Tapered Chair Leg Model Help

Need a little (or perhaps a lot) of SketchUp help. Just downloaded the free 2017 SketchUp Make program. Self teaching. Used this a while back, but a sharp memory is a terrible thing to waste in an old head. All that aside, on to the problem.

I would like to model a dining chair. I have the chair in front of me, so it should be easy given that all the detail are right there. Started on the front leg. Can someone explain the process I need to go trough to model a tapered (on three sides), and pitched (bottom is closer to the chair center than the top) chair leg. I can model the tapers, and I can pitch a straight leg. but cannot figure out how to do both to the same leg.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

IS the leg really tapered on three sides? Or maybe just the two inside faces? I’m guessing the latter considering the chair. If I were modeling that leg I would start by drawing it vertically as a square on the ground plane with a radiused corner. Then I would extrude it to height. There are a couple of ways to create the taper. Easiest would probably be to use the Move tool to move just the bottom edges in to make the foot dimension. Alternatively you could draw an angled edge from the top corner to the foot and then use the top two inside edges as a Follow Me path.



I would not bother tilting the leg back untill the rest of the chair is modeled in place. Then rotate it all at once.

Tapered Chair Leg (#1).skp (13.1 KB)

#DaveR already shows the best way. My screen shots show an 18" by 1.5" by 1.5" cube then I drew a 7/8" by 7/8" rectangle at the bottom. I copy moved the top rectangle of the cube down two inches (for square joinery purposes). Then I connected the corners with between rectangles and erased two sides of the cube. Last, I tilted the leg back two degrees and redrew the bottom rectangle. I agree with DaveR. that the 2 degree tilt is best saved until the chair is built.
Tapered Chair Leg (#1).skp (13.1 KB)

Thanks guys. I’ve been able to create the legs, but fall apart on the rotation. I’ll try the suggestion of creating the chair “square”, then rotating the whole thing and fixing the leg bottoms. If/when I fail. I will get back to you guys.

Thanks again,


Don’t try to rotate the bottom face. Once you’ve got the chair modeled rotate the whole thing back the to the required angle. Then draw a rectangle on the ground plane, open a leg component for editing and use Intersect Faces>With Model to create an intersection at the foot. Then erase the waste and heal the bottom of the left by tracing an edge with the Line tool.

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Hey guys, Me again.

How do I trim a component to the face of another component when the two components are not perpendicular? ie; a side stretcher meeting a leg.



Share the latest version of your model.

Possibly by doing what I described in my previous post. Maybe something else.

To help achieve your goals, some time spent at the SketchUp Campus and at the SketchUp - YouTube channel will be very worthwhile. Both sites are from the SketchUp team. On the YouTube channel, pay attention to the Square One Series. It covers the basics for each tool.

Something to keep in mind is one of the fundamentals of the software, It is all just edges and faces! Nothing magic, if you add an edge to a face it will generally split the face. There are all sorts of tools for doing things but all they are doing is working with edges and faces.

So at its most basic, here are two components, a leg and a stringer perhaps. I position one within the other at the point at which I would like to cut it. I open the one I want to cut and select a face, then Intersect the Face ‘With Model’. This means the face that I have selected is now interacting with things outside the context of itself, so an edge is formed where the other component touches it. But nothing happens to anything outside the context of the face I selected.
I can now use that edge to ‘push’ away the part I don’t want.

Getting your head around that concept goes a long way to understanding how everything works.


Hey All,

Getting closer. I have the model nearly complete (copy attached). I am working in SketchUp 2017 Make. My Pro version and along with it Layout has expired. Is there a way to print a full size .pdf from the Make version? Is there a way to “crop” in my window view to optimize the print limits in the Make version?

Thanks again,


Dining Chair - 1.skp (455.4 KB)

Comsmetically your chair looks pretty good. It’s odd that the two side stretchers are different components. I think they ought to be the same in the way the seat side rails are instances of the same component.

I would also recommend that you change the axes for those components which have the giant bounding boxes. That will make it easier to get proper dimensions.

Screenshot - 7_26_2023 , 3_50_33 PM

Well, it’s not particularly easy. First make the model window close to the shape of the paper you’ll be printing on. Then use Zoom Extents to make the model fill the model window.

This will crop the window so you don’t wind up with so much excess empty space. You can assign layers to the components in the model so you can show just one on the sheet, say the crest rail or a leg. Create scenes to show the individual parts as needed.

This kind of business is definitely easier with SketchUp Pro and LayOut. You aren’t limited to the size of paper your printer can handle, for one thing. It’s much easier to set up viewports to scale in LayOut without the gymnsatics required with SketchUp Make.


Thanks a lot for the help.

  1. The two side stretchers are two separate components because after drawing, and trimming the left stretcher, and copying it to the right side, I could not get the rotation to work out correctly, so I short-cutted it and drew it over again.

  2. For the suggested axes change, do I just triple click the component and choose the desired face for the new axis? What axis location would you suggest for the top and bottom backs?

  3. How do I change the model window? I am trying to print a full size drawing to a 24x36 sheet. I would most likely need to rotate the view 90 degrees to correctly orient to the sheet.

  4. I will give the layer naming a try also.

Thanks again,


This explains the axes tool. Axes Tool - Square One - YouTube

The right approach in Make would be to use the Flip Along command. Since the left stretcher has its axes set correctly, you could add something else, even a simple edge segment or a guideline, select it along with the stretcher, use Move/Copy to move a copy of them to the right, right click, choose Flip Along>Red Direction. Then delete the extra segment or guideline.

No. Right click on the component and choose Change Axes to do that. Figure out the alignment that makes sense for the way you’ll cut the piece out of the blank so the blank can be as small as possible.

Will your printer handle 24x36 in. paper? SketchUp gets the paper size from the printer drivers. If the printer can’t do 24x36 paper the export won’t be 24x36.

To change the model window size click on the two squares between the - (minimize) and the X (close buttons in the upper right corner of the SketchUp window. Then drag the edges to make a narrow vertical rectangle.

I will print to a pdf, then take the pdf to Office Max for printing to paper.

That will probably work well enough.

I drew a 24x36 rectangle in my document. Made a group and placed it around what I wanted to print. Adjusted the window to come close to fitting the group. chose zoom extents, and set the print scale to 1"=1", and did a print preview. And, I only see one corner of what is shown in the original window. Any ideas? I can attach a few screen shots if that would help.


Print Preview will only work with the paper size that your printer will handle. Use Export>2D to export the PDF instead. To get a scaled view the camera must be set to Parallel Projection and you must choose a Standard view.

Printer chosen is CutePDF which supports ARCH D (24x36) Camera is set at Parallel Projection, Left Face. PDF is not an option for Export>2D.


As a follow up. I up the paper size to a ARCH E (30x42), and it seem to have worked. I believe I was so close to the limits of the ARCH D that it was pushing the print preview over to four pages.

Thanks again, and I hope you have (had) a great evening!