All posts filed under: Sawtooth Ideas

Getting Help With a SketchUp Model

I just completed my latest assignment for Sawtooth Ideas. The image above shows what is called a “Pendulum Doll Cradle” taken from an issue of Woodcraft magazine. When I get the email with a new assignment, I always look forward to opening the woodworking plan and looking through the project. I immediately saw this one as something to test my skills since I have not recently attempted creating anything like the spindles needed (read on for more about the spindles). In the image above, note the eased edges on many of the horizontal surfaces. I was nearing completion of the model when I realized I would have to round-over many of the component edges. This was a challenge requiring the use of the offset tool and the follow-me tool. I had some clean-up to do after this process; I am sure there is a plugin which would have worked better, but that would require me to find the plug-in, install it and learn how it works. I didn’t have the time for all of that. …

An Inadvertent Benefit of Using SketchUp

It has become standard practice for me to make a SketchUp model of the projects I build. Sometimes I design a project using SketchUp as the only design tool – no hand drawings of the project whatsoever. Even when I am following a woodworking plan, I’ll create a SketchUp model. This may seem redundant since woodworking plans should have all the necessary illustrations and instruction to complete the project. But, creating a SketchUp model helps me better understand the project especially since I am creating the various parts and assembling the project prior to building it. That strikes me as being pretty cool. Inadvertent But, the inadvertent benefit is that I can catch mistakes or problems in a woodworking plan prior to cutting anything. Plus, as a creator of woodworking plans, I know from experience that mistakes happen. Plans can have errors and some plans can have way too many errors. Imagine you live away from a big city and buying lumber means you have to drive a considerable distance just to get to the …

The Most Challenging SketchUp Model Ever

At long last, I have completed the most difficult SketchUp model of all time. This is the third model I have created for Sawtooth Ideas. They have begun adding woodworking plans from magazines like Woodcraft and Woodworkers Journal. SketchUp models are needed to drive Sawtooth Ideas’ proprietary and super cool software called IdeaRoom. This software is like a SketchUp viewer on steroids because not only does it let you spin a woodworking project around in 3D, IdeaRoom also enables you to explode and isolate parts. You can zoom in and take an up close and personal look at the various parts of a project as well as the needed joinery. You can do this from a PC, iPad or smartphone. Showing IdeaRoom to your woodworking buddies will always lead to this standard response: “COOL!” I have created a number of SketchUp models, but with close to 300 screws which have to be accurately positioned, this is easily the hardest. I would like to paint the model with a birch plywood texture and add some other …