SketchUp: This dang thing is killin' me !

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Forum topic by Rick Dennington posted 09-26-2009 06:43 AM 1484 views 3 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3221 days

09-26-2009 06:43 AM

Ok—I installed Sketchup 7 into my computer, got everything up and running, listened to all the tutorials twice even, and wrote down everything the girl was saying about concepts, zoom, pan, etc. Then she went
into shapes, edges, etc, etc., push/ pull this, that, and the other. I must be a dang knothead, cause all I can do is draw lines all over the place. I’m glad they furnish an eraser!!!! It’s about used up! I can’t make nothin’.
My crap looks like crap. I may have to stay with a pad and pencil w/ an eraser. I have no idea where to begin. All I do is draw stick figures ! The mouse is killin’ my wrist, and my shoulder hurts. I can’ take much more of this. I been at this for a few hours and I”M DONE. I don’t care if I ever learn it.
Ok—go ahead and make fun—I don’t care. I know there’s a bunch of you out there laughing, so go on and have your fun and get it over with. I know there’s gonna be a comment or two—so I’ll wait.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

17 replies so far

View rpalm's profile


57 posts in 3407 days

#1 posted 09-26-2009 08:06 AM

Check out these tutorails. These will give you a good start.

-- Robert, I don't understand everything I know about this.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3848 days

#2 posted 09-26-2009 01:28 PM

Rick, I am laughing as well because I have been there and done that! I must have started and stopped Sketchup at least 3 times vowing to remove the program from my computer each time but simply never got around to doing so. I can now produce passable drawing and can make a cut list from the drawings but, as Bently said, it does take practice.

Here is a tutorial that DaveR posted on building a table that helped me get started. Dave has posted a series of blogs (titled Dave’s Sketchup Blather) that are informative and helpful.

But certainly feel free to contact Dave for help. He is extremely knowledgeable about Sketchup and is always willing to help out those of us who are still on the steep side of the Sketchup learning curve.

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

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3920 days

#3 posted 09-26-2009 02:21 PM

I use a pen and paper….....................hasnt failed me yet

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3313 days

#4 posted 09-26-2009 04:54 PM

Plans? They’re overrated!————————-I thought that what scrap plywood and pencils were for.


View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4245 days

#5 posted 09-26-2009 05:12 PM

I started to tell you the other day when you asked about Sketchup that you’d be better off forgetting about it. It’s a great program for some folks (the ones who have the patience and determination to learn it), but it’s not for every woodworker. I had a hunch you were going to find it as frustrating as I do, but I figured you needed to find that out on your own. :-)

Besides, like Kent said, plans are overrated anyway.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 3736 days

#6 posted 09-26-2009 05:14 PM

Been there. Done that. Tore my hair out. Talked to DaveR. I can now do a heck of a lot better than I did, tho I have a LONG way to go. Those who say Linux has a steep learning curve never tried SketchUP!

All kidding aside, Sketchup is a great tool. As with any tool you need to practice. Was your first dovetail a thing of beauty????? I suspect NOT!

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View johnnymo's profile


309 posts in 3232 days

#7 posted 09-27-2009 08:07 PM

It is hard to learn. Just stick with it. I still use a pencil and paper, but if i want to see a 3-d version i’ll use sketch up (as long as it’s not too complicated). The woodwhipster did a podcast on using sketch up to build a model of a craft table. I followed his instruction while watching the podcast and couldn’t believe that I actually did it!...still, nothing beats a good old #2 pencil and a sketch pad.

-- John in Arizona (but it's a dry heat!)

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3221 days

#8 posted 09-27-2009 08:46 PM

Well guys—I still ain’t got it!! They say “practice makes perfect?” That’s a bunch of s**t”.
I’ve practiced, and there ain’t nothin’ prefect around here. I’ve about had it with this program. I’m about to take it out of my computer, get my pad and #2 pencil, and start where I left off.
Like Kent said ” that’s what scrap plywood and pencils are for”, and I got plenty of both!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4126 days

#9 posted 09-27-2009 09:09 PM

I think it is a great tool and as a professional I understand it’s importance and potential.

None of my portfolio projects were drawn in Sketchup.

The secret to success in woodworking is more time in the shop and less on the computer.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3221 days

#10 posted 09-27-2009 09:18 PM

I agree with you 100% on this subject. I do all my learning hands-on in the shop, and not on this contraption!
The time I’ve wasted trying to learn SketchUp could have been time well spent working on one of my projects.
Like you—everything I’ve ever built has been drawn with p&p.
These computers are only as smart as you tell them to be in my opinion.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3491 days

#11 posted 09-27-2009 10:11 PM

the problem is probably conceptual. it would help to have someone walk you through something small 1st hand and explain the sort of “theoretical” background about why the program is so helpful. obviously you dont need it, and there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and it’s not for everyone, etc. BUT – it’s a shame to see a good tool go unused, know what i mean?

it’s sort of like scrapers – after the first difficult break in, they become second nature.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3718 days

#12 posted 09-27-2009 10:33 PM


I have to agree with my friend i hate the bloody thing i try and try to understand it in the end it beats me every time and when you see guys on here that have mastered it you feel even more stupid christ how hard can it be RIGHT so i’m with you mate …..

PS: LOL…...... i still keep bloody trying though


-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3361 days

#13 posted 09-27-2009 10:34 PM

Rick, I use sketchup only occasionally and at a pretty low competence level. I learned about it while I was sick and sitting in my Lazyboy recliner. The going was slow and the learning curve steep.

I just wanted to say to you that the time you use learning this program is well spent because it is like an investment that will pay you dividends for a very long time, and you can continue increasing your skill as you go. Sure some people learn it quicker than others, but I would bet that most of us really struggled in the beginning like you are now. Maybe you are trying to learn too much at one time. I would do what Scott suggests. Take a simple project and learn what is required to complete it successfully. Then go on to increasingly difficult projects that have new elements to learn. After awhile you will be very glad you learned it. If I could learn it, even your dog could! Remember that DaveR is a great resource to call on. Good luck with your efforts! We are looking forward to your first project drawing.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3352 days

#14 posted 09-27-2009 10:41 PM

Any software has a learning curve, and if you are trying to learn this without having all sorts of cad/graphic design etc. software experiences under your belt… it’s going to be a steep learning curve.

I have been at it for a day now. I made a sketch, now I am testing my design with a pine/scrap mock-up (making a few modifications). What was great was that I could envision where I would put certain cuts and realized I would have problems – and adjusted accordingly in my plan. It’s an iterative process of course.

Wonderful software if you want to document a repeatable process. I can’t believe this is free!!!

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3300 days

#15 posted 09-28-2009 12:30 AM

i’ll stick with the good ol’ paper with a fine pencil…i tried this sketchup thing…its a hard little mofo to work with but after watching the video—on mute, (im visual like that) i slowly got the hang of it but it pisses me off to no end cuz non stop i keep making wrong moves or it wont let me put marks where or how i want them. its just good for seeing the 3d full in depth and detail of your project.

-- M.K.

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