Outdoor "Coffee" Table #4: SketchUp til now

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Blog entry by Dorje posted 07-18-2007 09:44 AM 3084 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The Wood Part 4 of Outdoor "Coffee" Table series Part 5: A little time'll get ya... »

After a couple more hours playing with SketchUp…this is where I’m at – and I wouldn’t even be here without the help of Bob Babcock, Damian Penney, Jojo and jsheaney – so thanks guys…

Now, it’s not to the tee, and I didn’t use the more advanced functions (for me) of components and groups. I tried. I tried intersecting the tenons (of slats as components) into the table top frame members (individual pieces) to make the mortises, but couldn’t quite get that to happen (so went back to the “easier” way)! That’ll be the next thing I learn. But for now I decided that I just wanted to see the table in 3D.

Here’s my idea of the table:

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

7 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4186 days

#1 posted 07-18-2007 11:16 AM

well done!
I can’t get past making a rectangle!

The table is going to be lovely.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View 's profile

593 posts in 3997 days

#2 posted 07-18-2007 11:36 AM

Then you’d better stick to design IKEA furniture with it MsDebbieP! :o)

Jokes aside, SketchUp has a somewhat step learning curve until you do the “click” that makes you grasp the concept. I should play around with it more often ‘cos I’ve forgot way too much. As nowadays I’m not building anything I rather express my designs the classic way: with a pencil and a bit of paper. I do love the feeling of letting your mind soar and your hand follow freely on a paper.

On the other hand, SketchUp is the best thing since sliced bread for simulating a mock-up and “seeing” the piece on a 3D environment, and gives you much more spatial awareness and a precise idea of it’s interaction with the surroundings.

Dorje, not only your table looks great but I prevent you of calling yourself a SketchUp rookie anymore! You learn fast, man. Keep up the good work. I want to share a drink seatting around this very table once we move in to the area!

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4017 days

#3 posted 07-18-2007 03:02 PM

Well look at you Mr Fancy Pants SketchUp wiz :) Looks great Dorje. I’m not very proficient with the whole intersecting thing either and will have to play around with it some more tonight.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4111 days

#4 posted 07-18-2007 05:49 PM

Hehe…I was thinking the same thing. No more newbie tag for you Dorje. Nice work. Don’t sweat it, the intersection thing will come.

I’ll be posting more tutorials on LJ soon. Any things you want to see in particular?

BTW, I definitely like the long tapers.

Jojo, I know what you mean. I almost always start my designs with a pencil sketch. I started out drafting on a board 30 years ago and still have my draftsman’s callous. It’s not until I have the design roughed out that I switch to Sketchup for detailing.

-- Bob

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4022 days

#5 posted 07-18-2007 09:16 PM

Thanks you guys -

Jojo – your welcome to join us at this table when the time comes. We’ll have to sit Japanese style – this is just an 18” high coffee table….

Damian – This maxed out my abilities – but I do want to learn the intersection thing…seems like the key to joinery and only having to make up one of several same components…Looking forward to learning more!

Bob – I’d love to see a more dumbed down intersection tutorial. For some reason, when I view it I’m just missing some stuff because I don’t have the prior knowledge (it seems)... For example, it would be halpful to do a slower intersection of a mortise and tenon joint, where you talk out EVERY step of the way! What do you think?

Also, what a reflief to hear that you still draw your designs out first, get a feel for what the model’s dimensions are, etc, and then mock it up in SU adding more of the details – really good to know.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4111 days

#6 posted 07-25-2007 03:32 AM

I’ll do a more complete M&T tutorial. That one was rushed because at the time I was limited to a 3 MB limits on FWW knots forum. I have a 100 MB available now so no problem. I’ll do one this weekend.

I enjoy using a pencil too much to ever give it up completely. I may switch to a tablet though….I have a small Wacom Intous with the pressure sensitive pen but I’d like a bigger surface. Great for digital artwork and photoshop as well but the 5×5 area is limiting.

-- Bob

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4022 days

#7 posted 07-25-2007 04:38 AM

Bob – the M&T tutorial would be really great! Thanks! I’ve never heard of an Intuous – I’ll look it up to see what you’re talking about; I get that it’s a small tablet computer, but haven’t ever seen that one!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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