Basic help needed please



After a long time away from SU I find myself back at it (unfortunately for those that help).
My apologies first off as I will be asking questions that I am sure I have asked previously but as I have not been using the program at all I have forgotten more than I knew in the first place.

I have drawn a basic bench which will be a pot plant stand on our verandah but my planning/drawing is off.
I can see from the outliner that my components are shown although it only shows one leg as a component, although there are four. I tried to make each leg a single component but I get an error message saying that the component already exists ( also, If I try to edit this component the other legs stay the same )

i am trying to remove the line from where the rail meets the leg but this just erases the complete rail.

Could someone please slap me up the side of the head and tell me again where I went wrong


plant_bench.skp (28.6 KB)


The legs are loose geometry within the leg component, not four individual instances of one leg component. My guess is you drew the first leg and made it a component. Then you edited the component and copied the leg geometry to make the other three legs.

At this point I would open the component for editing, delete three sets of the leg geometry and then exit the edit mode. Select the leg so it is just showing the blue bounding box and copy it to make the other three legs.

Edit: I’m not exactly sure how you intended to join the legs to the aprons or the aprons to each other so I didn’t change the dimensions but I fixed the legs. I also flipped components so they are mirror images of their counterparts. this will make your edits to the components more efficient.

plant_bench.skp (28.2 KB)


HI Dave, glad to see you are here and helping. Happy New Year to you and your family.

You say the legs are loose geometry, I did try and make the first leg a component (as I did with the other structures, which if I remember correctly was a major stumbling block for me in the past)

Could you please explain the difference between copying a component versus copying the geometry please

Does it matter which leg I keep ?

Flipping components does ring a bell now, thanks for the reminder.

I’m not sure what you call aprons, I have legs, rails and ends ( thats my basic terminology anyway)

For what it’s worth, I have no idea how I would like to join them either :roll_eyes:

I was trying to draw a rebate on the legs that would allow the rails to sit on, therefore carrying the weight rather than relying on fasteners

I would like to join them in a more professional way than simple butt joints but my drawing/design skills leave much to be desired

I’d be happy with any recommendations



If you look here on the right I copy the geometry, so nothing in the second copy gets edited.
But on the left I copy the component so everything in the copy gets edited with the original.
And you can flip it to mirror. So the four legs can all be the same but flipped to suit.


Thanks Box
Im practicing how to do this but its hit and miss for me, Im not understanding how I get it to work sometimes but not others.
I’ll go and find some tutorials to see where Im going wrong



Don’t copy the geometry within the component. Copy the component. See how on the right the component is open and the bounding box is a black dotted line, don’t copy when it is like that.
Only copy the closed component like it is on the left with the blue bounding box tight around the component.


Thanks, I see the difference but unsure what Im doing to make it like that, double clicking, triple clicking etc


One click to select a component, double click to open a component for editing, triple click will open a component and select part of it.
So just one click, then use the move tool.


Thank you very much, i was clicking too many times :relieved:


You don’t even need to use select, the move tool will select for you, it will highlight whatever you hover over. So you can move over a corner click and release, tap option I think on Mac and move a copy, click and release to finish.


Looks like Box got you sorted on the copying bit.

The rails and ends are the aprons or skirting on a table.

I would consider joining the aprons to the legs with mortise and tenon joints. They will be plenty strong and it’ll avoid having any exposed end grain. Or you could make twin tenons and get even more gluing surface.


You could cut shoulders on the legs but I don’t think that will be necessary. What is your plan for the top boards?


I have never used mortise and tenons before although that being said I’d be happy to try my hand at them.
The plan for this bench is to use 3"x2" hardwood I have left over from a very old shed and to make a rustic (suits my woodworking skills) pot plant stand.

plant_bench.skp (28.6 KB)

This is what I had envisioned as a final result, the pot plants and their bases would just span the distance between the side rails, although I imagine that this basic structure would need some diagonal braces .


It appears you’ve uploaded the same file as before with the leg geometry copied around inside the one component.

How much 3x2 have you got?


plant_bench.skp (31.6 KB)

This should be correct
Just going to duck outside and measure the 3x2


OK. That’s different. (You’ll want to make a component of the long rail (apron) and copy that to the back instead of copying the loose geometry.)

I would want to avoid the exposed end grain on the top of the legs. If you aren’t planning to put a top on this, I would at least do something to cap the legs.

I think with the size of the timbers, you could probably get away with some front to back cross pieces to add some stability.

Or another idea comes to mind. I’ll make some modifications to show.


I forget to copy components instead of geometry ( as you can see) :roll_eyes:

Righto, after a quick check under the house, this is the timber I plan to use

I have 2 lengths of 75mm x 35mm at 4.6m each ( rails)
1 length of 95mm x 50mm at 3.5m ( legs)

By the way, this stand will be under cover if that makes any difference to exposed end grain
The timber I am using as I said is from a very old timber shed structure where the walls were built using top and bottom plates, studs and noggins.
Obviously these timbers have numerous nail holes, scars, small tears etc adding ( I believe ) to the rustic appearance


What do you think? I did this before you reported your supplies so we have to look and see if there’s enough.


Wow !
Much better, I like that a lot
Unfortunately I do not have any design or artistic skills



It just takes some practice. If you want me to detail that more, I will. I have to go make beef and noodles right now, though.


Whenever you have time mate, I would appreciate that immensely. Enjoy your beef and noodles, I have a bench that I need to search for in my shed :slight_smile:
Its another hot day here today so I wont be gardening much