Google Sketchup - Come Along for the Ride

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Blog series by Betsy updated 11-19-2008 03:23 AM 34 parts 64223 reads 136 comments total

Part 1: The Beginning

07-17-2008 02:55 PM by Betsy | 11 comments »

So you asked for it, so here it is—- a blog about Sketchup. Now the first thing you have to know is that I’m a complete novice and so this journey we are taking will be interesting. I’m looking forward to the challenge of bringing Sketchup to life for you and me! The other thing is that until Saturday I’m not going to be able to do much. My home internet is down until then when the repair guy comes, so I’m doing a little bit from work before the work day start...

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Part 2: In the beginning.....

07-18-2008 03:14 PM by Betsy | 9 comments »

So the journey begins. The trip is short this morning because I’ve got to start work shortly. I’m a beginner at this program so thsy’s where we are starting. I will do my best to answer, or find answers to all questions. Everyoneis welcomed to chime in with questions, answers, or corections to my answers. So like I said short and sweet this morning. First – definitely get a mouse with a scrool wheel—even if you have a laptop. I got my mouse out last nigh...

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Part 3: Baby steps, the blind leading the blind

07-19-2008 05:56 PM by Betsy | 2 comments »

Finally have my internet connection back!!!! Don’t realize how much you use it until it’s gone. Learning Sketchup is no easy feat. I’m going to make the admission that I’m an not technically savvy and so this project is going to be taken in baby steps. Hopefully, those who are like me, technically challenged, will be able to learn from my little foray into the computer age. For those who are more technically able, perhaps this will provide some good fodder for jokes...

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Part 4: Tools - general stuff

07-20-2008 11:36 PM by Betsy | 10 comments »

So now we have to take a look at tools. There are LOTS and LOTS of tools to look at. But the three most important are the zoom, orbit and pan tools. It seems that their importance are in that order. Again, I’ve definitely discovered that if you don’t have a mouse you better get one. You can do everything with your keyboard and cursor – but you’ll save yourself a whole bunch of aggravation by getting a good mouse. Moving the scroll wheel back and forth zooms in an...

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Part 5: A simple table preview

07-21-2008 02:47 PM by Betsy | 3 comments »

I’m at work right now and don’t have SU on this computer. But last evening I decided the best way to get moving on this was to put aside trying to do anything fancy (layers, components, MT joints, etc.) and do a simple table. So I spent about three hours or so putting a table together. The table is based on episode 11 of the Woodwhisperer’s pod cast. I plan to take it one step at a time and go into detail of each step. I’m not going to do anything fancy like move, cop...

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Part 6: Table building --- starting simple

07-22-2008 02:40 AM by Betsy | 5 comments »

So the journey to building a very simple table begins. This table is based on one from Thewoodwhisperer’s episode 11 arts and craft table. There’s is nothing fancy that’s done and that’s the best part for this primer on using SU. Now I’ve spent some time putting the table together—unfortunately, I’ve still not figured out how to post it here. So if someone can enlighten me on that little gem I’d appreciate it. Regardless – here we go...

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Part 7: Continuing the table - inserting guides and preparing for legs

07-23-2008 01:04 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

I really appreciate Brad and others (some PM’s) that have responded to my blog. That’s what I want – all the responses help me by either encouraging me to keep going or adding to the blog with other thoughts. That’s what I want and I appreciate everyone’s input. Thanks to Brad Nailor I learned how to insert a picture of the table I am blogging about. It’s a crude project—- but it’s a start and I’ve learned a lot doing it. Hopeful...

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Part 8: Putting in the legs and zooming and panning

07-23-2008 06:04 AM by Betsy | 9 comments »

Second try on this one. Had it almost done and it went into oblivion somewhere. Oh well – here we start again. This is where we ended the last time. So now it’s time to place the legs. This will be another exercise in redundancy. No copying and pasting – practice practice practice. :+) We are going to work with the bottom left leg. You need to select your rectangle tool and move it to the corner of the two guide lines. When your tool hits the corner exactly a b...

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Part 9: The next progect

07-23-2008 07:10 PM by Betsy | 5 comments »

I’m nearing the end of my basic table blog and will be starting another project that will be more complex. Such things as groups, components, etc. Since I’m not allowed in the shop right now, I’m not going to tempt myself by designing a new progect. So what I’ve decided to do is to use SU to make a drawing of a project I’ve already done. It’s the hall table that I have posted. I’ll be finishing up the table ...

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Part 10: Rotating ---- not sure I've got this right but here goes

07-24-2008 02:06 AM by Betsy | 1 comment »

Well I should be able to finish up the table project tonight. Still going slow and methodically. To everyone who has commented and added tips—- THANKS. I really appreciate it and hope you continue to add to my blog. This is all about learning after all. So we left off here. Now we have to back up just a bit. If you remember from the last section I had used the orbit tool to turn the table upright. Well come to find out there’s a better way (thanks Brad!). We started w...

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Part 11: Last of the simple table blog - then onto bigger and better projects!

07-25-2008 04:04 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

So now we are going to finish up the table. Since I started this little project I have learned a ton of stuff. All that will be explored on my next project – the hall table, however, I really feel like I need to finish this blog project the way I started, with baby steps – and not necessarily the very best way to get things done. (one caveat—my pictures are screwed up and I’m not exactly sure why. So there are not many pictures tonight. Will start fresh for the next project.) ...

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Part 12: Simple Sketchup bookcase

07-28-2008 12:25 AM by Betsy | 7 comments »

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 o...

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Part 13: Hall table project - starting out

08-04-2008 01:29 AM by Betsy | 7 comments »

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 m...

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Part 14: Hall table progress with questions at end

08-04-2008 06:40 PM by Betsy | 10 comments »

Today, I’m going to put in the aprons and hopefully with the help of my LJ friends the openings for the drawers. First the aprons. This is what I what I’m going to end up with at the end of this blog session. Use your zoom tool and pan tool to move the table around so that one of the “short end” legs are showing. (Since I’ve already managed to get the aprons on, I’m simply going to erase one short apron to demonstrate what I did.) Select your rectangle tool and move it so that y...

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Part 15: Hall table redo -- just putsing along - and questions, course

08-05-2008 04:19 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

OK – so its redo time now I’m just playing a little trying to figure things out. First off this picture is kind of messed up—not sure why my dimensions did not show correctly. But here it is. I managed to get my legs spaced correctly at 39” front/back outside to outside and 36” front/back inside to inside measurements; and 12.5 side to side outside and 9.5” inside to inside measurements. The legs measure 28” tall. The mortises are 1/2”...

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Part 16: My saga continues -- really starting to get some ideas now though

08-06-2008 06:07 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

As with any new thing – it’s a stop and start learning experience. Yep. Still working on the hall-table-drawing. Getting a lot of great help from Dave and David – thanks guys. So now I’ve started again with the legs. I’ve come a long ways from just a simple rectangle on the ground – but it’s a long way from a fancy turning. But that will come in time. (I promise that I won’t start from the beginning every single time I blog—- but right now it makes sense to me.) The table leg is...

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Part 17: Hall table - drawers -- not a good start

08-06-2008 10:15 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

I was not going to do any more on this project tonight—- but could not sleep. So I piddled with the drawers for the hall table. They are not pretty. The box resembles and box joint box—but that’s about it. I still have to work out how to to interface with other parts. But that will come. For now this is the box I’m working with to make a drawer for my table. I am using 3/4” material here, but will switch to 1/2 material on the real project drawers. So without ...

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Part 18: Drawer sides -- struggling along

08-10-2008 02:37 AM by Betsy | 8 comments »

It’s been a few days since I’ve worked on this—- and won’t be doing much today, but I’m working on the drawer for the hall table. This is how I’ve redrawn it. The sides are 1/2” x. 10.25” x 3.5” Drew the first side to above dimensions and then made it into a component. Then moved the side to 13 7/8” (outside to outside) and then flipped along red axis. (Because this is a basic rectangle – flipping it won̵...

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Part 19: Plodding along on my drawer project - having issues with scaling

08-11-2008 05:53 AM by Betsy | 1 comment »

So I’m home from the church concert – WOW – kinds of revs you up. So decided to try to learn a little bit more on the SU front. I’m probably the slowest learner on this type of stuff – but no one can say I’m not persistent! So here I go. This is my first side – which shows the length (10.25); width (.5); and height (3.5) and I’ve made it a component. This next shot shows the second side having been copied and moved to it’s ...

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Part 20: A little tidbit that I picked up about guides

08-11-2008 06:31 AM by Betsy | 1 comment »

Here’s a little tidbit that I recognized tonight while drawing my guidelines for my drawers. Notice on the first shot that my red inference dot is on the middle of the red axis and I’ve got a dotted line showing where my guideline will be when I release my mouse. This next shot shows where I start on the “origin” (yellow inference dot) and move up the green axis. At first I thought that because I was moving on the green axis line itself – I did n...

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Part 21: Grand experiment on posting a video

08-11-2008 08:33 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

I’ve been wondering how some of you make videos to post on the net. Scott (Chicowoodnut) put me onto It’s a pretty cool looking program. I actually managed to do a very short video on SU. What surprised me when I played it back was that it had sound! I had no idea my laptop had a built in microphone. So if you play this video – you’ll hear all the typing going on but nothing else. I highly suggest turning the sound...

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Part 22: Scale tool ---- I DID IT!

08-11-2008 11:33 PM by Betsy | 0 comments »

OK – I know I’m a slow learner – but I finally got the scale tool. One thing DaveR pointed out that I honestly did not see before is that when you select a tool from the tool bar – an explanation of what that tool does appears in the lower left corner of the window screen. If there is a toggle option it will also show in the explanation. So here’s my short video on how I used the scale tool. On to making the joints. Thanks for looking. As you can se...

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Part 23: Hall table project

08-12-2008 05:39 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

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 ...

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Part 24: Web site for Sketchup

08-12-2008 11:38 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

I have the Google Sketchup for Dummies book and it gives a website to go to for tips, etc. It’s listed in the book as, but I could never get that site to work for me. So I ended up tonight just e-mailing the author, Aidan Chopra, for help. He sent me a different link and I wanted to share it with all of you. I’ve looked at a great deal of the videos and they are well worth the time to view. Happy sketching!

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Part 25: Reinserting back apron, hide group, outline, x-ray view and questions, of course

08-12-2008 07:01 PM by Betsy | 1 comment »

Heading into the home stretch. I redrew some of my table to point out some things I was learning. However, I left off on my hall table with a few problems (OK – more than a few) that I’m working on fixing. Specifically, I need to redraw my back apron because somewhere along the line I erased the back edge and did not make it a component. Because I did not make it a component, when I drew in my drawer runners – the runners broke the face of the apron. Secondly, I redrew my dr...

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Part 26: Drawers - still more questions

08-15-2008 12:44 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

I’m still working on this project and the drawers are coming closer. As with anything there are numerous ways to get to the same destination. DaveR, who has the patience of a saint, has been trying to show me how to do this project. See this entry I’ve been struggling with this technique – not sure why – but it is what it is. Long and short I came up with an alternate method that probably won’t work if I were ...

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Part 27: Hall table --- project DONE!

08-15-2008 04:50 AM by Betsy | 6 comments »

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 j...

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Part 28: Plugins

08-16-2008 03:42 AM by Betsy | 0 comments »

I’m not sure how I missed this blog entry by Daltxguy about plugins. But since I did, I thought I’d bring it back up so that others who may have missed it can review it. It’s great! the blog is about Cutlist and layout plugins. Happy reading.

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Part 29: Trinket box - I'm bored - so I thought I'd try my hand at designing a box - protractor tool

08-17-2008 07:33 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

I’m sure this won’t be any great shakes – but I thought I’d try my hand at making a simple trinket box that I could maybe, possibly, in the near future——someday make. OK—- so I’m feeling a little sorry for myself—- it’ll pass. Any how – this will give me the opportunity to play around a little bit with the protractor tool and once I get a lid on—the rotator tool to move the lid up and down. Another thing I want to explore...

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Part 30: Short Sketchup protractor tool video

08-17-2008 09:51 AM by Betsy | 4 comments »

Hopefully this works. I did a very short video on how to use the protractor tool to make a mitered corner. It’s a rather feeble attempt—I’m not sure why my voice is ahead of the video action. But it is what it is. Hopefully it will be helpful. Thanks for looking.

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Part 31: What they DON'T tell you about Google Sketchup.

08-20-2008 12:23 AM by Betsy | 1 comment »

So if you have not figured this out yet——I should warn you—- Sketchup is addicting! Beware if you start playing with it – you won’t be able to stop! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :-) I’m having some internet trouble so have not uploaded my latest “creation”, but hope to do so soon. Just thought I’d give you all fair warning. Happy sketching.

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Part 32: Trying to get back in the swing - new project

11-07-2008 03:39 AM by Betsy | 2 comments »

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 col...

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Part 33: Cutting board second try

11-08-2008 05:21 AM by Betsy | 6 comments »

OK – now with the able help of DaveR and Scott – I’ve managed to get some wood textures into my materials folder and have redone my cutting board. What do you think of this layout. I’m not sure I like it – alternating cherry on top, then walnut with a maple strip between. But I honestly don’t have much of any eye for things – combinations (clothes shopping involves see what the manequins (?) are wearing and picking that! – true confession). ...

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Part 34: From SU to reality

11-19-2008 03:23 AM by Betsy | 3 comments »

I still have some work to do on the board – but thought I’d share what it looks like in relation to the SU project. Here’s the SU model And here is the reality. I still need to round over the edges and put on a good finish. Right now I just used a little mineral spirits to clean it up a bit. I’m getting closer to actually being able to post a project in the projects section of the site! thanks for looking.

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