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Forum topic by MagicalMichael posted 05-08-2017 12:05 AM 3506 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MagicalMichael

122 posts in 939 days


05-08-2017 12:05 AM

I have spent a few hours trying to learn Sketchup and am very frustrated. The online tutorial is so poorly put together that I cannot follow it. Does anyone know of good instructional material for this program? I see Sketchlist for sale but their website isn’t very informative, other than to say it is optimized for woodworking. Has anyone here tried to master it?

Michael

-- michael


18 replies so far

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Rich

4584 posts in 1012 days


#1 posted 05-08-2017 01:10 AM

I’ve never used Sketchlist, but I’m proficient enough in SketchUp to do what I need to model my projects. I got my start watching Bob Lang’s videos on the Popular Woodworking Video site. Bob has since updated his tutorials with a PDF that included imbedded videos. It’s a great resource and can be found here.

His blog is a very good resource for SketchUp and woodworking in general. Very talented guy and a great teacher.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Carol

62 posts in 936 days


#2 posted 05-08-2017 02:44 AM

i’ve not heard of Sketchlist, and the learning curve for sketchup, for me, was pretty steep. took me a few discouraging weeks, but i believe i’ve got the hang of things now. keep trying simple builds in sketchup – you’ll get it!

btw rich, that door in your profile is GORGEOUS!!!

-- Carol

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Woodknack

12845 posts in 2803 days


#3 posted 05-08-2017 03:26 AM

I found Sketchup too frustrating. Working on learning Fusion 360 which I like much better but the tutorials are frustrating, I guess that’s what you get for free though.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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r33tc0w

174 posts in 907 days


#4 posted 05-08-2017 03:30 AM

The keys you are going to use the most are your camera pan/rotate/zoom which can all be done by the mouse wheel, left click and the shift key in any combination.

For drawing lines, get used to clicking a starting point, then using the arrow keys to lock the axis (takes trial and error) then typing in the number of inches/feet/mm out how far you want to take the line.

The best thing to do is imagine your project on a 2d plane. Start at the base and work your way up. After your 2d shape, get used to extruding the object to a certain thickness by typing in your distance (same as drawing lines). The biggest hurdle is to make every piece is own object. Once you have your 3d piece, select all its edges and faces (you can do this by triple clicking), right click and you’ll see “make group”. This will allow you to move/edit the piece around your canvas without it changing it’s properties or have other lines in the drawing affect it. Once you have your grouped object, you can use the move or rotate tool to position it. This is where the arrow keys help big time. You’ll notice the 3 axis are different colors and depending on your camera angle in relation to those axis, the arrow keys will lock the axis. For example, if you click your object, then click the move tool, you’ll then want to click a point To reference (corner, midpoint, face) on the object. Click your up arrow (locks to blue axis) – now you can either type in how far you want to move, or you can reference an adjacent object point (corner, edge, midpoint, face) to align.

I found a lot of practice by making a laminated bench top out of 2×4s. This will allow you to understand the basic keys to navigate in the space. If you want, I can Skype screen share you through a session to help answer some more specific questions. I’m by no means an expert, but after 3 installs/uninstalls over the years and now recently having a real world need with my job, I’ve finally gotten past that first hurdle, which is a big one in this program. But once you get past camera movement, making basic shapes and grouping them, it’s a little less menacing. I would suggest searching woodworking bench in the components section, import any of those in to your model and start messing around with selecting the different model groups, moving them, editing them.

Send me a pm if you’re interested

-- Matthew 13:53-58

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torus

300 posts in 836 days


#5 posted 05-08-2017 03:58 AM

I like this:
http://sketchupforwoodworkers.com/

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

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Rich

4584 posts in 1012 days


#6 posted 05-08-2017 04:11 AM

btw rich, that door in your profile is GORGEOUS!!!

- Carol

Thank you so much, Carol. I really appreciate that.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Rich

4584 posts in 1012 days


#7 posted 05-08-2017 04:19 AM

I’ve been involved in software development since the early days of minicomputers like the DEC VAX and even mainframes like UNIVAC.

There has always been competition among platforms and adherents of one or another. It’s always been what works for you. Great software was created with Microsoft C, and Borland C. Windows and Mac.

The beauty of it is that competition drives advancement. If there was only one choice, things would stagnate.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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MagicalMichael

122 posts in 939 days


#8 posted 05-09-2017 01:45 PM

Soooo…. I spent a few hours yesterday morning with Sketchup. This time I skipped the tutorial and just started playing with it. I used the wookworking mm template (cleverly hidden under preferences instead of files) but never found anything that looked like aids for tenons, etc. To me it didn’t look any different than any other template. I quickly discovered that the Help screen would only point to functions in the bar. I set out to design a new out feed table for my soon to be delivered new SawStop. That seemed pretty simple. I followed the advice to design the floor up and quickly got a single leg, but I had a hard time figuring out how to copy & paste it. First I struggled to get the “group” to include all 6 sides, then when I did try to paste it, nothing would happen. Eventually, accidentally, I discovered that the object was “appearing” off my screen, instead of at the spot I was pointing to. I got the hang of dragging it and dropping, but managed to put one leg on the wrong side of my line. I never could get the move function, described here, to work on the group rather than the whole, so I started over. When I got to creating rails I could never get them to line up with the center of the side of the leg. After some more play I needed to move on with life. At this point I considering either the Bob Lang software or sticking with my triangle and pencil.

Michael

-- michael

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torus

300 posts in 836 days


#9 posted 05-09-2017 02:16 PM



.... This time I skipped the tutorial …
...

Michael

I had the same problems and I’ve stopped after 10min. Then I went to youtube and found http://sketchupforwoodworkers.com/ (I am sorry for repeating myself). After first three lessons (30 min each and free!) I can now play with SketchUp without frustration I had before.

I understand that each person learns in different way and my experience most likely will be different from yours.
But spend 30 min with first lesson and see if it fits your style. Did I say it is free?

PS I am still very green with SketchUp. It would be nice to have sub-forum with tricks, know-how and questions for SketchUp users.

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

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hotbyte

1000 posts in 3398 days


#10 posted 05-09-2017 02:17 PM

This inexpensive add-on from Wudworx has made Sketchup must better for woodworking…

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Rich

4584 posts in 1012 days


#11 posted 05-09-2017 02:18 PM

Forget Groups, Components are the real power of SketchUp. Your legs would have taken about 5 minutes with Components and the Flip Around feature.

Tenons are easy. It’s a matter of using the Offset tool with Push/Pull. Sorry if I sound like a broken record, but the Bob Lang book shows the coolest way do do these things. Even better — and I doubt I’d have figured this out myself — he shows how to create a mortise in a piece attached to the tenon using the tenon itself with just a few clicks. Indeed, pretty much any joinery, like dovetails, only requires modeling one side of the joint and using Bob’s method for the other side.

Everyone works in their own way, but his workflow is very natural, and I find it easy to follow.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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BobLang

172 posts in 3823 days


#12 posted 05-11-2017 01:54 AM

Hi Michael,

At the risk of sounding like a total shill you should get my book. At least visit my website where there are free tutorials and samples of my book to download. SketchUp isn’t the easiest program to teach yourself. It does become simple and predictable when you understand how stuff works in “SketchUp World” and you know how to get around in a model. I struggled with the same issues you struggled with; almost everyone does. I try in my books and in the classes I teach how to get over those hurdles and straighten out the learning curve.

When you have some practice you will have an incredible tool at your command for designing/planning/engineering and communicating any project. The goal is to reach a point where you don’t have to think through each and every move. At that point, 3D modeling is much like being out in the shop and building for real. That’s fun, and it will make you a better woodworker. I almost always spot something in SketchUp that would be painful in the shop. Much easier to fix in SketchUp where the materials are free, there is an “undo” button and a functioning board stretcher.

Thanks to Rich for the kind words about me and my work,

Bob

-- Bob Lang, https://readwatchdo.com

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Rich

4584 posts in 1012 days


#13 posted 05-11-2017 04:14 AM


Thanks to Rich for the kind words about me and my work

I could definitely feel the pain of the OP. I actually think that previous CAD experience is a bad thing when it comes to SketchUp, since the workflow is so different. I picked up SketchUp, tried it and quit out of frustration multiple times before I found your older videos. Total game changer, but your new PDF is even better.

You’ve earned any remuneration you receive for your book sales, Bob, and I wouldn’t have known about your new and improved product but for your mention of it here. It’s worth every penny.

And, to be clear, I am not a paid spokesman, just a satisfied customer.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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MagicalMichael

122 posts in 939 days


#14 posted 05-11-2017 10:53 AM

Bob, you don’t sound like a total shill, or a shill at all. I had looked at your web site and was very intrigued by what I saw. Been too busy the last couple of days to think about it too much – grandchild care, sick mom, sold radial arm saw, shop torn to pieces… and surgery on my ear in which the surgeon low balled the trauma & recovery. I’ll probably buy the New Woodworkers Guide as a PDF in the next couple of days. Thanks for the help.
Michael

-- michael

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johnstoneb

3117 posts in 2595 days


#15 posted 05-11-2017 01:15 PM

I found that Fine Woodworking’s dvd Sketchup guide for woodworking and the book Google Sketchup the missing manual helped me a bunch. I also took a class at my local Woodcraft one night on Sketchup. It now does what I want when I want it to.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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