Problems using push/pull to simulate expected wood grain patterns in table legs


Hello, I’m new to this group and pretty new to Sketchup. I’m trying to simulate what the wood grain pattern will look like for a given grain direction after cutting a table leg (curved, tapered, whatever). The goal is to have straight up/down grain on all four sides of legs when making a table, chair, etc. This becomes very difficult to predict as the leg becomes anything other than a square or rectangular cross section. It is particularly challenging for curved legs. So it would be very helpful to see what a given wood blank would produce using various grain orientations prior to cutting a particular 3-D shape.

As a starting point, I created a rift-sawn board by grouping very thin slices (each slice defining the grain) into one larger blank. I was going to post an image, but Windows decided to restart while I was out and did not save. So imagine a blank that is 2" tall by 6" wide by 3’ long and you’re looking at the 2"x6" cross section. The “grain” is perpendicular to the board faces (i.e., running up and down). I would like to define shapes on each of the surfaces and use the push/pull tool to make the 3-D shape leg. For instance, imagine a square rotated 45 deg on the end grain face such that the grain running diagonally across the square. I would want to define shapes on the end grain that cover the “waste” wood and push/pull those shapes to remove that waste wood…allowing the grain to show on the newly-created surfaces of the new blank that is now a square cross section with diagonal grain across its cross section. They would be lines running down the four sides of the leg. Then imagine a gentle taper on each side of the board that is then push/pulled to create, in the end, a square cross section leg that is tapered down its length. If done properly, you would then see what the grain pattern would look like on all newly-created surfaces.

I can easily make the 3-D leg shape. But when the blank is a group of thin slices that simulate the grain, the push/pull no longer works. If I define the rotated square on the end grain as described above, it will push through the volume of the board but it will not remove any material along the way.

Assuming my explanation is reasonably clear, is it possible to do what I’m trying to do? If I’m not clear enough, I can re-create my model and post some images.



First, I think you need to dump the idea of using Push/Pull. You could do it but I think it would be very tedious. This is the sort of thing that Solid Tools would be good for. Use the leg solid and the Intersect tool. Or you could do it with Intersect Faces but it would be more tedious.

Or you could let TIG’s Slicer 5 do it. I did a quickie with 1/8 in. thick layers with Slicer 5.


Wow, this is exactly what I’m looking for, but what is Slicer 5?



Sorry. Slicer 5 is an extension. TIG is the author. It’s available from Sketchucation.


Ok, thanks. I looked into the Solid Tools idea. Unfortunately, it requires Pro, which I don’t have.


Well, I gave you two other solutions.

How are you using these after you create them?


I think your suggestion to use Intersect with Faces is probably the way to go from what I’ve seen so far. I looked up Solid Tools and the Subtract tool seemed like what I wanted. The article said there was a Make alternative…Intersect with Model. Is that the same as Intersect with Faces?

If you’re asking what I’m doing with these models, Most immediately, I’m trying to decide if I can use the specific wood blanks I have to make some gently curved legs that I want to use in a Krenov-style cabinet that I’m making. The wood is fairly expensive, not to mention the time involved, so I want to understand how the grain in the leg will appear when I’m done. The wrong grain in a curved leg will be ugly. If the model shows that I need new blanks, I can use the model to generate a “shopping list” of acceptable grain patterns that I can take to the lumber yard.

I’ll try to attach a screenshot of the 3D model of the leg, but I don’t know if that will work. Here it is:



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