Some pulled objects look hollow from the inverse side

Hi All,
I am wondering how to make all pulled objects appear as solid wood from all sides.

I’m a Sketchup beginner here (just started with it last night). I am a hobbyist woodworker, and I am trying to design a patio end table that I plan to build from cedar fence pickets.

See my drawings below of the beginning of the table. The drawing includes the tabletop and a leg assembly in one corner so far.

Here is a view from one direction:

Notice that the underside of the tabletop and one of the pieces of the leg both look indented, so they don’t appear to be a piece of wood. The other piece of the leg looks like solid wood from both sides. I don’t know what I did differently for the one piece that looks correct.

How can I get all of the pieces to appear to be solid wood from all sides?

Here’s the opposite side view:

In simple terms you aren’t going to 3D early enough. Draw the outline for just one “board” and make it 3D. Then immediately make it a component before you start on the next part. That will prevent them from sticking together and prevent you from ending up with missing faces as you have.

This is normal SketchUp behaviour. When you push-pull a single face, the normal thing is to create a closed box. When you push-pull a face that is connected to another, the default is to create an “indent” in the surface.
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Pressing ctrl with the pushpull forces the face to duplicate, but when you want to create clean solid objects, the result is usually a bit of a mess.

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Thank you for the quick replies.

Okay, I think I understand why it does that. So, I have to build each component separately and then move it onto position. I have now tried that, and whole new issue has arisen, which is getting me very frustrated.

Why is there an angled gap here?

I measured this angle with the protractor tool on th left-hand object, and it shows that it is not 90. It measures ~91.5. Both lengths and widths show correct measurements on the object, so how can I square it up? I can’t even begin to imagine how I did that because each time I accidentally did something I did not mean to do, I undid it.

You can do it that way. Personally I would model each part in place. I would model one part, make it a component and then model the next one and make it a component and so on. I would only move a componet if I was using a copy of an existing one.

Looks like you’ve drawn one of those edges off axis or perhaps you moved one of the parallel edges very slightly. It’s hard to tell from nothing more than a screen shot. If you share the model file it would be easier to see what is going on and give you better guidance.

It’s also difficult to tell in your screen shot but it looks like you’ve skipped the step of creating components for the parts.

Dang you’re quick to reply! I seriously appreciate that!

Okay, I was not sure which format to share the file in, so I downloaded as .skp and will share it here.

I did create the tabletop as a component and was going to make the whole leg and create it as a component and then duplicate it for two other corners of the table. Should I be making a component of each individual object?
Patio Planter End Table.skp (92.4 KB)

It depends on what you need to get out of the model. If you are going to make the leg out of several pieces of wood but don’t need to show the separate pieces, don’t make them separate. If you want to be able to show the individual pieces of wood, make each one as a component.

Hang tight while I look at your model.

So thinking about the top, you have made a component of the top however it’s all of the geometry still basically lumped together. Maybe that will give you the info you need.

Here I started a model after eyeballing your first screenshot. Each plank for the top is a component on its own.

This allows me to move the parts away from each other as you might for an exploded view or to make easy modifications to the model.

As for the leg and the gap, it looks like you did indeed moove one of the long edges by mistake so you end up with a parallelogram.

Here’s an example from an old model I did. In this case the top is model as a single component even though in reality it would be glued up from several pieces. I don’t really care about how many pieces in this case, just that the overall dimentioned are correct. All of the undercarriage is individual components, and copies as appropriate.

Here is an exploded view of the taller of the two tables. This was made by copying the table over to the side and them moving the parts away from each other.

on the other side, here’s an outdoor table I designed for a client to build. Each of the parts for the top are component instances.

This allows me to create an exploded view to show the joinery.

The separate components for the top pieces also means a cutlist makes more sense.

Ah, I figured out how to fix it! Although, I’m gonna take your advice and start over, making each piece a component.

I actually found a problem with my current design, so I have to make a slight mod and starting over will make that easier.

Thank you so much for your help!

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Ah, I can see the benefit. As I would like to assemble a cut list, this will work beautifully!

Good deal. And you haven’t cut up any of that expensive timber yet. :wink:

Inn SketchUp Free there’ll be a bit of manual effort for a cutlist but if you give your components useful names it will help. You can use Entity Info to get counts. In my example of your L-shaped top, I used copies of the ones on the left to make the ones on the right since I was making them the same lengths. So if I wanted to work out my cutlist from that I could select a part and look at Entity Info to get the count.


Leverage that idea as you build your model. Copy a component if you can use it elsewhere. Then when you are working in the shop you will be able to streamline your work.

Here I’ve got four pieces for the leg and they are all the same so I would know in the shop I need to cut four pieces to the same length while I have the stop set on the CMS.

If you spend some time at The Learning Center, you will learn how to use the tools to get what you want. (interactive tutorials) Also, go to The SketchUp YouTube Channel and pay attention to the Square One series. Both are sponsored by the SketchUp Crew and well worth the time spent there.