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Dovetails in SketchUp – Easier Than You Think

When I teach woodworkers about SketchUp we always reach a point where I say, “the level of detail to include in your model is up to you”. Then I explain the level that I usually work to and conclude with “but if you know what you’re doing it doesn’t take that long.” Dovetails are...

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Details and Dimensions From a SketchUp Model

One of the reasons I prefer to plan projects with SketchUp is how easy it is to extract information from the model. In my earlier days I  prepared shop drawings with pencil and paper, and later on with a 2D CAD program. That type of drawing requires a great deal of care to ensure...

Shaker Bench

New Workbench Build

In 2006, as I began my first round at Popular Woodworking Magazine (PWM), I was told I had to build a workbench. Even with then editor Christopher Schwarz chest deep in workbench publications, it wasn’t a mandate as much as it was a necessity. In the PWM shop, there was no usable bench empty...

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SketchUp Advantage: 3D Cutlists for Woodworking Projects

Traditional approaches in woodworking are generally reliable and efficient. If you know something has worked well for other woodworkers for a few hundreds years, you can likely assume that adopting it will be a good way to accomplish what you want to do. But the traditional approach isn’t always the best method forever, and...

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Live SketchUp Classes & Learning Resources

SketchUp, the free 3D modeling software is one of my favorite woodworking tools. It doesn’t cut joints or finish projects, but it helps me make sure the joints I cut are in the right places, and the experience building a project on the computer screen first makes valuable shop time more efficient and error...

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Use a Photo to Make a SketchUp Model

With SketchUp, you can use a photo of a piece of furniture to make a model of the piece. From that model you can develop your plans for building a reproduction. Here’s an example using the Shaker Stepback Cupboard made by Glen D. Huey for our April 2010 issue. I swiped the image off...