Sketchup for Woodworking

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Forum topic by sawdustjunkie posted 02-25-2014 07:59 PM 2141 views 2 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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383 posts in 1717 days

02-25-2014 07:59 PM

Is there a reasonable version of sketchup that can be purchased?
I went online ant the website for Sketchup has a $599 price tag.
There must be a less expensive version available.

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

15 replies so far

View CharlesA's profile


3322 posts in 1797 days

#1 posted 02-25-2014 08:01 PM

Two prices. The other price is the free version.

-- "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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5632 posts in 2211 days

#2 posted 02-25-2014 08:02 PM

Sketchup Make is a free download and gets you a 3D modeling program for your own use. If you are using it professionally or want to convert to 2D layouts or the other advanced features, then you have to spring for the $599 for SketchUp Pro.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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495 posts in 2325 days

#3 posted 02-25-2014 08:08 PM

and there is always internet to find then for free :)

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1756 posts in 2859 days

#4 posted 02-25-2014 08:32 PM

Download the current version of SketchUp from the official website here and when downloading it specify that you are going to use it for Personal use. The installer will install the full version of SketchUp in the Professional Evaluation mode. Once the evaluation period is over you just continue to use it in the FREE personal use mode.

Do not download what claims to be SketchUp from other download web site. Many of these are scams and you will be installing viruses and other malware on your system.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View BobLang's profile


155 posts in 3400 days

#5 posted 02-25-2014 08:43 PM

The way SketchUp manages the latest release can be confusing. When you download, the first eight hours are a trial version of SketchUp Pro. At the end of that time, you have to agree to the licensing agreement to continue using the free version, known as SketchUp Make. SketchUp Make will do everything you need to do to plan woodworking projects, the differences between that and the Pro version are mostly in the types of files that you can import and export. The Pro version also includes solid modeling tools that will speed up adding joinery details (you can use a tenon to make a mortise or vise-verse) and it has an added program called Layout for making page presentations with multiple views.

-- Bob Lang,

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383 posts in 1717 days

#6 posted 02-25-2014 08:48 PM

Is this the same version as Sketchup for woodworkers that everyone on this site are talking about?

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2690 days

#7 posted 02-25-2014 09:04 PM

Steve , sketchup can be used for Woodworking or Building Design or just about any other type of CAD Design , the woodworking part that most people talk about is more related to the Template that you use for woodworking design. So yes it is the same program , the only difference is if you use the Paid Pro version or the Free version.

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283 posts in 1939 days

#8 posted 02-25-2014 09:55 PM

Bob Lang.

Got a question for you. Is there enough demand for people using sketchup to get paid sort of well.?

Getting to old to do construction. I used to be a jr draftsman in the 70’s and designed this present house on one of the first CAD home programs, Punch IIRC.

Thinking some night classes may get me up to speed.

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155 posts in 3400 days

#9 posted 02-26-2014 01:54 AM

Good question. I’ve been out of the construction industry since I went to work for Popular Woodworking Magazine almost 10 years ago. Back then, AutoCAD was more or less the default software that everybody used. The Pro version of SketchUp is gaining ground on it as it is far more affordable and to me (having used both programs) easier and more efficient to work with. I think in the next few years you’ll see more and more planning done in SketchUp and less is AutoCAD. If you can develop the skills and can find the right spot you should be able to do OK.

-- Bob Lang,

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323 posts in 1927 days

#10 posted 02-26-2014 04:54 AM

I visit the SketchUp community on Google+ now and then and see a lot of apparently professional style architectural renders there. There are some interesting purchasable rendering add-ons that can produce amazingly realistic renders from SketchUp files. I’m sure there are plenty of builders and cabinetmakers around who prefer the price of SketchUp and a SketchUp expert over the cost of an AutoCAD operation. Check the forums and social sites and I suspect you’ll run into a few folks making a living at it.

View CharlesA's profile


3322 posts in 1797 days

#11 posted 03-01-2014 04:31 PM

Okay, so last year I used the FWW DVD to try to learn how to use it for woodworking. As I noted above, I had no problem with drawing a basic rectangular design with no joinery, but found it frustrating to do things that I couldn’t do more quickly with a pencil. Based on this thread, I downloaded BobLang’s sketchup videos. This may turn into something useful. My guess is that the way my mind works is such that I won’t be able to use it as fruitfully as Bob does, but I was able to get a lot farther with non-rectangular shapes and joinery. Thanks, Bob.

so, since I can now draw a coffee table, I have a more complex question. I’m working on two projects right now, one of them being a live edge coffee table with a waterfall (slab) leg and then one constructed out of standard lumber. I now sketchup can make drawings out of photos, but the examples I saw suggested it worked best with rectangular components (like windows). How would you use sketchup to design an irregular shape like a live edge top/leg?

-- "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

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 1727 days

#12 posted 03-01-2014 06:28 PM

Not sure if this is what you mean,
use the free hand line tool, then use the follow me tool.
close as I could get to irregular..

View CharlesA's profile


3322 posts in 1797 days

#13 posted 03-01-2014 07:08 PM

thanks, Kevin. that’s helpful. I don’t need it to be exact, but I want to be able to model different styles of leg, and I need to be able to get it close enough.

-- "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

View BobLang's profile


155 posts in 3400 days

#14 posted 03-03-2014 12:59 AM

Since this post appeared, SketchUp 2014 (both the free and pro versions) have been released. With this new release, downloading the free version “SketchUp Make” no longer requires you to download a trial version of “SketchUp Pro”. This was confusing for a lot of folks with SketchUp 2013 and I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve explained this in the last nine months.

You can read about this, and more details about the latest version of SketchUp on my blog.

-- Bob Lang,

View Sylvius's profile


1 post in 1528 days

#15 posted 03-21-2014 05:10 AM

Hi guys. I just joined LumberJocks and want to share a couple of thoughts re Sketch Up.

First, there are lots of free training videos available on You Tube, some better than others, but lots of good ones. They can help get you past the stage of drawing rectangles only to doing full projects, including detailed joinery, and in color if you wish. Just go to and type sketchup in the the search field.

Second, there are lots of projects and components for various projects that have been drawn up and posted in a “warehouse” ( from which they can be downloaded (mostly, if not all, for free).

Finally, when I first started using Sketch Up, I found I had to shift my thinking just a bit from the approach I used when drawing with pencil and paper. For me, drawing by hand meant focusing on the lines that constitute the edges of the parts. With Sketch Up, I find I need to think more about the surfaces that constitute the faces of the parts. For me, this change of focus made a big difference in my ability to use Sketch Up.

Overall, using Sketch Up has helped my woodworking by letting me make my design errors virtually but in 3D, before making those errors in expensive wood.

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