Using SketchUp to Make Project Templates

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Blog entry by David posted 01-31-2009 07:52 AM 7730 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Using SketchUp to Make Project Templates

I just finished a project that required boring a series of eight accurately spaced holes. I did the original design work for the project using SketchUp. Now, at best, I am a fledgling user of SketchUp. After all, I’m excited to say I just figured out how to use the “Follow Me” tool. It is a great tool and I eagerly soak up any information I can which helps me become a better and more facile user. One thing I do know, just like any other activity (i.e. cutting dovetails) the more you practice the better you become.

I used one portion of my SketchUp drawing to make a drilling guide template. I’ve done this before with great success, most recently using SketchUp to design the curve profile for a corbel that supported a cedar outdoor towel rack. Using SketchUp to make a project template gives me the chance to work out design options and accurately locate center point placement.

If you haven’t yet given SketchUp a test drive, consider doing so as it will most definitely become a valuable tool. Its great for doodling sketches of future projects and finalizing the design of the next project you take to the shop. Just remember, the more you use it the better you will become!

Some Useful SketchUp Resources for Woodworkers

Google SketchUp

Fine Woodworking Design, Click & Build Blog

Fine Woodworking Article - A Quick Course in SketchUp: This powerful 3D drawing program is easy to use-and it's free. Tim Killen

Dave Richards Very Cool Lumberjocks SketchUp Blog: Dave's SketchUp Blather

The SketchUp Show Podcast

Steve’s Cutlist and Layout Plugin for Sketchup


6 comments so far

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3676 days

#1 posted 01-31-2009 03:56 PM

Great. I am a new user of sketchup and have been following Dave’s blog. Now I just need to sit down and start working on it. I can see that this can be a very useful program. Thanks to Dave also.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Karson's profile


35130 posts in 4519 days

#2 posted 02-01-2009 04:01 AM

Some great ideas David.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View DBC's profile


14 posts in 3545 days

#3 posted 02-02-2009 08:19 PM

thank you for giviing a real world use of Sketchup in you’re project.
Also adding multiple links to Sketchup.
I want to Start using this Software for project planing and design, and you have provided a great lanching point.

Great job!!
Thanks, Dino

-- Luthier, Cad Draftsman, Bass Guitar Builder/Player.

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4257 days

#4 posted 02-03-2009 06:29 AM

Thanks guys! Dave’s SU blog has been very helpful. This was my first project that went from SU to the saw and it turned out just like the drawing!


View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3811 days

#5 posted 12-11-2009 09:22 PM

Is this the pro version?

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3811 days

#6 posted 12-11-2009 09:33 PM

oops I see now. I have to set the camera to parallel projection.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

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