Advanced SketchUp: Using the arc tool effectivelyTim Killen shows you his detailed process for tracing images using the arc tool
I’ve recently finished a Pennsylvania Dower Chest, a reproduction of the original at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I used the design portrayed in Lester Margon’s book, “Construction of American Furniture Treasures”. This example of a Dower Chest is covered in painted motifs of tulip, carnations, turtledoves, cavaliers, unicorns, etc. Of course I used SketchUp to work out all the details and to prepare the templates for the painted decoration.
Here is a model from the SketchUp file.
And here is the finished Chest
As you can see below, there was quite a bit of Arc Tool use in tracing over the paintings. I do not use plug-ins for creating these shapes, rather connect multiple arc segments to re-create the patterns. I like the way the Arc Tool let’s you know (by a cyan color) when you are at tangency. If you make an arc that is too long, there is no need to “undo” and start over. Rather you can simply start the next arc back up at a previous point on that long arc and still retain tangency. I’ve shown how this works in the above video.
Also, I find it helpful to change the SketchUp Style when I do these tracings. In the Style dialog box, I set Profiles to 2 to get a thicker line. I also change the Color to “All Same” and red. With these settings, its easy to see what you’ve already traced.
Below is one of the full size templates from SketchUp. I placed the template over a red tracing paper and with a pencil transferred the painting shapes to the black chest.
The drawers were painted on the work bench.
Here are the videos:
More on FineWoodworking.com
- How to use SketchUp to help create illustrative carvings
- A modern approach to an old artform – Tim Killen uses technology to duplicate a classic painted design from a Hadley chest
- Dovetails in SketchUp — the Easy Way