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It has been a while since we’ve mentioned it here on the editor’s blog,  but with the publication of each new issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, we make SketchUp models of the projects featured in the articles available online, for free. On August 27, 2008, I uploaded the first model which was the 21st Century Workbench from the October 2008 issue. Since then, more than 730,000 people have viewed that model and more than 26,000 have downloaded it. Since then, we’ve added models, our readers have pitched in to help and the collection now contains 237 models.

Popular Woodworking Magazine 3D Warehouse SketchUp Models CollectionSketchUp is a 3D modeling program that is available as a free download. When you have it installed on your PC or Mac you can explore the projects you’ve read about in the magazine, and if you want to develop your own project based on one of ours, you can change and adapt any model from our collection to suit yourself. We’ve built a SketchUp page here on our website where you can browse the available models by category, access tutorials and other resources including my book with embedded videos Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp. If you’re just starting, or curious about SketchUp, this post explains What You Can Do With a SketchUp Model and links to other posts about the basics.

If you’d like to see more about using SketchUp, leave a comment or send me an e-mail with your questions, suggestions or anything else you’d like to see. We’re also thinking about doing some live, online question and answer sessions and webinars. Let us know if you’re interested.

–Bob Lang

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  • John Hutchinson

    Hi, Bob.
    Thanks for leading the SketchUp-in-Woodworking charge. I keep telling myself I’ll master it one of these days but I still revert to my old AutoCAD software when I want to visualize a design idea. Was the leap from AutoCAD to SketchUp difficult for you?
    Just before I wrote this comment, I was sitting in my lounge chair next to the Ribbon Table I designed and built for a PopWood article. Just for fun, I did a Google Image search for the table. Sure enough, there it was in the middle of the top row. As I scrolled down through the other ribbon tables, I found this . . .

    Interesting to see someone selling a 3D model of my table for 25 bucks. I’m flattered . . . I guess. Ownership of intellectual property must be a thing of the past. When I clicked on the illustrator’s name, I found models of other PopWood projects.
    And so it goes. I can remember my dad waiting impatiently for woodworking plans in the mail. I wonder if the wait made them more precious? I still have his collection after fifty years.
    Best regards,
    John Hutchinson

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