Woodworking with SketchUp W/ Bob Lang

Sketchup logo



Bob Lang Bio

Thank you for your interest in this year’s SketchUp class.  It will be an interesting and entertaining weekend, and I will do everything I can to make sure that you leave the class with a sense of accomplishment and the ability to use this amazing design and planning tool.


What To Bring:

  • Essentials:
    • Your own computer. A laptop is easiest, but if you want to haul in a desktop, you can.
    • A three-button scroll wheel mouse. This is absolutely essential for working efficiently in SketchUp.  If you’re working with a Mac, you can get by with a “Mighty Mouse”, but I don’t recommend it.  Don’t buy a fancy mouse with built-in extra functions; just get the least expensive mouse in the store with a left and right button and a scroll wheel.
    • You don’t need to be a computer whiz, but you should be familiar with basic terms, commands and operations of locating menus, and using a mouse.
  • Might be Nice to Have:
    • Notebook or recorder for taking notes.
    • Pad or pillow to sit on.

What to Expect:

  • My computer will be hooked up to a projector, so that the entire class can see what should happen.  Students share tables in the classroom.  There is plenty of space to spread out, and power to each table.  Wireless internet access is available, and we will use it during the class.
  • I believe the best way to learn is by doing, so most of the class time will be guided hands-on work on your own computer.  I will explain a procedure or technique for 15 or 20 minutes and then students will practice that technique.  During the practice time, I will be answering questions and showing students one-on-one what to do. 
  • We will take a 10-15 minute break mid-morning and mid afternoon to stretch our legs.

What to do Before Coming to Class:

  • Go online to www.sketchup.google.com and download the latest version of SketchUp Make. The basic version of SketchUp “Make” is free for personal use, and there isn’t any advantage to having the Pro version for this class.  The differences between the two versions will be discussed during class.
  • Install SketchUp on your computer, and work through the first few tutorials that come with the program. The tutorials are videos found at this link:


  •  We will go through basic setups, but you want to be sure the program will function on your machine.
  • Become familiar with the basic navigation commands in SketchUp: Zoom, Orbit and Pan. An hour’s worth of practice moving around a model before coming to class will enable you to get more from the class. This model is one we will use in class, and if you have a Google account (or don’t mind establishing one) you can download it at this link:
  • https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=23aa32e49e5d8aa76b73bc179008cff1


Here is a basic outline of the topics we will cover, in order.  At class, a detailed outline will be available.  All of these topics will be taught in the context of making furniture, and by the end of the weekend everyone will be working on a project of their choice and design.


  1. Introduction to SketchUp
    1. Setting up the on-screen work environment
    2. Navigating the three-dimensional drawing area
    3. Terminology and concepts used in modeling
    4. Basic tools and their use
  1. Making simple 3-D parts
    1. Lines and rectangles
    2. Pieces of wood
    3. Non rectangular shapes
  1. Manipulating parts
    1. Combining lines and faces into manageable groups
    2. Moving, copying and placing
    3. Rotating and scaling
    4. Changing sizes-board stretching and shrinking is possible in SketchUp
  1. Combining parts to make furniture and cabinets
    1. Laying out accurate guidelines and measuring
    2. Placing parts in relation to each other
    3. Combining parts to form panels, doors and drawers
  1. Structural details
    1. Making common woodworking joints
    2. Making complex woodworking joints
    3. Curved and tapered parts
  1. Decorative details
    1. Simple molding profiles
    2. Turned parts
  1. Gathering information from the model
    1. Dimensions and notes
    2. Generating part and cut lists
    3. Planning work sequences
    4. Printing model views
  1. Design types and their methods
    1. Conceptual modeling-deciding what it will look like
    2. Engineering-deciding how it will be made
    3. Degrees of detail


Thanks again for your interest in this class.  If you have any questions before the class, my e-mail address is:

readwatchdo@cinci.rr.com       subject: SketchUp Class Question

Bob Lang



Feb. 21-22nd

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM


The Woodworkers Club

This class is full. Please check the schedule for other available dates.