The most significant woodworking tool that has been introduced in my lifetime doesn’t cut wood and it costs nothing. It is Google’s SketchUp program, a 3D computer-aided design program that runs on virtually any computer.
Before SketchUp (the BS era), I used a variety of CAD programs to create construction drawings. Because I use only Macintosh computers, the CAD programs available to me were expensive, clunky or just laughable.
But I muddled through and paid the man because CAD is an incredible woodworking tool when it comes to designing furniture from scratch.
When SketchUp was released, I deleted my old programs and have never looked back. SketchUp allows me to easily design things in three dimensions so I can really get a feel for what the piece will look like. It allows me to quickly try out dozens of different designs before I narrow the field to the point where I want to mock something up. And it allows me to be a more accurate and faster builder , I can get dimensions I need without using that pesky error-prone thing called math.