New book on Sketchup for Woodworking

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Forum topic by daltxguy posted 06-10-2010 03:41 PM 4770 views 3 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1373 posts in 3936 days

06-10-2010 03:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource sketchup e-book

New e-book by Bob Lang Woodworker's Guide to Google SketchUp 7

Digital format with 49 videos, 291 screenshots, 184 pages of step by step instructions

There are some sample pages at the website

$30 if purchased before July 1 with free shipping to US and Canada, $40 afterwards. A bit steep if you ask me since the material is likely to become dated and at this price, it becomes a $100 item in New Zealand after exchange and shipping.

I have no association with it, just thought some might be interested in getting it while it is ‘on sale’

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

30 replies so far

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3936 days

#1 posted 06-10-2010 03:58 PM

No kidding Dave. Or at least you should convince Fine Woodworking to piece together your existing blogs and tutorials and release their own e-book.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4321 days

#2 posted 06-10-2010 04:08 PM

Thanks Steve,

This looks very interesting.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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117114 posts in 3599 days

#3 posted 06-10-2010 08:43 PM

Thanks for the info If I could really learn sketch up $40 seems cheep to me.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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5849 posts in 3607 days

#4 posted 06-10-2010 09:01 PM

Wow that’s a bargain of anybodies money .LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View a1Jim's profile


117114 posts in 3599 days

#5 posted 06-10-2010 09:35 PM

That’s a great offer Dave I’ll send you a PM

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View BobLang's profile


155 posts in 3422 days

#6 posted 06-11-2010 02:12 AM

Getting the book to New Zealand isn’t that expensive. I charge my costs for international shipping, so it can get there in 6-10 days for $13.45 via priority mail, or it can go for $4.40 for first class. USPS won’t give me a time estimate for first class mail, but I bet it goes on the same airplane as priority.

As far as this being pricey goes, I don’t think it’s fair to judge that sight unseen. Free isn’t always the best value. If anybody buys a copy and doesn’t think it’s worth the price let me know, and I’ll refund your payment.

Bob Lang

-- Bob Lang,

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3936 days

#7 posted 06-12-2010 12:51 AM

Hi Bob,

Thanks for joining the conversation. It is, after all your book!. You’re right, it’s impossible for me to say if it is good value without actually seeing it – but I’d have to buy it to see it and the price puts me off! My situation is probably entirely different being in NZ, so it may be good value for the N.American audience.

That’s a very fair offer you make to refund the price if anyone thinks it’s not worth it.

I agree that free probably isn’t alway the best value and I wasn’t suggesting that it should be free. However, let’s keep in mind that Sketchup is free, your magazines freely posts sketchup models from your magazine, you have yourself freely blogged on Sketchup techniques, I am the author of a very popular plugin, Cutlist, which I make available for free and let’s not forget that Lumberjocks is (still) free. These are all good value in my opinion. Free is not a synonym for bad value either and the use of ‘free’ in today’s marketing is a difficult adjustment for many traditionally based businesses.

My issue with the price for me specifically is this. Let’s just say, I miss the $10 off window and shipping really is $13.45 ( I have never been able to receive a book for $4.40 from the US). That’s $39.95 +$13.45 = $53.40 USD. Now convert to NZD and I get $53.40*1.5 = $80. If it were sold in the stores, they would have to add GST + profit, making the book likely to be sold here for $100-$120. This would be ok if salaries in NZ were 1.5x that of the US, but they are sadly not. So it’s not good value for me considering that I already pay for internet access and I can find almost anything I need online.

Now, in general, books on how to use software, in my experience (I have been in the software industry for 30 years,) has a half-life of about 2 years. Either the techniques become outdated, the computers and operating systems they run on become obsolete, newer versions of Sketchup are introduced immediately obsoleting your book title and dating much of the book or new (freely available or not) plugins/tools could be introduced to automate certain techniques and make new techniques feasible.

I also compare this to some very fine books on woodworking which have a lasting quality which I have purchased for as little as $9.95. (On the flipside, I have purchased some books which have run me close to $100 – but these are ones which I reference and will reference for decades)

I have no doubt that your previous books have this lasting quality and that they are excellent value for money, but you’ve entered a different world with this new effort.

I may be entirely wrong. You’ve been in this business for a long time and I trust you know your market.

I wish you the best in any case. Woodworking and Sketchup go hand in hand and anything that helps people design better, build better and save resources and time is good for the entire hobby and professional woodworking world.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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5438 posts in 3685 days

#8 posted 06-12-2010 01:59 AM

I have Bob’s ShopClass DVD’s on Sketchup … well done, easy to follow.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Jeff's profile


116 posts in 2936 days

#9 posted 06-13-2010 02:59 PM

$30 doesn’t seem very expensive to me. It would save me a lot of time searching the internet for particular problems I have in Sketchup and it is nice to have all of the ‘teaching’ materials in hand at once.

As for the obsolescence of software books, I would think that if you read through the ebook and learned all of the skills then you would be “self-taught” in less than your 2 year estimate. After that you have the knowledge and skills to adapt to whatever software changes come. After all, the software might change but it will still be accomplishing the same tasks.

-- Jeff

View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3689 days

#10 posted 06-13-2010 03:46 PM

I am no computer guru or techie but over the last few months I have been able to teach myself how to use sketchup via online tutorials and random web searches. It truely is user friendly and an easy program to navigate.

That being said, I use it for what it is, an aid in laying out projects and seeing plans in three dimensions. As much I enjoy seeing how to do advanced functions and drawings, I personally see no real benefit to drawing projects out to the obscene detail capable of the program, unless ofcourse that is something you find enjoyable.

An individual with a frim grasp of woodworking can draw a working plan in sketchup with enough detail to get the sence of scale and proportion needed to produce a fine piece of furniture without needing to draw in everysingle dovetail or mortise and tenon joint. I would guess though, that there are alot of beautifuly detailed renderings in harddrives around the world that will never make it past the printer.

Bottom line, if you want to learn sketchup for a woodworking tool, you can do that for free. If you want to become a sketchup picasso then buy a book.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3936 days

#11 posted 06-14-2010 04:06 AM


I understand what you are saying that learning is for life and software skills are upgradeable once you’ve obtained them. So far, I’ve managed to build projects without any book and for hints on how to do it better, I’ve found everything online.

Plenty of material available online (tutorials, forums, videos) at Sketchucation not to mention the fine team over at Fine Woodworking with the Design, Click, Build blog

If you must have a book, I’ve found Sketchup 7 for dummies a good reference to get started. Available for as little as $11 USD

Any new materials becoming available has to be in the context of (and therefore compete with) what’s already there in the background.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View BobLang's profile


155 posts in 3422 days

#12 posted 06-14-2010 01:12 PM

I taught myself how to use AutoCad about 12 years ago. I was in a situation where I didn’t have a job and I was able to sit in front of the computer all day, almost every day for several months. Then I went to work doing drawings for an Architectural Millwork company as one of several people making CAD drawings. I learned more in the first week from experienced CAD jockeys than I had in the previous six months.

I taught myself how to use SketchUp a few years ago, relying on my experience, the free tutorials and “SketchUp for Dummies”. I paid full price for “SketchUp for Dummies” and it was money well spent. With that experience and those resources it took a few months to become productive in SketchUp. SketchUp is easy to use, once you get the hang of it and I (and everyone else at the magazine I work for) use it because it makes us better woodworkers. Not everyone gets the hang of it right away, and not everyone has the time or energy to wade through all of the available free stuff for learning SketchUp, and to find and figure out how to use it for woodworking.

I wrote a book that contains all the things I wished I had known when I started. I have taught many people how to use SketchUp, in one on one situations and in classes at Marc Adams. I paid attention to the common things new users struggle with in SketchUp and made sure I included clear explanations of how to get over those hurdles. I don’t hear from the people who are able to pick it up on their own, I hear from the people who have tried SketchUp, become frustrated and given up. Those who have actually seen my book or other work with SketchUp tell me I’ve done a good job. Everyone has their own sense of the value of time and money.


-- Bob Lang,

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3583 days

#13 posted 06-15-2010 03:25 AM

If you could put all the stuff you’ve written about SketchUp in one place—- I’d send you $30 in a New York Minute.

-- Joe

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3670 days

#14 posted 06-15-2010 03:42 AM

I think that a tech book that is well put together – is worth it’s price in gold. not seeing first hand what really is included with Bob’s book it’s hard to judge- but generally speaking I think that $20-$30+ for a quality tech book is not unheard of.

It’s always nice to have a hard copy of something at hand when you want to reference something.

not taking away from FWW team which I think is fantastic! I like to read the FWW blogs for inspirational material and thought provoking techniques, but I like to have an actual structural book as a reference for the basic stuff.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View terry603's profile


320 posts in 2935 days

#15 posted 06-15-2010 05:06 AM

must be me,i have spent hours trying to figure it out. still cannot make a simple item. i just gave up.. when i can make a drawing work for me in a few minutes on paper,i decided i’m not spending any more time getting frustated with this. i can see it in my head all i need,but,can’t put it onto the screen. i’m sure this is worth it,but,as highly everyone talks about sketch up, i give up on it. maybe it has something to do with age (55)

-- may not always be right,but,never in doubt.

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