The Wonders (and Winners) of SketchUp


As of September 30th, LumberJocks’ Virtual Dining Table Challenge came to and end. Did you get in on the challenge? There are a number of great entries from those fluent in SketchUp as well as from first-timers that show fantastic promise with the free design program. I was a bit envious of some of the projects. Most participants outpaced my SketchUp skills quickly.

The editors of Popular Woodworking magazine were given the difficult task of picking the winners. After a group meeting in which we nominated and defended our choices, we did just that. Each winner receives a book or DVD from all four Popular Woodworking editors.

We selected, in no particular order, the Empire State Dining Table by Brad Nailor (a design that nicely showed using a plug-in called Podium that presents a photo realistic rendering. It’s worth a visit to this entry to see the design and to gather the inside information about Podium), The Backward Bridge by ThreeJs (the use of SketchUp to detail the joinery was a nice touch, and displayed a commanding knowledge of the design tool), and the Folsom Stadium Dining Room Table by Steved (a design that needed one additional view to pull it all together. After studying the design we were able to make out the “D” shape taken from the stadium view , nice work).

The big winner had to be ThreeJs. The folks at Google selected ThreeJs as the best entry and he’s been awarded Google SketchUp Pro. In addition, LumberJocks fashion wear was awarded to Damian Penney, Vanmaineac and Scottb.

Winner of prizes or not, the value of this challenge was to get involved with SketchUp. I’ll bet this program makes your woodworking better due to the ability to see projects prior to being built. It’s a great way to work out details and save time in the shop. Check out all the entries , not just the winners. I think you’ll find a reason to work with SketchUp. I plan to spend time to develop and hone my skills.

,Glen D. Huey

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