SketchUp, Woodworking Plans in Progress
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The Gustave Side Table – Making Page 22

I have said virtually nothing here about my next woodworking plan which is titled You Can Make the Gustave Side Table. This table is designed in what I call “Craftsman Lite” and the plan name is derived from Gustav Stickley’s first name. Mr. Stickley is best known as a chief force behind the American Craftsman movement of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. According to Wikipedia, Stickley’s business name in 1898 was Gustave Stickley Company. Since this spelling of his first name was unusual, I decided to use it for this plan.

While preparing for this woodworking plan, I came to the decision that attempting multiple illustrations at a high level (trying to be more like what is seen in woodworking magazines) simply isn’t necessary. And, in a way such illustrations can be confusing; all the color and lines – I have come to realize that simple is best. But, even creating simple images can be a little complex. In fact, for You Can Make the Gustave Side Table, I have created more than 130 images…

A screen grab of the image file folder for this plan.

A good example of this simplistic yet slightly complex image is page 22. For this page, I needed to communicate how to make the breadboard ends for the side table. So I had to find a way to show the mortise in the breadboard end while keeping the image as simple as possible. For a few of the images in Gustave Side Table, I have exported SketchUp images in X-Ray mode which shows opaque surfaces and therefore making them see-through. But such images can create a lot of lines and make an image hard to understand. For page 22 (image 22a), I decided to make just part of the image opaque. Here is how I constructed the image and page…

The base image for 22a.

I first needed a foundation image and what you see above is it. This all of the image (except shadows) to include dimensions and the dimensions have been carefully placed so they don’t interfere with the next image…

The see-through mortise for the bread board.

The image above is exported with a transparent background making it easy to place on top of the base image in Photoshop. I can then blend the two together and achieve the look I want.

The shadow image.

The shadows in SketchUp can be adjusted so they are not so intense, but this also changes how light affects the gray color used with the components. To keep the color consistent throughout the plan, I have turned to Photoshop to help me blend shadows. I place the shadow image (with a transparent background) under the base image and blend it to the desired look.

The merged image in Microsoft Publisher.

I am currently using MS Publisher for the document creation because it is part of the Office suite of products already on my computer. I do want to go to all Adobe products for making my plans, but that is another $20 or so per month, and Publisher is currently getting the job done.

The above image shows page 22 in an almost final version. In the image you can see all the graphic elements to include the Arts and Crafts influenced font called Strong Glasgow and the color bar across the top of the page, which is used to provide some visual interest and was inspired by this web page. Advance the slider image and you will see an example of this font with an olive background and the other colors used in the color bar. I got a screen grab of this image, opened it in Photoshop which will tell me the RGB color numbers of each color.

I am also using Arts and Crafts elements by David Occhino Design because I am somewhat fascinated by the whole Arts and Crafts world which includes graphic elements, fonts and colors found in publications, wall paper, etc. Some of these elements can be found furniture in designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and others. So the whole Arts and Crafts movement is much more broad than just work by Stickley or Greene and Greene.

The image at the top of this post shows the set-up in my hotel room this week where I took time to start final proofreading for the plan. This will be my first attempt at selling a plan in a long time. I have not yet settled on the delivery method for purchasing the plan. I always thought I’d use Etsy, but Etsy is set up for selling one item, not an ongoing, repeat sales of the same thing, so I am still looking at options. Shopify is too expensive now, so I may use the new WordPress feature for capturing payment via PayPal and simply email the plan and SketchUp model as a sale is made. But, I’d like to automate this whole process.

I hope to have the plan up for sale on Friday, October 12th. Still a lot to do before I get this plan finalized.

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Have a question or comment about this post? Leave me a comment below; but I also like email. Use my contact form to send me an email (click here).


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