A few basic questions

I’m modeling a cabinet for my daughter that she’ll use as a litter box for her cat. She found one on Wayfair, but it’s too expensive for her and I thought it’d be a fun woodworking project for me.

I started modeling it and my first component is the bottom rail of one of the shaker doors. I drew a rectangle and then used push/pull to cut the groove for the plywood face of the door and create the tenon on each end. While modeling it, I’m running into some situations that I’ve had before, so I want to see if there is an easier way to do something and/or why Sketchup behaves like it does.

  1. Is there a way to tell Sketchup to just create a blank model instead of putting the man or woman at the origin? I know it’s not a big deal to just delete it, but if I’m doing that on every model, why even have it?

  2. When drawing a rectangle, can I select what axis to draw the rectangle along? When I start a new model, the first thing I do is draw a rectangle, but it always draws it along the green axis.

  3. Is there a shortcut for centering the view of the model on a specific spot? As I build the model I inevitable end up with the model in the corner or mostly out of the visible window. Then I spend a few seconds zooming in and out until the model is back in the center of the window.

  4. Sometimes when I do a push of an area all the way to the end of the component, I end up with what looks like a paper-thin plane the size of the area I was pushing. Hopefully, that makes sense, but in case it doesn’t, I’ve included a screen shot.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Would it be easier to look at this stuff together?

  1. You can create a new custom template without the figure. Open a new file. Delete the figure, go to Window>Model Info>Statistics and click Purge Unused.
    Then use File>Save as template to make a template. Set it to be your default. There are other changes that can be made such as adjusting the style and camera position, too.

  2. You can orbit the camera a bit to help convince the Rectangle tool to draw in the desired orientation. In newer versions of SketchUp the cursor keys allow you to align the rectangle with the different axis planes.

  3. Zoom Extents should help.

  4. That’s a bit more involved and depends on what’s going on in the rest of the geometry. You can erase the “swarf” and in your example, trace and edge of the opening to repair the side of the tenon.

You may get a few Helpful tips here

The cursor keys work fine with 2017 Make, left for green, Right for Red and up for blue.


Which would normally be considered a newer version. Older would be the early post google or google versions, many people still use versions 7 and 8 on a daily basis, some have been known to persevere with V6 for some odd Gallic reason. So in 2020 2017 is right up there,


Thank you everyone for your replies. I believe you’ve answered all 4 of my questions.