Learning to design #1: My first sketchup plan - tea anyone?

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Blog entry by mtkate posted 09-27-2009 02:28 AM 4383 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Learning to design series Part 2: Pine may simply not be the right material to test small designs + jig frustrations »

I was looking around my workshop very early this morning trying to figure out what I was going to do… and hit myself over the head many times for keeping all sorts of small pieces of wood. I decided I would go back through the things I favorited, and see if there was something that will help to use the wood.

I linked up to Rah’s “Tea, anyone?” project from last xmas: and decided that would be the project.

As I started to draw out what I needed to do on paper, I remembered that I wanted to learn sketchup. So, I downloaded google’s free program, listed to a few of the tutorials, and proceeded to sketch out the project.

First thing I did was make the size of a tea bag. Then I tried to make the surrounding shell… you really need to listen to all the tutorials if you want to do things with less pain. I spent probably 2 hours today trying to figure out why a plane would not act like a plane. There are many views to consult – and each different view can help you fix a different problem.

I working on this from about 9AM to 2PM. I learned a lot about sketchup, but still not enough. The resulting plans are below which need to be tested…. and I did not yet map out how I will be doing the finger joints.

Tea, anyone?

Tea, anyone?

Tea, anyone?

If anyone really wants the in progress .skb file I will certainly be happy to .zip it up and send it along. Those of you who are experts… if you see anything off the bat that I can correct – I would certainly appreciate the comments!

3 comments so far

View dustyal's profile


1310 posts in 3955 days

#1 posted 09-27-2009 03:45 AM

Sketchup is very powerful and easy…. it is so easy that I gave up on it. I think I work at making it more complicated than it is. Like, I am not use to having the software do so much work for me. I grew up using computers and software but since I retired they have passed me by.

I like the tea boxes… hadn’t seen those. I’d make some, but my wife the tea drinker wouldn’t want her tea bags that organized. Kind of like Sketchup… she’d rather have them heaped in one container and she’s content to do the grab bad thing and see what surfaces.

Keep playing with Sketchup—I’m sure you’ll master it… plenty of help out there. I’m just not one of them!

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View lew's profile


12840 posts in 4235 days

#2 posted 09-27-2009 04:48 PM

If you need a question answered/help from the best, contact Lumberjock “DaveR” he is the MAN!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3805 days

#3 posted 09-29-2009 02:07 PM

Whoa!!! I can’t wait until I am up to speed. I was going to skip a joint on the bottom but seeing this will change my plans.

What I like about this sketchup idea is that I can play with it on the commute back and forth from work… Another way to get in more virtual shop time.

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