To follow along in this tutorial you will need a Ruby script called layers.rb. For instructions on how to obtain this script, install it and use it see Layers Management Ruby Script For SketchUp.

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 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 Sixth part we will be dimensioning the table in several views. Study the views in this download paying particular attention to the view names and their relationship to the names of layers and components.

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 may 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.

If you are on a PC platform running Windows OS and have Internet Explorer or Firefox you don’t have to change file association or use a downloader. Simply right click on the link(s) below and choose Save Link As. When Explorer opens choose a destination folder and select Save.

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 40 minutes long. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show!


See you in Beginner’s SketchUp Tutorial, The Video Version–Part 7.

Leave a Reply

19 Responses to “Beginner’s SketchUp Tutorial, The Video Version–Part 6”

  1. Jerry Robinson says:

    Joe–I just finished Sketchup Part 6 and the dimensioning went really well. I know have my table with scenes that cover all of the dimensions. However, I have a problem with the exploded view. I copied the table, put the copy into a new layer and checked that all of the parts were in the new layer. But when I made the parts layers invisible, the legs disappeared from the exploded view layer. I am able to separate all of the other parts (top, shelf, and upper and lower rails) and explode them just fine. Also, the first time I tried it, the legs were stuck to the rest of the table when I tried to move them out. Something is happening with the legs and I’m wondering if you have any thoughts. Thanks, Jerry

  2. Joe says:

    Hi Jerry,

    Your problem is a classical one made by beginner’s and you made it in Part 1. It is easy to fix. Select each leg, one at a time and do the following. Enter Edit Component mode. Triple click on any layer. All primitives should then be selected. Check to be sure they are all on layer0. Probably not. Put them all on layer zero using the Layers drop down box located below the menu ribbon or alternatively by selecting layer0 in the Entity Info box. Do this for each leg and your problem will go away. Somehow, in your first tutorial, when creating the legs, you placed the primitives on the Legs layer or some other layer. If this doesn’t work call me via phone and I will walk you through it. My contact information is on my Contact page.

    Happy Holidays,

  3. Berry Conway says:

    My mother would be mad at me if I didn’t write and thank you for these tutorials.

    I’m what you might call technologically impaired – I struggle with email (frankly I’m not sure you’ll get this message, but I’m trying). I’m a long time amateur woodworker, 20 plus years. I have a 12 x 14 shop in the basement with a ShopSmith, a couple of routers, a circular saw, some hand tools – like thousands of others.

    I’m playing each tutorial at least 2 times and often 3 times. The first time I watch and listen but don’t follow along. The second viewing I try to follow along. The third viewing is review. At the same time I’m trying to apply my new found knowledge to my own project. (Over the last four years I designed and built all new kitchen cabinets for our home. I did all the previous design/planning with paper and pencil. What a difference SU makes. It is so easy to change your mind. Holy buckets!

    Anyway, I’ve been trying since I got ‘termed’ last spring to learn SU, without much success. Heck for a long time I couldn’t even download the software. (Actually I had done it but I couldn’t find it on my computer and get it installed. But with your clear, concise, brilliant etc. etc. instruction I am off and running.

    Many thanks and if there’s something I can do to help you (anything except help shovel snow – we have enough of our own) let me know. Keep up the good work!

    Berry Conway
    St. Paul, MN

  4. Joe says:


    First let me say that I really like your mom. Second, you are welcome. I enjoy being able to help a fellow woodworker.

    As for being technically impaired, this email came through loud and clear; well written and quite humorous. I’ve got to remember the Holy Buckets! one. Is that mid-western?

    I hear you about the snow shoveling. I have been listening to how hard you folks in St. Paul were hit. We got about 20″ of snow over two days. The first eight was fluffy and light. The last 12″ is more heavy and wet. Fortunately, I have a guy plow my driveway (its about 900 feet long) and I have a small Kubota to do the clean-up afterword.

    Stay warm and wish for spring. I am off for a week in St.Croix next Tuesday. But I will be thinking of my snow covered friends.


  5. Brent Towle says:

    Joe, I’m having a problem with scenes or layers. I have my model all together in the ISO scene. I want to show it exploded in another scene. When I explode it and save it to its own layer and then create a scene for it, it remains exploded in the ISO scene. I’m doing something wrong, but I sure can’t figure it out. Brent

    PS: I was using version 7 so I updated to version 8. Still have the same problem. Brent

  6. Joe says:


    I kind of suspect that you have primitives on the wrong layers and not Layer0. If you could send me your .skp file and I can tell you exactly what is wrong. Send it to . That is my email address and you can communicate more quickly with me that way.


  7. Brent Towle says:

    Joe, I’m going to try a new model one more time. If it acts the same way, I’ll definitely send it to you. I honestly thought I was following all the steps correctly, but I probably am not.

    A quick question. After I downloaded version 8, The models I drew in version 7, that I saved to the desktop, wouldn’t open. I could not associate version 8 to them so they would open, but the models I drew a long time ago and had stored in another folder will open with version 8. ?????

    On another note. I’ve learned lots of new stuff from your tutorials. Thanks for putting them out there.


  8. Joe says:

    Hi Brent,

    Send the files along. I am happy to take a look at them.

    Those files on your desktop, are they .skp or .skb files. Associating .skb files may take a Registry edit. But the .skp files should open with no problem, though you will get a warning message that they were created in an older version and if you save them they will be saved in the newer version.


  9. Ken says:

    I am having a problem trying to dublicate your process on my project. I am using Mac OS 10.5. I add an invisible layer, add the dimensions to a section on that layer, update that scene. When I go to other scenes, eventhough the invisible dimension layer is not checked, the dimensions show up on all those scenes. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?

  10. Joe says:

    Hi Ken,

    You said “I add an invisible layer, add the dimensions to a section on that layer, update that scene. When I go to other scenes, eventhough the invisible dimension layer is not checked, the dimensions show up on all those scenes. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong?”

    After adding dimensions did you set them and put them on the invisible layer? They don’t go on the invisible layer just because you first created one. They are drawn on Layer0 and must be moved there. It is because they are on Layer0 that they are showing up on all scenes.

    Hope this helps. If not, sent me a copy of your .skp file at and I will take a look and let you know what the problem is.


  11. Jim P. says:

    I have finally worked my way through Layers and Components with some success. Now I’m trying to work on developing Scenes with specific Dimensions just for that scene. I’ve created separate Layers for each Dimension Scene but still getting residual Dimensions from other scenes. I thought this lesson would help me but unfortunately the episode is no longer available.
    Are you writing a book and if so, I would like to purchase the book as soon as possible. Thank you for sharing your work and experiences with us. You have created a marvelously robust website, which has been invaluable to my learning experience with Sketchup and Layout.
    Jim P.

  12. Joe says:

    Hi Jim,

    I apologize for getting back to you so late. I have been out of town and I am just getting caught up.

    You may want to try this tutorial again. It is still available. However, after Hurricane Sandy my video service provider has had intermittent problems with their servers. I believe those problems are cleared up now and you should be able to get this tutorial again.

    From the short description of the problem you mentioned it sounds as if you are not selecting your dimensions and placing them on the layer you created for them. That is my guess.

    I am writing a book, but it is in rough draft form at the moment.

    Thanks for your interest. And let me know if I can help further. If you are still having problems send me your .skp file to and I will let you know what you are doing wrong.


  13. Curt Fredericks says:

    Beginner’s SketchUp Tutorial, The Video Version–Part 6 doesn’t work. Your tutorials are the awsome , far better than the others I tried. I’m much more adapt at using Sketchup thx to them.

  14. Joe says:

    Hi Curt,

    Thank you for the compliment on my tutorials. I appreciate your interest in them.

    Are you having problems with the viewing or downloading?


  15. Pheroz says:

    As a woodworker, I was struggling with sketchup’s scenes dimentions, layers, and your presentation was most beautifully illustrated. A job well done. I have only view part 6, and not others. Your presentation is one of the best in the web, compared to some of the other tutorial. You have taken time to show where one could go wrong, and how to fix it.
    As a teacher you have an incredible sense to teach.
    Best of luck.

  16. Joe says:

    Hi Pheroz,

    Thank you very much. Actually I have always wanted to be a teacher, especially in math. But somehow I ended up in computer engineering for a career. Now I can mix my love of woodworking with my love of teaching. Pretty cool!

    Have fun with the tutorials and I hope they help.


  17. Ron Kiefer says:

    Joe, Love your bedside table tutorial. I just added the Front View dimensions to an invisible layer. However, turning off that layer does not hide the dimensions and the dimensions still show up on the Iso view. I followed your steps about 4 times. I am using Mac OS X 10.8.2
    Thanks for any help. Ron

  18. Ron Kiefer says:

    Joe, I just created a simple dwg to test the hidden layer, dimensions features I just emailed you about. I have the same problem with this model.


  19. Joe says:

    Hi Ron,

    The Add Invisible Layer tool only adds a layer who’s Visibility box is unchecked in current and future scenes (until changed). You still need to put each dimension on that layer. I usually do this at the end when I have created all the dimensions I want. Then I use the Select tool with the Ctrl key held down and select all the dimensions. Using the Layer drop down box I place the dimensions on the layer I added for them.

    Also you need to check the Visibility box for the layer you added and the Scene you are trying to create and then Update the Scene.

    If this doesn’t solve your problem send me your .skp fie to and I will tell you what the problem is.