SketchUp Advice

Create a Linear Array in SketchUp

I’m currently working on a variation on L & J. G. Stickley’s No. 220 prairie settle. The settle’s three sides consist of frame and panels. Because I’m building a shorter version, I need to shorten the rails and resize the panels. Before SketchUp, I would have subtracted the combined width of...

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...

Use SketchUp to Preview Proportions

Of all the variables of design, context is the easiest to miss. That is one of the powerful things about using SketchUp, you can easily compare one piece to another, add a human figure to the model or place the piece in a room setting. Seeing is believing and knowing is...

Proportion Problems Solved With SketchUp

I’m in the early planning stages for an upcoming project build for Popular Woodworking Magazine. The project will be a reproduction of a wardrobe cabinet from the early 1900s. I was trying to decide between three likely candidates. I thought that I had a decision made, but as I worked on...

Details and Dimensions From a SketchUp Model

One of the reasons I prefer to plan projects from SketchUp models 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...

French Dovetails or Sliding Dovetails

Before I jump onto my soapbox to spout off, I’ll share a bit more about drawers for my upcoming workbench. I plan to have two stacks, each with five drawers. Sizes range from a small 2-3/16″-deep drawer to the deepest, bottom drawer at 3-3/8″ deep. My SketchUp drawing shows an exploded...

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...

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...