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[SU TUT] Dovetails

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[SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby Dave R » 17 Aug 2014, 19:16

While we wait for a proper forum section, I thought I'd post another thing on using SketchUp.

I drew these blanket chests this morning. They are based on one made in Pennsylvania around 1820. the original chest is made of wide pine boards and yes, it is dovetailed as shown. It also has the mis-matched legs as drawn which are considered original.

Image

I used a cool plugin to make the dovetails for all four corners in less time than it would take to layout one set manually. The plugin has been around for a long time but I don't think it gets as much exposure as it should. I did s blog post showing how to use it which you can see here. Although more time consuming, they really aren't that difficult to do without a plugin. You can see one way in this blog post.
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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby Rod » 18 Aug 2014, 07:47

Thanks Dave

I like the mismatch

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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby DaveL » 18 Aug 2014, 09:49

As usual Dave you make it look easy, I have seen different feet front and back on a few older pieces, but that is a bit different.
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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby Robert » 18 Aug 2014, 12:02

I've yet to try any add on in Sketchup.

I take it they work on the free version as well as Pro?

And are they all pay for add ons or is there a repository of free ones that could be played with somewhere?
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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby Dave R » 18 Aug 2014, 12:37

Thank you, gentlemen.

Robert, there are a few plugins that only work with the pro version of SketchUp but that's because they utilize native pro-only features. The vast majority of them will work in the free version as well.

As for sources, there are several good ones out there. The Extension Warehouse and The Sketchucation Plugin Store are the two major sources.

While there are a lot of useful plugins out there, it is a good idea to learn the native tools first. I've lost count of the number of SketchUp users who ask about a plugin to do something that can be done natively. Last night I had a conversation with a fellow who was trying to make a window he'd drawn shorter. He'd cut out a section from the middle and was trying to join the top and bottom parts back together. He'd used a plugin to make the cuts and was looking for a plugin to help join them up. The joining only required the use of Intersect Faces, a native function, but he could have saved himself a bunch of work and time if he'd only used the Move tool to move the upper portion of the window down.

As far as installing plugins goes, there are a couple of things to be aware of. If you are still in the dark ages using SketchUp 2013 or earlier, and you've never installed a plugin, you may need to go to the Plugin folder and set permissions to allow you access to it. Win7 and MacOSX both locked down access to folders in the Program Files and ~/Library/Application Support directories. If you are keeping up to date, SketchUp 2014 has the Plugins folder located so you don't need to change security permissions.

There are several different file types that plugin files might be downloaded in. What you do with them, once downloaded, depends on the file type. It also depends on the version of SketchUp. For files you would get from the Plugin Store, I would highly recommend that you first install the Plugin Store extension. This will automatically and properly install plugins into the right location. With SU2013 and SU2014 you can access the Extension Warehouse from the Window menu and also automatically install plugins.

FILE TYPES

If you download plugin files but aren't using the previously mentioned tools, here's what you'll do.

.rb --Move the file from the location you downloaded it to into the Plugins folder. You'll have to restart SketchUp to get it to show.

.zip -- You can extract the contents of the ZIP file to the Plugins directory but it is imperative that you maintain the file structure in the ZIP file. The Windows unzip utility is notorious for destroying the file structure in the process of unzipping. Use 7-ZIP instead.

If you are using SketchUp 8 M1 or later, a better way is to change the extension to .rbz and follow the steps in the next section.

.rbz -- Open Preferences/Extensions (under the Window menu on PC and under the SketchUp menu to the left of File on Mac) and click on Install Extension... If you haven't got the Install Extension button on your SketchUp 8 installation you are really living in the dark. ;) You are still using the first release of SU8. Navigate to the location where you saved the file, select it, click on Open and then OK. the file will be installed. Depending on the extension you may or may not need to restart SketchUp to get it to work.

If you haven't already done so and you aren't limited by your operating system, you really should be using SketchUp 2014. Before you bother installing any plugins, you ought to get current with the program.
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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby Dave R » 18 Aug 2014, 12:38

I'm out of breath after typing that. I think I was holding my breath the whole time. :roll: :lol:
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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby RogerS » 18 Aug 2014, 14:23

Nice work, Dave.

Just a heads up to those like me on OS X 10.6.8. The latest SketchUp free version won't run on it.
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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby Dave R » 18 Aug 2014, 14:27

Thanks Roger,

Thank you, too, for mentioning the OSX version. I was too lazy to look it up. ;) It's not just SketchUp 2014 Make that won't run but SketchUp 2014 in general. Since Apple hasn't been supporting that OS version or older, SketchUp isn't supported for those older versions either.
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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby Robert » 18 Aug 2014, 16:24

Thanks for such a comprehensive reply :)

As I said I've never used a plug in so everything drawn so far I've done with the basic tools.

There are some things I just don't try and draw so maybe next time I'll ask if there is something out there that will make it easy.... whereupon you tell me how to do it with 2 clicks using the standard tools :)

I will have a browse of those links later. thanks again.
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Re: [SU TUT] Dovetails

Postby Dave R » 18 Aug 2014, 16:32

Robert wrote:...whereupon you tell me how to do it with 2 clicks using the standard tools :)


I'll try to remember to make it sound more complex, though. :D

I had an e-mail from a guy last week asking me how to do something in Sketchup. He said he'd been struggling with it for a couple hours and couldn't get it to work. I gave him one of those '2 clicks' solutions and he wrote back saying he hates me for making it so easy. :lol: :lol:

I think the thing is that it is easy to start down the wrong path and get so focused you can't see the right one until someone looking at it from a different perspective shows you.
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