Dimension lumber components and/or extension?


#1

Hello,

I am new to Sketchup and this is my first post in the Sketchup Community/Forum.

I’m an intermediate woodworker and enjoy building various types of furniture…and I’ve always wanted to find a fairly easy to use CAD program to draw my projects (versus in my head or on paper).

My question is…isn’t there a ‘library’ of dimension lumber (ie…2"x4", 4"x4", etc) built for Sketchup that I can use for all my different woodworking designs? I’ve been digging around the extension warehouse but have found nothing there that fits my needs. I know drawing dimension lumber is fairly simple and straight forward (now that I’ve learned how to do that) but I would think there should be a library of different dimension lumber that woodworkers could use without having to “reinvent the wheel” for each project.

Also, if there isn’t a library like this anywhere, how could I go about building my own library of dimension lumber components so that I can reuse them for all my woodworking designs? Like I said, I’m really new to Sketchup so I’m assuming there is a way to build my own components and store them in my own library (sorry if I’m not using the correct terminology).

Thanks,
Jeff


#2

If you look in the 3D Warehouse, instead, you’ll find a number of different options for components you can drag into your model if you want. You’ll even find Dynamic Components with dimensions that can be modified in a window or otherwise. That sort of workflow will actually be more work than drawing parts as you need them because you will spend a lot of time editing, moving, and rotating the parts to get them into the right position. It’s also more prone to error. If you want to work that hard, you certainly can.

My preference is to draw the pieces I need in place as much as possible and use the what I’ve already drawn as a guide for the next parts I draw. I make components as I go and copy them when appropriate. It requires a whole lot less moving and rotating and because I’'m modeling in situ, it’s less likely that I’ll create errors and I don’t need to know all the dimensions. I’ll let SketchUp tell me the dimensions instead.

What sorts of woodworking projects do you make?


#3


#4

Yes indeed and you have referenced standard structural timber sizes which are effectively straightforward six-sided boxes in SU terms. Draw a rectangle of the section and extrude. Job done. Why import anything?

What you might find useful is to make your self a library of standard sections, especially if they contain more complex shapes like ogees and toruses. Import them from your personal library and then extrude or Follow Path.


#5

Is there an easy way to build my own personal library? I’d really like to just draw up the mostly commonly used dimensions that I use in my projects and put them in a library so that I can use them for future projects. But if that’s more difficult than drawing them every time I need to use them…I guess that’s what I’ll have to do. I’m sure I’ll figure out the best method(s) once I get more familiar with Sketchup Make.


#6

Check this:

https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/engineering-toolbox

As @DaveR said, this would not be quicker then drawing in place. The need for a library of your own is when you start using your models for estimating. Then you can apply your own Prices etc. of components or Layers etc.


#7

Making your own collection of components is easily done. You could start a new file and draw each “board” and make it a component. With the In Model collection selected in the Components window, open the details menu and choose Save as a local collection…

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I think you’ll find, though, that you could have several parts drawn from scratch in the absolute right place and to the correct dimensions in the time it would take you to find the right component in your collection, move and rotate it into place and make it the right size.

Component collections are great for things like hardware that are much more involved to model and won’t need any adjustments to be used in your model.


#8

Thanks Dave for the great information. I’m assuming you’re right with the fact that creating boards as and where I need them is going to be faster….so we’ll see where this takes me. I’m just starting out with building a small foyer storage bench and bookcase for my daughters new home. And also going to design a table for my new Big Green Egg. Wish me luck…and thanks for your help. I appreciate it.

Jeff


#9

Well, I don’t know. I’ve been using SketchUp to model furniture for more than 15 years now. What I describe works well for me.

Is this two different pieces? Do you have the design roughed out in your head? What are you using for lumber?

That sounds like a good plan. I’m thinking about a rolling cart/table for our Pit Barrel Cooker. This is in the early stages of design. Currently steel but I might switch to more of a hybrid wood and metal design.

Good luck and happy to help.


#10

Thanks to all of you for your input and recommendations. Definitely looking forward to learning more about Sketchup and hope it will help out with my woodworking projects.