OK, by now you have seen, and hopefully read, the Six Rules for 3D Modeling in SketchUp at least three times. If not, you might want to review them before proceeding with this tutorial.

Preparing to View the Video

A completed SketchUp model of the Bedside Table can be downloaded from my website srww.com. Select the Free Plans menu button, scroll down to Tables and locate Bedside Table from the list. It is available both in native SketchUp file format (.skp) and as a PDF file (.pdf). Before you view the video take time to familiarize yourself with its design and dimensions. For this fourth part we are especially interested in the Lower Drawer Rail, Drawer Sides, Drawer Back, Drawer Front and Drawer Bottom. You may want to print out the Stiles, Sliders, Slider Arrangement, Drawer Sides, Drawer Front, Drawer Back and all Drawer Bottom scene(s) for reference.

Downloading the Video to Your Computer

Sometimes the performance of your internet connection, the load on it at a particular time of day, and the length of these video tutorials can all conspire to provide you a frustrating and impossible viewing experience. If this happens it may be preferable to download the entire video unto your system and view it on your local video player. The video file is an mp4. It can be viewed with most video players including QuickTime and Media Player. If you have a default, or user specified, file association for .mp4 you may have to delete it or use a download manager to download this file. Otherwise the associated application will be invoked and file streaming will prevail over downloading. There are numerous free download managers on the internet. Be careful, and do some research to locate one that is not loaded with spyware or viruses.

To download this video click here or paste


into your download manager.

Viewing in Your Browser

You may find it easier to view the video in full screen mode. Start the video before selecting this mode. To enter full screen mode click the little screen icon at the bottom of the video player. When in full screen view hold your cursor near the bottom of the screen to access the video player’s controls. Exit full screen mode with the Esc key. This part is approximately 50 minutes long. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!


See you in Beginner’s SketchUp Tutorial, The Video Version–Part 5.

Leave a Reply

18 Responses to “Beginner’s SketchUp Tutorial, The Video Version–Part 4”

  1. Ron says:

    Nice job once again, I picked up a few more tips.

  2. Joe says:

    Thanks Ron, I’m glad you found them useful. I hope to have the remaining four parts done over the next four weeks. Then I will start an intermediate level series.


  3. Wayne says:

    Hi Joe,

    I’d like to thank you for the tutorials you have so masterfully put together for folks just like me. Many times I have started a drawing in SU only to throw in the towel and revert back to more traditional methods because I was not able to find a way to do a particular task. Your tutorials (so far up to part 4) have filled many of those gaps that were causing the process to grind to a halt previously.
    Its weird because I was able to use a program called 3D Studio many years ago and found it very intuitive, SU seems a little less intuitive until you grasp certain key concepts. So initially its less intuitive but once you grasp those key concepts it has quite an array of inbuilt functions that make drawing quicker and easier.
    I’ve looked at a number of other tutorials available on the web but none of them have rooted out and demonstrated those key concepts quite like you have.
    I also found it very easy to follow along with you, drawing the model at the same pace as you are working at, it helps to be able to pause and restart the video too.

    With the hole in the drawer bottom, my model shows it visible from inside the drawer (did I make a mistake?). The drawer back is 1/2″ thick so perhaps it might be better to make the hole center 1/4″ from the outside edge, which will leave 1/16″ between the outside edge of the hole and the inner edge of the drawer back. That will allow for a little expansion and you will never see the hole.


  4. Joe says:

    Hi Wayne,

    Thank you for the compliments on the tutorial. My pleasure is to see people find them useful and keep them on the track to learning SketchUp. You seem well on your way.

    Actually, you should be able to see a small part of the hole inside the drawer. If you make the center 1/4″ in instead of where it is the drawer bottom will have no room for expansion.

    On the other hand, this particular drawer is small enough that it doesn’t really need the whole (slot). I just included it for tutorial demonstration purposes, and to show how you would handle a wide drawer.


  5. Wayne says:

    I’m thinking of making the bedside table.

    Personally I feel the slot might appear as a defect so I’d prefer it wasn’t visible. As you say its probably not needed in this case but an alternative would be to design the drawer back slightly thicker to make more room for the screw. That way when movement takes place the slot wont suddenly become visible.

    Another positive aspect about doing the indepth design in a program like SU is that the process inbeds in you the design details of the piece. When I work from a 2D set of plans or a scribbled out design on a scrap of paper there is always an element of doubt as to whether the design will actually work, did I miss something etc? Constructing the piece in 3D fosters greater confidence in the design, allowing one to concentrate on the construction.

    Very nice simple design, I’m looking forward to building it.


  6. Joe says:

    Hi Wayne,

    If you really want to hide a small slot in the drawer that certainly works. But believe me, anyone who sees it and inquires about it will be appropriately impressed when you explain its use in the design.

    Yes, designing in 3D eliminates the need for prototypes and mock up in the small shop. It is a major advantage over 2D drawings.


  7. Ken says:

    What is going on when in the middle of watching your video, the video stops, we get a commercal and then need to start the video again from the beginning?

  8. Joe says:

    Hi Ken,

    I don’t know what might be happening. But I will disable the commercials and see if that helps, though I suspect it is either your browser or internet service. You might also try downloading the file to your system and then you won’t have either the browser or the internet to worry about (after the download is complete that is). The commercials should be disabled in about five minutes.


  9. Joe Naylor says:


    I’ll add my great thanks to you for putting together the tutorials. I’ve had a fun time going through tne beginner set and will start the intermediate set shortly. It has already been very useful to show my wife a coffee table and bookshelf I’d like to build and get her most valuable input!!!

    One thought for you: I have often wanted to go back to certain sections of the tutorials to remind myself of something you showed (e.g. intersect faces). However, I don’t remember which exact tutorial had the item I wanted to revisit. Do you have a synopsis of the tutorials anywhere that highlights the key topics you cover in a particular video?

    Again, many thanks for all your efforts in putting out these invaluable tutorials.


  10. Joe Zeh says:

    Hi Joe,

    Glad you enjoyed the beginner’s tutorials and I hope you find the intermediate tutorials useful as well.

    No, I don’t have an outline of the tutorials. You are the second person to ask me that, so I may put that on my to do list. But at the moment that list is very long. I am trying to put out the next version of my dovetail tool, which hopefully I will get out this week.

    I am also working on another video series. This one will take one tool at a time and go into all its capabilities. Believe it or not, the Select tool alone can fill a 20 minute video.

    If you would, I would like to see the models you created in SketchUp. I always enjoy seeing what others create and their style of drawing.

    Have a Happy New Year,


  11. chris e says:

    compliment on taking the time to instruct someone like myself. im a beginner woodworker.. and hope to one day run a woodworking/carpentry business. just passing on a general appreciation for helping others such as myself. so we can continue the art of fine woodworking as opposed to cheap particle board/ laminated junk. joyful woodworking, Chris

  12. Joe says:

    Hi Chris,

    You are very welcome. You have the right attitude and I have no doubt that you will make a great fine furniture woodworker. Let’s stomp out the particle board!


  13. Cary Swoveland says:

    Another great video! I’m now making huge leaps in my understanding of Sketchup. Showing how to do things in different ways and intentionally making mistakes are very helpful techniques.

    So far, you’ve used the push-pull tool on just one part of the drawing at a time, here on each of the dovetail sockets. It might be helpful to show how you could instead select all the sockets (except for the one that requires two pushes) and then use the p-p tool just once.


  14. Joe says:

    Hi Cary,

    Thank you for the kind feedback and I am glad you are finding the tutorials helpful.

    On the Push/Pull suggestion; there is no way to Push/Pull multiple faces at one time that I am aware of without the installation of a Ruby script. It’s my belief that this is a significant oversight on the part of the developers. But that is the way it is.

    What you can do is Push/Pull one face and when completed double click on a second face and it will be Push/Pulled the same amount. You can keep doing this as long as you don’t change context, i.e. change the dimension or change tool.

    If you know of a way to Push/Pull more than one face at a time without the aid of a Ruby script I am not too proud to learn. Thanks,


  15. Cary Swoveland says:


    No, I don’t know of any secret ways to push-pull multiple objects at the same time. Don’t know what I was thinking of.

    I haven’t noticed you referring to “groups” in your tutorials. It is my understanding that a component is a group, but not vice-versa. In particular, one cannot have instances of a group. Is there any advantage of treating an object as a group, rather than a component, in situations where there is no need to create an instance of the object?

    After viewing your tutorials, I watched them again, but this time designed a lathe stand I recently built. (Yes, that’s backward, but I thought others might be interested in the design.) I’d watch a little of one of your videos, then pause it and work on my design.

    There’s one part of my design where I’m thinking, “there’s got to be a better way”. Maybe you can suggest one. I have a threaded rod going through the front left leg, though a front apron and then through the right leg. Holes are to be drilled in the legs and counter-bored on the outside for nuts and washers. A square hole goes through the apron, achieved by cutting a groove on the inside and then gluing a filler strip the width and length of the groove (to maintain the strength of the apron).

    After watching how you put the tenons on one of your aprons, I designed my apron with the square hole running its length. Next I wanted to drill and counter-bore the holes in the legs. I followed your approach to adding mortises to the legs of your table. After switching to wireframe and moving the camera to the left side, I could see the end of the square hole in the apron (i.e., through the left leg). My first task was to find the center of the square hole. I drew perpendicular construction lines, then drew a circle where the crossed, hid the apron, turned off wireframe, only to discover my circle was off in space. Never did figure out why. On my second try, I found the center by drawing two diagonal lines, drew the circle and (after getting rid of the apron and turning off wireframe) confirmed the circle was positioned correctly on the inside of the leg. I then deleted the two diagonal lines, p-p’d to drill a hole in leg, orbited to the outside of the leg, used the offset tool to draw a circle for the counter-bore and p-p’d it part way into the leg. Whew! Surely there’s a better way to do that.

    Sometimes when boring holes I was left with a two-dimensional disc at the end that I had to erase to complete the hole. Any idea what I was doing wrong there?

    One other newbie pitfall I encountered: being unable to select a face because I hadn’t turned off wireframe. (Clicking multiple times, with greater force, doesn’t seem to help.)

    Once I become more proficient I plan to work up some Ruby scripts. I learned Ruby last year (just for fun), and am keen to put it to use.


  16. Joe says:

    Hi Gary,

    Sorry for replying so late, but I have been away for a few days. Just getting caught up.

    I haven’t mentioned groups in my tutorials because I consider them evil. Well, perhaps that is a little strong, but I definitely do not like them and never use them.

    I may be that in other types of drawing groups may have a use (though I seriously doubt it), but for furniture design not so much. First of all you may have noticed that groups do not require a unique name like components do. When naming a component you are forced to supply a (or use the suggested) unique name. Not so groups.

    Second, if you make two or more identical legs, each as a group, and make changes to one, that change is not reflected in the others. Further, SketchUp has to store the individual faces and lines that make up these individual yet identical groups. Hence four times as much memory or file usage.

    I have never found an advantage for a group over a component. I challenge anyone to show me one. Worse, when you start writing Ruby scripts, you will discover that certain methods are difficult to use, or at least confusing and error prone, merely because groups had to be taken into consideration when defined. It is my humble opinion that groups should be eliminated from SketchUp.

    The problem you are having with countersinking has to do with how you are using X-Ray, View/Component Edit/Hide Rest of Model and the Inference Engine. You don’t need to create diagonals to find the center point of your square. If you encourage the Inference Engine by hovering over the center point of the lines that make the square and then moving slowly toward the center, the Inference Engine will find it and indicate it with a purple circle and a tool tip. You may need to use Back Edges instead of X-Ray or vice-versa. This is difficult to explain without a video. But give it a try and let me know if you figure it out or are still having problems.


  17. Cary Swoveland says:


    I did discover one push-pull time-saver: after p-p’ing the first of a series, one needs only double-click on each of the other elements in the series to p-p the same amount. That would also simplify a Ruby script to automate multiple p-p’s.


  18. Joe says:

    Hi Cary,

    Yes, I pointed that out in my first reply to you. However, be careful. Depending on how the other objects were formed the succeeding push/pulls may be the same distance but opposite direction. It all depends on the normal attached to the surface you double click on.