Google Sketchup: HELP!

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Blog entry by Stevinmarin posted 07-26-2010 12:50 AM 2479 reads 3 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay, I’ve spent the whole weekend working on a design for an entertainment center, you know, rather than actually cutting wood. It sucks. At the urging of a lot of people, I have decided to start learning how to use Sketchup.

So here’s my proposal: help! I’ve read countless postings about Sketchup. I have watched countless videos. I’m overwhelmed and confused. I’m a 2D guy caught in a 3D world. Please, someone: make it simple!

If you like to write and would like to be seen by millions (well, at least a few) people on my blog, send me your “5 Things a Total Beginner Needs to Know About Sketchup” or something like that and send it to me. I’ll post it on my blog and you’ll be famous. Yeah. The woodworking gods will favor you.

More info...

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

31 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113829 posts in 2666 days

#1 posted 07-26-2010 12:55 AM

Good luck Steve it’s a battle I haven’t one, I hope you do better learning sketchup than I have.

-- Custom furniture

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2012 days

#2 posted 07-26-2010 12:58 AM

Frankly I found it just as easy to use a t-square and triangle on my trusty drawing board.

-- Life is good.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 2165 days

#3 posted 07-26-2010 12:59 AM

Thanks Jim. You know, this is a case where there is just too much information available. I need someone who can get me started in terms I can understand. i.e. for the simpleton.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View patron's profile


13422 posts in 2430 days

#4 posted 07-26-2010 01:00 AM

i’m still sticking to sketches on napkins .
or the occasional drafting table plan .

sketch-up is over my head ,
but then so is getting out of bed , lol !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 2165 days

#5 posted 07-26-2010 01:01 AM

I hate you Howie! Haha! I’m just not getting it. I’ve been thinking in 2 dimensions for too long.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 2165 days

#6 posted 07-26-2010 01:02 AM

David: I’m with you, brother…

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2911 days

#7 posted 07-26-2010 01:06 AM

Steve, I am sure that DaveR will chime in on this one. I have found his advice to be on target and he is always willing to help us novices out.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View b2rtch's profile


4677 posts in 2138 days

#8 posted 07-26-2010 01:09 AM

popular wood working has a pretty good video you can buy.
I have bought it , it is helpful without saying that it makes sketchup easy.

-- Bert

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2012 days

#9 posted 07-26-2010 01:16 AM

Actually I spent several years sketching isometrics so I can draw in 3 d.

-- Life is good.

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 2267 days

#10 posted 07-26-2010 01:20 AM

When I first tried using Sketchup I didn’t even try to utilize the 3D aspects of the program but after learning it I find that I often mock things up on there as well as using it to check dimensions and such.

This web site, makes it very easy to learn.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2398 days

#11 posted 07-26-2010 01:51 AM

I am another person who has no interest in sketchup. The closest I get to using it is when I delete the “S” and then put it on my french fries. There are many great woodworkers over the years who have created masterpieces without using it.

View PurpLev's profile


8522 posts in 2738 days

#12 posted 07-26-2010 02:03 AM

just like with most new techniques, it sometimes take a few different approaches until that lightbulb turns on with the “I got it” in fleshy neon.

I mostly find that when people are having a hard time with SketchUp, is that they are overly complicating things, and need to step back a couple of notches.

PM me if you need any help, I may be able to set some 1-on-1 session where I can guide you through a few basic steps to get started with SU.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View spamfilterman's profile


147 posts in 2111 days

#13 posted 07-26-2010 02:55 AM

I too would recommend
It should get you going.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2535 posts in 3047 days

#14 posted 07-26-2010 03:06 AM

Sketchup was originally conceived as a virtual sketchpad type of application. A designer or architect could work rapidly as he received feedback from the client, like you would with a sketch pad…working with basic shapes and then refining them as you work through the design. Thats what makes it such a great application..they designed the tool set and the interface to be simple yet powerful. I think Sharon hit it right on the head….most people that get frustrated with it usually over think it or over complicate it. I am a daily AutoCAD user, and I almost have to “de program” myself when I switch over to SU. I think shopgurls tips are right on as well for beginners. I usually give the exact same advice to newbies. A few important things I always recommended…

Practice, practice, practice! the more you draw the more you will become comfortable with the interface and the tools. Go to the website and print out the cheat sheet. Familiarize yourself with everything the tools do…

Watch tutorials, yes…but don’t get too far ahead of your skills…you might become frustrated and give up.

Always combine geometry into groups or components…this will save you time, help you to manipulate objects easily, and allow you better control over how the objects interact..

Use keyboard can customize them in the setup menu….It’s allot faster than using icons, i think…

Keep your drawings clean and uncluttered…erase your guide lines and points. If you think you might need them later then put them on a layer and turn it on and off..


View rsladdwoodworks's profile


311 posts in 2258 days

#15 posted 07-26-2010 03:12 AM

if you would just look at sketchup for woodworks . com he makes it so nice to understand and It IS FREE so give it a try at first I though you art a lunatic but I gave you a try

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

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