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Lots of the guys here use Google Sketchup. Its free. It even has a dedicated forum here. I have downloaded it and played around with it. Its a really cool program but I dont have the ability to figure it out without someone showing me how to use it.
 

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I use Auto Cad Lt but it's not free. It took me a while to learn it since I am computer illegitimate. I payed $800.00 for the program and $30.00 for the book from barnes & noble "Auto Cad and Auto Cad Lt no experience required". It's a 14 chapter book, I read and worked through the first 7 chapters (3 times) and got just what i needed to do shop drawings. For what it's worth to anyone it was well worth the investment.
 

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Not weird at all. I think thats why I am having so much trouble with that program. I studied architecture all through high school and a little college. 90% of my work was 2D stuff and not on a computer program. I still get out all my old drafting tools from college to draw up my plans.
 

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Here is a decent tutorial on
. Here is the
,
and
video in the beginner's series. If there is anything that you wanna know about SketchUp you can just do a YouTube search for it and there will probably be a pretty good video on it. It's a pretty tough program to get grasp of, I'm just getting started using it.
 

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A SketchUp Project I'm Working On

Here is a picture of an entertainment center that I'm planning on building that I drew with SketchUp
.
Being new to woodworking, I would appreciate any advice on my design. I'm building it out of 3/4" birch plywood and want the shelf to be adjustable. The part I'm not sure about is how to fasten the plywood, I'm thinking a mix of screws, glue and biscuit joints. The other part I'm not sure about is the overall strength of the design, since I'm not going to have a board across the back do I need to put some type of braces in the corners to help strengthen them. Also, I'm planning on facing the plywood with some poplar to cover up the end grain. It's going to get a satin black paint when it's done. Any input on the design would be greatly appreciated.
 

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In History is the Future
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6,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
jonfleck said:
Here is a picture of an entertainment center that I'm planning on building that I drew with SketchUp.
Being new to woodworking, I would appreciate any advice on my design. I'm building it out of 3/4" birch plywood and want the shelf to be adjustable. The part I'm not sure about is how to fasten the plywood, I'm thinking a mix of screws, glue and biscuit joints. The other part I'm not sure about is the overall strength of the design, since I'm not going to have a board across the back do I need to put some type of braces in the corners to help strengthen them. Also, I'm planning on facing the plywood with some poplar to cover up the end grain. It's going to get a satin black paint when it's done. Any input on the design would be greatly appreciated.

John it looks cool, but just as you guessed it's going to need reinforcing. I'm guessing by the looks or it that you don't want the sleek Ikea look to be hampered by reinforcing strips in the corners?

If your going to veneer the end grain, my suggestion to you is to buy metal brakets (NOT CORNER BRAKETS!!!)

Flat steel shaped like an "L" a "T" etc with no part wider than the ply... Mortice them into the front and back joints with a chissel if it's all ya have flush mound screws and veneer over them to hide em...

It will prolly be just a bit over kill, but that's better than letting your tv et al get dinged or worse if the unit fails...

That's my 2 cents...
 

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Hungry like a Hippo
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I use Auto Cad Lt but it's not free. It took me a while to learn it since I am computer illegitimate. I payed $800.00 for the program and $30.00 for the book from barnes & noble "Auto Cad and Auto Cad Lt no experience required"..
If you are buying software like Illustrator or CAD look for OEM software. It will frequently be a download only and won't have any manuals but you will save quite a bit of money. Manuals are easy to get from the manufacturer and there are scores of aftermarket books to help out. For Autodesk products I personally would recommend Paul Aubin's series. We have a couple copies of his books in the office and they do get referenced every so often (architects office - we use AutoCad 24x7.)

for example:

Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture 2011

Download Price $399.90
Original Price $4995.00
You Save $4595.10

The licenses we buy are $3,000+ per seat - but that is through a vendor and we do get support with that license.

Otherwise I would recommend SU also (use that quite a bit here as well)
 

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In History is the Future
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is a decent tutorial on YouTube for learning SketchUp. Here is the second, third and fourth video in the beginner's series. If there is anything that you wanna know about SketchUp you can just do a YouTube search for it and there will probably be a pretty good video on it. It's a pretty tough program to get grasp of, I'm just getting started using it.

Thanks! I will give that a look when I get back home in front of a computer with sound, lol
 

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http://www.sketchlist.com/index.html

I use to use Adobe Illustrator... since I no longer have it :censored: I'm trying to find a replacement (preferably free) to sketch-up, layout and scale projects...

Any suggestions?

THX! ~
bec
I have used AutoCad (many full versions )and AutoCad LT. I purchased DesignCad a few years ago and for around the house it works similiar to AutoCad LT. I actually prefer AutoCad to DesignCad. Although DesignCad comes with pre-drawn stuff. Much like Google Sketchup does.
Currently I am using ProE. You don't want that for woodworking, it's way way to complex for that.
Google sketchup works well.
 

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http://www.sketchlist.com/index.html

I use to use Adobe Illustrator... since I no longer have it :censored: I'm trying to find a replacement (preferably free) to sketch-up, layout and scale projects...

Any suggestions?

THX! ~
bec
I recommend Alibre atom it's cheap but very powerful, also Designspark it is free also Freecad on all platforms
 

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http://www.sketchlist.com/index.html

I use to use Adobe Illustrator... since I no longer have it :censored: I'm trying to find a replacement (preferably free) to sketch-up, layout and scale projects...

Any suggestions?

THX! ~
bec
You might want to look at Turbo Cad Designer. It is a 2 D Auto Cad clone. It even can read and write to DWG files so if you want to send a profile to a CNC or person with Auto Cad, you can. The commands are nearly identical to Auto Cad so it is an easy transition . There are little wording things such as what Auto Cad calls an "offset" Turbo Cad calls a "parallel". The program model I use ( Designer) sells for around $70. They also have good tech support. If you need more power or 3D they have that also.
 
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