Measuring a Balustrade for a Woodturner

Hi All,

I’m very new
to Sketchup, have pretty much just got it because i’ve become obsessed
with building a particular balustrade coffee table.

It turns out the exact one I want to build was already in the 3D warehouse, the restoration hardware coffee table

I need to send the appropriate measurements to a woodturner to make the
legs on a lathe. Just wondering what the best way to do so would be?
i.e. how to I communicate to him the appropriate taper etc. I’ve watched
a bunch of tutorials but so far haven’t found the exact information I

i’m ok with communicating the main “straight” lengths but it’s the curves that i’m unsure about. I’m willing to buy Sketchup Pro if that’s what it takes but so far I only have the trial.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I would create a slice through the middle of a leg with a section cut and use this 2D shape to add all needed measurements with the dimension tool…

lathe_leg.skp (2.4 MB)


I would create a full size template by making a 2D view of the leg. Set the camera to parallel projection and use a standard view such as the front view.

Then send it to LayOut to make a full size viewport on paper of the appropriate size.

I’m not at my computer or I’d make an example to show.


Thanks so much for this. Do you think it will be necessary for me to include the radius of the curve when I send it to the woodturner, or do you think it’s likely doing it like this will be enough information for him?

The curves won’t have consistent radii so dimensions would be difficult to provide. A full size pattern would be the easiest way to communicate the shape to the turner.


Thanks so much for your help!!!

Except for factory automation and some shape follower jigs, woodturners normally draw a full size cross section and then transfer diameters at key points using calipers. If you print a full size pattern as Dave suggested, you will save the turner some work and also reduce transcription errors. We fair the measured points together by eye - specified radii of curved parts wouldn’t be all that valuable.

@7lemons, e-mail sent.