How to create rectangle that does not get broken into several pieces

Hi, I’m drawing a pergola with eight posts and horizontal beams accross the posts at the top. when I draw the horizontal beam it “sticks” to the post tops and segments the beam into seven pieces. how do i keep it as a single beam? Thanks for the time to look at it.


This implies you aren’t using groups or components to keep geometry separated. Each “board” should be a component or group. Components would probably be the better choice.

I would start by modeling a post, create a component to contain the geometry, and then, using Move/Copy make copies for the other posts placing them where they need to be. Draw a beam in place at the top of the posts, make a component, copy that to the other locations, and then move on to the pergola slats doing the same thing.


Thanks for the quick response. I’m very new to this. I’ll read up on it and give it a go.


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See for excellent tutorials. And for more depth, try the YouTube SketchUp Square One series.

Very quick example showing how I would start a structure like you’ve got.

One post drawn and made into a component. A copy is placed at the right location for the other corner at the same end.

The first beam is added using the two post components as a reference for the length. I drew the large face with the Rectangle tool and because I used the posts to get the length, I only needed to type in the height of the beam. In this case I just typed ,7.5 and hit Enter. without the x value in there SketchUp takes the existing value from when the rectangle was drawn. Push/Pull to give it thickness and then make it a component.

Copy the beam component to the opposite side of the posts and then use Move copy to copy the four components to make the other three.

I save joinery, if there is any, until after the model is nearly complete. That makes editing the model easier and you can use the overlapping components as guides for drawing the joinery.

And a bit of modification which is simple enough.



Wow you made it look so easy. Thanks for the input. Much appreciated.


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I think you’ll find it easy if you approach it as I described. A couple of key things are to use components (and give them useful names) and model in place as much as possible. This will make your job easier and you don’t have to keep track of so many numbers. If the posts are in the right places you don’t need to know or care how long the beams are as long as they fit. Make SketchUp tell you how long they are. The component thing means that you only have to edit one instance to modify all copies as in the top boards in my GIF. (Those must have some name but I have no idea what it is.) The downside is you still have to handle every board in real life to cut off the ends like that.


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