sorted out. Communicating via the comments section is clumsy at best.

Click on my name up there at the end of the blog post to e-mail me.

-Dave

Re: A Little Puzzle Box

Steve, if you want the assembled box model, send me your e-mail address and I'll send you the SKP.

-Dave

Re: A Little Puzzle Box

Steve, I'm sorry you were disappointed by the fact that there's only one part. That was the idea, though. The entire box is made from six identical pieces and the point of making the SKP file available was to use it as an exercise in gaining proficiency with the Move tool.

If you are planning to make a real puzzle box like this, the single part contains all the information you need to make the entire box.

If you are really not interested in making the copies and moving them to make the rest of the box in SketchUp, I guess I could do that for you.

-Dave

Re: A Raised Panel Door with a Cathedral Panel

Keith, that's an interesting approach however I believe it has a flaw. The top rail I drew could easily be lengthened by moving the joinery at the ends in the same way you describe. You could select just the geometry of the arch, too, and scale that but scaling the arch geometry is the problem. Using the Scale tool on the arch geometry will result in distortion of the edge profile and the shape of the groove. For a small amount of scaling it might not be noticeable but it wouldn't really be correct.

-Dave

Re: Adding Diagonal Bracing

Carl, you're right. That does come pretty close and it is the method I used before this plugin. Now with the plugin you could just about have the diagonal positioned in the time it would take you to make the circle.

--dave

Re: More Details -- A Bail Pull

Well, I tried. YouTube wouldn't accept it due to it's length.

Re: More Details -- A Bail Pull

I've also upload the video to YouTube. It is available at this link: http://youtu.be/BS_LJFZL7P8

Re: More Details -- A Bail Pull

beem, I'm sorry you can't see the video. It isn't FWW that is putting videos on Blip, at least that I know of. I use Blip.tv because the image quality has been better than on YouTube.

Yours is the first report I've read of my videos not playing on IE9 so I did a little research. I've found a bit of code to add that is supposed to enable the video for IE9 users. Perhaps you could try again and let me know if it works?

--Dave

Re: How To Show Different Material Options

That's a good idea.

Re: SketchUp 8 Pro: A Look at Some of the Solid Tools

Tim, thank you.

I'm not sure what you mean by "a number of different SketchUp's and companies to buy from." Google used to own SketchUp but this past summer it was sold to a company called Trimble. Trimble is the current owner and seller of the software although they have a few resellers in foreign countries. You can by SketchUp 8 Pro for $495 from Trimble at sketchup.com but since you are just getting started with it, why don't you start with the free version from this link: http://www.sketchup.com/intl/en/download/gsu.html You won't get the Solid Tools (the topic of this blog post) with the free version but you'll get all the other drawing and modification tools. You can get proficient with SketchUp and decide if you need the additional features of the pro version. You could also download the pro version and try it for 8 hours (drawing time not straight clock time) to see what you think but when the trial period expires you'll either have to buy it to license your copy or download and install the free version.

--Dave

Re: Troubleshooting a Model

Ben, thank you and I'm pleased it worked out for you.

Re: Troubleshooting a Model

Ben, what happens if you erase the bottom edge of the waste area? Zoom in close to that edge before you erase it. Is there more than one edge running parallel? Is it possible the board isn't quite 5/8 in. thick? To what do you have Precision set in Model Info>Units?

You could send the model for a look see. Click on my name at the end of one of my blog posts for my e-mail.

--Dave

Re: Troubleshooting a Model

Ben, if I may, I'll offer a few points.

First, the blue face could be due to pushing the waste face too far through. From Tim's screen shot that appears to be the problem in the model he was showing. The Push/Pull operation needs to stop on the back face to result in an opening instead of the blue face(s). If that's the case in your model, at this stage you could open the component for editing and use the Eraser tool to delete the unneeded edges. If the real back face of the board is missing, trace one of its edges to heal the face.

As to the guidelines, yes, you can place them before opening the component for editing. That's usually my preference especially when there are multiple copies of the component in the model. Placing guidelines while a component is open for editing will result in corresponding guidelines being placed in all instances of the component and this can cause a great deal of clutter and confusion in some cases. No matter whether you put the guidelines in before opening the component or after, be sure to delete the guides when you've finished with them. I use Edit>Delete Guides to get rid of them. I've set a keyboard shortcut for that to make cleanup easier.

-Dave

Re: Details -- Inserting an Ebony Spline

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.

--Dave

Re: Details -- Inserting an Ebony Spline

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.

--Dave

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

@tiprighter, I have seen wiring diagrams done in SketchUp for residential and commercial buildings. I've also see them done in LayOut and I think it would be my choice if I was making such drawings.

@user-149255, I would be interested to know what features you'd expect to see available in your $50-$100 version of SketchUp.

Architect Nick Sonder spoke at Basecamp. He was asked how he deals with showing 2D construction details without using AutoCAD and the typical hatch patterns used to identify different materials. I thought his answer was excellent. He said he uses color instead of hatching and 3D drawings instead of 2D. His detail drawings are canned so he can use the same ones on multiple projects. He said the contractors and others who have to use his drawings prefer color and 3D to the common CAD drawings they get from other architects. He's in California where permitting for construction is a very complex process which is often difficult to get through. He said the packages he presents for permits go through easily because his drawings provide all the required detail.

If you are interested in seeing some examples of construction documentation using SketchUp and LayOut, take a look at Nick's site. http://www.nicksonder.com/ Especially look at his Unique Services page 05. I think you'll agree he does some impressive work. You might also find the website for Stangl Associates of interest. http://stangl.com/sketchup-pro/

-Dave

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

Ralph, that link between SketchUp and the replicator already exists. See this for one example: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/48068/turn-your-model-into-a-real-object There's an STL exporter for sending SketchUp files to 3D printers. The thing is, the printers are slow so your replicator might be able to make you a cup of Earl Gray but it'll be cold when you finally get it. ;)

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

First of all, SketchUp didn't start out to be a replacement for CAD. the idea was for SketchUp to be a sketching application; the digital version of sketching on a napkin. The architect who came up with the idea wanted something he could use with clients to get the ideas worked out. He'd send the drawings to his drafts people and they would handle creating the CAD drawings for the CDs. That said, there are getting to be more and more firms using SketchUp to do all of the drawing work and LayOut to do the CDs. I've seen many examples of construction documents and engineering drawings done with nothing but SketchUp and LayOut. At 3D Basecamp I saw a presentation from a fellow whose business is designing complex material handling systems. His company used to work in AutoCAD but quickly found that SketchUp was easier and faster and it actually gave them better information. I also saw a presentation by an architect who does all of his design and drawing work including the documentation for permitting and construction without opening AutoCAD at all. Again, SketchUp and LayOut fulfill all his needs.

I'm sure someone will come along and try to dispute this. I'm just reporting what I've seen. Certainly for woodworking related projects, SketchUp and perhaps LayOut are all that is needed. It is certainly capable of the required precision.

I doubt that AutoCAD will disappear any time soon but I think in the future there'll more and more people in various industries using SketchUp. I think with SketchUp2013 and beyond, the tie-ins to other products offered by Trimble will make it more likely that those in various construction trades will be skipping the AutoCAD segment altogether.

--Dave

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

Yes. There are some people who will not be swayed. On the other hand, I've met a number of school teachers who are using SketchUp in their woodworking and other classes instead of programs such as AutoCAD because the learning curve is shallower and shorter and the students can get on with making the projects they've drawn. They consider the time they have with their students to be too short as it is and need to get on with things.

--Dave

Re: SketchUp 3D Basecamp -- A Brief Roundup

Beem,

It is very amazing what kids can do with SketchUp. They seem to be naturals with it. My son has been using it since he was four years old and rarely ever wants my help with it. Dad just isn't smart enough. :)

You're right. I can't really answer your question for you but here's some thoughts. The current price of SketchUp 8 Pro is $495. There will be a price increase with the introduction of SketchUp2013. I don't know how much but considering there's never been a price increase for SketchUp, I wouldn't be surprised to see a 50% increase. I have no idea what the upgrade price will be but I'd guess you'd have less invested if you buy Pro 8 now and upgrade to 2013 when it comes.

Also consider that you may or may not need whatever new features come with 2013. Perhaps version 8 pro has what you need. I think that in many cases upgrading every time a new version of software comes out would be like buying the newest version of a power tool every time there's a model change.

Out of curiosity, what is it that you are looking to get by upgrading to SketchUp Pro? I'm not trying to talk you out of it. I'm just wondering.

-Dave

Re: Drawing a Flame Finial

Raul, what tools are you missing? I provided links to the non-native tools I used in the text of this blog post. Is there something else you're missing?

Re: Moldings By Follow Me

Sorry. I have no control over the type of advertising shown on the videos. The blog isn't part of the subscription. It is free to everyone. I suppose the alternative I have would be to quit doing the videos altogether.

Re: Revised CutList Plugin Available

LOL.

Yep. That's pretty much it. :-D

Re: Revised CutList Plugin Available

Ralph, the previous version also works with the free version of SketchUp. The "layout" that I referred to has nothing to do with LayOut, the program that comes with the pro version of SketchUp. If you refer to my earlier post on the CutList plugin, you'll see a screen shot or two of the layout I was referring to.

Mac users will still need to export the layout as SVG files as before.

--Dave

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

Phil,

I assume by "intersection" you are referring to the origin. This is the place where the red, green and blue axes intersect. I didn't actually click on it to set the guideline, I clicked on the axis lines, green for the first guideline and red for the second.

The guide entity created by the yellow Tape Measure tool is determined by the entity you start on. If you click on a point such as the origin, the endpoint of a line or an intersection, you'll get a guide point. If you click on an edge, an existing guideline or an axis line, you'll get a parallel guideline when you drag the cursor out.

As to the where the axis lines appear to be relative to the model in the previous chapter and this one, it's really immaterial. When I drew out the rough sketch of the cabinet I started drawing at the bottom of the sides and pulled the cabinet's bottom down below the axis lines. In this chapter, however, I started with the bottom face of the case bottom on the ground plane (The red/green plane. Where's the duct tape?). Technically the origin and the axes are in the exact same location in space. It's the location of the model that is different. No matter. It doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you can place the guidelines.

I hope that helps. If not drop me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the bottom of the blog post, above.

Re: Cutlist 4.1.1 For SketchUp Released Today

Hi Daniel, did you try the next blog post?

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/31860/cutlist-411-a-more-in-depth-look

Re: Adding Some Realism To Your Models

Jeff, I don't have a video right now but perhaps I can make one. I'll see what I can do.

-Dave

Re: A New Maintenance Release for SketchUp 8

graphguy, I beg to differ. Let's not make it more complex than it needs to be. Part of the beauty of SketchUp is that it is easy to learn and that even occasional users can get something useful out of it. There are a number of rendering plugins available for those who want to see rendered images from their models. You can also go with an external renderer which will have more power. Kerkythea is the one I use on the rare occasions when I want a rendered image. It is more powerful than most of the rendering plugins and it is quite simple to use. With the SU2KT plugin, exporting to Kerkythea is dead easy. Here's an example of a recent render I did: http://flic.kr/p/d53MYs

As to "better modeling sets" I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Re: Sliding Dovetails

MJJoiner, the double click for Push/Pull is sort of a memory thing. You have to put something in memory before it can be recalled. So I couldn't use the double click for the first Push/Pull operation. Instead, because I was drawing a through dovetail slot I used the far edge as the reference to get the distance. SketchUp remembered that distance. I could have also typed the distance of the first Push/Pull operation and SketchUp would remember that. Any subsequent extrusions with Push/Pull would be to that distance with a double click.

Offset also works the same way with the double click.

-Dave

Re: Sliding Dovetails

Beem, I'm glad you picked up something useful.

David, you could do it that way but I wouldn't. I'll add a short video clip showing how to make a tapered sliding dovetail.

By the way, I made these as through sliding dovetails but stopped ones would be very similar. On the shelf I would run the dovetail though to the opposite side as I did in the video and then orbit around to the other side, draw a line at the base of the dovetail and push the end of the dovetail back to the end of the socket. You could think of that as similar to making the dovetail in the shop.

Dave

Re: A New Maintenance Release for SketchUp 8

I don't have any experience with SketchUp under WINE but I have heard some folks manage just fine. It's almost never discussed in the circles I frequent so I'm not sure where to point you.

Re: A New Maintenance Release for SketchUp 8

Mac users will see the biggest changes, especially those with newer Macs with Retina displays. On the Windows side there were some bug fixes in both SketchUp and LayOut. There aren't any new tools or anything like that, though. That'll have to wait until Version 9, whenever that comes out.

Re: Showing The Details

Although the plugin file shows in the Plugins folder, if you are using Win 7 or Vista and do not have full admin rights, the file won't get loaded.

Your comment about not having a Plugins menu, though, is a huge clue. Go to Window>Preferences>Extensions (or SketchUp>Preferences on Mac) and tick the boxes you find there. I'd tick all of them except Ocean Modeling. That should get you the Plugins menu and get SketchUp to load the plugins you have installed.

If you still have trouble send an e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post, above.

dave

Re: Showing The Details

to davidm20659, three possibilities come to mind. first, the Section Cut Face plugin only appears in the context (right click) menu if you right click on a section plane.

Second, since you tried installing several other plugins and they don't appear, are you using Windows 7 or Vista? If so, you must have full administrative rights to install files to folders under Program Files. Refer to this: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/34107/installing-plugins-from-zipped-files for help on that.

Third, have you reopened SketchUp after installing the plugins? You'll need to get SketchUp to load the files and closing reopening SketchUp is the easiest way to do that.

If you still have problems, send me an e-mail.

-Dave

Re: Showing The Details

Download it from http://www.sketchup.com/

Re: Announcement: My New eBook - SketchUp and Traditional Cabinets

@refin, I made an example for you showing shadows when the model is partially below the ground plane. http://flic.kr/p/cYuQ5h

Re: Announcement: My New eBook - SketchUp and Traditional Cabinets

@refin, a model can be placed anywhere within the modeling space. The red and green axes lie on the ground plane, though. If the camera angle is high enough, SketchUp favors drawing on the ground plane so it makes for an easy place to start. About the only thing that is affected by having the model drop below the ground plane is shadows. If you have shadows setup to be cast on the ground and the model is positioned below the ground plane, the shadows will look strange.

That is one of the primary reasons I draw my models standing on the ground plane.

To make the standard views work correctly, the front of your model should be parallel to the red axis and the solid blue axis will be up.

It's also wise to keep your model near the origin. If it is too far from the origin strange things can happen making it difficult to model.

-Dave

Re: Using Offset and Auto-Fold for Drawer Bottoms

Hi cmiller74, yes, you can get the SketchUp file at this link: http://store.finewoodworking.com/serpentine-federal-sideboard-digital-plan-065131.html

Re: Quick and Easy Flutes

It is kind of strange but if you think about it, it's not too weird. The circle is really a polygon and it doesn't add any sides when you deform it. So it just moves the vertices and stretches the existing sides to fit.

Re: Quick and Easy Flutes

Actually Nick, if you make the flute as you describe without rotating the circle first, the sides of the flute won't be parallel to each other. You can see that in this screen shot. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8294157@N08/7633136478/ So it is only the correct dimension at one end.

Re: Quick and Easy Flutes

Hi Nick.

Yes, it works without rotating but I prefer to do it because I think the results look better without the points on the ends.

Re: A Move Tool Exercise

Steve, why are you whispering? ;) Yes, you are likely correct. This is a fundamental concept in SkethUp. If you aren't using components or groups in Sketchup, you will create all sorts of problems for yourself.

Dave

Re: A Move Tool Exercise

Steve, I think the basic keys to working efficiently in SketchUp are learning to navigate in the 3D space using the various inferencing tools for both drawing and manipulating the entities once they are created and understanding the sticky nature of geometry. Both of these are are first lesson sorts of things in the SketchUp training course.

As to your questions about modifying a project, what you do depends upon how the model was created. You might take a look at Modifying a Model http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/23220/modifying-a-model Although not intended as basic tutorials you might also look at the videos here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/22911/a-fern-stand-demonstrating-my-drawing-process and here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/24328/jeffersons-bookstand-another-workflow-example

I'd be happy to talk with you if you'd like. You could send me an e-mail. Click on my name at the end of the blog post to do that.

-Dave

Re: A Move Tool Exercise

Hughie, I guess we can agree to disagree on this point. I don't believe I am wrong at all. I've never found the Move tool anything but intuitive.

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Tony, I just checked the links and they worked for me. If you can't get them to work send me an e-mail and I'll send you the files.

-Dave

Re: Turn Your Model Into a Real Object

I agree with you, David. It would also be nice to see quantity discounts for things like drawer pulls or other custom hardware. They may offer discounts if you ask but I don't know that.

The little Penguin Donkey was about $35 plus shipping. Not dirt cheap but not too bad for a once in awhile sort of thing.

There are some 3D printers available for hobbyists but they only seem to be capable of doing models in plastics/resins. Working in metals requires some additional tools.

Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Hi Roy, I'm glad you got it working. By "reload" do you mean you restarted SketchUp or do you mean you reinstalled it?

--Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Hi Roy,

To get the Plugins menu to show go to Preferences which, on Mac, is under the SketchUp menu to the left of File. Select Extensions from the list on the left and tick the boxes you find there. You can probably skip ticking the Oceans box but go ahead and tick the rest. That should take care of it.

Dave

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Update: This plugin now works on both PC and Mac There has also been some revisions to the code to improve the way the plugin works. If you already have the plugin, you might want to update it.

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

Dennis, no need to apologize. I'm sorry I missed your post. I'm glad you have it sorted out.

Here are a few things to remember about the flip Along operation. Maybe they'll save you some time.

1. When you create a component, it's axes are aligned with the model axes. they'll remain aligned with the model axes unless you rotate the component or change the component axis orientation.
2. The "Flip Along" direction will generally be the same color as the direction between components. So in your case, a line drawn between the two drawer runners would be parallel to the red axis and thus the Flip Along direction would also be red.
3. If you are flipping a single component, the Flip Along direction is based on the component's axis orientation. If you rotate a component for some reason, you'll want to keep track of that so you can flip in the correct direction.
4. If you have more than one component selected or you are flipping raw geometry (edges and faces) the Flip Along directions are based on the model axes instead of the component axes.

Hope that stuff helps.

-Dave

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

John, it just occurred to me that you might mean the cabinet starts out sitting below the red/green plane. Is that it? If so, the entire model can be moved up in the blue direction so bottom of the cabinet is sitting on that plane. Even with it below the red/green axes, the horizontal surfaces are still parallel to it.

-Dave

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

John, I'm not sure what you mean about my cabinet not being "flat in the vertical plane bound by the x and y axises." Throughout the entire video horizontal faces in my model are parallel to the red/green plane.

If your model is causing you trouble, perhaps you could send the SKP file to me via e-mail at drkr4109 at gmail dot com. I'll take a look and see what is happening.

-Dave

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Greg, that would do it. If this causes you more difficulty, you could temporarily apply a material to the template face in SketchUp so it is still visible when you can't see the edges. Remove the texture when you're finished with it.

By the way, if you aren't doing it already, switch to Vector rendering in LO when you have finished editing the template. That will give you cleaner-looking lines in the PDF export.

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Hello, Jean-Franco, it's been a long time since we talked.

The plugin does work with the pro version of SketchUp. That's what I use. Did you set up your pattern on the red/blue plane? Is the pattern a component or group? If so, explode it. The Plugin is looking for raw edges and won't get them if they are in a component or group.

Give those things a try and let me know what you get.

-Dave

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Greg, it doesn't actually disappear. It's just that the edges are beyond the borders of the viewport. You can drag the edges of the viewport out until you can see the perimeter of the template. Generally, I will enlarge the viewport before scaling.

Re: Graduated Dovetails and Curves

I guess I would cut them before shaping the surfaces. They'd be easier to lay out that way. And if you were so inclined, you could print out full sized templates to apply to the stock so your lay out is automatically done.

-Dave

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Greg, the dimensions don't follow along with changing the scale of the model viewport. So you have the right idea to scale first dimension second. In my work flow with SketchUp and LayOut, I create all the scenes in SU first. Then I send to LayOut. I set up all the viewports and adjust their scale and so on. Then I go through and put in dimensions or other text last.

-Dave

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Greg, in LayOut you'll set the scale in the SketchUp Model inspector box. See the screen shot here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8294157@N08/7159668304/ This does require the camera in SketchUp be set to Parallel Projection.

When you print the PDF you'll need to make sure scaling is set to "None" so that it comes out at the full size rather than scaled to fit the page.

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

George,

Did you set up your pattern so you are looking at it from the Standard Front View? That's required in order to get the pattern to show.

-Dave

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

And now it is fixed.

Re: Printing Patterns for Templates

Garry, the author modified the ZIP file and inadvertently omitted the missing file. I've just had an e-mail from him and he's in the process of repairing it.

Re: Drawing a Joggling Board

Hi John,

Learned two things? It was a good day, then.

As to your question, no, you do not need the pro version to do what I did. Everything was done with very basic tools and could be done in the free version exactly the same way as in the pro version.

-Dave

Re: Opposing Arches

D.F. Could you e-mail me? I still need more info about your tapered arch. You can e-mail me by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post, above.

Re: Drawing a Joggling Board

thanks for the description, David. It's worth looking up on Google.

Re: SketchUp Has a New Home

I don't think there's any need to worry about a replacement for SketchUp. Trimble has said they are committed to continuing the free version. No point in abandoning the program. Actually I think it'll be interesting to see what the SketchUp team is able to do with it once they have the chance.

SU8 won't just quit working even if they do discontinue free versions in the future. You would be able to continue using it.

-Dave

Re: Opposing Arches

What sort of a taper would you like? Do you want the center to be thinner than the ends or the other way round? Do you want it to taper on all sides? Is the basic profile square or some other shape? I'd be more than happy to show how that would be done but I need to know more.

Dave

Re: An Index - eBook References to DCB Blogs

Dennis, from your description, it sounds as if you are using the Move tool instead of Push/Pull. On the Mac, Option activates the copy function of the Move tool and this would result in a second face the same shape as the first but without the faces for the edges. You shouldn't need to hold Option at all when you run Push/Pull for this. (When you do need to use Option it toggles the function so you tap it once to activate and once again to deactivate. No holding.) When you are ready to make the skirt face 3D, try tapping 'P' on the keyboard to ensure you get Push/Pull.

As to the making of the component, after you select the skirt's geometry, (I like to do this by triple clicking on a face with the Select tool), hit 'G' or right click and choose Create Component. Look to see that the box for 'Replace selection with component' is ticked. If it is not, that is an indication that you've not selected all of the edges and faces that are connected. There are times when this is useful but it commonly happens when users have forgotten to make other, touching parts components first. You'll need to investigate if that's the case.

Assuming the box is ticked, and you can tick it if you need to, when you hit 'Create' or press Return on the keyboard, the component should be created and be displayed with a blue bounding box. The black dotted edged box you refer to will only be displayed when the component is open for editing. I believe Tim shows right clicking on the component to choose Edit Component. I like to double left click on it with Select to get it open.

-Dave

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

Hi Nollie,

You say you wish you could stay in the US. Are you here, now?

As to your question about getting materials applied to your model so they show in the list, the easiest thing to do is to open each component in turn with a triple click of the Select tool. This will both open the component for editing and select all of the faces and edges inside. Then apply the material using the Paint Bucket tool.

If you want you can use simple colors instead of wood grain materials and then edit the names of the colors in the In Model materials library to reflect the species. So you might use a pinkish brown color for the mahogany, a greenish yellow for the poplar and a very dark gray for the ebony. In the Materials window , click on the house icon. Then highlight a color and in the name line at the top, type the species name. Hit enter and you're all set.

When you run the cut list, you should get the materials displayed in the far right column and the board foot totals should be split out by species.

If this is still causing you trouble, send me your model by e-mail and we'll get you straightened out.

-Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Modelguy, we'll get you sorted out. Please send me an e-mail (click on my name at the end of the blog post, above, and tell me what operating system you're using. Also send me a screen shot showing the contents of the Plugins directory.

Easter dinner will be served shortly so I might not get back to you immediately but I will respond to your e-mail.

-Dave

Re: Drawing Dovetails With a New Plugin

Hi "fjelly."

I'm sorry. It is not available but it's a pretty straightforward drawing project. The dimensions are available so it should be possible to make your own model of it.

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

Hi L.Gonzalez,

I guess I would suggest that you look at the getting started videos on the SketchUp.Google.com site as well as my video. If you haven't done so, also get Tim Killen's eBook offered here on the FineWoodworking.com and if you want a printed book perhaps you could pick up a copy of either SketchUp for Dummies or The Missing Manual book on SketchUp.

I don't really think your age should be a hindrance to your ability to learn to use it. You might choose to take it in small chunks until you have it learned. A few years ago I built a boat which seemed to be a daunting task. But I didn't really think so much about building a boat. I built a keel. Then I built a hull attached to the keel. Then I added a deck and the next part and the one after that. Pretty soon, I had a boat. Try that approach with SketchUp.

--Dave

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

Samm90, this video is not intended as a replacement for the tutorial videos offered by Google. In fact I would suggest that you watch those, too, if you haven't. This video goes beyond those with the focus from a woodworker's perspective. Take a look at the preview to get a a good idea of what is covered.

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

Thanks to all for the nice comments. I'm happy you found it useful.

To "rebroach", The Tool Palettes are a different critter in the Mac version. I wanted to show you some creen shots so I did a blog post just now about this. I hope it helps.

Dave

Re: Leveraging the Power of Components

Jeff, I'm glad this helped you with the process. You could use essentially the same process to build drawers behind drawer fronts or perhaps create other assemblies.

-Dave

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

Hi Jeff,

That set of plans was created in LayOut and the leader text and dimensions were added there. LayOut offers a great deal more flexibility in controlling the appearance of leader text and dimensions including the arrows and lines.

Re: Announcing Fine Woodworking's Google SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers--The Basics

Robbie, there should be sound. Is it possible you have a setting that could be changed in your video player?

Re: A Quick Look at Bezier.rb

David, you can only specify the number of control points with Bezier.rb but if you use the BZSpline plugin, you can specify both the number of segments and the number of control points. After you select the tool from the BZ toolbar, type in the number of control points followed by the number of segments such as 3, 24s which will give you 3 control points and 24 segments.

-Dave

Re: SketchUp: Down and Dirty

Yes, you can make plans with SketchUp. I do so frequently. See http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/2364/creating-a-project-plan-in-sketchup as well as any number of other posts in the Design. Click. Build. blog.

Re: Sculpting A Chair Seat

Rick,

1. I expect you have exploded curves for whatever reason. If your curve consists of a bunch of shorter curves or you performed some other operation that exploded the curves, you could end up in a situation where you have multiple small sections to select. You could use the Weld plugin to weld each of the curves needed for the seat shape. This will make them behave as a polyline and you'll be able to select each one in turn in single clicks.

2. I'm not sure exactly what you mean but if you are getting extraneous stuff in your selection, you could try a couple of things. Welding the curves may help because you'll do less clicking to select the edge. You could also switch to X-ray view so you can assure you aren't getting segments that you don't want included. If that geometry you are selecting is not part of the seat, you might find it helpful to move either the seat or the other stuff.

I hope that helps.

-Dave

Re: Learning the Fundamentals

Hi Ron,

Go to Window>Model Info>Units. My guess is you'll see that the units are set to Feet and not Inches. If you are drawing mostly woodworking type projects and working in inches, set the units to Fractional instead of decimal.

Drop me an e-mail so we can converse about this more easily. Just click on my name at the end of the blog post.

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

Hi Nollie. I guess you'll just have to move to somewhere that uses proper size plywood. Just kidding. As I understand it, the author is working on an update that will allow additional sizes of sheet materials. Hopefully it'll come soon. When it does come I'll post something here on the blog.

Re: I built a lumber rack one morning - Now I have a lumber problem

So does that mean I won't be able to store my lumber stash in your basement? ;)

Re: Learning the Fundamentals

Jeff, I triple click on the geometry with the Select tool and then hit 'G', which is the default keyboard shortcut for Create Component. It is very fast that way and using triple click of the Select tool ensures that any connected edges and faces are included in the selection.

Re: Learning the Fundamentals

Hi Ron,

People learn in different ways. If you find books useful, you should look at Tim's e-book available here on Fine Woodworking. There are video tutorials including some here on the blog and an upcoming video covering the basics from me also here on Fine Woodworking. I do some online 'live' training and that seems to be the best. If you'd like, drop me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post, above. We can get you sorted out.

Re: Designing around the lumber you have

Excellent piece and a great way to come at it. Years ago I needed to build a shop cabinet and I didn't want to spend much money to buy materials. The previous autumn I had built a shed for our back yard and I saved the left over bits of 2x lumber in my shop. It was all nice and dry. i went through it all, jointed and planed it just enough to square up the faces and get it all to the same sizes. Then I stacked it up by length and figured out what I could build from it. It was the first big project I designed in SketchUp. i was able to come up with a cabinet 6 feet long and 7 feet tall. the base unit is 24" deep. All I ended up buying was two sheets of cheap 6mm plywood for the panels.

Re: Mitering Moldings

Thank you Michael.

Yes, another way to do this is to create the entire molding all the way around using follow Me and then split it into the sticks by dividing it at the miters. I showed that some time ago in a blog post here. In this case, I started from the sticks my friend sent me. I think that other way could be faster in many cases.

Re: Mitering Moldings

Thank you gentlemen.

@knottyguy, yes you could take two molding components and extrude them until the cross in space. You would then use Intersect Faces on each molding component. You'll have to open each molding component in turn so that the edges created by Intersect are in the same context as the molding geometry. Next you'll delete the waste end of each molding. I made an illustration of what you'd be left with at this point. Look here: http://flic.kr/p/bgHMzn There will be three places where the intersections will be made: the back and front sides of the intersecting molding as well as both sides of the molding getting intersected. You'll need to delete the waste indicated by the green arrows in my image remembering that the curves are exploded so you can't select the entire curve like you can an arc or circle. You'll also need to delete the unwanted edges on the outside surfaces of the molding. I didn't mark them but you can see them on the curved surfaces of the top and middle pieces of molding.

Keep in mind that Intersect Faces cannot create intersections between coplanar faces so there'll be no useful intersections on any of the horizontal surfaces so you'll need to draw in the diagonals on the bottoms of all those surfaces so you get not only the miter faces but also restore any horizontal surfaces that were deleted when the waste ends of the moldings were deleted.

Finally, take a look around to make sure you got everything cleaned up and you're good to go.

Now, if you have the pro version you could use a box placed at the miter angle to trim the molding pieces. The trim would be very fast but the operation also converts the components to groups and leaves the instances of the components on the opposite side untouched. After the trim operation has been completed you would convert them back to components and replace the components on the right with the new ones, assuming there were molding components on the other side as there were in my friend's model.

No matter how you go about creating the miters, don't do it more than once. It is good practice but once you've completed it, save the molding components for later use in case you'd use the same molding profile again. The length doesn't matter because you can always move the miter end with the board stretcher AKA Move Tool.

Dave

Re: Tips on Dimensions

I neglected to add the following to my previous comment.

There is an exception to "you should always enter those dimensions or distances rather than just trying to get it right with the mouse." That is when you can use existing elements in the model or inferencing instead of typing the dimensions or distances.

An example of that can be seen in the way I drew the fern stand. (See: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/22911/a-fern-stand-demonstrating-my-drawing-process ) After placing the legs, there is no need to enter the Push/Pull distance for the length of the apron rails. The space between the legs is the length of the rails (minus the tenons, of course). The rails have to fit between the legs so if the legs are properly and precisely located, the length of the rails just falls into place.

Moving components is similar in that you can use other existing elements to determine the move distance.

D

Re: Tips on Dimensions

If you want accuracy in drawing and for that matter moving, extruding or whatever, you should always enter those dimensions or distances rather than just trying to get it right with the mouse. Setting Precision to something coarse like 1/16" will not correct dimensions or move distances. It just masks the error. The problem with that is that you then open up the possibility for errors that might become cumulative over the entire model.

This wouldn't be a problem if you are only drawing the model to get an overall feel of the piece. But if you are actually going to make drawings you can use in the shop for constructing the thing, you'll find the more precisely you work, the better your drawings. I 'd bet if you bought a plan that i drew that wasn't precise, you'd be asking for a refund.

Although I find it annoying, you might want to enable Length snapping and set that to some coarse value so that things will naturally try to snap in incremental steps.

If you have seen any of the videos I've done demonstrating how I draw a piece of furniture, you'll see that it really isn't difficult to maintain high precision while working quickly. I tend to establish the foot print for a piece and draw everything to fit. If those first components are drawn precisely and then placed precisely, Everything else just falls into place.

Dave

Re: Tips on Dimensions

@tom8021, Open a new SketchUp file and change the Precision as desired. Then immediately go to File>Save as Template. Give it a name and make sure"Use as default" is checked. After that, you'll be working with less precision as you prefer.

Although I ever intentionally draw things with dimensions in 64ths, I do prefer to work with precision set to 1/64" If things are drawn accurately and your dimensions work out in 16ths, you'll never see 64ths anyway. if, when I run the culist, I get dimensions in 64ths, I know I need to go back and look at that componet to see why it is. As with the dimension tool, the precision of the dimensions in the cutlist comes from the Precision setting in Model Info. If precision is set to 1/16th, I'd never see the errors.

Dave

Re: Chamfering the Exposed Tenon End

pintodeluxe, Follow Me is a great way to chamfer some things but it sometimes it is easier and faster to use Offset and Auto-fold. For example chamfers on round things like the ends of dowels or edge of a round table top. Having more than one method in your arsenal can be a very good thing.

Re: A Leg With Curves

@noman1, this is as good a place as any to ask. I'll be happy to show you how to draw it but i'm not entirely sure what it is you're asking. Do you have an illustration of something similar that you could e-mail to me? If you click on my name at the end of the blog post, you can send me an e-mail.

D

Re: Easy and Easier Raised Panel Doors

Hi Oaktonwoodworking.

I'm glad you liked this.

Good catch on the curve. The ogee curve on the stile profile was drawn with a plugin called Bezier.rb which is available here: http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/download/rubyscripts/bezier.zip I've covered using it in several other blog posts here so take a look at them.

As to your question about the selection box, selection boxes are always dragged out diagonally. It doesn't matter if you drag top to bottom or bottom to top but it does matter if you drag left to right or right to left. A left to right selection box selects only entities which fall entirely within the box. A right to left selection box, on the other hand, selects entities that fall even partially within the box. Entities include edges, faces, components, groups, dimensions and other text.

FWIW, the green is the color I have set for back faces in my default style.

Dave

Re: A Leg With Curves

Walt, thank you.

zool, thank you very much. It's nice to know that I've been able to clarify something for you.

Cheers,

Dave

Re: A Leg With Curves

I have no idea of what the real dimension is. When I drew it I made it 2-1/4" wide. Looks like it's enough to me. I don't suppose an exact width is all that critical.

Re: SketchUp 8 M2 Released

Timberlady, unfortunately that didn't get the file through to me. You can e-mail the file to me by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post, above.

Re: SketchUp 8 M2 Released

Timberlady, I have never seen any of those problems you've described would you be willing to send your SKP file to me so I can have a look at it?

Cheers,

Dave

Re: Why does FWW cost more than other magazines?

buyernate wrote, "I have but one suggestion and that is to include plans and materials lists."

Although not included in the magazine, complete plans including materials/cut lists are available in the store for many or the projects in the magazine. These plans are more complete and detailed than any could be in a magazine. For example the plan for Steve Latta's Serpentine Sideboard runs to 13 pages not including the full size pattern sheet.

Re: Component Insertion

Yes, that's one way to find the center but in most cases you can use SketchUp's inferencing. In cases where that doesn't work, guide lines can be used without modifying the existing geometry.

Re: Chamfering the Exposed Tenon End

Michael, you are correct. Auto-fold will create the diagonal folds if you select the center face and it's bounding edges for the Move operation. I also use this same method for putting chamfers or bevels on the undersides of table and cabinet tops as well as for raised panels that use a flat bevel for the raising and it makes quick work of creating bevels for traditional drawers. For the raised panels and drawer bottoms, I use Offset to define the width of the tongue on the edges of the panel and then Offset again for the width of the bevel. the process also works on round or other curved edges.

Re: Making Exploded Views

JAJH,

What is the definition of "Explode?" :)

Sorry for the late response. I was away eating turkey and cranberries (and a lot of both).

SO I think Tim has it covered but let me reword it a bit.

If you gave nested components, you will indeed affect all instances (copies) of them when you open one and drag the components away from each other. It's the same thing as editing any component in that what you do to one instance gets done to all instance. One solution, as you have suggested is to make the nested component unique so that you can drag it's component parts away from each other without doing the same to the rest. Of course the components inside can remain related to the other similar components so if you edit one, that carries through.

An option that Tim mentioned is to explode the upper level component leaving just the component parts as components. That basically dissolves the upper level component.

Nesting components together can be useful for some assemblies such as doors and drawers. It makes it much easier to select an entire drawer, for example, and pull it out. But once you have a copy of the drawer moved off to one side to make the exploded view, there's probably not a great deal of value in leaving that drawer component intact. You could just explode that drawer component before you pull it apart. Just be sure to leave the individual parts as components so if you have to make an adjustment to something, it still carries through the model.

You could make groups as you asked but I don't see that being of much value either.

-Dave

To me, this makes more sense.

Re: Moldings By Follow Me

@cmiller, Thank you for letting me know that. I'm very happy to know that it was helpful. I just wish I'd known you were having trouble sooner so I could have helped you avoid a lot of frustration. Happy Thanksgiving.

--Dave

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

Carl, I am still responding. I sent you an e-mail a little bit ago.

-Dave

Re: Organizing, Bundling, and Printing Full-size Templates

Glad that worked. You might also consider that it could work to nest multiple patterns so you might be able to put some smaller pieces "inside" others with no trouble at all and it would save you paper.

I understand the just for me thing and as long as it works for you, it's alright.

-Dave

Re: Organizing, Bundling, and Printing Full-size Templates

Timberlady, it took a little back and forth but I was able to get a pattern for a 55 x3 thing. I ended up using the Zoom tool (not the scroll wheel) and dragging it to fill the drawing window closely. It says it'll take 6 sheets which is reasonable. See the screen grab here: http://flic.kr/p/auDtYC

As you can see this isn't incredibly practical right from SketchUp. While it can be done it does require some gymnastics. In the time it took me to type this reply, Tim will have made your pattern for you in LayOut and sent it back to you. If you are going to do much of this, you might find that purchasing the pro version of SketchUp is worthwhile. If your time is worth anything, it wouldn't take much to recover the cost.

The Context menu is accessed through right clicking the mouse. If you haven't got a right mouse button, you should get a new mouse.

Re: Organizing, Bundling, and Printing Full-size Templates

Actually, 24 pages seems reasonable for something that size. I assume you have the peice laid out with its longest dimension running across the screen and the paper set to Landscape. With the short dimension being 26-3/4 in., it'll take 4 sheets in that direction to print all of its height. And 6 for the length seems reasonable. Your printer most likely can't print to the edges of an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper after all.

I'd consider printing just the corners and any other parts that might have details that are difficult to lay out by hand.

Re: Organizing, Bundling, and Printing Full-size Templates

Timberlady,

To print full sized templates on Mac, you'll first want to go to File>Page Setup and select the page orientation and perhaps the paper size if you'll be using something other than letter sized paper. I made an example thing with a simple cloud lift. You can see the image here: http://flic.kr/p/audsxw I made it 18 inches long and 6 inches high. It should fit on 2 sheets of letter sized paper when printed. I adjusted the size of the drawing window by dragging the lower right corner so that the drawing window is close to the same proportions as the part we're printing. It takes a bit of back and forth between Zoom Extents and dragging the drawing window.

Next, go to File>Document Setup (see http://flic.kr/p/audsyS ) and untick the box for Fit View to Page. Set In Drawing and In Model to the same value. When you have it set correctly the dimensions in the upper part of the box should be slightly larger than the part you're printing and the number of pages should make sense.

If you only want part of the part to show in your printed pattern, just adjust the view and the drawing window to suit.

I did a blog post some time back about printing patterns. It's here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/25890/printing-templates-two-approaches I showed making some registration marks to help align the printed sheets. You may find this to be helpful.

-Dave

Re: Organizing, Bundling, and Printing Full-size Templates

Timberlady, I'll make up something to show you how to do this on Mac. I need to make some screen shots first.

Re: Component Insertion

Hi SnoogthePoog. I'm glad this has been helpful. A detailed staircase drawing could include a large number of the same components so setting the insertion points logically is useful. Another thing you would probably find useful for drawing staircases is the linear array capability of the Move tool.

Dave

Re: Pie Crust -- Variations in the Recipe

Hi Ocampo. I could write something up on saving components although the process is still exactly the same for SU 8 as it was for version 7.

-Dave

Re: The Easiest Finish Ever

Excellent! Kudos to all and congratulations to the new mommy and daddy.

Re: More Iron Work -- A Twisted Basket

Hi Walt,

I did use the Line tool from Tools on Surface but that's not really required. As I think I mentioned in the Flame final post, the ToS Line tool is handy because it doesn't stop drawing when you get to an intersection like the native Line tool does.

Before the method I show here, I tried the Helix plugin but I didn't like the curve I was getting for the path. The Helix plugin will only make a straight taper in one direction and so I attempted to draw half the helix, make a copy, invert the copy and put the two helices together. I got an odd bump where the two joined together and it was too hard to fix.

As long as you were able to get the results you wanted, though, it makes little difference how you arrived at it. i'm glad you gave it a try.

--Dave

Re: A Little Iron Work -- Some Quick Twisted Spindles

Scott, you could e-mail the image to me. click on my name at the end of any blog post.

Re: A Little Iron Work -- Some Quick Twisted Spindles

Scott, would this sort of thing be what you have in mind? http://flic.kr/p/a5Bzcx

Re: A Little Iron Work -- Some Quick Twisted Spindles

Hi Scott, it's good to know we've helped. Thank you for letting us know.

As to your question about the basket, would you be able to send me an image of something like you have in mind. I have several thoughts about an approach for that sort of thing.

-Dave

Re: Save the Changes

That's very good. I'm looking at using ZumoDrive which I think is similar to DropBox. I prefer to keep the SU files proprietary, though.

Re: Save the Changes

James, we don't need anyone losing their hair. I'm glad this helped prevent that.

Re: Quirks with the Push/Pull Tool

As Tim says, SketchUp thinks you are making a hole or recess because the surface is divided into smaller faces. An alternative to going around and hitting all the faces you need to extrude with Push/Pull is to make a box slightly larger than the seat and put the chair seat drawing on it. Then use Push/Pull on the perimeter. You could think of this in much the same way as if you were doing it in the shop out of wood and you are getting rid of the waste rather than creating the wood of the seat. This will also help you maintain proper face orientation.

Walt, as to stopping on the back face, it is often a case of your point of view. One thing to keep in mind is that the Push/Pull tool only operates perpendicular to the face you're pushing but the tool doesn't need to remain on that face. If you can see an edge on the back where you want the extrusion to stop, move the tool to that edge and click.

Using Tim's last image as an example, imagine the entire seat is extruded to thickness and you want to "drill" the holes. From this view, you could click on the face skinning the hole and start the extrusion. Then click on the top edge or a corner. to finish. If you knew the seat blank is 2" thick, you could also start the extrusion and enter 2 for the distance.

--Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

jpduffy,

Have you tried downloading the plugin ZIP file directly to your current computer and then installing it to the Plugins directory?

Dave

Re: Creating New Materials

@Rastus, the circle with the line through it indicates that SketchUp can't apply the material. Most likely it is because you are trying to apply the new material to a component or group. You need to open the component or group open for editing prior to importing the image.

If that's not the problem, e-mail the SKP file so I can take a look at it.

--Dave

Re: A Little Iron Work -- Some Quick Twisted Spindles

Thank you Mchael.

And you thought that trig uyou learned in high school would never be used for anything. :)

If the square section is 1", the distance between the center and the corners is 0.707". See http://flic.kr/p/9SnEbZ for reference. So for any square, the center to corner distances is the length of a side multiplied by 0.707.

Dave

Re: Editing SketchUp Materials

Ted, have you applied the material in your model or at least added it to your model? I just gave it a try on a couple of native materials even after editing them in the SketchUp materials editor and it worked fine for me.

Perhaps you could send me a SketchUp file with the problem material?

-Dave

Re: Tough Going with Follow Me

My approach to dealing with Follow Me in cases like this is to split it into sections and do them individually. Then put them together. In a case like this I would divide the path into two at the corner. I would extend the paths beyond where where the miter occurs in the same way I showed for the stopped, curved chamfers on the hayrake table. Then I would run the same profile on both paths, trim each of them with intersecting cutting planes set to the miter angle and move the two together. The final step would involve deleting the coplanar edges on the bottom. If the front and side are identical, all of this work gets done once, a copy is made which is rotated and flipped to create the other part. You can see the progression here: http://flic.kr/p/9MbeWd

As to the scaling up, this avoids the small face issue that can occur which results in holes in the surface. Once the faces are filled, scaling down doesn't result in gaps.

Dave

Re: Handcut Dovetails....in SketchUp

Frank, when I put the angled guideline in, I use the yellow Protractor tool instead of putting in a guideline with the Tape Measure and then rotating it. Give that a try and see how that goes for you.

Dave

Re: Have You Run Into the Clipping Plane?

Walt, SketchUp won't fill in tiny faces which are generally those with a side around 1/64" or less. When intersecting small radius curved surfaces, especially with a large number of sides, it isn't uncommon to have these tiny gaps occur. By scaling up the model or at least the component in which these tiny faces might occur before doing whatever it is that creates them, you can avoid the gaps in the first place. The "whatever it is" is commonly a Follow Me operation of an Intersection.

"In situ" refers to building the model with all parts in place. Some folks like to draw each part separately and then move them into place to assemble the model much like you'd do in the shop. I think Tim agrees with me that this has the potential to create errors. It also means you're working harder than you need to. For example, if you are drawing a table, draw and place the leg components first. The draw the aprons, stretchers and so on to fit in between. If you've located the legs properly at the beginning, the other parts have to fit and you don't need to concern yourself with the lengths of aprons or anything at that phase of the modeling. If you draw all the parts separately, you have to know in advance who long to make the aprons. Then you have to go through the process of moving them into place. For examples of modeling in situ, see my videos at the following links.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/22911/a-fern-stand-demonstrating-my-drawing-process

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/24328/jeffersons-bookstand-another-workflow-example

Dave

Re: Handcut Dovetails....in SketchUp

Hi Frank,

Each 'board' that makes up the drawer is a component. They are drawn to the full dimensions required for the board and they do overlap. The sides are instances (copies) of the same component but one is flipped (mirrored) relative to the other.

Ignoring the grooves for the bottom and the rabbets on the edges of the front, the entire board has six faces just as the real wooden ones would have.

I hope that makes sense.

Re: Creating New Materials

Justin, it hadn't crossed my mind to scan a piece of lumber but I suppose you could if you have a large enough scanner. You would want to consider your sample size and how that would work in your model. For something small like a jewelry box, you could probably get away with a standard flatbed scanner.

Another thought that comes to mind but which I haven't tried is to scan a longer piece in sections and use stitching software to combine the images into a single image.

A scanner would make it easy to get even illumination.

As to photographing your own lumber, it would be important to consider making sure you have very even lighting. Daylight would probably be easiest. I would set white balance manually on a white card if the camera allows it. Consider the quality of your camera's lens. My wife's digital camera is a nice compact one but with the lens at its shortest focal length it tends to exhibit quite a lot of distortion. To use it for photographing boards, one would need to use a longer focal length which would require a greater camera to subject distance.

Although many problems can be fixed in editing, it is always better to create the best image you can at the camera. You want to make sure the camera's image plane film plane) is parallel to the surface of the wood. Even lighting and the use of a tripod will help. In most cases you don't need real high resolution images since SketchUp with reduce them some anyway.

Try making some images and have at it. Shoot as many different boards as you can. Although I didn't show it, you could further improve your materials if you also create end grain images. Sometime I just use a face grain image which I rotate and skew in SketchUp to give the effect of end grain.

Experimentation could give you some interesting results. And if the colors don't work, it isn't like removing stain from wood in your real project.

-Dave

Re: Creating New Materials

Thank you Luca and PORC.

As to sources, I don't have any really brilliant suggestions but searching Google for images can yield good results sometimes.

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Fundamentals of Model Boat Building by John Into and Nancy Price

I'm itching to build another boat but there's no room in the shop for a 16 footer now. A model might be my best option.

Re: A Quick Look at Bezier.rb

cbsn, I'm glad you have that sorted out now.

re: classes. I am teaching a class through the local community ed program. In fact, a four week class started this past Wednesday. I will probably do another in the fall if enough people sign up.

-Dave

Re: A Quick Look at Bezier.rb

@cbsn, Are you creating a closed shape when you draw with the Bezier tool? If you leave even the slightest gap between curves and/or edges, you won't get a face. Are you drawing the Bezier curve on an existing face or just drawing it in space?

You could send the SKP file to me so I could take a look and see what is happening.

Dave

Re: Recycled Materials Make for One Great Budget Workbench

This looks like a great, small bench. Easy enough to build even without any plans. It shows that with a little imagination one might be able to find the materials without buying a pile of new lumber. And with this design, even if you did have to buy the lumber, it wouldn't break the bank.

Thanks for a great idea. I'm going to look at the "treasures" at estate and garage sales a bit differently now.

Re: Using a Reference Sketch—Another Approach

Hi Chris,

No, I wasn't editing while you were writing. I wrote that line before posting. Of course in a drawing such as the example I used here, Photo Match would be useless because it isn't drawn in a true perspective.

Luca, you are right. It's one thing to draw a model but you should make the dimensions something you can actually work to in your shop.

While drawing this cabinet, it occurred to me that I would probably want to make it slightly deeper than it is based on the dimensions in the text. I didn't worry about making that change while I was drawing the piece though. It's easy enough to modify it to suit after I have all of the parts in place.

The text also indicates the fixed shelf above the bottom doors is to be butted to the sides and attached with "strong screws" and the heads covered with putty. I guess I'd either use stopped dadoes or taper sliding dovetails and skip the screws altogether. I tend to work out all those sorts of details after I have the basic model completed.

Dave

Re: Printing Templates--Two Approaches

Hi Brady,

I am getting the same results you get with V8. I don't know why that is but I've edited the text to indicate the current action. I apologize if it caused you problems. Since you have the Pro version, you might find it better to send the drawing to LayOut and make your template there. You can create better looking templates and illustrations in LO, too.

—Dave

Re: Tracing a Reference Drawing

Jonas, I'm glad to know this helped. Your application is a great one for this. It would be handy for archeological sorts of reconstructions and the like as well.

Re: Kitchens In SketchUp

Raymond,

You could certainly draw a corner unit and the kitchen would benefit from it. This kitchen was only drawn to use as an example of how to make cabinet components so they are easy to work with when laying out the kitchen. At least I don't have any plans to install cabinets like that.

You're right that a corner unit would help to avoid wasting space although I can't tell you how much I dislike the corner unit in our kitchen. My opinion is that kitchens shouldn't have corners. ;)

—Dave

Re: Tracing a Reference Drawing

Hi Don,

Thank you. I wouldn't say it would be a mistake to turn the entire column instead of a section of it but making only a section keeps the file size down dramatically by limiting the number of entities.

Here's an interesting experiment to illustrate the benefit of using components in controlling file size.

1. Make a sphere using standard 24-sided circles for both the profile and the Follow Me path. After Follow Me delete the path circle, make a component of the sphere and save the file.

2. Make 100 copies of the sphere component and save the file with a new name.

3. Explode all of the spheres and save the file again with a new name.

4. Compare the file size of each of those files.

Cheers,

Dave

Re: Bending an Inlay Strip

By the way, Warren, if you've made the doors as mirrored instances of the same component, you'll find that you'll have bookmatched wood grain materials when you apply them to the doors. The material image gets flipped automatically because one of the components is flipped.

Re: Bending an Inlay Strip

Warren, I wouldn't bother drawing each piece of veneer as a separate component but instead, I would open the drawer front component for editing and draw in lines for the borders of each piece of veneer. This will divide the surface into smaller faces. Then apply the material to the faces. For this the component must be open for editing or it won't work. Rotate and move the material image as needed--I've covered this in previous blog entries--and, to make it look more correct, hide the lines between pieces of veneer with Shift and the Eraser tool. Hold shift and the left mouse button down while dragging the cursor over the lines.

-Dave

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

Hi Tony,

I didn't use Layout for this specific plan because I didn't actually make the document for it. I do use Layout for every plan document I create, however.

If you don't want to spring for the pro version, you could create plans in a word processor program. Set up scenes in SketchUp to show the various things you need to show such as overall and exploded views as well as any details you want to call attention to. Make an image export of each scene and then insert those images into your document. Add your text and you're good to go.

Keep in mind that if you need to modify your SketchUp model after you've made the plan document, you'll need to export the affected scenes and replace them in the document. You'll probably want to do your dimensioning in SketchUp although keep in mind that dimensioning in SketchUp is somewhat limited and the dimension text will be raster image like the rest of the image and won't look quite so nice as normal text. You may find that you'll need to crop some of the images you export from SketchUp so you'll need to deal with that.

Give it a try and see what you think. From my point of view, though, if your time has any value at all, The $500 you'd spend on the pro version of SketchUp would be repaid in fairly short order. And of course it's not just LayOut that you get for the money.

-Dave

Re: A Decorative Carved Fan in SketchUp

Zool, I explained the rotation of that profile in the last paragraph of the blog post. I also gave a link to a blog post I did on using the Rotate tool. Perhaps the text here and the video at that link will help.

-Dave

Re: Trouble Seeing the Tenon

Another thing to keep in mind is that SketchUp will be able to find the endpoints "outside active" even if they aren't easy for you to see. If you can get the Line tool close to where the corner of the tenon/shoulder interface is, it will snap to the point. The closer you've zoomed in, the easier it will be for SketchUp to find the point with inferencing because you limit the possible points from which it can choose. Watch the line as you draw it to make sure you're drawing parallel to the correct axis, too. If you use the Rectangle tool instead of the Line tool, you only need to find two corners instead of all four.

Re: Drawing a Flame Finial

Thank you, Michael.

Give it a try. You'll find you can quickly make all sorts of variations with no trouble.

-Dave

Re: Chamfered Post Table and Mortise & Tenon Joints

Hal, if you are having a difficult time seeing the rail component when you have the leg open for editing, you could try adjusting the sliders under Window>Model Info>Components so that the components that are not open for editing don't fade quite so much. If you're still having difficulty getting the mortise drawn, you could try the method I use of orbiting inside the rail so I can see the base of the tenon. You can see that demonstrated just after 5:40 in the video here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/22911/a-fern-stand-demonstrating-my-drawing-process

Of course you could also layout the location of the mortise with guidelines much as you would do in the shop on the real leg. This will work but requires a bit of extra care to make sure you have it laid out correctly. Working right off the tenon using the methods Tim and I use, eliminates the error.

-Dave

Re: Making/Copying Chamfers in Table Leg

If I may comment, Hal, on whether to place guidelines inside or outside a component. Most of the time it doesn't make much difference but there are times when it could cause some confusion. If you have multiple instances of a component and you open one for editing before inserting guides, you might end up with a rat's nest of guidelines which could make it difficult to identify exactly which ones you are using. If you place the guides without opening components, you one end up with unneeded copies of them. On the other hand, if you have set up your components so that when one component instance is open for editing, the rest of the model is hidden, you won't see the guidelines unless they are placed when the component is open. I don't care for hiding the rest of the model because I frequently edit components relative to the surrounding components but some folks like to clear the decks when editing.

-Dave

Re: Hand Drawn in SketchUp

Thanks,

I think I'll leave my Space Navigators in their boxes (I have two of them) because I didn't like them with SketchUp. I did give it a try but I use more keyboard shortcuts than there are buttons to map. Since I use SketchUp on four different machines, I think it makes more sense for me to stick with the common, everyday old mouse with wheel/center button. Then I don't have to change my working process from machine to machine. Besides, after seven plus years of using SketchUp with a simple mouse, it would be a pain to change.

The Cintiq is used with SketchUp as the second monitor for looking at reference materials. Otherwise it's my image editing tool.

Re: Drawing Dovetails With a New Plugin

pessmitty, I do have the SketchUp model of TOm Fidgen's Sharpening Bench.

Yes, I agree. the Dovetail plugin is great.

Re: Kitchens In SketchUp

Drllucas, you are correct. All sorts of details can easily be added to the SketchUp model. And it makes it simple to explore various design ideas. Just as I show with changing door styles, different molding options or materials can be shown.

You bring up a good point about materials, too. Many manufacturers offer image samples of their materials that can be imported into SketchUp. Although it doesn't really show in the samll color images I made, the counter top has a Corian material applied to it. the cabinets and walls just have Pantone colors applied, however.

-Dave

Re: Dovetail Joints in SketchUp Made Easy

I have not heard anything from Tim since shortly after I made this blog post so I have no idea if the plugin is still available. There is a better dovetail plugin now, however. I wrote about it here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/24751/drawing-dovetails-with-a-new-plugin That plugin isn't free but the price is fair. Check it out.

-Dave

Re: Cutlists are a waste of space

Thanks Matt,

Although I do include an accurate cutlist in the digital plans I draw as well as fully dimensioned drawings, I recognize that all these numbers should be used as a guide. At some point in the construction process you have to stop building to the plans and start building to what you've built.

As far as dimensions in the articles and the plans go, I know that the editors work very, very hard to make sure they are correct. If there are errors, they surely aren't intentional and they do get corrected ASAP.

-Dave

Re: Kitchens In SketchUp

Howard, there's also this that ought to help but I'd still be glad to give you some assistance.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/30274/easy-and-easier-raised-panel-doors

-Dave

Re: Kitchens In SketchUp

Howard, drop me an e-mail at drkr4109@gmail.com and I'll gladly help you over this hump.

Re: Biscuits and Gravy

Hi Duncan,

You're very welcome. Glad I could help.

Your idea of using the biscuit slots to make sure they don't "intrude" or perhaps protrude is a great idea. You could probably get away with inserting only the biscuits and skip the slots.

Dave

Re: Kitchens In SketchUp

Thanks. I'd forgotten about those two. Jim Bertelson's library is not too bad although there's no need for both vertical and horizontal samples of each material.

I generally work with long images of wood grain materials that scale out to anywhere from 8 feet to 15 feet depending upon the species. The images typically range from 7 to 12 inches wide. This gives me the opportunity to pick and choose various parts of a "board" so the images don't obviously repeat.

Re: Kitchens In SketchUp

Hi Jeff,

I agree with you. The wood materials included with SketchUp are not that great. You can try doing Google image searches for the species you're after and sometimes find some usable wood grain images which can be imported into SketchUp. there are also sourse such as http://www.arroway-textures.com which offer high resolution images. I would suggested down-sampling high resolution images a bit to prevent file bloat.

-Dave

Re: Biscuits and Gravy

Hi Duncan,

It never occurred to me to look until you asked. As matter of fact, you can download biscuits from the 3D Warehouse. Just open your Components browser in SketchUp and where you see the word Google, type biscuit and hit enter. You'll get several options along with dog treats and models of furniture indicating it was assembled with biscuits.

Since biscuits are pretty easy things to draw, you could also look up the dimensions on the Internet and draw them from scratch in a few minutes.

As I indicated in the post, I wouldn't add then to a model unless they are actually a benefit. Will they be useful or will they be invisible detail?

-Dave

Re: Special Announcement - My Book on SketchUp

@Robinwood,

You cannot make scenes into layers but you could associate layers with those components you don't want to see in specific scenes and turn those layers off as needed.

Re: Hand Drawn in SketchUp

Tim, I think you said what I was trying to say much better. Thank you. In defense of the Wacom tablet and display that I own, there is a control for zooming built in. It's a nice touch strip on the back of the Cintiq but after much time using the mouse, I think it is difficult to get used to. And the Orbit tool would be even more difficult to use although you could probably assign key shortcut to one of the keys on the tablet to get to the Orbit tool.

As far as input devices go, some folks like the Space Navigator for navigating in SketchUp. I didn't like it because it takes my left hand away from the keyboard. For me a simple mouse and keyboard are best but it might be that others will have the same sort of experience as PORC.

Re: Hand Drawn in SketchUp

Hi JFink,

I've tried using both my Intuous 4 tablet and Cintiq display/tablet with SketchUp. It works after a fashion. the stylus tip runs the cursor around just fine. I found it clumsy though and I missed the center mouse wheel/button for zooming and orbiting. To be fair there is a touch ring on the Intuous 4 and a touch strip on back of the Cintiq for zooming. I've heard from several others that they have tried SketchUp with a tablet and didn't like it so much, either. I'm left handed, too although I use the mouse right handed so it might also be that I find it difficult because I have to swap hands for tasks.

That said, I wouldn't want to talk you out of trying it if you have the opportunity. I wouldn't buy a tablet exclusively to try it but if you were going to get one anyway for other things, give it a shot. You might find it suits you.

-Dave

Re: Where's My Component?

I wish we could edit comments.

I still think "best practice" would be as I indicated before and make one component before moving on to the next. There's less chance of missing some geometry or including too much.

Try this: Draw a table leg and an adjoining apron as one lump of geometry. Then select the leg geometry and make a component being sure to tick the Replace Selection box. then make a component of the apron. Separate them. You'll find the leg has unwanted edges from the apron and there's no face on the end of the apron. I made an example here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8294157@N08/5352085248/ It would be less work to draw the leg and make it a component before making the apron.

On the other hand, at least there is an option for cases where components don't get made when they should.

Re: Where's My Component?

Nick, I should have written that differently. If there are unselected faces connected to the selection the check box will not be checked.

Re: Where's My Component?

The state of the check box isn't random. It is entirely predictable. If there is unselected geometry connected to the selection, SketchUp doesn't presume to replace the selection with the new component. It does replace the selection with the component if there is no unselected connected geometry and gives you an option not to do so. I find in my work flow very little need to even worry about that because I don't move on to another part until I've made a component of the part I'm currently work on. I do use it sometimes when I am repairing models I've gotten from others, though.

-Dave

Re: Rounded Corners and Edges--Manually & Automatically

Warren, by design you cannot edit different components at the same time. This is just the way it is in SketchUp. If I were able to see your SKP file, I might be able to make better suggestions. Without seeing it, however, the first thing that comes to mind is to explode the three components so that they are a single mass of geometry. Create the roundovers and then break the geometry up into the components again. Probably the easiest way to do that particular process is ti make three separate copies after rounding over and deleting what you don't need for each of the different elements.

Reading between the lines, I am envisioning that your stretchers run into the leg ala Maloof. You might modify the leg slightly such that you have sort of extensions where the stretchers run into the legs. After rounding the corners you might be able to use Push/Pull or the Move tool on the ends of the extensions to run them back to where they need to be. Or you may have to trim the extensions back with a cutting plane or the Solid tools.

Again, I could probably offer better advice if I could see your model. If you are so inclined, feel free to e-mail it to me. You can get my e-mail address by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post.

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

Farl, on the Mac the path to the Plugins folder is Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/Plugins

And make sure you have the current Cut List plugin to install. See this link: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/31758/cutlist-411-for-sketchup-released-today

-Dave

Re: Installing Plugins from Zipped Files

Steve, I think you have something there. Iseem to recall someone was working on some sort of plugin or other utility for installing plugins. that said, the current procedure for installing plugins is really simple file management. The process used for installing plugins in SketchUp is essentially the same for many other file management tasks such as moving files to or from a memory stick. The biggest problem folks seem to have is successfully extracting ZIP files while maintaining the file structure. I hope this post is helpful.

Re: Quick and Easy Mortises and Tenons

Ray, would you please send me an e-mail? You can do that by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post.

Re: Quick and Easy Mortises and Tenons

Ray, I don't have a video to show the download but I'll help you get it straightened out when I get home from work this evening.

-Dave

Re: Making Waves

cataline4738, I'm not certain what you are asking for. Could you clarify?

Dave

Re: Another Look at Creating Plans From a SketchUp Model

Bertrand, I'm glad that helped.

As for importing a large number of scenes into LayOut in one go, I can think of only one way. I'm not sure how well it would work for you but you could give it a try.

In SketchUp, create a model with the desired number of scenes. Give the scenes standard names that you can use in other models. Perhaps that's just Scene 1, Scene 2, Scene 3... Save it and send it to LayOut. Bring each scene into LayOut and arrange them on the pages as desired. Save the project as a template.

For a new project, use the same scene names in SketchUp and when you send to LayOut, choose this template. In the Document SetUp dialog, purge the old model and link to the new one. Then let LayOut auto-render the scenes. The rendereing may take some time so you can go get a cup of coffee.

This method won't work for my projects very well so I don't use it although I have experimented with it. I find it isn't so bad to copy an existing scene and paste it on the next page before selecting the new scene to display. Rarely are the scenes in SketchUp exactly in the order I want to work with them in LayOut.

Perhaps it will work for you, though.

Dave

Re: Free Download: How to Use SketchUp Tools

@dframe01, it sounds like you must be a wealthy woodworker. A seat of ACAD2011 is $4425 and Inventor LT Suite is $1605. You could buy 12 copies of SketchUp Pro and a pretty good dinner for that.

Re: Axes in SketchUp

Brent, I've sent you an e-mail.

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Rick,

It looks to me as if you've probably extracted the contents of the cutlist folder into the Plugins folder. Cutlist.rb is look for the other .RB files inside a folder called cutlist and it isn't finding them there. Either delete all cutlist related files from the Plugins folder and reinstall the plugin or go through the Plugins folder and cut out the files that should be in the cutlist folder and paste them there. Refer to my screen shots above to see the contents of the cutlist folder. Also make sure you haven't got files duplicated in tboth the Plugins folder and the cutlist folder. E-mail me if you have any trouble.

Dave

Re: The Most Often Frustrating Error

You can leverage the fact that drawing on the component without opening it for editing. There are some cases where I find it useful to draw the details on, but outside, the component definition. Then I'll cut (Ctrl+X) them, open the component and use Edit>Paste in Place to insert the lines into the component. One example involves Bezier curves. I can modify the curve as much as I want without risking distorting the component.

In some situations, I am drawing details that are duplicated in two different components. Joinery come to mind as a common example. It can be helpful to work out the geometry without immediately adding it to either component. Then it can be cut and pasted in place into both components.

Dave

Re: A Star Exercise

mrossk, thanks for the spelling correction. that's what I get for doing the blog post on my tiny Mac screen.

Perhaps I described the set up for the lines poorly. I added a new image up at the top. For a five-pointed star you'll need 72 degrees between points. The angle is measured between the points on the diagonal of the square. I hope that image clarifies it.

Dave

Re: A Star Exercise

Sorry folks. I don't know what is wrong. They were visible when I posted the blog. I'll look into it and see if I can fix it.

Dave

Re: Special Announcement - My Book on SketchUp

Timberlady, I hope you (and Tim) don't mind my reply.

There is no reason you can't or shouldn't modify an existing component to make a new one. At least if it saves you work and time.

Make Unique differs from exploding and making a new component in that it keeps the same component definition name and appends a number. The component's axes remain in the same place as the original and other parameters including layer association remain the same. Of course you can rename the component in the Entity Info box. If you explode a component and remake it, the component axes may be relocated if the component has been rotated or flipped. In addition, if you've associated the component with a different layer than the default layer, exploding the component will cause the geometry to be associated with that layer. Good practice when using layers is to leave geometry (faces and edges) on Layer 0 and only make layer associations for components/groups. Exploding the component and remaking it kind of counters that practice and you should make sure to change the entity's layer associations back to Layer 0.

My preference is to use Make Unique and then just edit the component definition name afterward.

Re: Free Download: How to Use SketchUp Tools

Marx1947, The current version is SketchUp 8. If you buy the pro version of SketchUp, the cost to upgrade to the next version when it comes is currently $95.

I've been using Version 7.1 and 8 (both pro versions) on my MacBook Pro and rarely if ever see the spinning beach ball. I'm using OSX 10.6.5. What version on you using?

It does look different on the Mac as compared to the PC and a few things take getting used to but I haven't noticed anything that is second class with the Mac version.

Re: More Than One Way

What is step 2?

I didn't forget it. I left it out intentionally. There are probably other way, too.

Of course you can use Push/Pull. You'll have to lay out the taper on the two outer faces as you say. You will have to deal with the fact that the second Push/Pull step will not push through the angled face after the first Push/Pull step. You can hit Ctrl to make Push/Pull go through the angle face. Then you'll have to run Intersect and delete the unneeded geometry.

Still, it is another way to create the tapered leg.

Dave

Re: Shaker Lap Desk in SketchUp

Volker, you need to have Google SketchUp installed to be able to open the model. You can get it at http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/product/gsu.html

Dave

Re: Shaker Lap Desk in SketchUp

You can download the file by clicking on the link in the middle of this text.

"With David’s permission, I’m sharing the SketchUp plan with all of you.

Download a copy of the SketchUp plan here.

Online members can learn more about the project in this series of three online articles on the topic. They can also download a copy of Becksvoort’s original plan."

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Dickster2112, I'll help you get it working. Please send me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post. Hopefully it'll be simple enough and we'll solve it and leave you some hair to pull out over something else.

Dave

Re: Free Download: How to Use SketchUp Tools

FWIW, the Tape Measure tool can be used to scale a single component or group. You just open that component or group for editing before measuring the known distance. Instead of confirming that you want to resize the model, you'll be asked to confirm you want to resize the active group or component.

Dave

Re: Free Download: How to Use SketchUp Tools

Nico, you can export DXF files with the pro version of SketchUp but not with the free version. Some CAD applications, though, will import SKP files from which you could then save as DXF. Have a look at DoubleCAD as an example.

Re: A Look At The Camera Tools

Greg, my e-mail address is drkr4109 at gmail dot com.

Re: Chamfered Post Table and Mortise & Tenon Joints

budlyte3, Hopefully Tim doesn't mind me chiming in. By "context, we mean that if the profile for Follow Me is a component then the path must be inside the component, too. Both the profile and path are enclosed inside what I refer to as the component "wrapper". By exploding the trapezoid you placed the trapezoid in the same context as the path. both are just loose geometry. You could have opened the trapezoid component for editing and then drawn the path, run Follow Me and ended up in the same place except your profile component would then be an extruded shape component.

Perhaps you'll find the video here to be of some help. http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/23154/moldings-by-follow-me

Dave

Re: A Look At The Camera Tools

JonasMac, I'm glad that helped and I'm happy you like the enlarged tool icons.

As to the thing about zooming, you're right. The wheel encourages it. That is generally a good thing but I see your point. Remember to use Previous also when you need to go back to a previous view. A keyboard shortcut for the context Zoom Extents might also be useful.

I like to remind folks when they are drawing in SketchUp that they are doing sculpture and not a painting. You have to be able to move around the model easily to be able to work efficiently. That's one of the reasons a mouse with a center wheel/button is so important. At the same time, it is a good idea to learn to try to group tasks so you aren't flitting around the model. Using components certainly helps. If you only need to cut the mortises by editing one leg instead of each of the four, that saves you a lot of navigation time. Maintain the relationship between components as long as possible. For example in a small shaker table with a drawer, the legs are nearly identical except for the mortises for the front and back pieces. Make the legs as instances of the same component and do everything but cutting those mortises that are different. After the front-to back mortises are cut and the legs are tapered and so on, make one pair unique to break their relationship with the other pair. Now cut those side to side mortises. By working this way you've again limited how much you need to move about the model space to work.

Another strategy is to draw all of your parts in situ as Tim and I are always harping. Not only does this help to reduce errors but it helps to reduce the amount of zooming and orbiting you need to do.

And a third strategy is to learn to work "blind". there are times when I can't see the face on which I want to use the Push/Pull tool because it is obscured by another component. I can tell be what is highlighted where the tool is going to work so I don't need to see it do its thing. Sometimes working in X-ray mode helps too although I also find there are times when there's more clutter than I'd like. You can set things up so other components are hidden when one component is open for editing but I don't like that so much because I am often editing one component relative to its neighbors and that's hard to do when you can't see the neighbors.

I hope that gives you some ideas.

Dave

Re: A Look At The Camera Tools

Glad to hear that. I hope we can come up with another new thing for you next time.

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

PORC, that's a known current limitation on the Mac. You aren't doing anything wrong. To get the layout images tick the SVG box before hitting Run. SVG format images will then be saved in the same location as the SKP file resides. You can then view those to see the layouts.

Dave

Re: Tongue & Groove Joints in Magazine Rack

To Larrythewoodguy, if I may offer this: It sounds as if you are drawing all of the parts for the cabinet and ending up with them all stuck together. Draw one part and then make it a component before you move on to the next part. Making the component prevents other geometry from sticking to it.

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Josea, you've made one too many levels of folders. The examples show the ZIP file opened in 7zip and the contents of the cutlist folder.

The path should be C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Plugins\cutlist For the folder and C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Plugins\cutlist.rb.

Open C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Plugins\cutlist4.1.1(3)and cut or copy the cutlist folder and cutlist.rb. Then go to the Plugins folder and paste them. Delete the folder called cutlist4.1.1(3) because you won't need it.

Let me know if that gets it straightened out.

By the way, would you tell me how you installed the plugin? I'm curious how it happened that you got the extra folder level in there. thanks.

Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Josea,

The compressed file is only about 100Kb. The 306,667 is the uncompressed size of the folder in bytes. If you have extracted the ZIP file to the Plugins folder, restarted SketchUp and you don't have an entry in the Plugins menu called Cut List, drop me an e-mail and we'll get you sorted out.

dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Did you delete the files from the previous version?

Which version of windows. Drop me an e-mail if you'd like by clicking on my name at the end of the post.

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

BdhSdfCr, That is a known limitation of the plugin. It is due to the way Safari handles HTML. Current the only option is to tick the SVG box so SVG files of the layout will be saved. You can then open them to see the layout of the parts.

-Dave

Re: A Lattice for a Wine Rack

Larry,

First, flipping the components mirrors them so that the half laps face each other. It didn't have to be the first set that I drew. It just had to be one set.

Second, the pieces are components. In this example there are four instances of each component definition so editing one of them gets the job done on all the other instances. Some folks prefer to use groups instead of components when they work. For something like this, though, every slat would have to be edited to get the joints cut. As you can see, I only handled one quarter of the slats to cut all the half laps.

-Dave

Re: Cut List Plugin Installation

Thanks Tom. I did mention that these need to be put in the Plugins folder.

On the PC the typical path is C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 8\Plugins. On the Mac it is Mac HD/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 8/SketchUp/Plugins.

If you haven't upgraded to SketchUp version 8, of course you would substitute a 7 for the 8.

Re: Plugins - An Updated List

BlackieDogg, yes. I know. The link originally went to a blog post done on the old blog platform. The posts were supposed to be archived and as far as I know, that's still being worked on.

Re: Special Announcement - My Book on SketchUp

To Papynouche: Regarding the Materials browser on Mac. The Materials browser is not really a SketchUp browser. It is actually part of the Mac OS. The fact that it cannot be minimized like the other browsers is not due to a bug. Apple just didn't design it to have the same behavior that @Last/Google designed into the SketchUp browsers.

-Dave

Re: Bombe Chest - An Exercise in Complex Geometry - Pt. 1

Michael, I tried using the Curviloft plugin but had no luck getting it to work. I did get some very unusual shapes but nothing that I could use.

Re: Cutlist 4.1.1 For SketchUp Released Today

Carl, I got your e-mail and attempted to reply. Your e-mail is setup to reject e-mails from my e-mail address domain.

Re: Cutlist 4.1.1 For SketchUp Released Today

Carl, it sounds like you haven't installed the plugin correctly. PLease e-mail me and I'll help you out. Click on my name at the end of the blog post to e-mail me.

Re: Special Announcement - My Book on SketchUp

Nico, you can export DXF files with the pro version of SketchUp.

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

Thanks for that. You've made that more detailed than I did in the last paragraph of my blog post.

Dave

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

Where did I get "Jim" from? Sheesh!

That last was addressed to Smith5963

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

I understand now, Jim. this plugin is totally independent from any stand alone cut list programs out there. the CutList Plus export option simply generates a file that is formatted such that things end up in the right place when that file is imported into CutList Plus.

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

I'm not certain what you mean by "embedded version" but grain direction is assumed to run the long direction. Obviously this isn't always the right way. If I remember correctly, this is on the wish/to do list but I think there are difficulties in finding something to use to determine grain direction in the component.

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

Slivers Dave, you need to add one of the 'Sheet Materials Words' to the Component Definition Name to get it to be recognized and sorted as not boards. I've added the word "Ply" to Sheet Materials Words and, if you look at the screen shot of the Outliner, you can see the word "Ply" in the Component Definition Names such as .

Dave

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

DaveS48, daltxguy is Steve, the author of the plugin.

Re: CutList 4.1.1 -- A More In Depth Look

Steve, thank you for clarifying that.

I forgot to add that Steve made other improvements such as the support for saw kerfs and the ability to print directly. Output is faster and it'll support larger project sizes. These are all major improvements as well.

Dave

Re: A Fluted Quarter Column

Hi Don,
You are absolutely correct that Follow Me wants the first segment of the path to be perpendicular to the profile. If it isn't the profile actually gets changed. Another reason I do this for turnings is one I've mentioned in the past although didn't this time. If I want to use the capital or base components for fully turned pieces in the future, I can copy/rotate them and successfully hide the seam lines between them. That won't be possible if you use a path drawn with the Arc tool or break the circle at the vertices. You can hide the edge lines but the surfaces won't look smooth.

Dave

Re: Printing Templates--Two Approaches

Nollie, I just drew a circle with some crossing lines through it. Then I made it a component and copied it to make the array as shown in first several images.

Re: Create Shop Drawings II

Dedmin, you can but you have little control over its formatting once you have it in your Layout project. Proper handling of tables was requested for LO4 by several people including myself at 3D Basecamp

Re: Turn a Straight Border Pattern into a Curved Border Pattern

Yes. That is a very useful thing in SketchUp. You can quickly scale a model or, if it is open for editing, a component/group to so the measured distance is a known size. It is also handy when you import an image to trace over it. You can bring in the image and then draw a line over a line of know length in the image. Maesure that line and type the correct dimension to quickly scale the imported image to size.

Dave

Re: SketchUp 8 Pro: A Look at Some of the Solid Tools

Yitz, yes. One license will allow you to install SketchUp on more than one machine as long as you aren't trying to run both at the same time.

Tenbears, taking the sphere apart to delete the face is kind of the long way but as long as it works for you, that's all that counts.

As far as drawing the sphere, if you set them up as shown in this image http://flic.kr/p/8AL8D6 when you run the Follow Me tool you'll end up with a sphere with nothing to prevent it from being a Solid Component as you can see in this image. http://flic.kr/p/8AL8Ee

Glad it helped you sort out things out.

Dave

Re: SketchUp 8 Pro: A Look at Some of the Solid Tools

I hit Submit a little too early.

I prefer the second method for creating a sphere because I don't have to stop to delete the face and that face isn't needed in anycase.

Dave

Re: SketchUp 8 Pro: A Look at Some of the Solid Tools

Tenbears, There is an error in the software in which the Follow Me tool cursor shows as Push/Pull. It still works as Follow Me, though. The Google folks are aware of it and I wouldn't be surprised if that is corrected in the first maintenance release.

Which of your groups/components is not identified as "Solid"? You can check by looking at Entity Info and selecting them one at a time. I would guess it is the sphere that is causing you the problem. Making it the way you did results in an internal face which will prevent the group/component from being regarded as "Solid". Either delete the face of the circle that you are using as the path or draw one circle above the other so they are not intersecting each other.

Re: New SketchUp Version 8

There are a couple of things to be aware of with the Solid Tools.

One is that they will convert components to groups. So, while a mortise can be made in one step on, say, a table leg, you'll have to cut the mortise in each leg individually instead of cutting them in a single step like you can if you use Push/Pull as I have demonstrated in several videos.

The other is that they are extremely picky about the components or groups you are using. There must not be any stray line segments nor holes.

I'm working on a blog post to detail the Solid Tools and will cover that.

Nolly, it sounds to me as if you aren't getting anti-aliasing in your images. Go to Window>Model Info>Rendering and tick the Anti-aliasing box. Also, go to Print Preview or Print and check to see what you have Print Quality set to. It may be set to Draft. Set it to a higher quality option and see what you get.

As to going back to version 7, yes, you can do it. When you save the file, go to File>Save a Copy as... and, at the bottom, choose the SU version you want to save for.

Dave

Re: Drawing Curved Slats for a Chair

I haven't run into this with Version 8. Would you be willing to send me your model so I can see what you're getting? Click on my name at the bottom of the blog entry to send me an e-mail.

Dave

Re: Trying on a Different Look

Hi Neil,

There are a number of rendering applications available which will take your SketchUp model and allow you to create photo-realistic images or something closer to photo-realistic anyway. In my work I don't have a lot of need for these sorts of images although I do have a Kerkythea which is a freeware program. There's a very nice exported to go from SketchUp to Kerkythea that makes it fairly easy.

I don't have any experience with any of the not-free renders but tomorrow-Friday-I think I'll get an opportunity to see one called Shaderlight being demonstrated here at 3D Basecamp. Perhaps I'll have more to suggest then.

Cheers,

Dave

Re: Trying on a Different Look

LTW, true, you could do that with the camera. SInce the legs were in place already I didn't need to do that. It would make it easy to do other work, too.

Re: Trying on a Different Look

Gentlemen, very good comments. Thank you.

Re: Trying on a Different Look

I ended before writing the following:

As with many things in SketchUp, there's more than one way to manage the visibility of components in the model. Use the method that suits your workflow.

Re: Trying on a Different Look

Hide works but I find better control over what is hidden and what is not by using layers. It isn't that much work to create the layers and it only needs to be done once for the model. My models will often consist of 20 or more scenes and I find it much easier to choose which layers are visible than picking components out of the outliner to hide or unhide. With exploded, 2D and detail views, the outliner is often quite a long list.

I create the layers immediately after completing the assembled model. Then I make copies of the model or individual components as needed for exploded views and such. With a single click in a check box for the layer I can hide, for example, all of the drawers in the model or with a couple of clicks I can swap the doors or change the legs. In a kitchen model, one could have quite a list of doors to chase down in the Outliner. If those door components have a layer association, it's a single tick box.

Additionally, there are times when I need to work on some parts of a model with Hidden Geometry turned on. Then all those hidden components would show as meshes cluttering the screen. One can use the hide options under Model Info>Components but when I am editing components, I am often doing it in reference the their neighbors so I don't want them to be hidden.

You are right that nested components can cause problems. Careful management of them is important.

Re: A Decorative Carved Fan in SketchUp

Sharon,

Thanks for that. I hadn't caught that.

Dave

Re: A Decorative Carved Fan in SketchUp

That is very strange. I just went through the process on my Mac and had no trouble. I do have MacOSX 10.6.4 But I wouldn't imagine that is the reason it works for me. I hope Chris will be able to help.

Have you tried it on something larger? perhaps try scaling the model up by a factor of ten or 100. I didn't need to scale my drawing up to make it work but perhaps the dimensions on your drawing is different?

Re: A Decorative Carved Fan in SketchUp

tenbears, I'm sorry you're having difficulty with Simple Loft. Let's see if we can straighten it out.

I have used this plugin on my MacBook with 7.1 Pro also and had no trouble.

First, installation. Check to see that you have clf_simple_loft_loader.rb and a folder called clf_simple_loft in the Plugins directory. The folder should contain two PNG image files and a file called clf_simple_loft.rb.

After confirming those files are in their proper locations, go to SketchUp>Preferences>Extensions and ensure the box for Simple Loft is ticked. You can also add the toolbar to the screen under View>Tool Palettes.

Second, operating the plugin. Start the plugin. Select the curves you want to use for the lofting. Hit Return (Enter). A dialog box should pop up to give you an option for the number of segments into which it will divide the spaces between the curves. For this excercise change it to 1. Then click OK. It should create the face.

Let me know what youy find. You can drop me an e-mail if you'd like. Click on my name, above to send an e-mail.

Dave

Re: SketchUp and the Lathe

John, no worries about being late to respond. Sorry for the unclear statement.

Faces in SketchUp have a front and a back. I have the back color set to that green you can see in some of the images. The default color is a bluish gray. For the most part it is just good housekeeping to correct face orientation. There are some instances where face orientation matters more than others.

The thing that determines the orientation after a Follow Me operation in these turnings is the direction that the profile and the path are drawn. I used to try to pay attention and work to make the face orientation come out correctly in the beginning but it's too easy to draw an arc or line segment in the profile in the wrong direction and have it turn out inside out anyway. Fixing the orientation is easier than avoiding it anyway.

Sometimes when I am making the images for these blog posts I skip showing the reversed faces and just mention to correct the orientation if needed.

Dave

Re: Quick and Easy Mortises and Tenons

I had not tried with metric units until now. I see what you are saying, though. I've sent an e-mail to the author to have him take a look. I expect he'll have it fixed in short order.

D

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Plumsquare, unzip the cutlist file into the Plugins folder under SketchUp. On the PC it'll be C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 7\Plugins. You should have a folder called "cutlistui" and a file called "CutListandMaterials.rb" Do not extract the files of the folder to Plugins but leave them in the folder.

Then open SketchUp and go to Window>Preferences>Extensions. Check all of the boxes you find there. You should now have a Plugins menu. If Cutlist isn't there, close SketchUp and reopen it.

Dave

Re: Lessons in Teaching SketchUp to Woodworkers

Nollie, I'll try to get something for you this weekend.

Re: Lessons in Teaching SketchUp to Woodworkers

Nollie, glad to help. Are you thinking of an upholstered seat cushion? Dave

Re: The Blacker House Chair Leg Detail

jcsssssssssssssss, just draw the curved profile on one face of the leg. Then use Follow Me to run it around all four sides of the leg.

Dave

Re: An Elliptical Table Top

Farzad, you are correct, I could have done that. I arbitrarily chose the method I did but as with many things in SketchUp, there's often more than on way to do it. Of course adding the profile to the edge of the extrusion would have resulted in the table top being larger than it was supposed to be. I could have compensated for that when drawing the ellipse to begin with but that would have required doing a little math. The thumbnail profile is simply a Bezier curve that I drew to look good. Since it was only drawn for appearance, I didn't attempt to copy a specific cutter profile. The width of the profile is essentially random.

I'm glad you like the barley twist legs. As to how I made them, take a look at my previous blog post here: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/27407/a-barley-twist-in-sketchup

Dave

Re: Lessons in Teaching SketchUp to Woodworkers

Nollie, I did a thing on that awhile back. I'll see if I can find it and post it.

Dave

Re: Garrett Hack Visits Japanese Woodworkers

This is great! Looks like Garrett had a good time as di the Japanese gentlemen. It sounds like my friend Stu translating.

Re: A Ruhlmann-Influenced Leg

Thank. I hadn't seen that.

Re: Overcoming a Quirk in SketchUp

Steve, your method is good. You could also copy the circle or oval before pushing and then push all of them through.

Re: Overcoming a Quirk in SketchUp

An alternative is to drag a right to left selection box around the entire copied hole, right click and choose Intersect>Intersect Selected. then both the top and bottom face can be deleted.

Re: Easy Errors to Make

@ patwreck, take a look at this blog entry: http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/9186/how-much-wood-will-it-take

Re: Easy Errors to Make

Jonas, guides are meant to be temporary and I think it is a great idea to use guides but you should clean up the drawing frequently. I have a keyboard shortcut set specifically to delete guides. It gets used often.

If, like Tim, you find added marks for centers or other landmarks on a component useful, put them in outside the component or nest them so that they aren't in the lowest level of components. The CutList plugin returns the lowest level of components so it won't report the component with the mark.

Dave

Re: The Scale Tool

No Tom, this is not a Pro-only thing. Is it possible you hit a key other than the Shift key? The following is quoted from the Help documentation.

"Entering a scale multiplier value
You can specify a new dimensional length value during or directly following a scaling operation. To enter a dimensional length value during a scaling operation:

1. Select the Select tool. The cursor will change to an arrow.
2. Select the geometry to scale.
3. Select the Scale tool. The cursor will change to a box within another box. Scaling grips will appear around the selected geometry.
4. Click on a scaling grip to select the grip. The selected grip and the opposite scaling grip will highlight in red. Each scaling grip provides a different scaling operation. See Scaling Options section for further information.
5. Move the mouse to scale the geometry. The Measurements Toolbar displays relative size of the item as you scale the item. You can enter the desired scale dimensions after the scale operation is complete.
6. Type the dimensional length value (such as 2' 6" for two feet and six inches or 2m for two meters) in the Measurements Toolbar and press the Enter (Microsoft Windows) or Return (Mac OS X) key.

Re: The Scale Tool

Scaling by ratios is useful if you know what ratio you want to scale too. As Ken mentioned, you can scale a model (or just a component/group) using the Tape Measure tool to measure a known distance and entering that distance in.

You can also use the Scale tool to scale a model to some specific dimension. Start moving the desired scale handle and then enter the desired distance to the opposite scale handle. Type the distance including the units and hit Enter.

If you've got a table that is 48" long and you want it to be 36" long, select the entire table and get the Scale tool. Start pushing on the green scale handle in the center of the end of the bounding box. Type 36" and hit Enter.

Keep in mind that scaling may not always be an appropriate way to resize you model. If you scale in only one or two directions you will change the proportions of the entire model. If you don't want to do that, use the Move tool to resize components that need to have their dimensions changed and simply move the components that need to be placed in a new position.

Dave

Re: Handcut Dovetails....in SketchUp

Perhaps I should have spaced them a little less evenly and made them all different angles and left gaps. Then you'd know that I hand cut them. I wanted to make them look more like ones you cut by hand. You know, all the same angle and tightly fitted. ;)

Re: Moldings By Follow Me

Giovanni, without seeing your model I can only guess. If you'd like to send me the SKP file showing the failed attempt, I would be happy to take a look at it. Click on my name under the video.

Before writing this response, I drew up a four-sided frame and split it into separate pieces using the same method I showed in the video. I made a separate component of each of the four sides although if I were modeling a frame like that normally, I would only make a component for a short side and another for a long side. I would then copy and flip (not rotate) those components to make their counterparts.

Dave

Re: A Quick Look at Bezier.rb

I assume you are referring to the image from the article. I think Tim and I have both talked about doing this. Basically I imported an image file (File>Import...) and used it as an image as opposed to a texture. Once I got the information I needed from it, I deleted the image.

Re: Components & Make Unique -- A Simple Piano Hinge

Don, use Shift not Ctrl. Shift hides the edge and Ctrl softens it. There's a bit difference in appearance. Also make sure to delete the vertical face in the seam.

Re: A Quick Look at Bezier.rb

teamman, right click on the link and choose Save Target as... or Save Link as. Make sure it saves as a .rb file and put it into the Plugins folder.

Re: A Quick Look at Bezier.rb

Ken,

I don't know what to tell you about the audio. As far as the volume goes, I am not having any difficulty. I can't help the voice itself. I'm stuck with that. ;)

As to the number of degrees, the easiest way i know to describe it is the number of spaces between control points. As to how many control points, it depends upon how many changes there are in the curve direction and radius. In most cases I find 5 to be the most I need and for many curves, a 2 degree curve is perfect.

Dave

Re: Components & Make Unique -- A Simple Piano Hinge

Don, exploding the components and erasing the seam lines works but it makes it a little more involved to edit the length of the hinge if you wanted to do that. I opened the components for editing and then, while holding Shift, I clicked with the Eraser tool on the seam lines. this results in hiding the edges without deleting them. Give that a try and see if it works for you.

Dave

Re: Why Can't I Get a Face?

There are some plugins already available to help with flattening non-coplanar geometry. One is called Flatten from Smustard.com. There's also the Projection Extension which will, among other things, project edges onto a face.

Another thing you can do that will help in some cases is set Edge Color to By Axis. This will at least show you if edges you expect to be parallel to the global axes are indeed parallel.

Re: Creating Templates for a Complex Shape

Unfortunately that post showing how I drew the leg from the profiles is in the archive which isn't currently available.

As far as how to accurately draw a guitar neck, it depends upon what you already know about it. Do you have cross sections already? Or are you designing a new one from scratch? The approach to drawing it will hinge on that.

Re: A Sheraton Leg in SketchUp

Woodntop,

Thank you. I understand it will be fixed soon.

Dave

Re: Plugins - An Updated List

Mark, please drop me an e-mail at drkr4109@gmail.com and we'll get your cutlist plugin to work.

Dave

Re: The Importance of the Mouse and Scroll Wheel

Dusty one, do you find the Space Navigator to a good addition to your tools for working in SketchUp?

I tried one but found I wanted another hand for working the keyboard. I use my left hand for keyboard shortcuts and the tool modifier keys (Shift, Ctrl and Alt on the PC). I use those keys so much that they've been polished smooth. My right hand mostly stays on the mouse so the center mouse wheel/button is always easy to get.

I do like the Space Navigator for Google Earth but there's not enough room on my desk for it so it lives in its box.

Dave

Re: Printing to Scale

Tim's reference to scale is in regard to printing parts of a model to a specific scale, in this example half of full size to aid in making a template.

If I read your comment correctly, you want to show a project's scale relative to other things. You want to show it in context. "How will it fit in the room?" Is that what you mean?

For that you do not need Layout. You need only draw in the context. i.e. walls, windows and doors. You can add people and other furniture to give a sense of scale to a project. The 3D Warehouse has a large number of components you can use for this. Do a search right from the Component's browser for the items you want.

Dave

Re: Adding Materials to Your Model

Paul, I'll see what I can do about your request.

Gene, it has been awhile since I played with Wood Workshop but my understanding is that it creates pseudo-wood grain images without a photograph. I never had much luck with getting what I consider believable wood grain images but they were seamless. It may be that the program will accept imported images, though.

If you want to use images of real wood, take photos under very even lighting conditions of the largest pieces you can get. you want to make sure the camera's image plane is parallel to the surface of the board. If you want to try making a seamless image, you can use Photoshop or other image editing software or, I've had decent success with a freeware application called TextureViewer which may still be available through some of those freeware repository sites. The link in the Help file points to http://www.bricksntiles.com/ which offers a not free application to make seamless materials from images.

Hopefully that helps.

Dave

Re: "Components" in SketchUp

Bob, I gather by being able "to close the back of them" you mean create faces from your DXF imports. Is that correct? If so, it is indeed possible to create those faces. There's a plugin that will do this for the selected geometry quite rapidly. Be aware that CAD programs aren't as picky about having closed polygons as SketchUp is. If there are gaps between line segments, you won't get a face. You'll need to hunt down the gaps and close them. They can be very tiny though so you may have to zoom in quite close to see them. There is also a plugin to automate finding those gaps, too. Look for Make Faces and Close Opens at Smustard.com for them.

Usually SketchUp imports DXF files and creates components. remember that to modify them you'll need to open them for editing. It may be that you'll need to delete some geometry as well.

Dave

Re: Drawing Dovetails With a New Plugin

No need to apologize. Does that mean the pictures are worth looking at?

Re: Drawing Dovetails With a New Plugin

Yes there is that plugin. I wrote about it before and included a link to that blog post in the first paragraph, above.

It sounds like variable spacing and other details may be on the list of features to be added for this plugin. In the meantime, it is simple enough to make adjustments to the dovetails after they've been placed via selection boxes and the Move tool. It would still be faster to place the joint with the plugin and then move or resize as needed than to layout and draw the joint by hand.

Re: "Components" in SketchUp

Bob, there's nothing like learning the hard way, is there?

There are a couple of plugins available that create exploded views by moving the components away from a central point. The problem is they move all components proportionally. In the exploded views that I make, the components are moved different distances and often only parallel to one axis. I also don't explode the entire model. For example, it's usually enough to show the tenon on one end of a rail. The other could stay in its mortise.

My process for making exploded views is to start with a selection box around the components on one end of the model, say the right end. Move the selection over to the right. Then change the selection to include only those components on the front that I want to shift. Move that selection forward. Proceed to reduce the selection set as you make further adjustments to the explosion. You'll still have to tweak some component positions based on the view you choose and what details you need to see. If you establish the camera position first by making a scene, you can easily go back to it to check to see that the details that need to be visible are indeed showing.

Dave

Re: Jefferson's Bookstand - Another Workflow Example

John,

Thank you and thank you for reminding me. I've added the link to the plugin at the bottom of the blog entry.

Dave

Re: "Components" in SketchUp

Bob, glad that helps. I agree there's really no need for groups. I would suggest that you make a component even if it is the only one in the piece. You might be tempted to make a table top, for instance, into a group instead of a component since your table only has one top. Suppose you copy the model over to the side so you can make an exploded view. And then suppose you need to edit the table top. I bet you can see where that is going.

My advice would be to ignore groups altogether and make only components. You never have to think about which to make and you've already got the component if you need it to be one later.

Dave

Re: Jefferson's Bookstand - Another Workflow Example

Thank you Autumn and Todd.

Todd, I don't use the arrow keys. I suppose that is because I started with SketchUp long before the arrow keys were used for locking. I kind of forget they are there.

I do use the Shift key though to lock the inference direction and for me, that works well. The Shift key along with Ctrl (Option on Mac) and Alt keys are used for so many things that I seem to always have my left hand resting resting at the corner of the keyboard ready to use them.

The cursor keys certainly do have their place and they can be really useful for those who have difficulty getting things to move in the desired direction.

Glad the cherry material is useful.

Dave

Re: "Components" in SketchUp

Hopefully Tim won't mind if I reply to you, Bob.

As you mention, editing one component instance in a model results in all other instances in the model being edited. This is perhaps the number one benefit because it saves you a great deal of time in drawing. Suppose you want to modify the legs of a table you're drawing, if the legs are groups, you'll have to edit each one to make the change. If they are components, you need only edit one of them.

Here are a few other advantages or features that components have over groups in SketchUp.

Components can be saved into libraries for future use. Well, groups could be but they become components anyway when imported into other models.
Components have their own axes that can be placed to aid in alignment and insertion point.
Components can be set to cut openings and glue to surfaces which also makes placing them easier.
Components can be substituted very quickly. Suppose you've drawn a highboy complete with all the drawer pulls. Now suppose you want to replace those pulls with a different style. You can select all of the original ones--right click the thumbnail in the In Model Component library and choose Select all instances. Then right click on the thumbnail for the new one and choose Replace selected. Done.
Unless you purge the unused components from the In Model library, you can always retrieve a component you might have inadvertently deleted. Delete a group and it is gone.

Hope that gives you some ideas.

Dave

Re: Jefferson's Bookstand - Another Workflow Example

Naomi and Paul, thank you.

Jeff, I do use a keyboard shortcut for creating components. I think the default shortcut for making components is G although mine is Alt+G which is a holdover from the earlier days when the pressing G got you a group. I'm so used to the Alt+G that I haven't changed it.

To see what keyboard shortcuts are used for various tools, open the various menus. The keyboard shortcuts will be displayed to the right of the menu entries. You can make your own keyboard shortcuts as well by going to the Shortcuts section of the Preferences dialog.

If you do make your own, don't use numbers or the standard Windows/Mac shortcuts for things like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V.

Dave

Re: Jefferson's Bookstand - Another Workflow Example

Thank you Randy. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

You do make a good point. Hitting Save once in awhile is good insurance against crashes. SketchUp does perform autosave operations. By default, SketchUp autosaves every 5 minutes and creates a backup file. If needed, you can go to File>Revert. It'll give you the option to choose the file from the last time you saved it--the last saved SKP file--or the last autosaved version which is saved with the extension SKB. If you don't manually save your file, you'll have access to the version as it was when you last opened it.

You can also adjust the autosave frequency in the General section of the Preferences dialog.

Dave

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Windsor Chairmaking by James Mursell

Looks like an excellent reference book.

Re: Clock Numbers, Again

Indeed. That will work also. Thanks for reminding me of that plugin. I'd forgotten about it until you did.

Re: Numbers on a Clock Face -- Preparing 3D Text for Use

Hi Andy,

I think I've covered how to install plugins and in the past I've talked about the plugin toolbars I have displayed. The plugins have changed and there are some new onnes so I should do a new blog post listing those.

As to installing plugins, it is a matter of saving them into the Plugins folder under SketchUp. On a PC the path is normally C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 7\Plugins. On a Mac it would be Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp 7/SketchUp/plugins.

In the case of plugin files that you download as Zip files, make sure the folders are extracted into the plugins directory along with any other files. Once extracted, the folder and file structure in the Plugins directory should be the same as what you see when looking at the Zip file.

Make sure that the script files have the .rb extension. Some folks have told me that on their computers Windows will change the extension to .txt. If that happens you can rename the file and change the extension to .rb.

If you need more help with installing plugins, drop me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of the blog post.
Dave

Re: Adding Materials to Your Model

I think your idea of renaming the colors you've used and creating a new library is a good one. It would certainly make it easier to figure out which color is supposed to represent walnut and which represents wenge.

If you are editing simple colors to represent various wood species, you could use a color sampling application to get the RGB values from photographs of the species. I use a freeware program called Hex Color Finder that works very nicely for that.

I found out that the plugin does work on only a selection. You could make copies of the model and paint each one differently but the requirement for Make Unique is still not appealing.

Re: Adding Materials to Your Model

Glad to help. I've asked a Ruby guru I know if it is possible to make the plugin work on only those components in a selection that contain the material you want to replace. That would give a little better control to the plugin. I'll let you know what I hear back.

FWIW, I did a quick test and the plugin seems to retain the editing one might do to the original material so that when the material is replaced, the new one has the same orientation as the old one.

Dave

Re: Adding Materials to Your Model

I was thinking of what you do if you are working with the client looking at your SketchUp screen. One of the draw backs of my suggestion with making different scenes is that you need to make the components unique to be able to paint the different materials. If you do that, and you later need to edit the model to change dimensions, you have to do the same editing for each copy because the components are no longer related. This would not be an ideal situation either.

This might be a case where you opt to paint the component rather than the faces inside the component. You lose the ability to control the grain orientation so you would probably need to make horizontal and vertical versions of the materials and in some cases perhaps angled versions. At least the component relationships would be maintained so if you needed to change dimensions, you'd only need edit a single instance of the affected components.

Out of curiosity, have you ever just used colors to represent different woods? Do your clients 'buy' that? If you can do that, it eliminates any need to orient the grain direction and makes painting much easier.

Re: Adding Materials to Your Model

All it takes is a little "think, think, think" as Winnie the Pooh would say. there is indeed a plugin which will replace one material with another. It is called Global_Material_Changer.rb. when activated it asks you to choose the material you want to replace from a drop down list. Then it asks you to choose the new material from a drop down list. The new material already needs to be in the In Model material library to be included in the list. If you haven't already used the desired new material, you can right click on its thumbnail and choose Add to model which will add it to the In model library without actually applying it to any faces in the model.

The material changer will impact anything painted with the material you wish to swap out so it probably wouldn't be very useful for making the layered scenes I was describing. On the other hand, it would make it rather quick to change the model for image exports.

You can download the plugin here: http://www.crai.archi.fr/RubyLibraryDepot/Ruby/Global_Material_Change_13.rb

Dave

Re: Adding Materials to Your Model

Regarding the making of seamless or tileable images, I have a freeware application that doesn't require PhotoShop that does a respectable job with many materials. Still, if you have a distinctive feature in a material image; a knot or flame, for example, even a seamless texture will look pretty bad.

Re: Adding Materials to Your Model

It seems to me there is a plugin to swap materials but I don't see it at the moment. I need to check my collection at home.

As far as creating views of a model with different materials, I guess you could do a couple of things. You could create copies of the components and paste them in place with each copy having a different layer association. Then make scenes for each version. You'd have to make each set of components unique from the others so that you could apply the materials to one without affecting the others. You would end up with something like this: Layers: Maple, Oak, Cherry, etc. and Scenes: Maple, Oak, Cherry, etc. I don't think that is a particularly elegant solution but it would work.

The other option would be to make image exports with the components painted with different materials. This is also not elegant but would work.

I'll report back after checking my Plugins folders at home.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

PghDave, are you working with the Camera set to Parallel Projection or Perspective? I work in Perspective mode while modeling. There aren't any special steps involved. Just zoom in so the end of the rail nearly fills the drawing window and then orbit to the side until you are in the rail.

You might try shifting to X-ray view so you can see where you're going a bit more easily.

Dave

Re: Adding Materials to Your Model

Hi Randy,

You can do image searches on Google for various wood species. Once in awhile you'll find usable materials. Here's an interesting website that has photographs of veneers. http://www.veneeronline.com/species.aspx?category=lwdbdl

Unfortunately many of the existing wood grain SketchUp libraries are not very good because the images are of too small an area which makes the pattern repeat too frequently to be believable.

Re: Finally, a Project I Really Want to Build

Tom, I look forward to seeing more of this project. I like the mock up idea. Michael's mock up was good, too.

telkwa has a point although seeing it full size so you can walk around it has a lot of advantages. Of course you know that you can learn SketchUp through the Design. Click. Build. blog right here on FineWoodworking.com.

Just for grins, I did a SketchUp mock up of your cabinet. I think it looks just fine. http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4062/4276384343_d973787df7.jpg

Re: Moldings By Follow Me

Jeff, I drew the path for Follow Me with the molding component open for editing. In the video, the path traces the top of the cabinet. After drawing those lines for the path, I selected them with the Select tool and then got the Follow Me tool. A single click on the profile with the Follow Me tool is all that is needed at that point.

Does that help?

Dave

Re: Modifying a Model

Jonas, modifying an existing model was kind of the point of this video. If I was drawing the bench from scratch, I would use exactly the same method I used in the video showing the drawing of the fern stand. I would only draw side or front components and flip the copies for the front/back as needed.

Re: Moldings By Follow Me

George, I happy to know that the tutorial was timely for you.

As to the woodgrain materials I have, most are just picked up here and there. The one I used on these Thos. Moser pieces looks to me like old cherry but it is called Ash. I don't remember where it came from specifically. If you drop me an e-mail, I'll send it to you.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Thank you Dustyface,

There are no limitations on using plugins with the free version of SketchUp. That said and since you're just starting out with the program, I would suggest getting familiar with the native tools before adding a bunch of plugins.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Swingman, I'm glad you got it to work.

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

I haven't heard back from my 'people' on this but I tried it on my Mac again and had no trouble at all. I wonder what's going on. I would like to help you get this worked out, though.

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

I wish we could edit comments.

I wonder if there's a difference between PC and Mac versions for this. I have put in a call to find out and will report back.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

I have the most current version of 7.1 Pro on my machine but this is something I've done for years. I've also done it on the free version.

Steve, perhaps we can hook up, too.

Re: "Components" in SketchUp

Jeff, further to Tim's remarks which are excellent, if you want to create the cove molding as a single entity rather than as separate 'sticks', trace around the top perimeter of the case with the Line tool. Do this while you are NOT editing any components or if you have made the molding profile a component, open that component for editing. Then temporarily hide the case components so you have easy access to the lines you drawn. Those lines will be the path for Follow Me. Select them, get the Follow Me tool and click on the molding profile. Once the extrusion is made, delete the path if it is not part of the molding. Finally, unhide the components you hid. Don't forget to make a component of the molding to protect it from other geometry.

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Jonas Mac, I'm sorry this is orbiting thing is giving you trouble. I certainly didn't mean for it to be a hard thing to do. There's nothing to invoke and nothing special to do as far as placing the camera. I use the center mouse button to switch to orbiting the camera as I move the camera into the rail.

E-mail me and let's see if we can arrange a time so I can do a demo for you. We'll get you over the hump, yet. Click on my name at the end of the blog post, above to send me an e-mail.

Dave

Re: "Components" in SketchUp

bduffin104, it sounds to me as if you missed opening the molding component for editing. This would cause the molding to disappear the first time you hit part of it with the Eraser. Remember that to modify a component, it must be opened for editing. Draw the angled plane, cutting plane, inside the component, run the intersect and then delete the unwanted stuff.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Jonas Mac, there's no collision detection so you just zoom in somewhat close and then orbit. Since SketchUp is a hollow modeler you can put the camera inside a component if you want. I use the center mouse button to orbit so it makes it very quick.

I open components for editing by double clicking on them with the Select tool.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Swingman, I use SnagIt8 for my screen capture. I tried a couple of free ones but had a lot of difficulty keeping the audio and video synchronized.

Jonas Mac, sorry for the confusion. When I edited the leg to insert the mortises, I orbited the camera so it was inside the rails. That allows me to trace the base of the tenons easily and accurately. Before orbiting the camera into the rail, I opened the leg for editing.

Does that help?

This method doesn't work for users who have set up SketchUp to hide other components while editing a component because the rail would then be hidden.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Jonas Mac,

Thank you for your comments and questions. I'll address some of them below and the rest in a future blog post(s).

"2) Components + Flipping - The value of making components ( and making them before you move on to the next piece ) is very well illustrated and is clearly a fundamental element in Sketchup. I still am a bit hazy on the need for flipping and would appreciate some further explanation on this aspect of components particularly as it can save you time in other situations."

First, the command is "Flip" but if you read that as "Mirror", it may make more sense.

There are several reasons for flipping components. In the case of the legs for this table, the mortises are the same on the inside faces and you could get away with rotating each copy 90° from the previous one. This would result in the back face of the left front leg being the left face of the right front leg. Now suppose the mortises on the left/right faces aren't the same as on the front/back faces. You would end up with mismatched mortises. Rotating could also cause problems for details drawn on the legs.

In the case of the rails on the table, again, for this table it wouldn't make much difference if the copies were rotated end for end. They would look the same in the model. However, suppose you wanted to modify the model and make it a rectangular table. If you move the right end of the front rail components to the right, the left end of the rear rail components would move left. It's not the end of the world because you can then move the rear components to the right to get them in the right place. On the other hand, with the rear rail components flipped (mirrored) when you move the right end of the front rails, the right end of the rear rails would shift right as well and would eliminate the need to move the rear rails over into the correct location.

There are a number of other reasons for flipping components. think of a bookcase. If you don't flip one side, the dadoes drawn on the inside face of one side will be on the outside of the other. If you rotated one side, the dadoes would look alright but suppose you decide to knock 3/4" off their width to allow for a face frame. If you take that 3/4" off the front edge of the left side, it comes off the back of the rotated right side. I could probably come up with a couple of dozen other examples but I think you get the point.

For my method of work, even if it would make any difference in the appearance of the current model whether I Rotate or Flip components, I choose to flip them. It isn't all that unusual for me to go back and edit components to change the model. The Flip command is quick and easy and can save loads of frustration later.

Note that the side rails in my model are instances of the front rail components so they would end up being extended. If I didn't want their dimensions to change, I would select one set, either sides or front/rear and use the Make Unique command to break the relationship. then the front and rear components will be edited together and the side components will be edited together.

"3) Opening Up Cpmponents to Edit - In the demonstration you opened up the leg component to facilitate editing for receiving the rail tenons . Presumably that means removing a face and restoring it after your done editing?"

No, I didn't actually remove any face when I created the mortises on the legs except those remaining faces after the intersection of the crossing mortises. To make the mortises themselves, I traced the base of the tenon with the Rectangle tool and used Push/Pull to push that rectangle in. I orbit the camera inside the rail so I'm looking at the base end of the tenon and the face of the leg when I draw the rectangle for the mortise. This eliminates any need to layout the mortise and if I trace the tenon, the mortise has to be the right size and if the rail is in the right place to begin with, the mortise must be properly located as well. Saves time and reduces errors.

"4) Intersecting - In the video you demonstrated a manoeuvre using Intersect ,allowing you to clean up the mortices receiving the tenons on the rails. I didn't get exactly what was happening - Could you elaborate further just on that bit?"
After pushing in the second mortise, the two intersect each other. In that particular case, SketchUp doesn't remove the faces that would be removed if you were cutting the mortises in actual wood. The vertical faces that cross each other aren't intersected either. You can tell because there's no vertical line at their intersection. I selected all of that geometry and ran Intersect>Intersect Selected to get the required intersections. Then I deleted the unneeded edges and faces to clean that up. That stuff probably wouldn't make a lot of difference in a small model but if you have a lot of that in a larger model, it can cause file size bloat because of the extra edges and faces. Even though I'm usually the only one that could see that stuff, I think it is sloppy workmanship to leave it so I clean it up.

"5) Visual Appearance of Final Drawing - For me the addition of the textures added enormously to the final image , I have no doubt that a client would appreciate it as well . I am aware that your posting was mainly concerned with the drawing process but would appreciate a little explanation of how you achieved the finish on the drawing."

You're right. the aim of this video was to demonstrate the construction of the model; the woodworking, if you will. I'll cover adding the materials in another post. For this model, though, it was extremely simple and fast and there's not much to see. I'll make it a little more interesting though for the post.

Thanks for your interest. The questions are always good.

Happy New Year,

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Glad to hear that Randy. Maybe I need to have you check the sound levels before I post my videos.

Happy New Year.

-Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Randy, I've edited the video to increase the sound volume. Let me know how it sounds for you. Thanks.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Steve, drop me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of my post.

One thing you might find useful is to add 'handles' to the part that give you easy places to get hold of it for rotating in the desired axis. These 'handles' can be simple faces that are oriented either horizontally, vertically or both. There are a few other tricks that I can try to demonstrate as well.

Dave

Re: A Fern Stand: Demonstrating My Drawing Process

Randy, I'm glad you were able to get something out of this. Sorry about the sound. It was quite loud on my home machine but on my work machine, I also find it rather hard to hear. I'll see if I can fix the audio and replace the video file tonight.

Happy New Year to you as well.

Dave

Re: Dovetail Joints in SketchUp Made Easy

Glad that took care of it. Normally I also start my models at the origin as well but because this plugin does the same thing, it's a good idea to move the rest of the model down the red axis a bit. Or you could temporarily hide the component that is hiding the dovetail lines so you can move them away after they've been created.

Dave

Re: Building with Choke Cherry - Part II

That's beautiful wood. My father-in-law picks choke cherries every year to make jam. I never thought about using the wood, though. I'd better not cut his favorite trees, though.

Have you thought about exposing your samples to sunlight for a few weeks? I'd be interested to know what happens to the colors with UV exposure.

Re: Dovetail Joints in SketchUp Made Easy

smaher, the plugin draws the layout of the dovetail joint working up from the origin. Is it possible that your box is covering the lines drawn by the plugin?

Have you tried just running the plugin with a blank drawing window?

Note that I ran the plugin outside the components and then copied it into the components to actually cut the joints.

e-mail me about this if you wish.

Dave

Re: How to Use SketchUp to Get the Most from a Digital Woodworking Plan

Jon, go to Window>Model Info>Units. This is where you'll make the change in units and can adjust precision if desired. If you want keep that units choice for future new models, see Tim's recent post about customizing your template.

Dave

Re: Wrapping Beadboard Around a Curved Surface

Don,
Thank you. The link I posted goes to the Sketchucation Forum site. You need to be registered there to access downloads. The file will be at the end of the first post in the thread I linked to.

As to the images posted with blog entries, they're posted on the FWW servers. I'm not sure about the log in requirements to see the images. I'm always logged in when I'm working on the blog.

Dave

Re: A Pad-Foot Leg in SketchUp

Hi Croc, yes, it would be possible to do a similar foot on a cabriole leg. Tim has shown making Cabriole legs using crossing profiles so you would end up with something similar to what you would get after cutting the leg out on the bandsaw on two faces. Another option would be to use Follow Me on the leg profile with the path drawn so you create the outside shape of the leg. Then do another follow me operation for the inner profile of the leg and intersect those two shapes. The foot itself could be done much as I did it here and added to the rest of the leg.

I hope that makes some sense. I'll try to get a demo done one of these days soon.

Dave

Re: New-Fangled Workbench: An Exercise in Control

Oliver, would you please contact me via e-mail? drkr4109 at gmail dot com.

Thank you.
Dave

Re: New-Fangled Workbench: An Exercise in Control

Oliver, pipe dimensions are given as the inside diameter of the pipe. 1/2" iron pipe has a nominal outside diameter of .840 or about 27/32.

As to why copper caps? I don't know. Perhaps he had them on hand or maybe they were cheaper than iron caps especially if the pipe isn't threaded at that end as he might have had to pay to have the ends threaded.

I see in a photograph of the bench that the hardboard cover on the planing beam does appear to be as wide as the planing beam itself. (5") It probably wouldn't make any difference if you make it 4" wide or the full width since that extra inch isn't really usable anyway.

As to getting SketchUp to show dimensions, they aren't there unless you put them in. You could generate a report or run a cutlist and get the dimensions in tabular form but there's no automatic way to have the dimensions show in the drawing.

Dave

Re: Another Look at Creating Plans From a SketchUp Model

Croc, when you create a new scene with a style different from the current one or you change a style and update the scene to show it, you should get a dialog box titled, "Warning - Scenes and Styles." This box has three radio buttons. You should select the top one, "Save as a new style." If you aren't getting that dialog box, go to Preferences>General and check "Warn of style changes when creating scenes."

Let me know how that works for you.

Dave

Re: More Quick Dimensioning Tips

Croc, that is a good tip although you must be careful if you have other things hidden and choose Unhide>All or if you use View>Hidden Geometry, the dimension lines show as dashed lines and there'll be a dashed line box around the text box. Better to put the dimensions on their own layer so you have control over when they are visible and when they aren't.

Dave

Re: A Look at the Rotate Tool

Art, I'm sorry it wasn't working for you. It is running for me right now as I type. Could you please try again?

Dave

Re: Adding a Bullnose

Rooms,

Thank you.

There is a link to a Zip file at the bottom of that first post in the thread about the plugin. In a similar way, if you follow the very first link in that post to the LibFredo file, you'll find a link to that ZIP file at the bottom of the first post in that thread. There's also a link to a version with a Spanish translation in that post.

Dave

Re: Plywood Edge - Creating a New Material in SketchUp

Sam, I thought of something else. Having two materials applied to the faces in a component (plywood edge and a face grain) may cause some problems with the cutlist. I would suggest that you add one of the sheet material words to the component's Definition Name instead of adding it to the Material. I use the Definition Name for this because I generally don't apply materials when making drawings for cutlists.

Re: Plywood Edge - Creating a New Material in SketchUp

Sam, in order for the components to show in the sheet goods portion of the cutlist you need to use one of the sheet goods words in the material or in the component name. Refer to the first cutlist dialog box for those names. Or you can add your own names to be recognized as sheet goods in that window.

Dave

Re: Crash Course in Fine Homebuilding: Build a Classic Colonial Shed

Hi Gina,

It wasn't so different drawing the shed but I did need to learn some things about that sort of construction that were new to me. The SketchUp end of it is actually quite basic stuff. I had fun working out a way to indicate the cedar shingles on the ends without actually drawing individual shingles. That was much easier than it would have been a few years ago before the Combine Textures option.

Dave

Re: Dovetail Joints in SketchUp Made Easy

Yes. That is a known issue but the work around isn't hard. I haven't heard from the author since I posted this blog entry and it doesn't appear that there's an updated version so decimal entries it'll have to be.

Re: Crash Course in Fine Homebuilding: Build a Classic Colonial Shed

Being intimately familiar with the construction of that shed, I found I knew very little about that sort of woodworking. I learned a lot watching the videos so far. And my wife wants to get rid of the shed I built a few years ago and start over. It is certainly a nice shed and the videos are great.

Dave

Re: A Look at the Rotate Tool

Jonas, I'm happy that there was some clarification but I'm sorry if that wasn't clear enough. If there isn't a good surface to reference off of as in rotating the single plane. It is click and hold as you click on the the center of rotation and drag along the rotation axis. Then click for the start of the rotation and drag around to the desired angle or at least in the right direction before entering the rotation angle. It is still really a two-click operation. Note that the axis of rotation doesn't have to be along an edge on the thing being rotated.

Jake, thank you. I'm glad that helped. I really don't want there to be any mystery to these tools. With the combination of the Tape Measure and yellow Protractor tool, you can work out some really cool things using the rotate tool.

Dave

Re: Making the Wooden Hinged Table Leaf Support

Jonas, I'm glad that worked and that the Move tutorial helped. You have a good suggestion and I'll do that next.

Re: Design. Click. Build. Has a New Home!

Ian, typing an 8 would make it difficult indeed. Glad you got it sorted. I use the * on the number keypad. -Dave

Re: Making the Wooden Hinged Table Leaf Support

I hope Tim doesn't mind. I'm going to guess you are referring to the line created at the join between the straight line and the radius. Try running over that edge with the Eraser tool while holding Ctrl (Option on the Mac). This will soften that edge. You could also select the geometry including the line, right click to open the Context menu (you discovered why it is called the Context menu) and choose Smooth/Soften. -Dave

Re: Design. Click. Build. Has a New Home!

Ian, I'm not quite sure I follow you on the backwards part. Perhaps you could drop me an e-mail and clarify?

As to the bed slats multiplying, this an example of making a linear array. There are two ways to do that. Both start by using Option+Move (Ctrl+Move on the the PC) to make the first copy of the original. If you know the distance between components, move the first copy that distance. Type in the distance and hit Enter to set the copy accurately. Then type *n, Enter where n is the number of copies. You can also type n*, xn or nx. The should all work. If you know the total length of the run of slats, which is more likely in the case of a bed, place the initial copy at the opposite end of the run, again using Option+Move. Then type /n, Enter or n/, Enter. Either of those should work.

Does that help?

Dave

Re: Make It Fit

If the offset distance was greater, your point would be valid. As it is in this model, the difference between the orthogonal distance and the radial distance is less that 1/128" and inconsequential. In any case I did use the radial distance.

Re: Another New Plugin with Great Potential for Woodworkers

Jeff, click on my name at the end of the blog post.

Re: Another New Plugin with Great Potential for Woodworkers

Jeff, out of curiosity, have you gone to Preferences>Extensions and checked all of the boxes? Preferences can be found under Window on PC and under SketchUp on the Mac.

Another thing to do is open the Ruby Console and try running the plugin. Do you get any sort of message in the console? If so, perhaps you could copy it and e-mail it to me.

Dave

Re: Another New Plugin with Great Potential for Woodworkers

Jeff, I'm not sure why the problem. I'll look into it though. Did you install progressbar.rb too?

Dave

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Shop Drawings for Greene & Greene Furniture by Robert W. Lang

I'd love to have this one in my collection.

Re: A Look at the Move Tool

Tonto2, Thank you.

Perhaps I don't understand what you mean by "see through". The cursor (Move tool in this case) won't "see through" an entity to reference to something behind it. The exception is that the entity being moved can be between the grabbed point the camera. The cursor can then reference to a point or instersection which is also hidden by the moving entity.

If you need to reference to something behind another entity, you could switch to wire frame view or temporarily hide the intervening entity. In some cases it might be possible to move the reference point or create a new one that is visible. If you can lock your move in the correct direction, the reference point to which you are moving the entity can be off to the side. You could make a reference point out in space with a couple of intersecting guidelines.

Does that help? You could e-mail me if you wish. I'd be happy to converse more.

Dave

Re: A Look at the Move Tool

Hi Larry,

I'm glad this was helpful for you.

Might I suggest that you try building all of the parts while working in the same scene? This can eliminate a lot of the Move operations needed to assemble the project. If you want to use various scenes to show those parts individually, it is easy to move copies away from the original model. You don't need quite the degree of accuracy in the Move operation if you are just dragging a copy of a component or a sub-assembly because you only need to drag it away far enough to get it clear of other views.

The Hide tool is very useful indeed for temporarily hiding something to open up your view.

Dave

Re: Creating a Hinge in SketchUp

Tonto2, I'm glad you are finding some methods that work for you. There is more that I think you'll find helpful. My next blog post is going to be on the Move tool. I hope you'll check that out.

Dave

Re: Another Look at Creating Plans From a SketchUp Model

Thanks. I used a found image of stained paper as a watermark image and added a sketchy line style over it. The image showing the table with the top removed was done with the same style as the first but I zoomed back a ways and then cropped the image tightly.

Re: Creating a Hinge in SketchUp

My apologies. I had no intention of being insulting.

I don't know why you are finding that SketchUp doesn't "pick up the presence of the second part." I have never had that happen.

As to assembling components in complex models, building them in place is entirely possible even for parts assembled concentrically on a shaft. If you want to make the parts separately and assemble them afterward, one option would be to place the component axes to give you a desired insertion point. Then you can use guidelines or other references in the model to aid in placing the components.

If you'd like, I would be happy to set up a "live" demonstration with you. Just send me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of one of my blog posts.

Dave

Re: Plugins - An Updated List

jhrob, remember that this is a plugin. the ZIP file should be extracted into the Plugins folder under SketchUp. You'll end up with a file called CutListAndMaterials.rb which is 155Kb and a folder called cutlistui. Both of them need to be in the Plugins folder. Then restart SketchUp.

Re: Creating a Hinge in SketchUp

Hopefully Tim doesn't mind me chiming in to answer Tonto's question.

The trick to assembling 3D parts is to use some logic when grabbing one with the Move tool. Grab the component you are moving at a point that will correspond with a point on the other component. You may still need to orient your view differently but you are working in 3D after all.

Tim and I both advocate drawing with the parts assembled in the first place which reduces the need to move components quite so much.

The guideline created with the Tape Measure tool and the Protractor tool could be used as paths for the Move tool if needed. The tool will easily follow the guideline.

Dave

Re: Drawing a Turning Gouge

I forgot to say thank you.

Thank you.

Dave

Re: Drawing a Turning Gouge

Hello Drake, I think I understand what you're asking about. I can make up something about doing the intersection. As far as getting the materials to be applied to the new faces, you could do this: Assume your "Rubik's cube" is made of two different kinds of wood (walnut and maple) and for ease of description, you want to turn this cube into a sphere. Make all of the geometry for the walnut blocks one component and all of the rest a second component. In this case you won't make each small block of wood a component.

Draw the sphere and make a copy of it. Paint one sphere with the walnut material and the other in maple. Cut (Ctrl+X) each sphere in turn and put it inside the corresponding component. Run the intersect and delete the waste. When you've done this for each wood, you should have everything painted as you wish.

I'll try to demonstrate that but it'll take me a few days to get to it.

Dave

Re: Solutions for splinters

Tom, sometimes I find I can scrape a sliver out with the edge of a utility knife blade. Just drag the blade in the opposite direction that the sliver went in.

Packing tape is sometimes useful for getting hold of a sliver, too.

Re: Dovetail Joints in SketchUp Made Easy

I just tried it with a 3" long run of dovetails with no problem. Here's a link to a JPG export of the result.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3547/3825134906_48533f30d1_o.jpg

Perhaps you could send me the SKP file showing the problem you run into?

Dave

Re: Upholstering Your Furniture

Nick, I'm glad you got it worked out. Good on Josef, indeed.

Still I wonder why you had difficulty with it.

Dave

Re: Upholstering Your Furniture

Hi Nick,

That's odd. Several people reported to me that they had managed just fine on Wednesday and I did it a few minutes ago with no problem. Maybe it is fixed.

Dave

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: Creating a Fine Art Entry Table by Robert Ortiz

This looks like an interesting table and book.

Re: Another Look at Creating Plans From a SketchUp Model

John, thank you.

Check out the WoodenBoat Store. You can download the PDF of the original plan for this table. That's what I worked from. Although the document I made is much more detailed than the file they offer, I got everything from that one sheet.

Dave

Re: Placing Components

Joel, there isn't any way to post files in comments to the blog. You can contact me via e-mail by clicking on my name at the end of the blog entry.

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

Douce, no you don't need to purchase the pro version. At least I wouldn't recommend that until you've gotten to the point where you can't do what you want to do with the free version. I expect you won't find a need to buy the pro version at all.

As to how to get started with SketchUp, I would suggest watching the tutorial videos on the SketchUp site itself. Also lok through the blog entries here. Don't forget to look at the archives from the old blog platform. there's a link on the right side of the main Design. Click. Build. page.

Drop me an e-mail if you'd like and I'll set you up with some additional stuff.

Re: Placing Components

Joel, that sounds like an interesting plugin. I'd be interested in trying your plugin.

In SketchUp it is certainly easy enough to place copies of a component such as table legs all at the same height with just the native Move tool and its copy function. Although I didn't show it in the video for this blog post, I would normally only drag in one copy of a leg component if I already had it drawn. Then I would simply copy that component as needed around the rest of the model using the Move tool.

Re: Adding Details

Hi Sharon,

Thanks.

By simplifying the assembly into components, there may be a chance of re-using the components in other models so not only is it efficient for the current model, it can save time later as well.

Tim's the guy who did these turnings originally. I'm currently sans lathe.

Welding the edges referred to using the Weld plugin (I've got a link to it in the last post I made about plugins. to weld the line segments together so they act as a single entity. Circles and arcs, while made up of multiple line segments, act as single entities when selected or for operations such as Push/Pull and Follow Me. If a profile is made up of a combination of arcs and line segments, edges will show from those intersections after either Push/Pull or Follow Me. These edges can be cleaned up with either the Soften option from the Context menu or by holding Ctrl (Option on Mac) while running over the edges with the Eraser tool. Welding the edges beforehand eliminates the need to do either one of those things.

Follow Me explodes curves so if you copy the profile off the end of the resulting geometry to use it later, you'll find you need to reweld or later soften the edges. I would guess that Tim had already run Follow Me on the profile before he sent it to me which meant I ended up with the results shown in the first image of the turned shape.

The Weld plugin also comes in handy when you have a lot of edges to select for copying or other operations. You can make it possible to select a whole string of line segments with a single click.

To see a very simple difference with welded and unwelded edges, draw a circle and then next to it, draw a 24-sided polygon. Use Push/Pull to pull them up to 3D. Notice the difference between the two. Before Push/Pull, they look identical. The difference though is that the circle's segments are welded together while the polygon's edges aren't.

Re: Plugins - An Updated List

jdspdx, Bezierspline is indeed a useful tool.

FWIW, if you've checked the Examples box under Window>Preferences>Extensions (SketchUp>Preferences>Extensions on the Mac), you'll get Point at Center in the Context menu if you right click on a circle of an arc. If the circle has been exploded as it would be after a Follow Me operation, Point at Center won't work. Then Centerpoint.rb can be useful.

Dave

Re: Placing Components

mrossk,

Is there an echo in here? ;)

This is a good question. In the case of a splayed table leg, I would leave the component axes aligned with the global axes so that the leg would come in aligned correctly. I would move the component axes to a top corner or the top center of the leg though. After the legs are placed I would then Change axes on the leg component so the bounding box fits more efficiently around the leg to make the cutlist make sense.

If you make a component of that sort in a current model, save the component in your "Legs" library before you change the axes on that one. Clearly this is one of those things where you need to be thinking ahead a little farther than just, "I wonder what's for lunch." I'm not always so good at that part.

Dave (now wondering what's for lunch)

Re: Placing Components

CS, I used a screen capture application to record what I did on the screen and Windows Moviemaker for the rest.

Re: Plywood Edge - Creating a New Material in SketchUp

Sorry. I usually include my e-mail address at the end of my blog posts. Here it is: drkr4109@gmail.com

Re: Plywood Edge - Creating a New Material in SketchUp

Ed, I'm sorry you're having trouble with it. Is it possible you used two wood grain materials instead of a wood grain and a color?

I did a quick little video grab showing what happens when I used a texture and a color. You can see it here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8294157@N08/3731366419/

If you don't get it sorted out soon, send me the SKP file and I'll take a look.

Re: Difficult Dimension Placement

Another option is to temporarily make hidden geomtry visible (View menu) and apply the dimension to either the longest hidden edge or between edges as appropriate. The dimension will still be visible when the geometry is hidden again and it will update with changes to the component.

Re: Another Look at Creating Plans From a SketchUp Model

scrudriver, I believe I answered that question in my reply to Chuck.

Re: Maloof Rocker - Roughing into SketchUp

I believe Tim's comment regarding smoothing had nothing to do with the actual chair. Instead, I believe he was referring to smoothing in the SketchUp model. Since the model as it is serves its purpose, there would little value in investing time and effort into doing that.

Dave

Re: Another New Plugin with Great Potential for Woodworkers

Baben,

The link to the Bend plugin was given at the top of the article but I've added a link to it at the bottom of the article along with a link to Bezier.rb.

Dave

Re: Another Look at Creating Plans From a SketchUp Model

Chuck, I imagine you're right that most wooworkers are using the free version of sketchUp and thus wouldn't have access to Layout.

As I mentioned under the image of the plan's front page, you could make image exports (File>Export>) and then import those images into a word processor such as MSWord and create the plan document there. Or you could use a program such as Illustrator for that. There are some drawbacks to working that because you won't have a direct link to the SketchUp model so if you edit the model after starting to create the document, you'll need to re-export the affected images and replace the out of date images in the document.

You can put leader and screen text right in the SketchUp model if you wish. You'll probably want to make additional layers for controlling the visibility of that text since you probably won't want to see the same text in all views.

Actually, if you can get what you need right out of sketchUp, you could just print from SketchUp or make the 2D exports and print them. I suppose it depends upon your audience for the plan.

Dave

Re: Create Shop Drawings

Ken,

Take a look at the image at this link: http://finewoodworking.taunton.com/assets/uploads/posts/2364/FP_Cabinet_Overall_xl.jpg from my blog entry here: http://finewoodworking.taunton.com/item/2364/creating-a-project-plan-in-sketchup

In it you can see my set up for a cabinet with exploded views and so on. In the lower left corner you can see the entire cabinet. that was the original drawing in that case. Then I copied the model to another location in the drawing space and pulled that copy apart to make the exploded view.

If you move the components in your original copy of the model, they will show that way in any scene you make. You need to make a separate copy of the model to explode for the exploded views.

Hopefully that will give you some ideas.

Dave

Re: Compound Curves -- A Contemporary Drawer Pull

I'm glad you had good luck with this.

As to the image quality, most of those images are screen grabs. The two images of the pull in brown are JPG exports and the original 2D image with the reversed faces is what was sent to me. All the rest are direct screen shots though.

Re: FreeScale 2.0a Beta

Marinho,

No worries about calling me David. My mother used to call me that, too. When she used my middle name I knew I was in trouble. :)

You are correct. The current version is f. To my knowledge, the only place to download it is from the first post in the thread I linked to on the Sketchucation forum. You will have to register there to be able to download it. That's not such a bad thing though.

Regards,

Dave

Re: Layers, Scenes, Dimensions and Construction Drawings

Randy, could you send me the CSV file that is giving you trouble? I'll take a look.

Dave

Re: Layers, Scenes, Dimensions and Construction Drawings

Hi Randy,

You can force the board foot calculation to look at all components less than one inch thick as if they were one inch by checking the 4/4 box at Use Nominal Sizes. Click on the Layout tab and then the Boards tab to get to it. Then also check other nominal sizes as needed for the thicker parts.

Remember you can also determine whether thick boards will get split as well as wide boards. there are settings for board width and length as well.

Dave

Re: UPDATE: Unlocking the Secrets of Traditional Design

Interesting

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Steve, it may be that a future version of SketchUp will allow one to set a default browser even if the default browser isn't IE. Unfortunately that's not within my control.

The SVG file is a graphics file. It will open in Firefox and I think Safari. I open it in Inkscape, which I mentioned above in the blog post. There I can manipulate the image as if it was any other image file and I can put several layout images on a page for printing.

Although it may not be apparent, I have participated in a number of forums (not all of them woodworking related) and get notifications of replies. Design. Click. Build. is a blog format, however, and not a forum.

Regards,

Dave

Re: Create Shop Drawings II

If I may add... there is an alternative to creating a screen shot of a table for insertion into Layout.

I open the CSV file in Excel and adjust its appearance there. I usually end up rearranging rows and deleting some columns. Then I copy and paste it into Word. There I convert it from table to text and then save it as an RTF file. I also usually end up changing the font style and size before saving.

Next it is on to Layout. I go to File>Insert and choose the RTF file I just saved. It gets imported into a text box automatically. The text can be edited as in any other text box, the font and size can be changed if desired and so on.

As with SketchUp, there's almost always more than one way to get a job done.

Dave

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Steve, I think the browser thing is driven by SketchUp. Have you tried opening the SketchUp Help resources? I believe it will use IE, too.

You can save the layout images by checking the SVG file and the CSV file of course. I'll pass on your comments to him regarding other options.

FWIW, the files are being saved into the same directory where the SKP file resides. This seems to be a fairly common thing with a number of plugins that output files of one sort or another. I'm not familiar enough with the script to know if that's just a convenience or if there's some reason why we don't get an option of Save in... location.

Dave

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Hi Steve, I'm glad you got it worked out. Without looking at the rb file, I wouldn't have figured out that you had a copy of the other cutlist plugin installed.

FWIW, the current cutlist plugin (Version 4.x) is written by a different guy than the earlier one but they worked together for a short time and the new plugin is based on the old one. I think you'll agree that the new one is a major improvement over the old one.

I always make it a habit of replacing .rb files when I update. Weird things happen when you have multiple copies or mix an old copy of an rb file with new support files.

As to getting e-mails for threads (blog entries) you're following, I'm not sure it's possible. I don't get notification when someone comments on my entries either.

Dave

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Steve, is this the first install of SketchUp 7 for you? Or did you uninstall and reinstall it? Have you gone to Window>Preferences>Extensions and checked all of the boxes you find there?

Out of curiosity, open the model that doesn't work for you. Go to Window>Model Info>Statistics. Set the drop down box to Entire Model and check the box for Show Nested Components. How many component instances and component definitions does it indicate there are in the model? Does this jive with what you think there are?

The author of the plugin told me he had a similar report from a user. The user sent the model that was giving him trouble but the author couldn't duplicate the behavior. The user ended up reinstalling SU and the problem went away.

Drop me an e-mail and we'll see if we can take this farther.

Dave

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Steve, I'll look into it and post here again.

Dave

Re: FreeScale 2.0a Beta

Afaque, the link is in the second line of the text. The plugin is available on the Sketchucation forum. You do have to sign up and log in there to be able to download the plugin.

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

David, I'm not familiar with Appleworks but there may be an import function. Another route would be to use Google Docs since it will import CSV files.

Good luck.

Dave

Re: Layers, Scenes, Dimensions and Construction Drawings

Hi Mike, Glad to know that helped. Keep plugging away.

Dave

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

David, the Print button is disabled at this point so it's not you nor is it your Mac. You can export a CSV file which can be opened in a spreadsheet application such as Excel. You can then print that. I end up manipulating that table anyway to delete some info that I don't need so opening it in Excel is a good thing.

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

I don't know exactly what will be included in the next update but I understand there are improvements in the works for the plugin. as far as importing the images into Layout, you can do that now if you convert them to PNG or JPG files from SVG. I don't know if it is possible to get the plugin to generate a different image file, though. SVG files are vector based while JPGs and PNGs are raster based.

Re: Converting a Follow Me Molding to Separate Components

Hi Phil,

You wouldn't be able to move the side moulding component and adjust the length of the front one at the same time but it isn't difficult to make the modification. To change the length of the front moulding piece, open that component for editing and drag a left to right selection box around the end that needs to be longer. Make sure you get the entire end of the moulding included in the selection. You could also double click on the face of the miter but the selection box is quick when you can't see that face. Next get the Move tool and move the selection in the direction needed and type the distance followed by the enter key. Close the moulding component by selecting the side component or clicking out in space with the Select tool.

With the side moulding component selected, get the Move tool and move the component the same distance that you moved the end of the front.

It takes longer to read this than to do it. Unfortunately the same thing doesn't work on real wood.

Cheers,

Dave

Re: Using the Shape Bender Plugin

Andy, the link is to the Sketchucation forum thread where the plugin is available.

I'd like to see some of your drawings from this sometime.

Dave

Re: Using the Shape Bender Plugin

Kent, there are some more basic tutorials on the old blog. Click on Archive in the box on the right side of the page that contains "About Deisgn. Click. Build."

E-mail me and perhaps we could set up a little time for a one on one tutorial time.

drkr4109@gmail.com

Re: Using the Shape Bender Plugin

Tenbears, please contact me via e-mail and we'll see if we can get you sorted out.

Did you download progressbar.rb?

Re: Using the Shape Bender Plugin

Thanks Nick. That does work although I find it somewhat erratic. I actually tried to use that when setting up the video and I couldn't get the inference to work along the green axis line. It does sometimes work however. If you have a drawn line or a guideline your method will work all the time.

I use both methods depending on what I'm doing.

Dave

Re: Breadboard Joinery for the Table Top

I hope Tim doesn't mind me chiming in. The Intersect operation won't modify the breadboard component unless the component is open for editing. It's essentially the same as any other modification you might want to do (except Scaling). You have to be editing the component to make any changes to it.

Dave

Re: Another New Plugin with Great Potential for Woodworkers

Bill, you're welcome. it's a fluid thing right now. V0.25, or 2.5, depending on what you read, was just released.

Re: Axes in SketchUp

Have you tried the rotate tool? Select all of the geometry and rotate it about the origin 90°.

You can also realign the global axes. Click on Tools>Axes and then set them as you would a component's axes.

When I import a 2D CAD file that needs to be oriented vertically, I generally just rotate it so it is standing up before I get busy and draw anything else.

Let me know how you get on with that.

Dave

Re: Axes in SketchUp

Bill, I'm aware of those images. They are nice photos. I would suggest that before using them, though, you resize them. They are much larger (higher resolution) than you need for SketchUp and could create performance issues on your computer. JPG file sizes of 100 to 200 KB should be just fine for materials.

Re: FreeScale 2.0a Beta

I do try to control it. I didn't have any problem with it on my computer.

Re: Axes in SketchUp

Hi Bill,

Yes, I do have a lot of wood grain materials in my library. Unfortunately very few of them are of much use and I probably should delete them. They've been collected from a number of sources. I mainly find materials as images in Google searches. You need to be selective in your choices of images for materials. Large files should be reduced in size to prevent them from bogging down your computer. Highly figured woods and those with distintive features such as knots don't tend to work well because the features will end up repeating. Images of straight grained woods tend to work the best. Also keep in mind that photos of actual wood need to be evenly lit or they will look strange in the model.

You can import any image into SketchUp and use it as a material. You should give it a try.

Dave

Re: Axes in SketchUp

Of course personal tuition is hard to beat.

Re: Axes in SketchUp

Hi Pickles,

I haven't seen any books specific to SketchUp and woodworking. SketchUp was designed originally as a sketching tool for architects and thuse the books that are out there tend to lean more toward showing its use for that.

If you've got specific questions about using the program, I'm happy to help. You can contact me directly via e-mail (click on my name at the end of the blog entries) or search through the blog posts here on Design. Click. Build. Specific questions are more easily handled via e-mail, though.

If you're in the Northwest part of the US, I'll be teaching a couple of SketchUp classes in June in Port Townsend, WA. You might be interested in signing up for one of those.

Dave

Re: Drawing a Turning Gouge

DaveS, that's nice to read. I'm glad that there was something to spur you to think in sort of out of the box ways about approaching things. That's always part of my goal with these sort of odd videos.

Re: More on Mirroring with Flip Along

Scaling that way, John, will work if you don't hold Ctrl which invokes scale about center and you push from the correct handle.

Re: FreeScale 2.0a Beta

It's pretty hard to keep up with Fredo.

So when will we see your plugin?

Re: FreeScale 2.0a Beta

I woke up this morning to discover that a new revision was released over night. It's now 2.0b. Don't for get to follow the the directions in the link I included.

Dave

Re: Drawing a Turning Gouge

Jack, my lines are thin because I've unchecked Profiles in the Edge styles settings dialog. Go to Window>Styles and click on the edit tab. See the image here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v506/weekender410/Styles.jpg

You can make that change part of your starting template by making editing the setting along with other settings such as the back face color. Mine is set to green as shown on the cylinder in the screen grab linked to, above. You can also change background color if you wish. Mine is set to white. Then go to File>Save as Template, give the file a name and check Use as default template. Then save it. Do this with a blank drawing so you don't have the template opening with the something you've already drawn.

There are some additional settings you can adjust for your starting template. These include increasing Precision and removing Length Snapping if you wish. Change these settings under Window>Model Info>Units.

Dave

Re: Drawing a Turning Gouge

Yes, I know the inferencing tools extremely well as well as the arrow keys and yes, they have no real world equivalents.

Re: Turning a 2D Sketch Into a 3D Component

Ron, I'm guessing you're referring to this one. http://blogs.taunton.com/n/blogs/blog.aspx?nav=main&webtag=fw-designforum&entry=100

Will that give you what you need to know?

Dave

Re: Creating an Animation in SketchUp

Yes, I have a lot of plugins. I haven't made a current list of them but I will say there are very few that actually get used. I have them because of the instructing I do. Don't install plugins or at least don't keep them installed unless they are useful to you. They slow down start up and clutter menus.

As far a dovetail plugin, I've not seen any let alone a "good one." Dovetails are simple to draw manually--you only need to lay out and draw a single socket. The rest is all copying (Ctrl+Move) and Push/Pull. I've heard of a couple of people saying they were working on plugins to do this but I've never seen any results.

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Glad you got it to work. As I said in my previous comment, the Layout part doesn't work on Mac. You can check the SVG box and it'll save SVG image files of the layout for you.

Dave

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Norman,

Did you extract the folder and file from the ZIP file into the Plugins folder? This plugin will work on Mac except for the HTML display of the layout. You can export SVG files to circumvent that problem though.

Cost is a plugin example that is packed with SketchUp.

Re: More Quick Dimensioning Tips

Brice, I think I have done something related to using scenes and layers to create an animation but I've just posted a new one for you.

Dave

Re: Components Make Quick Work

Thank you Scott. Actually I should say, "Nice work" to you. I just drew what I saw.

Re: How Much Wood Will It Take?

Randy, you're welcome. Yes, the plugin will work just fine on the free version of SketchUp.

Dave

Re: Jig Design in SketchUp - A Little Reverse Engineering

Bob, yes. It's a known issue and it's being worked on.

Re: The Effectiveness of Imported Scanned Images

RundD has a good point about using a large dimension from the original to set the size properly but it is also a good idea to check with a crossing dimension because it isn't unusual to end up with an image that isn't scaled exactly the same in both directions during scanning.

-Dave

Re: A Pad-Foot Leg in SketchUp

I'd have to buy a lathe first. ;)

It was spelled out in the article I referenced but in a nutshell, there are two centers for turning. One is the vertical axis for the foot. The other is the slightly angled axis for the rest of the leg.

Dave

Re: Style Settings for Woodworking

Hoop36, Print Screen works fine in Windows XP. It is still supported.

I'm sorry that printing from the blog isn't working for you. Unfortunately, Tim and I have no options for making any changes along that line. The folks who do are aware of the issue and I'm sure it will be fixed when it can be.

Dave

Re: Style Settings for Woodworking

Like Tim, I also don't care for the heavy dark Profile edges when I am drawing and I've unchecked the box. I also don't want to see a horizon line and instead use a white background while drawing. I prefer to maintain face orientation with back faces are always on the inside so I set my face back color to something obnoxious and bright so it is easy to see. It also makes it easier to spot where there are missing faces and correct those.

If you want your style changes to "stick" for future models, remember to save it as part of your template. If you are making a new template with these settings, click on File>Save as Template..., give it a name and check Set as Default Template.

Dave

Re: Pattern Making - Unfolding A 3D Shape to Make A Template

Ray, SketchUp is much like a lot of other things. You start with the basics and work your way up. If you get some good basic training, you ought to be able to manage the learning curve fairly easily.

At this point on my screen there are probably more icons from plugins that from the native tools. None of the plugins are required to make SketchUp work and my suggestion is that you learn SketchUp without them. Then add a few plugins that seem useful. I have a lot more plugins than I use on a regular basis but I do that because I'm constantly teaching others to use the software and the plugins come up.

Make sure you download the free version of the program and then read through the blog posts here. Also look at the videos on google's sketchUp site to get ideas about how the basic tools work.

Ask questions here if you wish or e-mail directly. You might find your question turned into a tutorial.

Dave

Re: SketchUp 7 Released

Zool, what sort of "downloadable items" are you referring to? Other than links to plugins (that will work in SU6) I don't generally post downloadable SketchUp content.

Dave

Re: Doin' The Twist

maplwood, it's kind of hard to say without seeing the model that is giving you trouble. There's not a lot of detail in your question.

Re: Creating Templates for a Complex Shape

Chris, there is a plugin called Unfold that will do what you need. It is available here: http://sketchuptips.blogspot.com/2007/08/plugin-unfoldrb.html

jerwhitt, although I am using the pro version, you can print templates with the free version as well. The same instructions apply.

Re: Guide Lines, Guide Points, and Linear Guides

Hopefully Tim won't mind me answering a couple of questions.

1bri, An arc drawn with the Arc is always a circular curve. If you want a non-circular curve, you can do several things. One would be to draw an arc and then scale it to fit. You can also use a plugin called bezier.rb or another called bezierspline.rb to create the curve. A second degree Bezier curve will create a parabolic curve.

Bob G, if you want a gride made up of guidelines you can make a linear array as you would with a regular line. Place the first guideline, select it and copy it with Ctrl+Move. If you want a 1" grid, move the copy 1" then hit Enter followed by *n, Enter where n is the number of copies of the line you want created.

If you're drawing a box joint or dovetails that are regularly spaced, you might consider copying the lines for the joint along the edge rather than laying out all those guidelines and drawing each socket individually.

By the way, I find it useful to have a keyboard shortcut for deleting guides so I can clean up the clutter quickly.

Dave

Re: Doin' The Twist

Ecuadorian, yes there is if you have all those plugins. Perhaps you could complete your comment by listing the plugins you used and give the sources for them?

Re: Doin' The Twist

shoorty777, I'm sorry you're having difficulty. When you look at the Plugins folder you should see a folder called "skin" and a file called "skin.rb". If you llok in the "skin" folder you should see the files as listed in this screen shot. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v506/weekender410/SkinFolder-1.jpg

Make sure that you have all the boxes checked under Window>Preferences>Extensions. Also select the Skin toolbar from the View>Toolbars menu.

You should be able to select the two edges and run the plugin and have it fill in the space between. I hope that helps.

Dave

Re: Jig Design in SketchUp - A Little Reverse Engineering

woodruf, thank you and you're welcome.

Regarding the Router Boss, I doubt you'll find anything more about it here on the Design. Click. Build. blog but you can find out about it at chipsfly.com

Dave

Re: A Quick Dovetailed Box

storri, it sounds to me that you haven't opened the component for editing prior to drawing the lines for the dovetails.

I'm not certain about uploading tutorial files but I'll look into it.

daltxguy, I suppose there's not been enough demand or someone would have done so. When the weather starts to cool off for you, perhaps you would do it? Hint, hint.

Re: A Quick Dovetailed Box

ifkerby, My guess is that you are still using version 6. Is that correct? If so, there is an added step that I left out of the process. The quickest thing to do would be to draw a line with the Line tool along the end of the board so that it intersects with the vertical line. That will result in breaking the vertical line. then Push/Pull will work correctly on the end of the half pin.

With version 7 this step is unneeded because the intersection is done automatically.

HOpe that helps.

Dave

Re: Making a Bail for a Shaker Chip Box

1bri, you could just double click on the component to open it for editing rather than exploding it. Or you can right click on the component and choose Edit Component.

the blue face is the back face color. Select the blue faces, right click and choose Reverse Faces or select the white or light gray face, right click and choose Orient Faces.

Dave

Re: A Quick Dovetailed Box

Yes, you could use the Scale tool if you don't mind changing the scaling on the joints as well. Suppose you scaled the box sides to be 50% longer. You would also increase the height of the tails/sockets and change the angles in the joints. Then you'd need to scale the thickness of the front and back (the pin boards) to compensate. If you used the Scale tool to make the drawer deeper, the tails, sockets and pins would get wider and the angles would increase. If there was a groove for the bottom panel, it would get wider.

If you drew the first drawer box for, suppose, a chest of drawers and then used the Scale tool to make all the other drawer sizes in the case, you'd end up with different joints for every different size of drawer. You'd also end up with different thicknesses for some of the parts. I think traditionally the drawer stock would be planed to the same thickness for all of the drawers unless there are some very tiny or very large drawers in the project.

Re: Drawing Pieces With Complex Curves

Thanks Mike,

Tim beat me to linking to the archive for info but I did get your e-mail and sent back your file with something to get you started. Hope that helped.

Dave

Re: A Quick Dovetailed Box

Hoop36,

Posting the comment once would be plenty.

You should also have Ruby Script Examples. I would see about getting a fresh download of the program and reinstalling SU7

Re: Continuing on Ladder Back - The Centerline Framework

Hoop36, Go to Window>Preferences>Extensions and check all the boxes. Then close and reopen SketchUp. If you've installed the CutList plugin in the right place, it should be available in the now visible Plugins menu.

Re: Plywood Edge - Creating a New Material in SketchUp

Adrian, thank you.

Yes, I am using the pro version but everything I've done could be done in the free version as well.

The wood grain materials I used aren't standard SketchUp textures. They are textures I found doing image searches. You can import any JPG and use it as a texture if you wish.

Dave

Re: A Quick Dovetailed Box

PSeverin,

the reason I was told for half pins rather than half tails at the ends of a run of dovetails is that there's better control over the pieces if they choose to cup. The pin board can't go very far at the edges for the same reason the tailboard can't be pulled out that direction. The Tailboard can't go anyway because you have a good long grain glue surface between the half pin and the tail.

If you place tails at the ends, you don't get those benefits.

Paul, I'll try to get a video done for you and post it. Thank you for the support.

Dave

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

Here's the link to the CutList plugin.
http://tinyurl.com/6bhfge

Re: A Quick Dovetailed Box

Erick, glad to help. Just call me "speedy". No wait. That'll set me up. ;)

David, my apologies for not doing this sooner. Had I known...



Dave

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

rlafferty,

Karl has given you decent advice regarding the difference between the pro version and the free version. As far as what you can draw they are the same.

There is a plugin which will create very nice cutlists. I have linked to it in a previous blog post. The cutlist for the cabinet shown in this blog post took less than 30 seconds to make. You can also use SU7's Report feature to create a CSV file that can be imported into Excel and manipulated into a cutlist.

Dave

Re: A Quick Dovetailed Box

NHLawer, have you got an easier method?

Re: Modifying a Dovetailed Drawer

Erick,

I've done something in the past but even I am having a hard time finding it in the blog archive. I've cleaned up my process though and made it more efficient. I'll make a new turoial for that.

mics_54, thanks for giving it a go.

Dave

Re: Modifying a Dovetailed Drawer

No, if you have nested components, you'd need to make the individual components inside the nest unique as well as the super-component. Actually you'd only need to make the super-component uunique if you'd need to change the positions of the components inside relative to each other as in moving the sides to make a wider drawer.

Since the copy of the drawer wouldn't be the same as the original, you'd probab;y want to make the super-component unique anyway so you could give it a new name. FOr example if you drew the top of three drawers first, you might give the super-component the name, "Top Drawer". Then after making a unique copy for the middle position you might change its name from, "Top Drawer#1" to "Center Drawer" and so on.

Re: SketchUp 7 Released

Ted, the Report Generator does create a report that is sort of like a cutlist but it doesn't really contain the information one would want in a cutlist. The report provides attribute information about the component such as its name, layer location relative to the origin and size. If you are making dynamic components you can add attributes to the component that would appear in the report. The CSV version of the file could then be imported into a spreadsheet and the numbers crunched as desired.

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

Ted, I'm glad you got it worked. As to why you're called "teamman" is anyone's guess. Did you add that as your user name or nickname?

Dave

Re: Creating a Project Plan in SketchUp

Nick, I use layers, too. In fact there are about a dozen layers in this model. I didn't end up using them throughout the scenes on this drawing as much as I do on others because of the way I was adding and modifying scenes. I found it easier just to copy the components I wanted off to the side.

I did manipulate layer visibility for some of the close up views. I should have mentioned that too.

Using layers is a good way to control which elements are visible in your scenes.

Thanks for catching that.

Dave

Re: Video: Quick and Easy Angled Chair Rail

CDH, would you be willing to send me your SKP file? I'll see if I can help you out. --Dave



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