Author Archives: Joe Zeh

Joe Zeh

About Joe Zeh

Joe Zeh has over 35 years experience in the high-tech computer and graphics industry, ranging from computer design to executive management. Joe is no stranger to 3-D CAD. While at ATI Technologies Inc., the 3-D graphics company now owned by AMD, Joe was vice president and general manager of 3-D Graphics. His responsibilities included the development of Radeon graphics chips and software drivers for Direct3D, OpenGL and AutoCAD. Joe is a lifelong woodworker. He has combined his love of woodworking with his knowledge of 3-D; he teaches SketchUp, both video and live courses, and writes SketchUp Ruby script plugins for woodworking. Joe maintains a woodworking website ( and blog (


How to Create an Irregular Mortise & Tenon in SketchUp

A student wrote and asked me this paraphrased question: “Can you give me some suggestions for drawing these irregular tenons into the legs? If the mortises were rectangular I would simply use the Rectangle tool to trace one onto the face of the leg and Push/Pull it to depth.” I exaggerated his tenon in...

Secretary SketchUp

Why Woodworkers Should Use SketchUp

So what is SketchUp and why should woodworkers use it? Simply put, SketchUp is a 3D sketching, modeling, rendering and design documentation tool. However, SketchUp is much more powerful than this simple description implies. SketchUp derives its name for a task it does quite well, drawing sketches. SketchUp comes in two versions: SketchUp Pro...

here's a sketchup tutorial for woodworkers who want to model from pictures

Creating SketchUp Models from Pictures

The ideal way to create SketchUp models of furniture from pictures is to take front-on and end-on views with a digital camera. Also take overall measurements. Then the .jpg images can then be imported to SketchUp and placed on the Red/ Blue and Green/Blue planes and scaled. From there it is a simple matter of...


More Cutlist Making Tips in SketchUp for Woodworkers

In my previous post about cutlist making tips in SketchUp for woodworkers, I discussed my CutList Bridge 3 extension and strategies to help you organize your models. That post went into detail about furniture projects. Now I would like to apply those strategies to custom cabinet projects. Component and part naming of custom cabinet parts should follow...


Cutlist-Making Tips in SketchUp for Woodworkers

Cut lists are dull subjects and always seem to be an afterthought; they shouldn’t be. The time to consider cut lists and material lists is before you begin to model a project. Doing so will dramatically shorten the time you spend creating them, and make your cut list and material list much more useful....

SketchUp for Woodworkers

SketchUp for Woodworkers: Creating Compound Miter Joints

If you are like me – compound miter joints always make me a little nervous – your blood pressure rises a little when you have to draw or cut a compound miter joint. So I am always thankful for SketchUp, where I can build a prototype and make angle measurements to assist in setting...


An Intro to New Features of SketchUp 2015 for Woodworkers

This video contains several excerpts from a 1-hour, detailed video about the new features of SketchUp Make 2015 being created by Joe Zeh. That video will be for sale at soon, and will also be available in Joe’s SketchUp online course. SketchUp Make 2015 Changes On November 3, 2014 Trimble Navigation LTD released...

Completed Core Box Cuts

Modeling the Core Box Router Bit in SketchUp

A student emailed me and asked: “How do I model the cut a core box router bit makes in SketchUp?” At first glance you might think the answer is the usual – model the shape of the bit and use the “Follow-me” tool. After further consideration it becomes clear that the answer is much...