Sketchup As A Woodworking Design Tool #2: The Virtual Woodshop

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Blog entry by Brad_Nailor posted 12-08-2007 07:06 AM 43151 reads 12 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Making Cabinet Doors With The Follow Me Tool Part 2 of Sketchup As A Woodworking Design Tool series Part 3: How to make floor plans in Sketchup »

Hey everybody! I was just reading and responding to someones forum topic about shop design, and I remembered that a while ago I downloaded a Sketchup component library that contained models of most of the power equipment you would find in a wood shop. I got it from the downloads/components page of the old Sketchup (pre Google). I don’t remember who did the modeling but they graciously put it up there for anyone to download and use. Here is a couple of screen shots of the stuff thats in it….

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Each item is a component group. They are a little low poly, but the detail is pretty good on most of the items. You could easily use any of the models as a starting point to super detail an individual piece of equipment.. The great thing is you could just create a basic room representing your shop and then just drag and drop whatever pieces you have, then move them around, re arrange to your hearts content. You could make a couple of cubes and position them to represent the in-feed/out-feed clearances of certain machines..just paint them with an transparent material like colored glass. Then as you move things around you could instantly see if you are going to have the room for a good work flow. If you wanted to be super precise, you could take rough measurements of your equipment, then re scale the model to be the perfect size. The possibility’s are endless!

So I went to the Sketchup downloads/components page to copy the link to the file to post for everyone, but they don’t have it up there anymore! Bummer! I was going to just ask people to email me if they wanted a copy of the file, but I had a feeling that allot of people might want the file. So I put it up on my personal web space here is the link The first time you open it with SU ver 6 you will get a message about it being in and older file format..don’t worry just save it when your done playing, and you shouldn’t see it again.

Well everyone download the file and start working on your shop layouts! This is a good way to play around with Sketchup without having to do allot of modeling first. Post some screen shots of your virtual shops!


17 comments so far

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5188 days

#1 posted 12-08-2007 09:32 AM

Thanks Brad. I just went to the site, but it only gave me the top set of tools (the one with the workbench). Are the bottom set of tools somewhere else? I do appreciate the effort – great tool, as I am getting ready to rearrange my shop in the next week or two.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4952 days

#2 posted 12-08-2007 10:31 AM

Thanks Brad, that will be very helpful as I get my shop re-organized! Right now it’s a disaster area as I am finishing the basement and my shop has become the temporary storage area for all of the basement contents.

Bill, when you open the file in sketchup, click on Window in the menu, then select Components from the drop down box and you will see that there are about 30 different tool components available in this model. If you left click on the little icon beside the “In Model” box, you will get another menu which allows you to “Save library as”. Click on this menu item and browse to the Google Sketchup 6 program directory, and save it to the Components sub directory, and this component library of tools will be available to you in all future models.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5080 days

#3 posted 12-08-2007 02:57 PM

Bill…. That is the same bunch of tools..i just took a screen shot from the opposite side so people could see from both angles. Mathew is correct….that is how you save all the components into your component browser so the models will be available to you in any future drawings without having to drag and drop them from two windows.

Just click on the link above and save it to your computer!


View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 5003 days

#4 posted 12-08-2007 03:21 PM

thanks for posting that david . i havent had time to work with su enough to get the hang of it yet but i hope to have time to work with it some this month . thanks again

View cheller's profile


254 posts in 5232 days

#5 posted 12-10-2007 06:33 AM

Excellent. I’ve been meaning to get to work on layout for my shop – desperately needed in anticipation of our impending house renovation which will include renovating the shop.

-- Chelle

View Slacker's profile


178 posts in 4824 days

#6 posted 04-08-2008 03:15 AM

Hi Brad Nailor… I am new to this blog, just tooling around, and saw this post. I tried to connect with the link and got the 404 error. Is there any way I can get the library?

I just got back into woodworking as my next career after many years away from it. I have spent many years in environmental laboratories, and I would rather retire back home and open a little woodshop. So little by little I have been buying tools, and now I got a huge mess in my garage. So these components would be very welcome indeed.


-- Adapt, improvise, overcome

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5111 days

#7 posted 04-08-2008 03:48 AM

That would be John Yurko who created the drawings.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4997 days

#8 posted 04-08-2008 03:55 AM

I don’t know who has the time to do this, but it’s pretty cool that we can benefit from it. My hat is off to whoever created these.

I’ve seen these before and used them for planning out my shop. It’s such a great resource. It’s just like the “cut and paste” version that come in magazines only it is 3D and you can fly though it to experience the space.

I’m glad you posted this, it will be useful to a lot of folks who haven’t seen it before.

My tip to anyone who isn’t familiar with this: Download Google Sketchup (free) and play around with it for a while until you get comfortable with how to use it. Then go to Google’s Sketchup library and search for just about anything, from woodworking machines, to individual bolts, to airplane engine parts… you will probably find a 3D virtual model of it. Then you can download those models and use them in Sketchup.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4997 days

#9 posted 04-08-2008 03:56 AM

GaryK: that guy should be invited to Lumberjocks!

-- Happy woodworking!

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4938 days

#10 posted 04-08-2008 04:13 AM

This rocks! I have been collecting a set but here they all are in one place. Sweeet!

-- Scott - Chico California

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5080 days

#11 posted 04-10-2008 02:11 PM

Thanks for posting that link Gary. I took the file down off my web space. Nobody had downloaded it in a long time and I needed the room. The models are not the greatest detail wise, but they are good enough to do a nice 3D shop plan.


View jey's profile


2 posts in 4760 days

#12 posted 06-11-2008 07:44 AM

Hey, nice website- I’m the guy who made all those equipment models. You can still download them from my firm’s website-

I just started construction on a new shop, and thought I’d start a blog about the design & construction process, eventually getting to the shop layout using the models. Check it out if you’re interested.


View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5111 days

#13 posted 06-11-2008 08:16 AM

Jey – Looking forward to your construction blog!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5080 days

#14 posted 06-11-2008 01:41 PM

Great website! Thats some shop your building. I love the design..great Sketchup work! Looking forward to watching the entire building project.


View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5144 days

#15 posted 06-11-2008 02:04 PM

Hi Brad:
I too found these very handy in mocking up the electrical layout for my new shop. Mr Yurko has done an excellent job and I did find another set that were quite good as well.

I am indebted to fellows like you and several others here for the time you spend spoonfeeding us these technical gems.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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