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Streamline Desk #1: Initial Design

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Blog entry by Damian Penney posted 07-16-2007 11:56 PM 1711 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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So my next project is going to be a desk that I’m currently designing in Sketchup. I’m a big fan of the Art Deco & Streamline Moderne style so I’m trying to incorporate aspects of that aesthetic in my design.

This is the first pass..

Streamline Desk

I’m going to try and sneak a small form factor PC (perhaps a Mac Mini running XP) into the center drawer of the hutch, and have no visible wires.

I’m also going to use elements of my entry bench in the design i.e the birdseye maple top/walnut frame

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



16 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3620 days


#1 posted 07-17-2007 12:36 AM

lovely design!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6819 posts in 3439 days


#2 posted 07-17-2007 12:40 AM

Damian;

Very cool looking desk! The proportions look pefect, and Birds Eye and Walnut will look great.

Appears that sketchup is your friend.

Excellent work.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 3456 days


#3 posted 07-17-2007 02:00 AM

This is going to be NICE! I wish SketchUp was my friend too! Maybe it’ll just take time to warm up!

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3450 days


#4 posted 07-17-2007 02:46 AM

Sketchup is a lot of fun, I designed the boat bed using it previously but didn’t really go all the way down into the joinery so I ended up wasting a lot of time in the shop umm-ing and ahh-ing wondering how on earth I should actually put the thing together. This time around I’m going to go the whole hog and design everything before hand, then make a workplan before setting foot in the shop in order to maximize my productivity. It’s nice that as I get more projects under my belt I’m able to think less about the technical aspects of the project and instead be able to focus on the creative part of the equation.

I come from a computer science/programming background and it’s very much like when you are starting out coding you have to look up every algorithm, every function, all the arcane syntax etc etc just to get the computer to do the smallest thing, then slowly but surely all that stuff becomes second nature and you can actually focus on the task at hand instead of being bogged down my minutiae. I mean how great must it be to be so adept at manipulating wood like Maloof whereby you can forget all about the machines and just watch your ideas become reality.

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

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 3456 days


#5 posted 07-17-2007 06:45 AM

Damian – your description of getting to know SketchUp is helpful; I won’t give up just yet! Did I read somewhere that you called yourself a SketchUp “newbie?” Nice try! Looks like you’re pretty comfortable designing with it! Down to the rug detail in the office! And, is that guy crossing his legs?

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3450 days


#6 posted 07-17-2007 07:10 AM

Don’t give up, it’s a great tool. The two things that helped me a great deal were learning the keyboard shortcuts, makes it much smoother and also getting into the habit of grouping things early and often. Group/make a component out of each piece so you aren’t dealing with discrete lines all the time.

The rug, man, keyboard, monitor, chair and the wastepaper basket were all simply downloaded from the Google Sketchup Warehouse :)

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3450 days


#7 posted 07-17-2007 07:20 AM

Also Dorje, my comments about the technical/creative aspects were actually in reference to woodworking itself but they most definitely also apply to my experiences with SketchUp. It was weird, the other night after spending a bunch of time using sketchup just before I went to bed I was looking at things and zoning out imagining me clicking the center button and swirling them around in 3D.. Most peculiar :)

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3450 days


#8 posted 07-17-2007 07:26 AM

Here is the room from a little further away, in the other room you can see a console table I was toying with

and here is a quick Ruhlmann cabinet I was messing around with too

-- 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

1804 posts in 3545 days


#9 posted 07-17-2007 07:44 AM

Very nice Damian. Great Sketchup work too.

It’s interesting that you make that point about getting past the minutiae. I’m self taught on all the software I know. The last class I took was a one week Autocad certification class in 1986. I’ve always felt that learning to use the tools well was the secret to success for me. I read the books, watch the online tutorials, and most importantly, play with the software. Using software to design for me is just as much second nature as using a pencil to write my name. I no longer think about how to use the hammer, I just swing it.

Doesn’t everyone swirl things arounjd in 3D in their mind….....:)

Something you guys might find interesting. High res wood textures…almost too high res…..click on the thumbnails and be prepared to wait. I’ve been downloading them as I need them but I’m going to sit down and get them all one of these nights. You’ll want to resize them for use in Sketchup. These are way too big.
http://www.defcon-x.de/textures/

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 3456 days


#10 posted 07-17-2007 07:45 AM

Damian, what are the functional differences between grouping and making components?

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3450 days


#11 posted 07-17-2007 03:19 PM

Components are like groups but they can be used in other models (they are saved as .skp model files), I think I use them too often and should really use groups most of the time i.e all the bits and bobs in my desk should be groups, but the desk itself would be a component because it’s something I would likely use in another model.

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3450 days


#12 posted 07-17-2007 03:28 PM

Thanks Bob, and that’s a great link, I’ve been looking for something like this for a while, do you know what dimensions the pieces that were scanned are?

I’ve gotten some nice textures by using the pics of the veneer at joewoodworker.com and then cropping them in photoshop, it works well because he provides the dimensions, I’ll also do my bookmatching in photoshop, hours of fun :)

-- 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

1804 posts in 3545 days


#13 posted 07-17-2007 05:55 PM

Dorje, I have a tutorial in FWW about groups vs components. I use components most of the time unless it’s just for a quick operation. The tutorial also explains saving the components in a library for future use.
http://blogs.taunton.com/n/blogs/blog.aspx?webtag=fw-designforum You’ll see Bob’s posts in the sidebar. That just made me realize I haven’t done a blog there since May. All my free time has been spent in LJ.

I have to disagree with you slightly Damian. I use components almost exlusively in most of my designs. The reason is the evolution of a design. If you have created a model primarily using groups to isolate the geometry and then later decide to change the design it will take you much longer. If I created a leg for a table and then made it a group and later decided to redesign I’d have to change all 4 legs individually. If its a component I just change one and all the rest change with it. I will usually go even further and have components within components.

If I create a drawer assembly I will make a component of each part of the drawer. Then the assembled drawer itself become a component. I will then save the drawer to my library for possible future use in other projects.

I have no idea what size they are. He doesn’t indicate. You can kind of guess what size they are by the grain but thats it. I’ll have to look at joewoodworker its definitely nice to have the size. Hehe…bookmatching in Photoshop is easier than in Sketchup.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3450 days


#14 posted 07-17-2007 06:16 PM

Fair enough Bob, I use components almost exclusively too but looked up the difference to answer Dorjes question, after reading it I figured I should probably use groups more. I’ll just pipe down :)

Quick question, with my desk I originally made it too long and wanted to just push both ends towards the middle, so the cabinets and the smaller panels on the top would remain the same but the middle bit would get shorter. What’s the best way to accomplish that? I ended up drawing a big cube, placing that in the middle of the desk, intersecting it with the desk and then cutting out the middle and then joining the two sides together, seemed awfully kludgy so I’m sure there is a much easier way. Using the move tool seemed to screw things up though (perhaps I wasn’t selecting the bits that needed moving correctly)

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

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 3450 days


#15 posted 07-17-2007 06:21 PM

Just checked out that blog a bit more, looks like my question is answered left to right and right to left indeed! Perhaps I should read the instructions after all :)

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

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