Building a side table

Exercise to walk through building a side table in SketchUp.
Instructor
David Heim
Runtime
22m 58s

Transcript

Welcome back. In this video. I'd like you to follow along with me to create a SketchUp model of a side table. It's a good, basic exercise. So pause the video as often as you like in order to do the modeling.

Open a new SketchUp screen, get the tape measure tool, and double click the tool once over the green access line and once over the red access line. This'll help define two edges of the table. Now go back to the green access line, click once with the tape measure and drag to the right. Type the number 16, and press enter. Do the same thing, but this time start on the red access line. Click there once, begin dragging parallel to the green axis. Type the number 16 again, and press enter. These guidelines define the four corners of the table.

Now you can switch to the rectangle tool. Tap the up arrow to get the cursor oriented correctly. Click it right at that corner where the three axis lines meet. Click and begin dragging up and away. Type, "1.5 comma." 1.5, and press enter. Those numbers are like GPS coordinates on your phone. They give SketchUp the dimensions, the width and thickness of the table leg. In this case, it's an inch and a half. Now you can switch to the push pull tool, hover it in the middle of that square you just drew, click, begin pulling up toward the top of the screen. Type 23 and press enter. That determines the length of the leg. Now triple click it to select all those edges and faces. Type the letter G, make it a component called, "Leg."

Now we'll make some copies and get them into position and we'll use those guidelines to know where the copies go. So click once on that leg component to select it, then switch to the move tool. Hover it at that bottom corner. You'll get a prompt that tells you when you're at the right spot. Tap option or control to make a copy, drag it over to where those other guidelines cross. As soon as you get another prompt, it'll say intersection. Click, and that positions the copy. Now right click and choose a command called Flip Along, components Red.

You won't see that anything has happened, but that orients the copy and the original correctly. Now with that copy still highlighted, hold down the shift key. Click on the original leg, that selects both of them. And we'll go through that copying routine again to make two more copies. Again with the move tool, tapping the option key, and drag the two copies back until they hit the spot where those two guidelines cross. You'll get another long prompt. So click to anchor the last two copies, then right click again and choose Flip Along. This time it's the green direction, because we move them along the green axis. That's the direction we move them.

Next thing we're going to do is taper the leg. So double click the original leg. That means you can make some changes to it. Then double click with the arrow to select the top four edges and that face. You can copy whole components, but you can also copy geometry and that's what we're going to do now. So grab the move tool, get it right on one of those upper corners. Tap option or control and begin dragging down along that edge of the leg. Tap the up arrow to keep things moving in the correct direction. Type the number 5 and press enter.

By copying those lines at top we're telling SketchUp where to begin tapering the leg, because we don't want the taper to be the full length of the leg. That makes constructing the aprons to connect the legs really complicated. Now orbit around so you can get a good close up view of the bottom of the leg. When you've orbited for a good close up view of the bottom end of the leg, take the arrow tool and double click on the bottom end to highlight all those edges. Switch to the tape measure tool and hover it along the edge of the leg that lines up with the green access line.

Click, begin dragging toward the opposite side of the leg. Type 3/8ths and press enter. Do the same thing, but this time start on the edge that lines up with the red access line. Click, begin dragging toward the opposite edge. Type 3/8ths and press enter. Now switch to the scale tool, it's the one right above the tape measure. You'll notice these green handles that appear at the midpoints and the corners of the leg. Hover over one of the handles there at the corner. You'll see a long prompt. Tap option or control, and that prompt changes to say, "Uniform scale about center." That's what you want to see.

Click on that corner handle and begin dragging until you can touch the spot where those two guidelines you just placed have crossed. You'll get a prompt again, it says, "Intersection." That's when you can let go. And you've now tapered the leg from an inch and a half on a side down to 3/4ths of an inch on a side. And of course because we're working with components, all four legs got the same taper at the same time. Now you can click away from the leg, that makes that dotted line box go away. And you can go to edit and delete guides. We're done with those guidelines there for the moment. It's time to put in the aprons that connect the legs, and that's one of these good practices to work in SketchUp the way you would in the shop. Once you've got your legs done and tapered, then it's time to put them together with aprons.

Switch to the rectangle tool, tap the left arrow to get the cursor oriented correctly. Click on one upper corner of the original leg, and then drag over until you can touch the cursor to the spot on the opposite leg where the taper begins, and click. And that puts a rectangle right in place. That's another one of those good practices, draw in place. Don't spend time moving things around. Now switch to the push pull tool and make this 3/4ths of an inch thick. Just type 3/4ths and press enter. And I'm going to draw a box around that apron, that'll highlight everything. Make it a component.

Now to put the other three aprons in position, we're going to use the rotate tool, but we first need to use the tape measure to find that spot in space where the center of the table is. So switch to the tape measure, click on one corner of the original leg and then the diagonally opposite corner. Do the same thing over here on the first copy you made of the leg. Don't try to draw diagonals that go from one leg to the opposite leg, you won't get a guideline. Do it on one leg at a time, and where those guidelines cross is the center point. Now, if you see that the guidelines don't line up on the corners of the other legs, it means that something is out of position and you had either better start over or adjust the position of one of these legs to make sure that everything lines up.

Now if it isn't already highlighted, click once on that apron. That highlights it. Switch to the rotate tool, it's right under the move tool. Tap the up arrow to make sure the cursor is oriented correctly. It should be blue. Hover it right in place where those two guidelines cross. Again, you'll get a prompt from SketchUp. Tap option or control, click. Drag over till the cursor touches that apron. Click again and begin moving the cursor. Go clockwise. Let go with the mouse. Type the number 90, nine zero, and press enter. Then type 3X and press enter again. Here's what all that typing means. When you start to move the copy of the apron in a circle, typing 90 limits the move to 90 degrees. Then when you type 3X, that's a command that tells SketchUp to make a total of three copies of that apron and position each one the 90 degrees from the last. That gets all four aprons in position, right in place, right where they belong.

Now you can switch to the select tool and click on one of the aprons. It doesn't matter which one of course because they're all identical. And tap option or control. Make a copy and drag it away from the rest of the table, just so you can see what's going on. We're going to put tenons on the end of the apron. So double click the copy you just made and switch to the offset tool. It's one up and one over from the tape measure, right next to the scale tool. Choose it and hover it on one of the edges of that apron. Click and begin dragging the cursor toward the center of the end of the apron. You'll see this skinny little box appear. Type 1/4th and press enter. That creates a rectangle parallel to the end of the apron. That's going to be the base of the tendon. Switch to the push pull tool. Hover it in that little skinny rectangle you just drew. Click and begin pulling that shape out from the end of the apron. Type 3/4ths and press enter. That gives you a tenon 3/4ths of an inch long.

Now orbit around so you can see the opposite end of the apron. Switch to the offset tool again and repeat that operation. Hover it on an edge, click. Drag toward the center. Type 1/4th and press enter. Then switch to the push pull tool, hover it in that little rectangle you just drew. Begin [inaudible 00:15:37] pulling away from the end of the apron. Type 3/4ths and press enter. And when you've got both tenons in place on the end of the apron, you can click away from it. Then click once on it to highlight it and press the delete key.

Now we'll use the tenons to create the mortises in the legs to hold everything together. As you see me doing, orbit around so you can look at the inside two faces of your original leg. We're going to use a feature of SketchUp called X-ray View. To get it you go to the View tab, choose Face Style, and then click on X-ray. That makes everything look translucent, and you can see down into the middle of the leg. If the view isn't as clear as what you see on the screen here, go to the Window tab, choose Model Info, then choose components from the list here on the left and move those two sliders all the way to the right. And that'll make this x-ray view as clear as it can be.

Now with the select tool double click that leg because we're going to make some changes to it. Switch to the rectangle tool and tap the right arrow. That'll orient the cursor correctly. Hover it over one of the top corners at the end of the tenon, click. That anchors the tool. And then drag down till you touch the opposite bottom corner. Click again. That draws a rectangle on the face of the leg. Now switch to the push pull tool, hover it over that rectangle you just drew. Click and start pushing until you can touch the cursor to the end of the tenon, and that inference tells SketchUp when to stop the pushing and pulling. Orbit around slightly for a good view of the other tenon. Repeat the procedure you just followed, this time though tap the left arrow key to orient the cursor. Click it on a top corner of the tenon. Drag it down until you touch the diagonally opposite bottom corner. Click again, then switch to the push pull tool. Click and push, and touch the cursor to the end of the tenon.

And you can click away from the leg, that creates the two mortises right in place, right over the tenons that they fit with. And you can go back to the View tab and go back to Face Style and uncheck X-ray. The last thing we'll do to make this table is put the top on it. We'll begin with the rectangle tool. So choose it and tap the up arrow to get the cursor oriented correctly. Click on one corner and drag over to the opposite corner. And switch back to the select tool, the arrow. Double click that square you just created and use the offset tool again. Click on one of those edges and drag away from the model. Type the number 2 and press enter, and then hit the delete key. That gets rid of the original square you drew and leaves one larger square in place.

Switch to the push pull tool. Click in the middle of that square and drag up toward the top of the screen. Type 3/4ths and press enter. And of course we want to make the top a component, so triple click it and make type the letter G and make it a component. And finally we'll add a little bit of decoration to the underside of the top. So double click it and orbit in for a good close up view of one of the quarters. Hover the cursor close to the top corner and drag over to the bottom edge. Where the line following the cursor changes from that blue green to a kind of pinkish red, click to anchor the curve. Then switch back to the select tool, double click the top that selects the edges which will be the path for the follow me tool. Get Follow Me, it's right under the move tool, and click it once in that little triangular area you created with the arc tool. And that puts a nice little round over on the underside of the tabletop.

So there's your SketchUp model, working with components, working the way you would in the shop, drawing once and making copies and drawing things in place, following all those good practices. Save this model on your computer because you're going to need it for future videos.