Just a quick tutorial on how to draw through dovetails in Sketchup.
In this one, I would not even want to try pins first. Tails first all the way in Sketchup. This is the first time I used Photobucket and the images are a bit odd sized to match the forum. I will fix them as I get stuff figured out.
Ok, you want to make a piece the length and width of your stock:
Take the end where you want to make the dovetails and right click to get the menu and select divide. You will want to make one more piece than you want tails. This extra segment will be for the two half pins on the ends.
Now, draw another line for the other piece’s thickness across the face. In this example, I chose 3/4 inch.
We will use several tricks here. The segments represent the center for each dovetail except for the ends. We want the points between the tails instead. Select the draw tool. When you move the cursor along the line, a little green dot will show up for the endpoints of the line and a little blue dot will show for the midpoint of the line. We want the midpoints. Draw a line from the midpoints straight back to the thickness line from each midpoint. Now you need to decide how wide the exposed portion of the pin will be. I chose 1/8 in this example to give me some room for the kerf of the saw. From each midpoint line we drew, draw another segment 1/2 that distance away from the point. When I drew the first one, I entered 1/16 manually from the keyboard for the length once I started from the first point. After you enter the first segment, Sketchup will suggest the 1/16 in each segment you make each time you get close to that distance away from a point on the line. It will usually show a small red dot when it is suggesting. Watch for the little messages that come up while you are moving around.
Now select the protractor tool and we will make some guides for the actual dovetails. Select the offset points on the side of the midpoint line and move the cursor along the axis matching the direction you want and then click to start measuring. The line will change to the color of the axis you are on when you are going the right direction. Once you click the direction, move to the left or right depending on which way the dovetail is sloped and manually type in the angle of the dovetail. I chose 7 degrees for this example. This shows where the actual dovetails will be on the piece.
Now delete the midpoint lines. They will just be in the way and you don’t need them any more.
Select the draw tool and draw a line from the edge to the thickness line along each angle guide from the protractor tool.
Now we are done with the angle guide lines so delete them too.
Now delete the lines to make the dovetails continuous with the rest of the piece.
You can also delete the half tails now. They will just be in the way.
Use the push tool and extrude the thickness of the stock. Be sure and hit the control key first to tell Sketchup to make a new surface instead of just moving the one you had already.
Now select all (Control-A or from the menu ) and create a component. This will be how we are going to make the pins from the tail piece.
Draw the second matching piece for the pins board. You can do it from the end like I did or you can also do it from the inside.
Use the push tool to extrude the stock thickness. (Again, I used 3/4 in.)
Now select the tails board we made into a component and hide it to get it out of the way.
Select the entire pins board and make a component from it as well.
Unhide the tails board and select both components. The pins board and the tails board. Now take the intersection of the two pieces. Either from the menu or right click and select intersect selected. This will create a set of lines where the two pieces connect and will create the pins. The will not be on the pins component though. Hide the tails board again to get it out of the way. Select everything and explode it (break up the component) and then select everything again and recreate the pins component.
Select the pins component and select edit component. Now we can begin deleting the extra pieces that would be filled in by the pins. This will leave some of the faces missing on the sides of the pins.
Select the draw tool and connect the corners on the inside of the pins to fill in the missing faces. Tidy up and delete any unnecessary lines. Exit the component and get back to the whole drawing.
Unhide the tails board and move things around to see how they fit together.
Put the pieces together and start working on the next pieces. Once these two pieces are made, you can use them by intersecting them with the other components to create the remaining corners of the piece.
-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/