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Google Sketchup - Come Along for the Ride

101547 Views 169 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  Tangle
Trying to get back in the swing - new project

OK - so I'm finally getting back to doing things. Small stuff mostly and easy things. So I'm thinking of making a cutting board for my sister-in-law. A board for cutting bread. She makes the best homemade bread!!

Anyway - this is what I'm trying to do.


I'm having trouble getting the colors right. The whole idea of doing a SU picture is to see if what you want to do will look good, etc.

I want to change a couple of the components to a walnut color.

If you try to imagine what I want to do-the first 3" section (on the left) will have cherry on the bottom - walnut on the top.

then comes a maple strip, then a 3/4 strip with walnut on the bottom and cherry on top - then a maple strip - then 3/4 strip with cherry on bottom and walnut on top - then a maple strip then the 3" piece on the right has
walnut on the bottom and cherry on top.

If anyone can help with the coloring I'd appreciate it. I looked in the paint bucket and there are not many wood colors - I'm sure there is a way to import more - but not sure how.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Simple Sketchup bookcase

Here I am going to try a little bit more of this Sketchup program. I'm having a bit of trouble getting the hang of things - but I'm determined to whip this program into submission! I was going to work on a hall table - but decided that's still out of my SU talent range so I've decided to do a simple bookcase. I've picked up few tricks. Nothing to fancy - but more than the baby steps I took with the table blog.

Between the medication for my neck and the cat sitting on my keyboard - I might get this accomplished.

First start with a rectangle the outside diameter of the bookcase. I'm shooting for 14" deep and 32 wide.

Use the push/pull tool to pull the rectangle up to 5'.


Now we'll use the "offset tool." This is the tool that looks like a half circle with an arrow coming through the top (13th tool from the left of the small tool bar).

Position the offset tool on the top edge of the rectangle so that the red inference dot shows up. Then slowly move the tool inward - you should see a second rectangle being created - left click and type in ¾" in your VCB box. This will give you ¾" sides.

Next select the face of the rectangle and use the push/pull tool to push the face back 13.75"


As it appears this is just a simple box that will have shelves added. Nothing fancy. I've not figured out how to show the rabbet on the back or the dados for the shelves. But I'll get there!

Next so that nothing happens to my shell - I'll make this into a "group."

Select the box by triple clicking so that all the edges are blue.

The right click and select "make group"

Now onto making a few shelves.

Select the rectangle tool and draw a rectangle on the bottom of the case. I choose to make mine 12" deep (by 31" long).

Then select the rectangle and right click and select "make component."

Now select the rectangle/component by using the select tool and double clicking,

Bring the move/copy tool onto the shelf component you should see four red crosses (x's) and it should say on "on face on group"

Left click and hold the control key down-and move your copy up to the top of the case. Type in /4 then hit Enter. You should get four additional shelves evenly spaced.

Click on the bottom shelf (the original rectangle) and delete.

Now select one of the shelves by double clicking and use the push/pull tool to expand the shelf - ¾". Because you made the shelf a component - what ever you do to one shelf will happen to the others.


Certainly nothing fancy here. I want to work on figuring out how to put the rabbet on the back and the dado's for the shelves. I still need to figure out how to show the screen I'm looking at into the blog. That would probably help a lot. But I'm missing something in my fellow LJ's explaination of how to do that. But will keep trying.

Hope this makes sense!
Hello Betsy,

Thanks for the step by step approach. I agree with Dave though; I try to use SU to mimic what I'll be doing in the shop so I like to create the components as if I was actually machining the wood. This give me the benefit of having to work through each step of construction digitally before going into the shop and making sawdust. I initially did as you were doing just using SU to 'sketch up' the piece to be worked on…but that left me wondering "How am I going to build this?". Using Dave's approach I am solving that question as well as designing the piece. My $0.02 worth… thanks again for the tutorials.
Hall table project

I know you have all probably have had enough of this blasted table by now, but the repetition is helping me learn.

I'm trying to blog about a few of the smaller things that I've picked up that I did not know before and that others may not have known. Some who are more computer savvy-- please look away and or forgive me!

The first shot just shows that I've drawn out guidelines for the footprint of my table, my first leg which has the mortises cut in. Pretty basic - but until just a short while ago I struggled with. I made the leg a component.


The second shot shows that I have copied and moved my leg. The shot shows that both legs are "blue" which means they are both "selected". Until just recently I did not know that if you select the first object then hold down the Shift key and click the next object that both would be "selected." (I believe there is a way to do so by clicking and holding down the mouse key - but I can't seem to get that to work.)


The third shot shows that I've copied and moved my two leg set to the other end of the footprint and both are still "selected."


The fourth shot shows that I have picked the scale tool and will be scaling/mirroring both legs at once. I could not get my print screen program to work while holding the Control key down-- but to scale across the center point of the object you have to hold down the Control key while you are pushing the object through.


The fifth and last shot simply shows that my legs are now correctly positioned with the mortises in their proper order.


The program is certainly getting easier to use and understand. The devil is certainly in the details.
Great work Betsy, It is the minutia that sometimes trips us up… I like the fact that you go through so much detail. I think some of my best math teachers going through school were not intuitive mathematicians so they understood how difficult the unintuitive (such as myself) found the topic. Because you are working through all the details it makes it easier for those reading to understand how the software works. Well done.
Hall table --- project DONE!

Or as done as it's going to be. So here's the finish up.

The last entry had me down to the drawers and putting in the bottom. This shot shows where I put in some guidelines to set the bottom. I hide the side so I could see where to guide the bottom.



I also tried to do the move by using the x-ray function (found under view on the program's menu bar).


You can see here where I moved the bottom in - notice the inference dot.


The next two shots just show that I managed to get the bottom in OK and have taken off the x-ray view.



I had been wondering how I was supposed to put on the front piece, but that was one of those duh moments. I simply put in some guidelines.


Next drew a rectangle on the front.


Then push/pulled to 3/8".


Here's the finished drawer.


The table with the drawers "installed."


And drum roll--- here's the finished table. It's not perfect by any long shot of the imagination, but I think if I were to be going into the shop, I could build from this. I would probably break it out into dimensions and maybe install a cutlist plugin, but I could build without that stuff.

The "paint" is the cherry original.


Thanks for following my blog and all the input.

I've learned quite a lot about Sketchup through this little project. Along with that, I also learned a lot about computers in general and a little about patience and tenacity. When I started this project, I really did not think I would finish it. I surprised myself that I not only was able to learn the basics of the program but that I finished as well. I hope that some of you were able to learn a couple of things along the way also.

A special big thanks to DaveR who has patiently, through this blog and through private e-mail, tutored me through the process. THANKS DAVE!
Congratulations on completing the project/blog. These computers can be vexatious at times…mine here at the office keep doing what I tell them to do instead of what I meant for them to do LOL! Thanks for all the details and tips in your blog….hopefully soon you will be back in the shop and too busy to do interesting blogs like this!
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