Rookie mistake, missed setting some boards as components

Hi all, I just finished my first wood project in SketchUp and went to generate my cuts list in Open Cuts. I noticed that a lot of boards were missing and realized that I have a complete mess :-). A lot of my “boards” aren’t set as components, and some components contain multiple boards. I’ve tried shift-clicking all areas of a particular board and then Make Component but when I to move it afterwards, it’s stuck to all the other touching pieces.

Is there any way to fix this and make each board it’s own component, or do I need to start all over? Sketchup file attached. Thanks for all insight!

Girls Stairs.skp (368.2 KB)

Girls Stairs PB.skp (399.6 KB)

Where I saw components i hid them and worked on the loose geometry only. I only created groups of those. You can make them components, but unfortunately at this point like groups will not show as instances of the same component.

One thing you have is materials applied to components and also back faces. Usually you just want to apply materials to front faces. Not sure if that will be an issue for you in how you are using the model.

There are plenty of wordworkers here–I’m a butcher at best, good with wood filler, but you may want to look at designing the drawers so they are not just sliding on the top of the horizontal planks.

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I would agree with @pbacot about the drawers. You might give some thought to at least potting some HDPE strips on the bottoms of the drawer sides and leaving a gap under the rest of the drawer. Looking at the thickness of the parts in your model it would appear you are planning to use plywood. I expect those drawers would wear through the top veneer or the finish, anyway, in short order.

I would also consider a different construction method throughout the project. The butt joints you show won’t be all that strong. I’d make the verticals one piece and add dadoes where pieces meet.

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Wow thank you PB! I can see most of the boards are their own group now. The root of my problem was that when I use Open Cuts List, I notice that the 3rd horizontal board from the bottom, or 3rd floor if you will, doesn’t show up in my cuts list. I clicked on the group you made for it and then Make Component, and when i generate my cut list it shows up now :+1:

I’ll have to be more careful about making everything a component in the future.

Yeah, I just made them groups, thinking you might want to make/name the components of the groups according to your own system.

Really appreciate the feedback! This is my first Sketchup project and wood project using the new table saw and power tools Santa brought me.

I see what you’re saying about the verticals, I can change the design to make them each 1 piece. In that case, my floors are no longer long pieces right? I just attach those to the sides of the verticals?

Drawers rubbing on the bottom is a good catch too. I’ll have to make them a bit smaller.

Thanks again!

I agree that you have drawn the drawers too tight in their openings. I’d do the following:

  • reduce the height of the entire drawer box so that it has at least 1/8"-1/4" clearance at the top. Tighter really isn’t necessary, increases the risk that if the step sags it will bind, and increases your need for precision without really providing a useful increase in drawer capacity.
  • as @DaveR suggested, add some sort of low-friction material to the bottom edges of the sides.
  • reduce the width of the box to leave maybe 1/8" clearance side to side. Again, closer has a high risk of binding especially if everything isn’t perfectly straight (and stays that way with use). If you want, you could also apply a low-friction material on the sides.
  • raise the bottom of the drawer up perhaps 1/4" from the bottom edge of the sides so that the entire surface doesn’t bear on the board below, just the edges of the sides. Move the bottom edge of the back up similarly and adjust the height of the front. This will greatly reduce the drag when you slide the drawers in and out.
  • raise the bottom edge of the outer drawer front by about 1/16" so that it doesn’t drag on the board below. You can leave the top edge flush with the step above.
  • depending on whether anything will be adjacent to this (e.g. a wall) you might want to reduce the width of the outer front a bit so that it doesn’t rub against the wall.

I notice the unit is 12 7/16" wide. Is there a reason to choose that particular width? Not saying it is wrong, just wondering if it is necessary.

I would probably do various joints differently (again as @DaveR suggested), but as you are a newcomer to woodworking I’d rather you get the pleasure of making something and learn about more advanced techniques as and when you have time.

Edit: a further thought - how will people grasp the drawers to pull them out? You may need to add some sort of finger grooves or pulls.

Sorry for the delay. Sidetracked with other work.

Looks like Steve has given you some good information. As for the joinery, I think some simple shallow dadoes and rabbets should be within your reach either by table saw or router. I’d be inclined to do them with a router because it would be easier to get the width set to fit the plywood exactly. Maybe something like this for the these parts.

Enjoy the process with both SketchUp and your new tools.

A followup thought on @DaveR’s suggestion of dadoes and rabbets: they will make it much easier to line the parts up as you assemble the stairs. Without them it can be very fussy to make sure all the parts are at exactly the right place!

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Another thought: Maybe make the steps so they overhang the drawer fronts so the drawer fronts can’t be easily stepped on.

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And in this case leave some clearance between the top edge of the outer front and the stair above.

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Yeah. I haven’t added those clearances in my model at this point but that would be a good idea.

At this point it seems worthwhile rebuilding some of the model with components that are properly linked. All the drawer fronts, for example are probably the same and tweaking one, you tweak them all.

This forum is super, with solutions to the Sketchup question, with design suggestions, and suggestions for construction techniques. And all in a civil manner.

Happy New Year to everyone.


Thanks again @DaveR and @slbaumgartner – the strange outer width is because the internal dimension of the drawer opening is 11". It can be changed, for sure. Also will definitely take the advice on the drawers.

Side question, how does anyone work with 23/32 plywood for these types of projects, such a weird measurement; hah! Am I making this more difficult than it needs to be?

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Two methods I’ve used depending on the size of parts are stacked dado cutter for the table saw and a jig for a router.
Here’s a model I did of the jig.

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For most projects I just use 3/4 in. I have one client for whom I do use 23/32 but he’s the only one.

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Because I can’t be sure exactly what thickness plywood will really be until I buy it, I usually design at 3/4 and tweak for actual. Of course, I design only for my own use so I don’t have to worry about a user not knowing.