Placement of a unique component into a different location

Is it possible to create a component in its own space and than place it into an existing assembly space? My current need is woodworking related and would like to create a rail with tenons on both ends and than place it into opposing legs with existing mortises.

You can. But why not draw your new component “in situ”?


I agree with John. You can model components separately and then move them into place but it is generally less work to model them in place. Less chance of errors, too.

FWIW, if I’m modeling a rail with tenons to fit between two legs, I would model the tenons on the rail and use it to cut the mortises.

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If I place the rail insitu by using rectangles as guides to push/pull surface entities, I will end up with a several segmented objects on the tenon ends of the rail. Is there another way to place it insitu?

You shouldn’t end up with that. Share your SketchUp file so we can see what you are working with.

Very new to this and do not know how to share my file.

Save it. Then drag and drop the saved file into a reply here.

Here’s a quick example. All of the parts are instances of components so editing one results in the others getting the same treatment. I use Trim from BoolTools 2 to cut the mortises.

File below.

Emily’s Sidebord Buffet.skp (91.2 KB)

I notice you have missing faces inside the mortises.
Screenshot - 7_11_2023 , 5_02_26 PM

What are the cross section dimensions of the rails supposed to be? Are they supposed to be flush with the outside faces of the legs?

Top rails are 3" W x 37.875" L x 1.5" Thk. Bottom rails are the same except are 4" wide. Not sure whats going on with the missing faces.

Rails should be flush with the leg outside faces.

OK. If the legs are placed correctly you don’t need to know how long the rails are. You model them to fit.


Something with the way you modeled them.

Note: I have a keyboard shortcut so I can activate Hide Rest of Model when a component is being edited. You can also do that via Model Info>Components.


Are you using offset tool to make the tennon?

Yes. Not required but it’s quick and easy, especially when the shoulders are all the same width.

Thanks very much. Noticed we have the same first two initials. I think I’m following your animation and will try to incorporate the same steps to make rails, stiles, panels, etc.

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Good luck with it.

FWIW, when I model any furniture I get all of the parts in place before I start cutting joinery. For mortise and tenon joinery I only ever model the tenons. The mortises are cut by the tenons. So if things are properly placed, there’s no need to do layout for the mortises. Here’s another example.
The same basic thing goes for other joinery like dovetails, bridle joints, and half-laps, too. I only ever model half of the joint.

By the way, I noticed in your model you have units set to Architectural, display precision set rather coarse and Length Snapping enabled. If you are going to work in fractional inches, I would suggest changing to Fractional units. Set Display Precision as high as it will go (1/64th in.) and turn off Length Snapping. Setting display precision high doesn’t mean you have to make things to 1/64th in but it lets you seesmall errors more easily. Look in Model Info>Units for that.

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This old thing might also help.

Thanks Dave. As a novice Sketchup user and woodworking hobbiest, believe me when I say your help is greatly appreciated. I will make the system setup changes you have suggested…

Do you have any experience with modeling molding profiles?

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I’m glad that’s helpful.

Yes. I’ve done quite a lot of that. Especially for custom molding profiles. The key thing with that sort of thing is to consider how it is being used in the model. If you are using off-the-shelf molding cutters and/or the molding is being shown in the context of piece of furniture oor something larger, don’t bother trying to make it too precise. It won’t matter and the fine detail won’t be readable anyway.

If you are modeling to show a detail of a custom molding make that separate. Don’t add the highly detailed profile to the project. Just show it as a detail view in your LayOut document. I do the same sort of thing for turned knob profiles and the like.