Time to Catch Up With SketchUp

A few weeks ago, I posted a request for readers to help us build our collection of SketchUp models of magazine projects on Google’s 3D Warehouse. Thanks to some enthusiastic readers, our collection has doubled in size, and several readers earned one or more back issue CDs. If you missed that post, or didn’t get around to sending a model, the offer is still open, and will be until we have every project we’ve published since 2000 in the collection.

This is a great way for us to provide information in a new format. If you haven’t tried SketchUp, you can download the latest version for free. It’s a great tool for visualizing and creating plans before you head out to the shop. If you want to build a variation of a project from Popular Woodworking or Woodworking magazine you can download the model as it appeared in print, and you’re just a few mouse clicks away from creating your own version in a different size. Even if you want to build a project the way it appeared, SketchUp is a powerful tool to see exactly how pieces and joints go together.

Here is an example of a model created by one of our readers, and clicking on the image will take you to the model on our collection.

If you want to participate, just submit a model to me as an e-mail attachment. So far two readers, Harry Phillips of Australia and Bruce Beatty of Ontario, Canada have submitted enough models to earn a 55-issue 2000-2007 back issue CD. Here’s the deal, for each submitted model that we add to our collection, we will send you your choice of a one-year back issue CD. That’s one CD for each model, and if you submit eight or more, we’ll send you the eight year collection.

If you have any questions, drop me an e-mail or leave a comment. Here are a few guidelines for modeling:

-Make each part into a component and give the component the name it had in print
-Show the relevant joinery
-Make the model as clean and accurate as you can
-Don’t bother getting fancy with the rendering, we’d rather keep the file size small

Most of our projects are already online in 2D format, here is a link to our Project Plans page to get you started on your models.

–Bob Lang

Looking for More Free Woodworking Information?
- Sign up for our newsletters to get free plans, techniques and reviews HERE.
- Looking for free project plans? We have hundreds. Click HERE.
- Check out our selection of half-price woodworking books HERE.
- Get 8 years of Popular Woodworking on one CD. Click HERE.

COMMENT