The choice I made for my favorite tool may surprise many readers. Yes, I
am the power-tool guy at Popular Woodworking Magazine, but I’ve passed
on all the corded tools. My favorite 2010 tool is not a table saw, band
saw or router. It’s not a drill press or even a dovetail saw. My
selection for the best tool in 2010 is Robert Lang’s SketchUp CD set.
was an easy choice for me. 2010 was the year that Popular Woodworking
Magazine made the call to publish our drawings based from SketchUp drawings. With part
of my job requirement being based on Google’s free simple drawing
program, I would have stumbled and bumbled my way to completed projects
if it hadn’t been for Bob Lang’s CDs – it’s almost as if Bob is sitting
with you at the computer. It’s apparent that I’m not alone. Bob’s “SketchUp for Woodworkers: Part 1: Getting Started” is the year’s best-seller (I really like the cover piece on this CD), and “SketchUp for Woodworkers: Part 2: Advanced Techniques” is a close second. (I prefer the download although you may like the CDs better.)
you have a handle on SketchUp, or Bob’s guidance as you work, you build
a piece in the computer before walking into your shop. Any problems are
decided before wood is milled.
Whenever someone calls to ask me about SketchUp, I recommend these
CDs. In the office, I can turn to Bob to ask any question, but when I’m
home, I the CDs. I’m willing to bet that in 2010, I logged more time in SketchUp than I have with my table saw.
Additionally, we have each of
the projects found in the magazine listed in our 3D warehouse for you to
download. If you know SketchUp, you can take the pieces apart to see
how they fit together. Close the file without saving it and when
you come back the next time everything is back in place waiting for you
dismantle it again. I think that’s one of the best freebies out there.