Finally, a how to guide that clicked for me


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I'd been getting pretty frustrated with my inability to intuitively figure out sketchup just by clicking around (particularly with something as simple as drawing a 2x4.)


I watched a few vids, which wasn't much help either.  Hope was lost.


I found this book online, Sketchup, The Missing Manual, most of which is available for free in the Google Books preview.


I skipped right ahead to "Building a Bench - Your first Sketchup Model.


After one hour, I "milled some lumber", saved them as components, 'constructed a bench', and more importantly also learned a slew of skills to get me very comfortable with the interface and software.


The step by step instructions were great.  It seems that NOT CLICKING the mouse at times is pretty darn important.  Each step you read in the project tutorial clearly states if necessary, "hover the mouse in the left corner, but do not click".   This is huge.  It was also what was previously preventing me from figuring out the program on my own.


It also has something that is invaluable in any instructional tutorial (I also like this about Marc's guild builds), which is something along the lines of this,  "Your piece should be rotating.  If it's spinning, you probably accidently did this....hit ctrl-z to undo and try again".  Or, "Now before you do this are the pitfalls that lie ahead and how we'll avoid them". 


Suffice to say, after 60 minutes, I have confidence using this program, at least for the very basics of woodworking.  And best part is, most of it's free through Google reader.





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Great stuff Vinny. Also whilst making components try the following (apologies if you already know this). Essentially draw something like a 2 x 4 and extrude it to length with the push pull tool. Then select the 3D object by drawing a marquee around it, right click it and select Make Component , give it a name like 2x4x6foot and it turns the series of lines and faces into an object that you can move around, copy or rotate. Copy it by selecting it and holding down the ctrl key and moving it where you want and you then have two copies of the component.


The good thing about this is if you want to drill a hole through both of them double click on one of them, draw a circle and push/pull it, click outside the component and you will see you have a hole through both components.


If you decide that you want only one of the objects to have a hole in it then right click the object and select Make Unique and then draw the hole as described. You will then get one component with a hole in and the other without a hole.



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Thanks Terry - with the exception of the 'make unique' function, all that is actually covered in that brief 'build a bench' tutorial.  It does a good job of peppering a lot of that stuff in early, and making it more relevant later in the tutorial.


Really, that part of typing in the dimensions of, say a 2x4, before you click again...HUGE ....but how could anyone possibly know to do that without being told??? 

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