Creating complex curved faces in SketchUp
Tim Killen uses a SketchUp plug-in, Fredo Curvaloft Skin Contours, to help him model a complex shape on a challenging Queen Anne leg.
I’m refinishing this Queen Anne Lowboy or Console. I made this piece more than 40 years ago in cherry. It has been in use in the master bedroom from the beginning. While the functioning and joinery were fine, the finish was poorly done and it needed an update. I made this piece way before SketchUp and wanted to have a detailed model of the piece. Here is the modeling status so far.
I was shocked to find the complexity of the cabriole legs including knee blocks, and that made modeling much more difficult. Also, the back legs are different than the front legs, so that doubled the effort. As you can see in the following picture, the bulge part of the knee is not straight on the top edge where it meets the square column. That curvature meant that a normal intersection of faces would not work, and use of a plug-in was necessary. By the way, I’ve videoed this process and it is shown above.
I had to create a new knee surface using a plug-in Fredo Curviloft Skin Contours as shown below. You can see the missing curved face that is replaced by using this plug-in.
The Knee Block was also difficult, but did not require the plug-in. A normal intersection of two extruded shapes worked fine.
Here are the completed Leg and Knee Block.