Beginner’s SketchUp

Included in the purchase price will be a download containing class notes, SketchUp example and other supporting material. Click here to view the tutorial for installing and setting up SketchUp.

Beginner’s SketchUp Webinar


This is a beginner’s webinar in Trimble SketchUp. No prior experience with SketchUp is needed, but the student must be able to download and install SketchUp and be familiar with a computer.

Trimble SketchUp 8 is a free and powerful tool. The Pro version is used by professional to model and design everything from bottles to skyscrapers. We will use the free version to model a Bedside Table complete with tapered legs, mortise and tenon joinery, beveled top, and a dovetailed drawer trimmed with bull nose cock beading and a Shaker style drawer pull. We will begin by learning how to install SketchUp, setup application preferences, choose model defaults and customize a template. Next we will tour the work area and become familiar with its tools. The heart of this course is modeling the Bedside Table and producing dimensioned shop drawings and photorealistic textured images.


Click here to view the table of contents for the Beginner’s SketchUp tutorial.


Viewer Feedback


Davis Peticolas says:
Joe – I’m finally getting around to working through your Sketchup tutorial. Wow, it is great. I had to watch Vid1 three times before I could recreate it on my own. I’ve learned more about components with this one video than I ever knew.

Tim Janssen says:
Hi Joe,
Thanks for your excellent tutorials. I have been playing around with SU for a number of years now and basically been winging it, learning a bit every time I use it. Never worked with layers before and had a dickens of a time trying to figure out what you meant by “layero”. For ignorami like me it would help if you would write it as follows “layer 0″.
Just a suggestion.
Again thank you for all your hard work.

Lester Gillett says:
Joe-After just a hour of watching your Beginer’s Tutorial on Sketchup I learned more then the all day class i took with one of our club member. When you finish with the drawing and need to see the dimension’s is there a way to save them when you are drawing each part ? Then retrieve them to the finial drawing ? I have booked marked this site and will use it a lot. Thanks for making the tutorial.
Lester Gillett

LenInNorCal says:
Well done and a God sent. Clear, straight, and even an idiot such as myself can understand it. I am amazed how much he (or you) pack into the video. I am a bit apprehensive since it starts SO basic (much needed for me) and proceeds clearly to what I consider complex issues. It may be that I am old and cannot remember all those commands that seem so simple! Thanks for posting that and I’ll probably watch it a couple of more times. What I don’t understand is how finicky my program is: sometimes I can put the measurements in the bottom right hand box and sometimes they won’t take, no matter what language I use!
But thanks, again.

Skip Evans says:
I am sure you have heard this before, but I have to say these tutorials are great. I have wanted to learn SketchUp for a long time but could not find tutorials I was comfortable with.

Mark Davis says:
I have tried a number of times to learn how to use sketchup, and have giving up. After watching your videos, I have a much better understanding of how to use the program. Thank you for taking the time that it must have taken to make these!

Clay Soules says:
Hi, Joe. Wow! The best tutorial that I’ve seen yet. I really learned a lot even though I’ve been modeling for about a year now. One of the things that is important to note is that when one learns by trial and error, as I’ve done, you tend to get into bad habits. Your tutorial just pointed out at least a half-dozen bad habits, and more importantly “short-cuts” or better ways to perform modeling tasks.

TOM says:
This is great! I tried different guides or tutorials and it was just too generic and technical for an old fart like me (57 years). I just wanted to design things for my woodworking shop in 3D to coincide with plans drawn on my delta cad, which I barely get around. Only drew along with first 2 beginner tutorials but have learned way more than I fumbled around and learned since I started sketchup a few years ago. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU very much!!!! Tom

John Meeley says:
Thank you Joseph. Your willingness to share your knowledge is only exceeded by your ability to teach. I tried in vain to learn SketchUp8 on my own for enough time to frustrate myself. I was provided the link to your blog, and in one short lesson I knew what I had been doing wrong all along.
I have watched all eight segments in your beginners tutorial, and now I am in the process of re-watching and building along with you. I get it now! It works, it’s clear and your a pleasure to work ‘beside’.
I will be sure to follow your lead and “model” myself to be as helpful to others as you have been to me.

E Maxwell says:
Very nice video. I’ve been all over the web trying to learn Sketchup for woodworking. Your Part 1 video has taught me alot. Thank you so much for taking the time to make your videos.



    BRENT GAYLER, 2 years ago Reply

    • Yes, the webinars can be viewed on a desk top mac. Once registered for the class you will have 24/7 access as long as you have an internet connection.

      jtoner, 2 years ago Reply

  2. Question…
    How do I get the plans for the Bedside Table used in The SketchUp beginners webinar I purchased ?

    Michael, 2 years ago Reply

  3. Good morning Michael. I don’t know if you got the answer to your question, but here it is.

    There is a SketchUp plan for the table in the downloads. However, the web page doesn’t make it clear how to get it. Here are the steps the purchaser has to use to get there:

    1. Log in. You are presented with a list of all the videos you have already purchased.
    2. Click on Beginner’s SketchUp.
    3. Below the video and a note about the video is the line “Click here for this course’s download material.”.
    4. Click on Click here.
    5. On the PC an image appears asking if you want to Open or Save your file.
    6. Choose Save File.
    7. Open beginner_sketchup.zip with WinZip or another compatible unzip application. On the PC you get an image with two folders: One labeled Beginner_SketchUp and the other _macos.
    8. On the PC drag and drop the folder Beginner_SketchUp folder to your desktop (or other obvious folder).
    9. Open the Beginner_SketchUp folder. The SketchUp Bedside Table plan is in the Part 1 sub-folder.
    10. Follow similar steps to open the _macos and obtain the plans.

    If you have any problems you can contact me at jpz@srww.com .


    Joe Zeh, 2 years ago Reply

  4. When I down load from 3D warehouse I can not open drawing to make cut list or look at componts

    Gene Davis, 2 years ago Reply

    • Thank you for letting us know. We have forwarded this over to the tech department for further investigation.
      Thank you,
      Customer Service

      ysmith, 1 year ago Reply

  5. I can’t figure out from the videos and materials how to install the ruby scripts for Sketchup13. I extracted the files from the zip archive and installed to the correct directory on my mac, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to add them to the toolbars. What am I missing?

    Mike King, 1 year ago Reply

  6. Hi Joe,
    I’ve really enjoyed your tutorials up until part 4. In this installment you skip half of the installment title,, the stiles and slides. You reference your downloads, and the “homework” to be done, but nowhere in the preceding videos is the download and homework mentioned. I found in the text of this site a link to course downloads. Is this what you are referring to as homework? Do I open multiple instances of sketchup to complete this portion?
    Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    As I mentioned, for a course I have enjoyed and paid for up to date, I would like to be able to finish the instruction.

    Jason Dreier, 1 year ago Reply

  7. Just finished part three and have learned quite a few tricks and easier ways of doing things. One question on the top. After using the off-set to set the 2″ bevel line and connecting the corners. When i pulled the center face up the 1/2 it came straight up and didn’t bring the bevels. Looked more like a 2″ rabbit all the way around. Tried it a couple of different times still the same. I am using SU 2013. Any idea’s?

    mseekins, 1 year ago Reply

  8. I have registered for the Beginner’s Sketchup. I have downloaded the class materials. In your opening paragraph you say that:

    We will begin by learning how to install SketchUp, setup application preferences, choose model defaults and customize a template. Next we will tour the work area and become familiar with its tools

    Where do I find this-the install SketchUp, setup etc?

    thank you.

    Jim Frankard, 1 year ago Reply

    • Hello Joe.

      I am using sketchup 8. I am on lesson 2, and I followed your instructions to the letter and have been attempting to draw the mortises in the legs. My problem is that I select it and use the wire function and draw the rectangle but i can not get it to push in to make the mortise. It appears to have gone through the leg and I put in the 7/8″ in VCB, but it will not make the mortise, but makes a very short tenon. Any ideas as to what is wrong? Thanks in advance. Steve.

      Steven, 11 months ago Reply

  9. I need some advice on how to draw a pencil groove, as if made with a 1/2″, 1/2 round router, in the middle of a board. Can you refer me to a part of the tutorial that helps, or another resource?

    Neal Truesdale, 1 year ago Reply

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