Virtual Designs in Sketchup

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Blog series by rance updated 12-27-2012 06:04 AM 18 parts 276665 reads 109 comments total

Part 1: Wall / Portable Tool Rack

04-19-2011 10:53 PM by rance | 3 comments »

I seem to have a lot of SU drawings that I do that may or may not ever be built. Either way, I thought others might benefit from them. This first one is a paged tool rack similar to ones I’m sure you’ve seen in several publications. Some I like, some I see blatant flaws in. This style reminds me of the days way back when I would go to the Dept. Store and look at the blacklight posters. A couple of changes I’ve made include being able to quickly and easily remove it...

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Part 2: Workshop Expansion for a Friend

04-20-2011 06:05 AM by rance | 1 comment »

A friend of mine asked if I could help him with a SU drawing for his workshop expansion. He currently has a 16×24 space that he is quickly outgrowing. He has done some woodworking in the past with carving and other things but recently got the bug to step it up a notch. He is planning on having the shell built by a contractor and he and I will finish the inside. Here’s a profile view. You can see his existing shop at the rear. Note: The Tractor, fence, and garden plots were o...

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Part 3: Rolling Tool Cart

05-31-2011 09:40 AM by rance | 3 comments »

I got the inspiration for this from Workbench Magazine . I deliberately did not look at their drawings for dimensions or scale. This cart looked like a good design. As with many projects, it is infinitely easier to customize an existing design rather than come up with all original ideas. How many times do we stand on the shoulders of giants that have gone before us? The inner structure: I replaced the pegboard on theirs with 1/2” plywood thinking I would simply screw to...

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Part 4: File Size (WATCH OUT!)

06-05-2011 08:44 PM by rance | 7 comments »

So many times I see a great SU drawing, but the author totally ignored the idea of file size economy. What am I talking about here? If you plan on sharing your file with someone else, it might be beneficial to both parties to stay cognizant of the size of the file you are creating. Even though I am getting to the point in SU where it no longer impeeds my progress, I still watch SU tutorials from time to time. Just a few months ago, I came across one that went into a some detail about file ...

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Part 5: Rolling Wood Storage Rack

06-06-2011 07:22 PM by rance | 12 comments »

I’ve seen several variations of these rolling wood storage units. Inspired by them, I came up with this one for a friend of mine: It incorporates storage for long lumber, sheet goods, and small turning blocks as well. About the only thing I might add would be dowel storage of some kind. Truth be told, I’d probably just put them in tubes and store them on one of the shelves. It is a typical A-Frame design with half lapped joints. For economy, most of the stick material is...

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Part 6: 3 Legged Workbench

06-28-2011 04:27 AM by rance | 12 comments »

So you’ve built this elaborate workbench, the ‘Workbench of your Dreams’. With a Rock Maple top, Paduk edging and all the dog holes anyone could ever ask for (to go with the donuts). You have a difficult time positioning it because it weighs 400 lbs. THEN you realize, although you’ve taken every precaution to make sure all four legs are level and of equal length, the bench thinks its a Rock Star in its new home, your newly finished workshop. It ROCKS, but NOT in a good...

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Part 7: Corner Splines Without a Tablesaw

08-03-2011 09:03 AM by rance | 4 comments »

I’ve seen questions here on LJ asking how to cut accurate splines with weapons other than a table saw. The obvious next choice might be a router. But what if you wanted them thinner than you could get with either of those? I’m gonna suggest a good hand saw. Some can do them freehand with a hand saw. I’m not that good yet so my choice would be to build a Jig. (Or at least a SU drawing :). First order of business would be saw selection. Although some of the larger saws m...

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Part 8: The Inevitible Push Block

08-07-2011 10:45 AM by rance | 10 comments »

  Of all of the jigs in the woodshop, the push block or push stick is usually one of the first that is built. I have qualifications that govern a utilitarian project like this. For one, I rarely purchase materials since scraps can often suffice. Other parameters are to make minimal cuts and processing since these are not that critical. I much prefer wooden push blocks over the plastic ones I’ve seeen. The plastic ones(besides having to be purchased) seem to not grip the wood as ...

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Part 9: Question on Wood Rack Installation

08-29-2011 03:48 AM by rance | 5 comments »

I’m installing a wood rack I built and would appreciate any input as to mounting. This is going in a dingy basement. In fact, it is going in the only room remaining that still has a dirt floor. The rack has been built and consists of 4 vertical supports as follows: The room where it is going looks something like this: The rack will be mounted on the right-hand wall like this: The vertical pieces will be supported by a simple 2×4 lying flat on the floor. Vertica...

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Part 10: TS Blade Holder

09-12-2011 01:14 AM by rance | 7 comments »

In pondering the best way to store my table saw blades, I came up with this design. I’m sure I’ve just borrowed bits & pieces from other designs and combined them here though. Isn’t that the way it always happens? :) Here’s the assembled box with a few of my favorite Red, Silver, and my new Blue blades: #1 My Design Criteria:- Allow quick access to any blade without too much moving of other blades to get to the one I was after.- Provide reasonable protection...

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Part 11: A 'Sheet Sled' (for your Truck)

10-14-2011 11:30 PM by rance | 10 comments »

This was spurred from David's thread in searching for a way to haul plywood in a small truck. I came up with a ‘Bed Sled’ and kept modifying it. I thought rather than taking over his thread, I’d offer it here. Notice the Grocery Bag corrall up front.   The ‘Z’ system in the center is hinged and can be folded up and laid flat. When set up, it sits on top of and locks in place(with a half lap) over the rear support. The rear support sits on top of and...

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Part 12: Sanding Sheet Holder

12-10-2011 09:04 PM by rance | 8 comments »

When I make boxes, I typically tape down a full sheet of 150 grit sandpaper to the Table Saw to level the top and bottom of the boxes after they are glued up. The TS is one of the few dead flat surfaces in the shop where I teach. Being as this is a ‘portable’ situation, this is a pain because of having to tape and untape it each time. I want something to slap down on a bench and be able to quickly grab it to take it with me at the end of the day. I’ve seen the ones using ...

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Part 13: Simple Corner Spline Jig

01-17-2012 07:48 PM by rance | 2 comments »

Here’s my final version that I came up with after doing the over-thought version. I began with one that had an adjustable stop and all that but I gave it away. I like this one the best. When building it, use only glue, no metal fasteners. Dowels work if you feel you need them. The bottom plywood is not really needed but I had already built it that way. The next one prob. won’t have it. The backer board(bright blue) is just double-stick-taped in place. Square might work better and ...

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Part 14: Clamp for cutting Dovetails

01-24-2012 11:47 PM by rance | 9 comments »

I ran across the ”Workbench clamp for perfect dovetails” article by Michael Pekovich from Fine Woodworking. The article suggests drilling holes in your bench to accomodate pipe clamps to hold down a guide board. I REALLY like the clamp idea but even though I revere a bench as a consumable, I’d rather not drill THAT big of holes in it. I’ve come up with an alternate solution that does not require any new holes in your bench. This means it can also be used in whome...

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Part 15: Dovetails ...with Curves

02-12-2012 01:30 AM by rance | 3 comments »

I got my weekly(or is it daily) email from Fine Woodworking(FWW) and they had an advertisement for the beginning of a Dovetail Techniques series by Stephen Hammer on several kinds of dovetails. I watched the preview and was so fascinated with the curved dovetail that I had to mock it up in SketchUp.   A beautiful piece of art. They gave just a glimpse of him making them in the teaser. Just enough that I was able to draw it out. Some views of the Pin board:    And th...

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Part 16: X Puzzle

08-30-2012 12:11 AM by rance | 1 comment »

Someone came up with this puzzle a long time ago. I think it was Moses, or maybe Methusula. I first saw it Here on LJ. I eventually drew it out in SU. So many folks have asked for the drawing I thought I’d post it here. It should be self-explanatory. PS: Obviously you’ll need to make two of these pieces.

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Part 17: Illusionist's Heart Pendant

10-07-2012 08:17 PM by rance | 2 comments »

Seeing that many folks seem to be interested in the construction of the Heart Pendant that Daftehh built, I asked him if he was planning on posting further instruction. He said he wasn’t, and gave me permission to step in. Many of you know by now that SketchUp is my Go-To tool for design. I truely use it as one of my woodworking ‘tools’ to determine dimensions, angles, etc. By drawing the heart out as two individual halves, I began with the basic ‘Pill’ shape....

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Part 18: How to design a Gazebo Bird House

12-27-2012 06:04 AM by rance | 10 comments »

A fellow LJ member(Belg1960) was asking about designing an Octagon Birdhouse a while back. He recently contacted me and asked if I would show him how I would do it in SketchUp. I thought I would make this public for all to see. The method that Jim Jakosh provided was certainly a good one. Every woodworker would benefit from understanding math as much as Jim does. Me, I tend to lean more on SU to do my math. The SU method I am presenting here is but one SU approach. There are other ways to ...

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