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Forum topic by allaboard posted 08-15-2016 05:37 PM 818 views 2 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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allaboard

4 posts in 109 days


08-15-2016 05:37 PM

Howdy folks. I’m kindly new to woodworking but wanted to get started with the goal of eventually building cabinets. Is there a software that’s good to use to design the project first? I came across SketchUp, and worked in it a bit. Just wondering if this is a good place to start or should try something different.


27 replies so far

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SyndicateCoTToN

9 posts in 280 days


#1 posted 08-15-2016 07:30 PM

I use adobe illustrator if it is just a simple layout or ‘sketch’. Rhino for everything else. Rhino make it easier to create compound curves or export paths to a CNC encoder. Neither one is free, but they work great.

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fivecodys

581 posts in 1095 days


#2 posted 08-15-2016 07:58 PM

I use SketchUp. There are a ton of you tube tutorials for this application. I think I have learned the most from Jay Bates channel.

-- Chem, Central California

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JayT

4770 posts in 1670 days


#3 posted 08-15-2016 08:05 PM

I use Sketchup, as well, and really like it. Haven’t found anything I can physically build that cannot be done in Sketchup first. It really helps when looking at proportions or seeing where a problem area might be before actually cutting into anything.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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ArtMann

131 posts in 275 days


#4 posted 08-16-2016 02:04 AM

I am going to have to disagree with the Adobe Illustrator recommendation. It is not easy or straight forward to learn and, although it provides hundreds of unique features for illustration purposes, it is awful at creating mechanical drawings you can build by. I know because we use it and my wife is a 30 year veteran visual designer who made her living using it for more than a decade. It is also very expensive and you can’t buy the software. You rent it by the month. We use it and Corel Draw to create artistic designs for 2-D and 2.5-D CNC carving.

I use Sketchup for cabinet and furniture design and it would be hard for me to imagine a more appropriate piece of software for the purpose. The basic version is absolutely free. Many books have been written specifically to describe how to get the most out of it as a woodworking tool. That should tell you something. You can buy dedicated cabinet CNC design software but it is expensive and isn’t very versatile for anything else. I would probably use that if I built cabinets for a living.

Among the largest of the CNC router software companies is Vectric. Both of their premium products will import Sketchup drawings as either a true 3-D file or (more usefully in most cases) as a 2-D flat file which includes the various components needed to build the design.

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johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1632 days


#5 posted 08-16-2016 02:06 AM

Sketchup

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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JAAune

1634 posts in 1776 days


#6 posted 08-16-2016 02:27 AM

I use Sketchup. Just finished a mockup of a missal stand for a church.

It looks unbalanced in that image. I still need to study it further to determine if proportions need adjustment or not. This is almost as good as prototyping for fleshing out overall shapes and proportions and it’s much faster.

Details get added later.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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BB1

474 posts in 307 days


#7 posted 08-16-2016 11:30 AM

I tried to use Sketchup and felt like I was going in circles in trying to get a basic shape set. Based on the reports from many others I will need to give it another try. Are there any “how to” resources on using Sketchup that others have found to be helpful?

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dhazelton

2322 posts in 1756 days


#8 posted 08-16-2016 11:47 AM

I downloaded Sketchup and it made my head swim, too. And I came from a world where I used Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, Pagemaker and all that stuff. I like to draw by hand. But if I was committed to learning a program I guess it would be Sketchup.

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#9 posted 08-16-2016 01:01 PM



I tried to use Sketchup and felt like I was going in circles in trying to get a basic shape set. Based on the reports from many others I will need to give it another try. Are there any “how to” resources on using Sketchup that others have found to be helpful?

- BB1

Part of it is finding a good way in. I tried one sketchup for woodworking instruction video, and the instructor and my mind just didn’t work well together. Then I tried Bob Lang’s approach, and it all clicked for me: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/sketchup-tutorial-learn-how-to-use-sketchup-for-woodworking

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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BB1

474 posts in 307 days


#10 posted 08-16-2016 01:07 PM


I tried to use Sketchup and felt like I was going in circles in trying to get a basic shape set. Based on the reports from many others I will need to give it another try. Are there any “how to” resources on using Sketchup that others have found to be helpful?

- BB1

Part of it is finding a good way in. I tried one sketchup for woodworking instruction video, and the instructor and my mind just didn t work well together. Then I tried Bob Lang s approach, and it all clicked for me: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/sketchup-tutorial-learn-how-to-use-sketchup-for-woodworking

- CharlesA

Thanks – I’ll have to check that out. Not sure if the version matters – mine is Sketchup 8 (was a free download).

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jbay

805 posts in 358 days


#11 posted 08-16-2016 01:10 PM

Thanks – I ll have to check that out. Not sure if the version matters – mine is Sketchup 8 (was a free download).

- BB1

Go find Sketchup 16, (it’s still a free download) might as well be up to date…

-- My “MO” involves Judging others, playing God, acting as LJs law enforcement, and never admitting any of my ideas could possibly be wrong or anyone else's idea could possibly be correct -- (A1Jim)

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BB1

474 posts in 307 days


#12 posted 08-16-2016 01:37 PM


Thanks – I ll have to check that out. Not sure if the version matters – mine is Sketchup 8 (was a free download).

- BB1

Go find Sketchup 16, (it s still a free download) might as well be up to date…

- jbay


Thanks – will have to look into that.

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BobLang

124 posts in 2859 days


#13 posted 08-16-2016 02:45 PM


I tried to use Sketchup and felt like I was going in circles in trying to get a basic shape set. Based on the reports from many others I will need to give it another try. Are there any “how to” resources on using Sketchup that others have found to be helpful?

- BB1

Part of it is finding a good way in. I tried one sketchup for woodworking instruction video, and the instructor and my mind just didn t work well together. Then I tried Bob Lang s approach, and it all clicked for me: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/sketchup-tutorial-learn-how-to-use-sketchup-for-woodworking

- CharlesA

Thanks for the kind words Charles. I haven’t been with Pop Wood for a couple of years now, but I’ve written and published two books (soon to be three) about using SketchUp, including “Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp”. I teach SketchUp regularly and have a ton of free SketchUp information available on my website.

I spent a lot of time studying how people learn, and most important, what they get stuck on in learning how to use SketchUp.

-- Bob Lang, http://readwatchdo.com

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Notw

467 posts in 1213 days


#14 posted 08-16-2016 02:50 PM

I am trained in AutoCAD so I naturally lean towards it because for me it is fast and easy. But the ease of use and learning curve for Sketchup is a lot faster. If you ever do want to try AutoCAD there is a free version that is very similar called DraftSight.

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#15 posted 08-16-2016 03:10 PM

I’m no sketchup wiz, but I do use it for design work and really like it. For me, the big thing was to realize that constructing in sketchup is not the same as constructing from wood. When I started I tried to “construct” in sketchup the way I’d construct in wood. Let’s say I was making a simple bookshelf from 8” boards, 6’ x 3’. With wood, I would take two 6’x8’ boards and 5 34 1/2” x 8” boards, join them and have a bookshelf. I tried to do that with sketchup, making individual boards and then putting them together—what a mess.

Then I learned that in sketchup I
  • start with a 6’x3’ rectangle
  • push/pull it to an 8” depth
  • draw in the open spaces with rectangles
  • push/pull them to 0 to create the shelves
  • draw in a few lines to distinguish the individual pieces
    and I have a bookcase.

The end result looks the same, but the process to get there is totally different.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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