As I continue the process of designing the cabinet that will support the table, I am also improving my “fluency” with SketchUp. I sometimes find myself getting distracted with the software, trying to figure out how to do something or just challenging myself to see if I can do something when in reality I don’t need to be. I think it’s a good thing to establish what the intent of your model is before you begin creating it to help mitigate this type of behavior. For example, if one is just trying to determine the relationship between parts or determine what and how much materials to gather, it is not necessary to include as many details like pretty textures, hinges, handles or other hardware as would be if the goal was the model itself.
I gave myself some leniency here though because this project is as much a learning opportunity as a practical exercise. I want to know how many sheets of this or that I’ll need but I’m also doing the design at the same time. I discovered that laying out the design and laying out the actual pieces/parts are two separate things. By this I mean that after I had the basic structure of the cabinet, where the drawers, doors, shelves and dividers would be, I had to go through and refine everything, making tweaks and adjustment to simplify the building. I suppose this isn’t absolutely necessary but I could not imagine trying to get things to line up and go together tightly needing to cut parts that are 24 – 17/32” wide or 30 – 3/64” tall. After nudging and stretching things, I don’t think there any dimensions on the carcass finer than 1/4”. The drawers are different story but those dimensions aren’t as critical as I’m planning to build them to reality after the carcass is done.
Another thing that I took into consideration was that my model is based on nominal material dimensions but of course 3/4” plywood is not actually that thick. So I made sure the layout of all the dados and rabbits were based on a reference edge instead of relative to one another. This way the cabinet may end up being off a small fraction from the actual plan but all the shelves and dividers should line up and go together tightly.
The model has multiple layers that can be displayed or hidden depending on how much detail you want to see. Another thing to keep in mind is that, depending what version of the file you are looking at, there may be things that don’t actually reflect the final design. For example, the model may show lock miters or rabbets on the drawer joinery but that may just be me trying to figure out how to model that type of joint in SketchUp. I’ll continue to make updates to the model as I refine or change the design based on feedback or thoughts that I have so this link will always be to the latest version of the file. When the project is complete I’ll have to figure out how to upload a finalized attachment somewhere. I also want to mention that there are some things like the Incra fence/positioner and some hardware/components that I didn’t model myself but found in the 3D warehouse so I don’t want to steel any credit.