Google Sketchup - Come Along for the Ride #13: Hall table project - starting out

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Betsy posted 08-04-2008 01:29 AM 4280 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Simple Sketchup bookcase Part 13 of Google Sketchup - Come Along for the Ride series Part 14: Hall table progress with questions at end »

Well – I’m still recovering from my surgery. Today is my first day/night at home by myself. I’m trying to keep busy by learning this Sketchup program. So far, it’s beating me. But I’m still going to keep at it.

So my thought is that I can’t just keep trying to make things up to learn how to do the program. I think I mentioned before that I would try to use the program to draw the hall table that I made a long, long time ago. I happen to have the prototype in my bedroom so I could get the measurements and work from there.

These are still baby steps but I have learned two very important lessons while tooling around.

If you are going to need more than one of anything in your project, such as a leg – make it a component.

If you need only one of something in a project, such as a table top – make it a group.

To me the two terms “component” and “group” are a little confusing. A “group” seems like it should be more than one thing. Not sure why they use the term the way they do, but it is what it is. Just remember if you need more than one – make it a component and if only one is used make it a group.

So the dimensions for my table are:

Top 42×14 x ¾
Legs 1.5 x. 1.5×28
Long aprons 36×5.5. x ¾
Short aprons 9.5 x. 5.5. x ¾

The front apron is divided into five individual parts.

The top and bottom pieces are 36×1.5. There are three small dividers that make the openings for the two drawers. The two dividers on the ends are 2.25×3.5 and the middle divider is 3.5×3.5 and is, of course centered across the length of the apron.

The legs are set in ¾” from the front and back edges and 1.5” from each side.

So here we go, we’ll see how far I get this session.

First is to make the top. Select the rectangle tool and make a rectangle 14×42 and use the push/pull tool to bring it up to 3/4.

Use the select tool and triple click on the top so that the entire top is blue.


Right click and select “Make Group.”

Once you’ve made the top a group – no other geometry, or parts/functions will change the top.

To change the top you just open the group and edit as desired.

Now we get into a bit of the confusing part for me. I’m going to put in some guide lines using the tape measure tool to place my legs. There are two ways to get to the bottom of the top – orbit around so that the bottom shows or right click the top and select “reverse face.” I think that you need to orbit around to the bottom.


Next orbit and zoom around until you can adequately see the guide marks and use the rectangle tool to put in the first leg (1.5×1.5)

Select the rectangle and right click and select “make component”. I’m going to call my component – “leg” – how creative!

Then while the component is selected – capture your “move/copy” tool and while holding down the control key (option on Macs) click on the leg component and move your mouse to the other corner. Repeat two more times.

There is a way to copy once and then select both copies and then move those copies to the other end of the table—- but I’m not sure how it’s done.


Double click one of the legs to open the component.

Select the push/pull tool and pull to 28”. Pulling one component will pull all four legs up.

Now orbit around to put the table back on it’s feet.

Here’s a big question that I’d appreciate help with.

I’ve used the measuring tool to measure between the inside of both front legs and that distance should be 36”—- I’m 1/8” off. How do I move the leg just a little bit to make that distance?

When I placed my leg copies I placed them to the guide marks. There must be a more accurate way to do that.


Well I think I’m done for now. I’m still having problems getting all my pictures to download – but I’ve got a few in here.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

7 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3963 days

#1 posted 08-04-2008 01:33 AM

You go girl. I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend and I wish you a speedy recovery.

I admire your tenacity with Sketchup. I’ve tried it a couple times and just have not been very successful. You’re doing good, keep it up.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3982 days

#2 posted 08-04-2008 03:34 AM

I would go back and double check everything with the tape…make sure your guide lines are where you think they should be…make sure your tabletop is the right dimensions on all sides. Also make sure your precession is set to at least 1/16”...I usually set the snap and precession to 1/32” if I am doing furniture, and 1/16 if I am doing construction (architectural) drawing…
To move something an exact distance you could use the tape tool to mark a spot 1/8” from the edge of the leg corner then grab the leg corner and move it to your mark. Or you can select the leg, grab the move tool and slide the leg over (in the plane) a little in the direction you want to move it then type in 1/8” in the VCB. Even if you moved the leg over a foot as long as you didn’t click the second time it will move whatever value you type in the VCB. Once you get comfortable with the tools and using the VCB you will probably not use markers and construction geometry..I hardly ever use them myself. Another cool trick is, say if you were doing evenly spaced railing balusters 4” apart. You would construct the first piece, make it a component, then position it where you want it to be. Then grab the move tool, click CNTRL to go into copy mode then move the copy over so you have a 4” gap between them. Then while your still selected before you do ANYTHING else, type in the number you think you might need, say 20 in the VCB, and 20 more pieces will appear the same distance apart as the copied piece! If you made too many then type a smaller number in the box…not enough, type a bigger number.


View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

#3 posted 08-04-2008 05:36 AM

Thanks Brad. I need you to look over my shoulder! I’ll try these tips tomorrow and see how I do.

I really appreciate the help!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3780 days

#4 posted 08-04-2008 05:45 AM

Thanks Betsy and Brad. I am building quite a tutorial from this information.


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

View ManOfSkill's profile


1 post in 3607 days

#5 posted 08-04-2008 06:09 AM

Hi there,

It is really easy to make small moves very accurately in Google SketchUp. Just start moving it and make sure it is hovering parralell to one of your axes and then use the value control box (VCB) to type in the exact amount you want to move it. I made you a quick video to show you how:


View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3982 days

#6 posted 08-04-2008 01:37 PM

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3920 days

#7 posted 08-04-2008 03:37 PM

Thanks Man. It never ceases to amaze me how someone can whip out such a quick video these days.

Between Brad, you and the other commentors, I just might learn this program.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics