Sunday, June 13, 2010

SketchUp for Woodworkers

Bob Lang sent me a pre-production copy of his new 184-page digital format book Woodworker's Guide to SketchUp. Bob is producing the book himself through his website craftsmanplans.com, where you can order it for the discounted price of $29.95 with free shipping (to the U.S. and Canada) until July 1.

This book offers many great things, one of which is that it's completely geared toward woodworkers. Meaning, tutorials cover cabriole legs, not cubicles and office buildings.

Another thing is there are videos embedded in the text which are mini-tutorials, so you can read about a technique and then see it in action. And all with Bob's cool-1950-Lee Marvin-esque voiceover.

We've all seen SketchUp illustrations, but many of us have never used the program or are new to it. Bob walks you through all the steps in order to design your own 3D models.

If you're a beginner like me, start at the beginning of the book. He covers the very basics. If you have some cursory knowledge of the program, you might want to skip a chapter or two, but I would at least skim them, because Bob gives you the best configurations for the tools and preferences.

Clearly, Bob knows his way around the program, and with his knowledge, you'll be able to build complex 3D models, complete with crown moulding and half blind dovetails. If you are interested in learning SketchUp, this is an excellent resource for woodworkers.

You can download sample pages and the table of contents for your own preview.

10 comments:

Dave G said...

I really like this v-book! Something all skill levels of sketchup can learn from!

Eric said...

I tried SketchUp & got aggravated at my own slow learning process.
I like Bob's stuff and intend to give this one a try.
Thanks Kari.

The Village Carpenter said...

Dave, thanks for you opinion!

Eric, I did the same thing and tried to figure it out on my own, got frustrated, and quit. I think you'll find that Bob's book demystifies the program and you'll pick it up much more quickly.

Extremely Average said...

I have used Sketchup a bunch and love it. In fact, I have also rendered some of my designs into photo quality images. A few I have uploaded to stock photography sites and actually sold.

http://extremelyaverage.com/2010/01/i-will-continue-to-practice/

If you are interested in seeing the potential of what one can do in Sketchup.

Keith July said...

I have a love/hate relationship with Sketchup. I don't use it enough to be proficient at it. (translation, I forget what I learned the last time I used it:) I think I spend more time in the help guide that working on the drawing. But... when I want to check proportions on a piece,for example a table. It is easy to make changes to see if a wider/narrower leg would fit, without have to redraw the whole project.
I'll check out the e-book.
Keith

Dyami said...

I just ordered it. Thanks for the recco, Kari.

The Village Carpenter said...

Wow, Brian, you took SketchUp to a whole new level. Well done!

Keith, Bob's book should make a good reference for when you get stumped. I'm brand new to SketchUp, but it sounds like any software program: the more you use it, the faster you get.

Dyami, let me know what you think. :o)

Alan Blake said...

I just got the book and found a bug, the videos won't play, instead I get a "find media player" popup. I have tried the disk on 3 different computers, all with windows media player installed and the same thing happens with all three. There seems no way around this and there is nothing in the book's documentation about this problem. Anyone have a solution?

The Village Carpenter said...

Alan, please contact Bob Lang at: robert.lang@fwpubs.com
I am sure he will be happy to help you. Sounds like it's a problem with that particular copy.

Bob Lang said...

Sorry I didn't catch this until now. Some users of Windows 7 have reported this error message from Adobe Reader. The fix is to use QuickTime as the media player in Adobe Reader. The videos are MP4s embedded in the PDF, and in theory this format would work with any OS and media player combination. Apparently, the latest version of Reader and the latest version of Windows haven't learned to play nice with each other.

Any other issues or comments? My contact information is at the bottom of each page on the website.

thanks for all the kind words,

Bob