Why Isn't Sketchup Clicking For Me

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Forum topic by andy_P posted 05-21-2012 10:37 PM 2689 views 4 times favorited 51 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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412 posts in 3237 days

05-21-2012 10:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I hate to blow my cover, or maybe I already have by some of my other postings, but me and Sketchup are just not clicking. I have watched the many videos on line and at the Sketchup site and it almost seems like we are talking apples and oranges. What they describe is not on my screen or they are moving too fast for me. Has anyone found a good mix to use in learning this program to design and plan out a project?

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

51 replies so far

View knothead's profile


163 posts in 3977 days

#1 posted 05-21-2012 10:47 PM

Same here – Then I purchased the “Sketchup guide for woodworkers” ebook by Tim Killen at (I think I paid $9.00 for the download) That is what made the difference for me. It is specific and well written and helped me over the hump on the learning curve with Sketchup. Give it a look.


-- So Much Wood - So Little Time! --

View Alongiron's profile


648 posts in 2722 days

#2 posted 05-21-2012 10:55 PM

Andy my good man I have not had good luck using it either. I do alot of work in AutoCAD but I gave up using Skechup. I hope your bandsaw is running smooth and clean. Take care my friend!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View jdmaher's profile


430 posts in 2608 days

#3 posted 05-21-2012 11:23 PM

One of the problems that people new to Sketchup often face is that there are two DISTINCTLY different versions: one for Apple and one for Windows. Often, when people say “what they describe is not what I see”, it’s Apple vs, Windows (not apples vs. oranges). Make sure the training material matches the platform you’re using, or you just might go crazy.

Then, just follow along. Online tutorials that actually SHOW what the guy is doing should be easy to mimic – PROVIDED the tutorial matches your platform.

Like everything, doing it is what matters. Try following a video tutorial that matches your platform. If what you SEE on the video is not what you SEE on your screen, then there’s a different diconnect.

It IS worth the effort.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3746 days

#4 posted 05-21-2012 11:35 PM

I learned a lot from Google Sketchup 8 for Dummies. Yes, it is hard to learn, but keep pecking away at it. It’s worth it.

-- Have a blessed day!

View mrbutton1952's profile


7 posts in 2330 days

#5 posted 05-21-2012 11:42 PM

I learned the most about how to use Sketchup from the tutorial videos at chiefwoodorkers site It was easy to follow and made sense. He also understands the program since he writes a lot of plugins for it. Hang in there. It’s worth the effort.

-- -Marvin-

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2321 days

#6 posted 05-22-2012 12:21 AM

Check this out:

I found it helpful, but nothing works like jumping in and really designing a project.

Good luck.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3741 days

#7 posted 05-22-2012 01:06 AM

If you have CAD experience learning SU can be frustrating because it is not a cad software, it just looks a lot like one. I worked with cad software for many years and SU confounded me…until I stopped expecting cad behavior from it. I’ll echo Hillbilly’s comment about leaping into a (simple) project as the best way to make what you are learning relevant to what you’re doing. As others have said it is certainly worth the effort.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View jaksun7's profile


3 posts in 2961 days

#8 posted 05-22-2012 01:14 AM

you also might check this out this was the best tutorial for me that i found.


View andy_P's profile


412 posts in 3237 days

#9 posted 05-22-2012 01:15 AM

Well, thank you all for your input.

Mr. Button…..I was looking at that in Chiefwoodworker, but I did not see any video. I guess it is just read and follow?

alongiron, my friend. Yeah….the bandsaw is working beautifully. I can’t believe how many things I use it for now that I have a good one. The bandsaw is doing fantastic compared to my progress with Sketchup.

knothead….I’ll look into that. My sanity, which is questioned anyway….lol, is worth a few bucks. The “Dummies” books don’t do any good. They really don’t address woodworking.

jd, I think you hit the major problem right on the head. Some of those guys that have put out videos are using and Apple MAC. No wonder I don’t see what they are talking about.

Thanks to all of you for your input. ...................Wher’s my Scotch?

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

View HoosierDude's profile


48 posts in 3044 days

#10 posted 05-22-2012 01:30 AM

I’ve got to add another plug for Tim Killen’s SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers. He walks you step by step through practical examples, in a very logical manner. It helped me tremendously!

Very well worth the ten bucks.

-- Paul Lyons

View AandCstyle's profile


3075 posts in 2286 days

#11 posted 05-22-2012 01:39 AM

Andy, I have the same problem. I got a tutorial and it was no help whatsoever. :( It seems to me that those that “get it” aren’t able to explain it to those of us that don’t. They need to explain it so that the lowest common denominator (me) will understand, but I think that is a gift that few have. I can’t help you, but, at least, we can commiserate.

-- Art

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3077 days

#12 posted 05-22-2012 01:42 AM

I use computers all the day long but curiously enough I am officially Sketchupphobic

-- Bert

View BobLang's profile


155 posts in 3429 days

#13 posted 05-22-2012 01:42 AM

You may not be seeing the same thing as demonstrated in the videos if you don’t have the program set up the same way as the guy who made the video. There isn’t that big a difference between the Mac and the Windows versions, but you have more control over the appearance of things than you realize. To get good at SketchUp you really need to start from scratch, forget what you know about conventional drafting and CAD, and get good at the basics. Practice the right things and the light bulb goes on.

My site has been mentioned already, and there is a lot of information on SketchUp posted there. I will also take the opportunity and suggest you give my digital book, Woodworkers Guide to SketchUp a try. It’s in PDF format, and is written specifically for woodworkers. It starts with setting up the program, moves through basic drawing tasks and by the end you’re making cabriole legs and cutting dovetails. “Woodworkers Guide to SketchUp” has video content embedded within the text, which makes learning (and reviewing) much easier.

-- Bob Lang,

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2335 days

#14 posted 05-22-2012 01:45 AM

Andy I hear you, it has not clicked for me either, very frustrating I usually pick up software fairly quickly. I am proficient in Adobe Photoshop, QuarkExpress, Excel and several others. I think because i did not pick it up as quickly as those other programs I have not invested enough time in getting down into it. Good suggestions o n here and I will probably pickup a book or two, being an avid reader, that should help.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View andy_P's profile


412 posts in 3237 days

#15 posted 05-22-2012 01:59 AM

AandCstyle, you put it just right. Thanks for the input.

Marty, Thanks. Good to know it’s not just me.

Bob, I did see your site mentioned and I even mentioned in my earlier response that it looks like it might be well worth it…..thanks. I’ll take a closer look.

HoosierDude….Killian’s is good. That is the one I’ve been trying to follow. Sometimes I can’t understand what he is saying but the biggest problem is that he uses a Mac and getting to the same place is difficult. ......and I’m not quick enough on my feet…

Again, thanks to all of you for your input.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

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