Woodworking

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Woodworking

Postby ocd » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:05 pm

Hi, I just started using Sketchup, and am really struggling with just making a table, consistently. I'm getting a new mouse tomorrow. This whole experience is very humbling. I have Bob Lang's DVDs, he makes it look so easy. I can't print the entire 800 page manual-my wife would put me on restriction:) What are the best tutorials for woodworkers"? How does one save the components, etc? I've search the site and am feeling pretty stupid about not being able to even find out that. Seems like all this is so over my head. I've spent probably, no joke, 25 hours playing with this program and don't feel like I even know my way around, but I have faith.....Thanks for any help.
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Re: Woodworking

Postby davidheim1 » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:24 pm

I'd urge you to look at the 'Design.Click.Build' blog on FineWoodworking.com. It's full of good information for beginners and seasoned users alike. And in addition to Bob Lang's book, I'd also suggest looking at the SketchUp Guide for Woodworkers, an e-Book published by Taunton press. (Full disclosure: I edited that book.) It's definitely geared to newcomers to SketchUp.
To address one of your specific concerns: When you create a component, it's automatically saved. You can see all the components you have created for a specific model by clicking on the 'Window' drop-down menu at the top of the screen, then clicking on the 'Components' entry. That opens up a new window that shows all the components.
Every application has a learning curve; in my experience, the curve for SketchUp is far shorter and shallower than some other programs. I'm hopeful that you'll come to like SketchUp and find that most actions quickly become second-nature. (You should also take heart from knowing that even SketchUp veterans make boneheaded mistakes.)
If you have other specific questions or problems you're trying to overcome, send me a private message and I'll be happy to try to help.
Best,
dh
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Box » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:16 am

One of the best things you can do is watch lots of the video tutorials on youtube.
Watch one section and then try it out then move to the next one.
After a while you'll start to search for specific problems.

There are so many simple little things that you will never stumble upon yourself. And a vid is so much better than a book to get things moving, then the book can solve the bigger problems.

A couple of links.


http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sketchup+tutorial&aq=1
http://www.youtube.com/user/aidanchopra
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:00 am

Thanks for the help. I finally threw up my hands and moved onto the bookcase, I'm doing better there. I will certainly check out all the stuff you all have given me. I'll let you know how I'm doing "It's only a hobby". Thanks, David
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Dave R » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:55 am

David, although I didn't intend it as a basic tutorial, perhaps the video here might give you some ideas about handling the drawing of a piece of furniture. There's another demo here as well.

The key points are to make components of the parts of your model as you go along. Don't move on to another part before you've made a component of the current part. Draw the parts in situ. By doing this, you'll save yourself a lot of work and you'll reduce the chance for errors. In the first video you'll see that after I've placed the legs of the stand, all the rest of the parts are drawn to fit. If the legs are placed accurately in the first place, the rest of the parts will naturally fit. If you are going to draw joinery, don't worry about doing it until you have the basics of the model down. Once you have everything in the right places and the design finalized, then go ahead and draw in the joinery.

It will come with time.

-Dave
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Re: Woodworking

Postby brandy20 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:37 am

Hi David,

all the above are wise suggestions. I'd like to add just this: it's normal to feel awkward at the beginning. You read all those people that continuously say that SketchUp is easy, the learning curve is shallow...
Actually is not that difficult, you just need time and discipline in learning it, as everyone of us did at the beginning.

Don't give up, just start from the basics and step by step you'll grow up. It's like building a house, if you start from the foundations, that should be solid, you'll go on and learn more easily.

And when you have any doubts, just ask, here or by private mail.

Luca
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Gaieus » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:22 am

Hi David,

Note that even I could learn this program (well to a certain extent that satisfies me at least) so indeed don't give up!

25 hours? That1s just one day! I realised I can build a dome only about a month after I started!
:o
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Rich O Brien » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:49 am

D0me.....whatever happened to him?

I'll add my two cents whilst I'm here...

SU is one of those programs that are so easy to use off the bat that you get frustrated pretty early. The frustration is because you failed to read the manual. You expect it do do things the easy way. My first .skp is a shed I designed in v5. Not a single group/component. Every rafter, batten and even socket was part of the model.

Then I saw Aidan's videos and was furious I hadn't spent time understanding the SU's core.

Knowing every switch and dial isn't completely necessary but understanding it's there and that it offers options is vitally important.

What's funny now is that I'm reaching the edge of SU'S limits and migrating to other apps for assistance.

But always return to SU because I've to prove it's possible.
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Re: Woodworking

Postby utiler » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:36 pm

Welcome David!
Stick with it mate, it really isn't that hard once you get started.... An 800 page manual is that last thing you need to be reading .... Dave R is your woodworking man... He 'IS' design.Click.Build...

The manual is the last thing your wife is going to put you on restriction for; sink your teeth into SketchUp and you'll have yourself plenty or self time....


BTW, is there a divorce Lawyer lurking here that uses SU on the side....? :(
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:49 pm

You all have been great. Thanks a bunch.

I just printed the Sketchup book from Taunton. I still need to find time to view all the video links you've sent.

Rich mentioned Aiden's video. How do I access that one?

I am doing better on the bookcase project.

ocd
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Dave R » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:22 pm

You might start here for Aiden's videos



In case it helps, here's a little project I was playing with today. It's a music stand based on one from about 1905. I used the same methods I used in the videos I linked to. I haven't drawn most of the joinery yet but the basics are finished. The process was relatively fast because I worked in a methodical way. You'll get there, too.
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Wed Mar 30, 2011 4:20 pm

Hello

Finally, I seem to be making progress along with butchering lots of drawings.

I made a small table and printed it with dimensions, but would like to know how to print a "cut list", like all the parts/components pictured apart from each other with dimension lines so I would know exactly what to do in the shop. Kind of like a blueprint. You know, each individual part of the whole is pictured by itself with all the necessary dimension lines so one could make all the individual part(s) from that. I have looked through all me materials and can't find instructions.

You all have been great. Thank You. ocd
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Dave R » Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:54 pm

Here's something on creating a cutlist. There are a couple of plugins available to create exploded views if that's what you want to do. I find they aren't all that useful for creating good exploded views of furniture, though. I do a lot of furniture and most projects require at least one exploded view if not several. I prefer to do the exploding by hand, though. By the way, do not use the native Explode command thinking it will create exploded views. It won't. It will make you say things that your mother would not approve of, though.

As far as dimensioning the parts, you'll need to do that part manually. Of course you won't need to dimension every part if you've got more than one in the drawing. You'll use the native dimensioning tool for that and maybe the leader text tool for some things. don't open components for editing to add dimensions or you'll end up with redundant dimensions and probably a mess.
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:27 pm

Got that plug in, thanks.

I have a lot more to learn before really needing it, but I can start to learn it; am getting burned out on Lang's (great) DVDs.

While we're on the topic, and you are "The Man", in regards to the pay-for plug ins, any in your opinion make our job/hobby easier?

Thank You, ocd
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Dave R » Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:45 pm

I don't know what makes me "The Man" for pay-for plugins but I'll give you some opinions. First of all, you don't really need a lot of plugins to draw furniture. I would suggest you get PurgeAll and Weld for sure. Of course, if you need them, the Cutlist plugin is a must have.

As far as making your job easier, I would suggest getting proficient with the native tools before you even worry about adding a lot of plugins. It's much the same as woodworking. You can be a tool collector or you can get on with it and do some work. You don't need every dovetail saw and chisel make to cut dovetails. One saw and a chisel or two will do it.

Here're some points based on the way I work.

Work with the standard view alignment. The front of your model is lined up along the solid red axis and extends back along the solid green. Don't draw your models laying on their backs.

If you're working with fractional dimensions, set Precision to 1/64". It's probably more precise than you'll work in the shop and you probably won't intentionally have dimensions to 64ths but it will help you see if you've got dimensions that need attention so it's a good trouble shooting tool.

Make components of every part that you would have to make in wood. (I don't use groups at all; only components. I've never seen an argument for groups that makes them more desirable in my work than components.) Don't go nuts with nesting and make sure that every part is a lowest level component. Nest parts for frame and panel doors or for drawers but try to limit nesting. It'll just make editing more work.

Draw everything in place. Drawing parts in separate files or somewhere else in the drawing space and then moving it into place generally isn't working smart or efficiently and it can lead to errors. By drawing things in place you can use parts you've already made as references for the new parts, which is really the way you should be working in your shop, too.

If you'll use a component in other models, make sure you save it somewhere so it is easy to access. then don't draw it again. Align the component's axes to make inserting the component in other models easy.

I said before, work methodically. I don't do joinery until the model is built. Once the overall dimensions and look of the model are finalized, I go back through and add the joinery. There's no point in adding that stuff if you are going to have to make changes in the model.

After creating the model and finishing the joinery, I create layers (read the help files on Layers and stick to their directions) for the parts. I figure out as I'm drawing the model how I'll organize the layers but I don't create layers until the model is built. After that, I'll make a copy of the model that can be pulled apart for the exploded view. This copy is moved off to one side, usually the right, and moved back a bit so I can create a 2D right side view of the assembled model. Create scenes (turn off Scene Transitions while you are working. They just slow you down.) as you go.

I use SU8 Pro so I do all my dimensioning in LO but you may do your dimensioning in SU. Create layers for the dimensions and organize them so that you can show only those dimensions that are needed for the specific view. Avoid redundant dimensions and excess dimensions.

That's probably enough for now anyway.

Keep practicing.
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:40 am

Thanks for your response, Dave. I meant you are "The Man" in a more global sense:) It's what our colleagues say.

You are right, I'm getting ahead of myself, but, hey, I'm ocd.

I will follow your instructions, and be patient.

David
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Re: Woodworking

Postby mwm500 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:29 pm

I've been struggling for a long time with sketchUp untill I started with these videos. Will take some time no short cuts here but you will really be better off for the best on the Web I know from lots of searching.
http://www.srww.com/blog/?p=1335
Step by step into all you need to know for great projects.
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:56 pm

I been using the above link to the Swamp Road guy. I like the lengthy explanations that he gives. The Follow Me tool is just giving me such a hard time, especially, for instance, around cabinet tops as crown molding. I'm sure I'll get it in time. I am making progress and not as discouraged, but mildly burned out. Thanks everyone. ocd
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Dave R » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:24 pm

David, I tried to call you on sunday evening but didn't get through. What are you doing now?

As to the Follow Me thing for moldings around the tops of cabinets, what problem are you having? Did you by any chance look at this?
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:43 pm

Just watching the Swamp Road video at lunchtime here. If you'd like to call, please use our back line. Thanks, David
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Last edited by Dave R on Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edit to remove phone number.

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Re: Woodworking

Postby Dave R » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:51 pm

I won't interrupt you now then. You probably don't want that phone number out in public, do you?
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:02 pm

I tried it after watching your video and it worked the second time. There's obviously something that I'm not doing correctly....

That number is the back line at our office. It's no big deal. How do I send a private message?
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Dave R » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:08 pm

Click on PM under my name.
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Re: Woodworking

Postby ocd » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:20 pm

I would like to report to the group that some light bulbs have turned on, and with the help of Dave R, I have progressed past groveling in the dark. Haven't really drawn any original work yet, but have feet on the ground. I am pretty sure now I did the right thing by giving my niece all my drafting stuff and using SketchUp instead. Certainly freed up room in my small shop. I will be back on this Forum, and wanted to give an update. Sincere Thanks for your help. ocd.
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Re: Woodworking

Postby Dave R » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:22 pm

David, I am quite happy to know that I was able to help.

Sketch on. :D
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