Imagine your ad here!

Inquire within.







There's no doubt in my mind a lot of people look on CAD software as being a thing only architects and engineers were meant to use. 


Sadly, for those of you who are woodworkers and think the same then you couldn't be more wrong because you are cheating yourself by not using this extremely versatile program to your advantage.


SketchUp is the absolute best shop assistant I've ever had and it is easily the most important tool in my entire shop.


I started using SketchUp when version 4 came out and since then I've made it my task to point folks into the light but it's clear to me the bulk of them are scared as rabbits.  Despite my Herculean attempts to reassure them, they find it hard to believe just anyone can easily produce a 3D model of a project along with a very accurate cut list in just a short period of time.


In short, they look on SketchUp as being difficult to learn.  Well, that is hardly the case.


Take this simple sorting tray for example.  Now, I don't know what caliber of a draftsman you are, but if I were to sit down and draw this out on paper and to have it look this nice, it would take me at least 45 minutes to do it - using SketchUp I modeled it in less than 5 minutes.


What if you wanted to take someone's existing 2D drawing and model it in SU to give you a better idea on how it can be improved or to see if all the cuts were accurately placed?



What if?


Let's suppose your wife begins nagging you to make a planter stand to fit in one of the corners of your deck.  If you're a typical woodworker then the first thing you'd do is pick up is a cocktail napkin and draw a crude representation of what you think she wants.  Then, with childish pride you show your marvel of artistic ability to her and her wide-eyed expression says, "I don't what THAT sitting on MY deck!"  What if you could show her something she could easily visualize and instantly give her nod of approval?


What if?


Well, I suggest you jettison all these what ifs and get down to some serious drawings.


Obviously, the first step is to get the program; you can either get the free version or the pro version.  The latter will cost you $500.00.  Normal people...people like you in fact, will get along very nicely with the free version.




Learning Curves


If you take all the CAD software that is floating around out there and organize them according to their learning curves you'll find they range from the peak of Mt. Everest way on down to sea level - it is at sea level where you'll find the learning curve of SketchUp.


There are all sorts of tutorials out there.  SketchUp For Dummies is one in book form that comes to mind but there are many other avenues I feel are better suited to get on the fast track to becoming a gallant knight with SketchUp. 


So, without further ado, I will point you to the best sites I've found on the Internet where you can start using SketchUp and begin placing as much trust in it as you do knowing the Sun will rise come the morrow.


Video Tutorials


sketchup a 3D Toolbox - Harwood Podcast Network - These are by far the best I've seen




Fine Woodworking - SketchUp Tutorials


Ruby Scripts


Ruby Scripts are tools you can use to swiftly perform a certain action within SketchUp.  Let's pretend you want to model a set of stairs or you want to draw a mortise and tenon or maybe you want to draw a cabinet door; with a ruby script these things are done for you almost instantly.




Most all of the RS files come with an instruction sheet.  Read it, it'll tell you what to do.


Models Already Drawn For You


Let's say your wife has been nagging you to make a hall table for the past...ohh, six-zillion years.


Let's further say you're cognizant of the fact she's in a prime position to downgrade the quality of your meals and that you've come to the realization you'd be better off doing your own laundry.  So, why not keep things the way they are and impress her by showing off your creative prowess and deceive her into thinking you're a 3D modeling genius?


What if you could get a model that is already drawn for you?


That's right, there is an extensive library of models you can download directly into your model or save them in your SketchUp library.  What a sweet deal for you!  She thinks you're working on it and is content on leaving you alone for another six-zillion years!


SketchUp 3D Warehouse


...just do a search at that screen.  To get an idea on what may be in store for you there type in something silly...try ...ohh, mousetrap.


I'll be adding more SketchUp stuff as I find it so keep checking back.  Or, email ME with your question(s).