I've always enjoyed the videos of Gary's projects hosted by Fine Woodworking and the few minutes I got to talk with him at a local Lie-Nielsen event. He seems at peace with himself and strikes me as an all-around good guy.
As for his preference for hand tools, I share his outlook. While, like most folks, I'll continue to use my power tools a lot, after building-up a nice collection of hand tools, I'm finding myself using them more and more to do work performed almost exclusively with power tools in the past. For me it's not so complicated as adhering to a particular philosophy or ideology - it just feels good!
I noticed that version 2014 is available and have installed it. But I'm afraid my SketchUp skills are minimal and I'm curious about how to best get myself up to speed.
A few years back I purchased Tim Killen's book which I found very useful as it is aimed specifically at woodworkers. I learned just enough SketchUp to design my kitchen cabinets, skipping topics that didn't pertain to that project. I made it about half way through the book and haven't progressed past that. But in the meantime I've decided to take it further and get to know the product better and put it to productive use as my skills aren't up to the level I need for current and future projects. I've a great deal to learn.
I'd like some guidance about how best to proceed. I don't want to become a SketchUp expert, rather I want to know the product just well enough to produce working drawings that I can use in the shop. I haven't made use of any plugins, Ruby, or any of the valuable ad-ons. But I'd like rectify that without spending any more time than necessary.
I used SketchUp 8 (the free version) for various projects to date, but now it seems that most references are aimed at the Pro version, which I can't justify for my personal use. I downloaded what they now call SketchUp Make (which appears to be the equivalent, limited, free version). Would I be well-served to go back and complete my basic leaning using Tim's book as a reference, or is there a similar work I can purchase in order to work with the more recent version? I'm kind of starting over again.
In addition, what's a reasonable approach to becoming familiar with some of the various ad-ins without spending an inordinate amount of time? As I said, i don't want to become a master of SketchUp and can't justify spending a lot of time as time spent on SketchUp is time not spent in the shop. I'd love to find a basic path through tutorials and such in a streamlined fashion.
It's a great tool and I need to upgrade my skills. I'd appreciate any recommendations about how to best proceed in as time-efficient manner as possible to get from where I"m at to where I need to be
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