A request for some help with a dining chair build?

Hello everyone, I have been working on a dining chair and I have never attempted a chair before and as you can see I have many issues and not real sure what I am doing? :slight_smile: I know what I want to do but my lack of SU skills is hindering me :).

I have attached a copy of the file I am working on in hopes of someone being able to have a look and put
me in the right direction.

From the file you will see how I want to add a curved back piece to the top of the chair and have it sit on the front of the back chair legs. Then I want the curved back piece to sit in the middle of the back of the chair and intersect with that piece as well as the lower back rail. I hope this makes sense?

Thank you sooo much for all your help!!

JayNAPA CHAIR1 for sketchup question.skp (132.4 KB)

Are you planning to attach the crest rail to the fronts of the back legs/posts or are you going to set it in notches so it is recessed? Moving the crest rail into place shouldn’t be difficult. Here I am assuming it is centered left to right on the chair and at the desired height. I’m identifying where to grab the crest rail with a guideline in line with the edge of the leg.

Once you have it poisitioned where you want it, you need to draw a curve for bending the back splat. I would draw the curve as the center line. between the lower edge of the crest rail and the top edge of the rear seat rail. I’d probably draw a large rectangle through the center of the chair and add the curve to it drawn in as a Bezier curve. You can lay that curve down to use with Shape Bender, then.

If I understand your question…

Some inference locking is probably going to be your friend here, along with turning on hidden geometry.

For example, to center the curved back in the chair, toggle ‘Hidden geometry’ on, then move that component by a mid point, lock the Red direction and center it using a mid-point on the stretcher below.

Same with moving it vertically, find the point you want to align with other geometry, move from that point, lock the Blue/ vertical direction and reference other edges or surfaces.

Another suggestion is to toggle X-ray mode on as well. X-ray and Hidden geometry are both so useful when aligning geometry, I suggest making them each a keyboard shortcut that you will use often, or at least lock the Styles toolbar to your menu for easy access.

Hope this makes sense, great start on the chair.

Ah, I see Dave has replied as well. He’ll have some great suggestion on approaching this in general.

1 Like

More screen shots

Note that the flat copy of the back splat is centered over the straight line. That means the bent one will be centered over the curve.

Either the crest rail needs to be thicker of the back splat needs to be thinner (I’d go for the latter.)


Guys! This is AWESOME! Thank you thank you! Gonna give this a try to see how I make out!!


Good luck with it Jay.

Just an added comment about your model. You are creating more work for yourself than you really need because you are using groups instead of components for most of the parts. Also it is a good idea to make sure each component is shown as a solid. This makes the parts easier to work with and means that they are cleanly modeled.

I cleaned up the model making each part a component and copying the left one to make the right side once since they are mirrored counterparts.

Wow! Thanks Dave for taking the time! Can I obtain the file you fixed so I can see what you did?


Here you go.
NAPA CHAIR1 for sketchup question.skp (116.8 KB)

As you poke at it you’ll also notice I corrected the orientation of the axes for the side seat rails, rear legs and the back splat so they make sense.

Many thanks Dave! Truly!! You have always been such a great help to me as I continue to learn this program! :slight_smile:

I have not downloaded SU Pro new version. I guess I should do this right? I heard from some that it had many issues or something? so I never did it yet. I cant open the chair file you fixed for me.

I have all my files I am currently working on in SU Pro 18. If I download the new version will I still be able to access all those files and all the extensions I have downloaded over the last couple years?



Who told you that SU2019 has issues. It’s been working fine for me. Anyway, here’s the 2018 version.
NAPA CHAIR1 for sketchup question.skp (115.3 KB)

As for being able to open SKP files, Every version of SketchUp can open older versions. Like you’ve found, SU2018 won’t open SU2019 files. That’s a standard thing although Eneroth3 offers an extension for opening newer files.

I think I saw something when it first came out and it was on a youtube channel I think? I just thought what I had was working great for me while I was still learning and of course still am!!

I think I should download it to be current :slight_smile:

Thanks again Dave!!


1 Like