Unable to trim 2x4s at an angle for top plate

Howdy all,

I am new to Sketchup and so far it has been fairly intuitive, but I’ve reached a dead-end on trimming the 2x4s in order to create the shed roof. I thought I could draw a line, creating a trim line and then push the un-needed portion off. Same for a front door and windows. Is it because the 2x4 is a component? If so, is there a way to revert a component to a basic shape?



20210721_GardenShed.skp (230.8 KB)

To modify a component the way you want, you must first open it for edit. Otherwise the line you draw is outside the component and doesn’t interact with it.

Steve is correct that you need to open the component for editing so that the drawn line can interact with the geometry.

Before you do that, however, you’ll need to make the components unique or they will all get cut to the same length. I did that for the pairs in the GIF but not for the rest of them and here’s what happens.

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Thank you both for your help. I was able make them all fit.

Now on to figuring out how to do the top plate.

One final question. Are you using the web-based version or the paid version. Do the paid version make it any easier in learning the product?

Thanks again,


You should be able to draw the top plate right on top of the cut studs. Probably easiest to use the Rectangle tool.

I opened your model in SketchUp Pro (the paid desktop version) only because it was slightly faster than uploading it to the web version. There’s really no difference in ease of learning between the versions. The paid versions offer some additional tools and in the case of the desktop versions, options to add more tools in the form of extensions. Whether or not you need those depends on what you are modeling. Either way you should get comfortable with the native tools first. SketchUp Pro also gives you LayOut which is useful for creating various types of documentation from your SketchUp models.

Another consideration would be using SketchUp for your work. If you are planning to do that, you would need either SketchUp Shop or SketchUp Pro.

Just from a carpentry standpoint, I’m not sure I’d bother with a top plate. Of course your particular need may require one.

Hi Shep - Interesting idea that deserves some thought. I don’t want to be one who says “Because that’s the way I’ve always done it”.



From a carpentry POV, it’s much easier to cut things square. So a flat plat atop square cut studs would be standard. But it also serves a point because the rafters will normally be birdsmouthed over the plate, which arguably is a better joint than two flat surfaces meeting.

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I see rough framers do what Shep drew all the time.

Simpson makes fasteners for this type of rafter to top plate connection.

They do. But now you have to buy two plates and bang in up to 20 nails for each rafter. If you do it the traditional way, no need for any plates and you use two nails at most!