Total newbie question...Best way to make "cutout"



Heard about Sketchup in Lumberjocks and it sounded like a good tool for planning out projects. I downloaded Maker 2017 version and have gone through some tutorials. However, I still feel like I must be doing things the hard way.

Seeing some of the sketches people on here are posting, I’m kind of embarrassed to even ask a simple question like this, but one thing I am struggling with is how to draw an object that’s an irregular shape. For example, I want to create a piece that’s 1/2" thick, 9 1/2" long and 4 1/2" high with a 1/4" wide and 1 1/2" high “cutout” on each side of the bottom.

From the tutorials I’ve watched the steps seem to be:

  1. Draw 1/2" by 9 1/2" rectangle
  2. Select the rectangle and “Pull” it to height of 4 1/2"
  3. Rotate object so I’m looking at it from end. At that point it looks like a 1/2"x4 1/2" high rectangle.
  4. Draw a line to create new “face”.
  5. Push the new face in 1/4".

The thing I’m struggling with is how to draw the line 1 1/2" up from the bottom. What I’m ending up doing is drawing the face by drawing 4 lines to make a 1/2"x1 1/2" rectangle and then pushing that.

I’m sure there is a simpler way, but I can’t figure out what it is.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.




Figures. As soon as I ask, I find the Tape Measure. That seems to be the answer, right?

If there is an even simpler way, please let me know.


You could use the Move tool too. Select the bottom edge, choose the Move tool, tap the modifier key shown at the bottom of the window to do a Copy (Ctrl in your case), then drag anywhere upwards on the front face.

When drawing things you can get accurate distance by typing what you want. Here are your steps, only I’m typing the distances that I want.


Wow. Not only did you respond quickly, but you even did a video. Impressive. Thank you!

I have Maker 2017 free version so maybe things are a bit different between versions. What do you mean by “modifier key shown at the bottom of the window”?


a modifier key is using, ctrl, alt or shift in conjuction with a tool to modify its behaviour. With the move tool, using control will make a copy of the particular line you have selected. Without the modifier it would just move it.

I think Colin’s method is the easiest, but if you wanted to use the tape measure tool, which may feel more like marking out your piece of wood before cutting, you could use it to create guides from which you would then draw lines and cut pieces out. As you drag out the tape, just type the distance you want it (dont try to type in the box)

in the secon gif you can see using the move tool will "move the line, but using the ctrl key with the tool (small “+” appears) it will copy it to the moved position.


Thank you to both of you. That helps a lot. I wish I could mark both as “this solves the problem” mark.


If you look at the poster image for my video there is a line that says “option = crea”. It gets cut off then, but that’s the area at the bottom of the window that tells you what modifier keys you make use. In the video the text is changing as I change tools.

It should be the same with Make.


Found it. Thank you so much colin


This set of TUTORIALS is well worth your time.


Boy, you aren’t kidding. Those are by far the best tutorials I’ve seen for someone just starting out with SketchUp.

Thanks for the link!


You are welcome.