Please provide feedback to Chiefwoodworker aka Swamp Road Wood Works aka Joe Zeh. Tell me what you think about my web site or blog, custom furniture, artisanship, or anything else that comes to mind. If there are specific areas of woodworking or related subjects you would like to see covered here, please make suggestions. I welcome all your comments and suggestions, positive or critical.

When leaving a comment please do not include any contact information in the body of the comment, since that information will appear publicly. If you need to send me contact information please use my email address

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185 Responses to “Feedback”

  1. karen hawkins says:

    could you email me the plans for the gun cabinet i could not get them to download and could you tell me if it would be easy to convert this to hold twelve shotguns by making it slightly larger

  2. Joe says:

    Will do. I tested the download and it worked for me. You might want to check and see if your browser has the download add-in. If not you can easily get it from the internet. I will send the plans in a separate email.


  3. Nate says:

    Love the site, just found it today. found your website through I am just getting into woodworking myself. I am building a house in a nearby town from you and had 4-5k bdft of lumber cut from the trees taken down when clearing the lot. Now I just have to find time to use it all.

  4. Joe says:

    Nate, Welcome to the Hilltowns and to Swamp Road Wood Works. With 4-5k bd ft of new lumber you should be set for quite a while. Stop in some time if you are close by.


  5. Dave says:

    Hi Joe,
    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy passing by your site every so often. You’re doing what I’d love to do! Especially enjoy seeing pictures of your work, sketchup tutorials and really enjoying the photography blog.
    Keep up the good work!
    Dave (checking in from the UK)

  6. Joe Zeh says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the encouraging feedback. We share a lot of interests. I just posted Part 1 of a new SketchUp tutorial you may be interested in. I also hope to post Part 6 of the photography tutorial tomorrow. So keep coming back.


  7. Ralph Barhorst says:

    Yesterday I downloaded your Sketchup file for the “Office Table”. It looked like I could easily modify it to use for my Hall Table. I am using the free Version 7 Sketchup.

    I ran across a problem with the table legs. I want to move the individual legs so that I can get them correctly spaced for the hall table. All of the legs move when I try to move just one leg.

    Do you know how to move the legs individually?

    By the way, I love your website. It is one of the best.


  8. Joe Zeh says:

    Hi Ralph,

    First, thanks very much for the kind words. I am glad you like my site.

    Did you download the file from my Free Plans page? I just downloaded it and Using SketchUp 7.0 had no problem moving individual legs. Give me a call at my home phone number (see Contact above) and I can talk you through it.


  9. Jim Biffle says:

    Hi Joe. I want to thank you for your website and especially your SketchUp tutorial. I have some questions about the Bedside Table tutorial. I am using V7 of Sketchup.
    1. Were you useing V6 or V7? I ask because I can’t find any xray icon.
    2. Also, I don’t see how to perform the sequence of events where you say to select front, ISO, and Zoom Extents to get the Carpenters Rule. Are those in a drop down menu?
    3. Finally, looking at the comments at the end, it appears you were convinced by the commentor that you only need to save to Layer 0. Is that try and does the change your Rules? And, did you update the tutorial to so reflect.
    Thank you in advance for any response.

  10. Joe Zeh says:

    Hi Jim,

    When I developed that tutorial I was using ver. 6. I don’t think it will make that much difference thought. The X-Ray tool, ISO, Front and Zoom Extent all exist in version 7. I will send you a jpg in a separate mail attachment to show you where they are. The carpenters rule may not exist in version 7. I will have to check.

    The rules, as they are are good. I believe I wrote an email to one other person clarifying them and I will see if I can pass that along to you also.

    Thanks for the kind comments.


  11. Jim Biffle says:

    Joe, I have another question about the SketchUp tutorial. In the setup before you start drawing you say,

    “Click the Shaded tool icon in the render selections. Using the Select tool select the square, right click and Erase.”

    Where/what is the ‘render selections’? If I know that I am hopeing it will become apparent what is the ‘Shaded Tool Icon’. Next, when you say “select the square”, where is that, and then is the “Erase” a subfunction of the ‘square’, or do you mean to click on the Erase icon?

    Sorry to be such a pain, but I know from experience that with computers and software, GIGO is a law.

  12. Joe Zeh says:

    Hi Jim,

    The tool you are looking for, Shaded, is in the Face Style tool bar. Face Style is more commonly referred to as render or rendering in the 3D graphics and tools industry. I will send a picture in an email.

    Erase means use the Eraser tool. The square is a geometry you just drew or is there as a remnant of drawing something. I will have to go back and look at the tutorial to fully explain what I meant.

    Keep chugging along.


  13. Rick Roberts says:

    I want to thank you for your generosity is publishing the Sketchup tutorials on your Web Site.

    I just went through the beginning tutorial and have started to “sketch” a tool chest I recently acquired. You tutorials have helped me tremendously and I am having a great time putting the drawing together. Your techniques and “rules” have saved me much frustration and time.

    Thanks again,

  14. Joe says:


    Thanks for the kind words. I am glad the tutorial helped. After many SketchUp drawings I feel I have become a seasoned SketchUp user but I still follow those rules and they have helped me too.

    I am thinking of redoing the tutorial as a video. In your opinion, would that be a better learning vehicle than the written text?


  15. Tony says:


    I just wanted to say thank you for making your plans / sketches availible.

    It is very much appreciated.

    I am about to start on my first major project, a queen sized beed for my 18 year daughter (Birthday present) and was looking for inspirations and help.

    Thank you again.


  16. Joe says:


    You are very welcome. Glad to hear you are using your woodworking skills for such a deserving “customer”. I found that not only do my kids appreciate my furniture pieces, but they are likely to stay in the family for many years to come. Good luck with it and pass on some pictures if you would.


  17. Todd Bynum says:


    I am a former finish carpenter and hobbiest furniture maker. I am renewing my interest to the extent that my father an I are contemplating opening our own custom wood working shop. I simply wnated to thank you for the time and detail you ahve put into your website – especially your Google Sketchup tutorials. You willingness to share your knowledge and craft is refreshing and appreciated. I hope I have the honor of getting to know you better.

  18. Joe says:

    Hi Todd,

    Thanks for the kind words but the honor is actually mine. I get to know a lot of woodworkers through my blog and website. I enjoy two way sharing of project information, stories and opinions on tools. Let me know how the venture with your dad goes and send me some pictures of your work some time. If you have, or create a website, please forward the link. I love browsing other people’s sites. I’ll try to stay in touch.


  19. Nick Dobrowsky says:

    I found your Sketchup Tutorials today and must compliment you on how well you have put these together. They are easy to follow and you make it seem so easy to use this amazing program. I also checked out your project gallery and was pretty impressed by the quality and excellent craftsmanship of the work that you do. I can only hope to become half as good someday. I certainly look forward to visiting your site on a more regular basis to help improve my Sketchup drawing skills through your tutorials. Thanks ever so much for your help.

  20. Joe says:


    You are very kind. Thank you for the feedback. I hope the tutorials work well for you and if you have questions or get stumped feel free to call. I can help from the phone. My contact information can be found on the menu above. Are you a beginner with SketchUp or more advanced? Are you also a woodworker?


  21. Bob Schlowsky says:

    Thank you for spending the time talking about Sketchup for woodworking. I have spent a couple of hours researching the education possibilities and have found that it is an amazing community. I am going to definitely go with Sketchup. I think I will start with the free program, even though the input & output is limited. After I am sure i want to pursue it, about 90% now, I guess I will spring for the pro version.
    After looking at your website a bit more, I laughed, both of us out of high tech, both into wood at about the same time. Although I guess my CNC is still all tech, but it does make some very nice sawdust!
    Again thanks for your time and for developing those very nice tutorials

  22. Joe says:


    I assume you have come across my Beginner’ SketchUp tutorial. If you go through that you will have no problem mastering SketchUp. Have fun and if you need any help just call or write.


  23. Kurt says:

    On your bed drawings that I really love I was interested in knowing how you were able to do the notch out on the legs? I was able to do I notch like that but once I got to the point where the notch stopped it squared off and didn’t curve up nice like yours!! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  24. Joe says:

    Hi Kurt,

    I used a 45 degree chamfer bit with guide bearing such as the Freud 40-118. This make a nice curve at the end simulating a poor man’s lamb’s tongue. But the radius of the curve is not equal on both sides, you may want to touch it up with a sharp chisel to make them equal if that is bothersome to you.


  25. Mike Schmitz says:

    Hey Joe+1, first of all wow, what a great resource you provide. Very informative and thorough and hitting on all the right points,not surprised coming from your engineering back round.
    So here is an idea that I have been pondering while considering a plan for dust collection. Have you ever heard of a design that includes a way of sucking up the dust through a vent on or near the ground? A while back I was at a house that had an in home type vacuum system, where the intake has an auto on function and the duct work is behind the sheetrock. The one I saw had connections all over the house and as soon as you connected the hose, voila instant suction. It also had a vent for collecting debris in the kitchen where you could just open a vent and sweep debris right into it. For a shop it would be nice to have a couple of strategically placed vents with metal grates. One could just sweep piles of dust next to it and open the vent for a second or 2. Again great site and thanks for sharing.

    P.S. I hope the recent arctic blast did not make to much chainsaw work for ya.

  26. Joe says:

    Hi Mike,

    I had an apartment with a vacuum system like that once many years ago. The wall outlets were low voltage switches that were tripped when you plugged in the hose. Not sure it would work too well in the shop though since you have 4″ or larger hoses to deal with not to mention the number of hoses connected at the equipment end.

    The sweep vent would be a good idea. I sweep my shop almost every day I use it. I always push the pile to the same area and then scoop it into the trash. However, I don’t think I would want general dirt and trash ending up in my dust collector. My son-in-law uses the saw dust in his gardens.


  27. Bob says:

    Hi, the Fine Woodworking Sketchup Blog link on your Sketchup Overview page goes to a ‘page not found’ page on “Fine Cooking’!!

  28. Joe says:


    Thanks for the catch! I fixed it and it should work now, though you may have to refresh your page to pick up the change in your cache.


  29. Ric Tibbetts says:

    Do you have the Turbo Cad drawing for the miter saw bench?
    I have TC, and would like to work with that design to adapt it to my shop.

    If you have it, could you please eMail it to me?

    Thank you!

  30. Joe says:

    Hi Ric,

    I don’t have the TC model anymore. I deleted it when I created the SketchUp model. However, I can export the SketchUp model into a .dxf file and I believe you can read that into TC. It might be worth a try. I’ll send it to you. Let me know how it works out.


  31. Kevin says:

    I saw your article on the jointer.

    I am seting up a G0586 and I cannot get both the out feed and in-feed table square to the fence. If I get one square the other is not. It is not off by much. Any suggestions for a fix. Can I get by with just the out-feed table square?


  32. Joe says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I found no “fix” for this problem and no help from Grizzly. I have learned to live with it by adjusting the fences as close as possible and turning my board around on each pass. That way the error is held to a minimum. But I also finish each board with a hand plane to be sure I really have it square. That’s all I can recommend.


  33. Bradlee says:

    I would like to see the auto cad file for the Bed Side table.

  34. Verne House says:

    Dear Mr. Zeh: Todd Bynum, Palmetto Custom Woodworks, gave me your website yesterday, at Woodcraft’s show in Greenville, SC. I thank you and I will thank him: what a pleasure to see such terrific works cruising your site. Todd also gave me basic SketchUp skills and suggested I try your tutorial. At last, I may learn to use this tool. Best wishes, Verne House

  35. Joe says:

    Hi Verne,

    Thank you for the very kind words and I am glad you found my website useful. If you have never used SketchUp before I think you will find the beginner’s tutorials useful. You can contact me via email or phone if you have any problems. See my contact page for info.


  36. Kieran says:

    Sitting at work wishing I could be in my shop. Visiting yours was the next best thing! Beautiful shop and more importantly, beautiful work!

  37. Joe says:

    Thanks Kieran,

    We try to do good work. Most important is to enjoy doing it.


  38. Alan Cooper says:

    Superb tutorials, Joe I at last got round to viewing 1-4 of the beginners sketchup tutorial. I really appreciate the time you have put into these videos and your website. This has helped me to evaluate and decide what to do about sketchup. However I have to say that as an existing Turbocad man, I believe that that remains the quicker tool for me for furniture designing, though I am envious of some of the features in Sketchup. If only the best of both could be pulled to make the ideal software solution! Sketchup is certainly a very cost effective tool and it is great that the free version is available for everyone who is at a starting point or hobbyist.

  39. Joe says:

    Hi Alan,

    I am glad to hear you took a look at the tutorials and like them. I am surprised you don’t find SketchUp more user friendly and quicker to draw furniture than TurboCAD. As an ex-TurboCAD user, once I saw SketchUp I never looked back. But no doubt we are all different. Stick with it a while before giving up. I still have hopes for you;<) Joe....

  40. Kurt says:

    I have been watching your videos on the Bedside Table and plan to build it. I have drawn it in Sketchup and put together a little video of its construction if you care to watch but I was wondering what were your thoughts on using Kreg pocket holes to join the aprons to the legs. I have even drawn the drawer assembly using pocket holes. I guess because of there ease to use and I like the look. By the way I love your videos, they are very informative and have helped me alot! Here is the link if you care to look.

  41. Joe says:

    Hi Kurt,

    I have used pocket hole joinery in this design for the sliders. Personally I wouldn’t use it for the leg/apron joinery because the glue joint would be end grain to long grain which is very weak. That would leave you only the mechanical pocket hole joinery for strength, which over time (perhaps tens of years) they would loosen up. Don’t forget that tables are subject to a lot of sliding and accidental kicking of the legs.

    I would love to see your video, but when I try to play it I get a message that I have to install Windows Media Player which is already installed and up to date on my system. Is there a way to download the video?


  42. Kurt says:

    Hi Joe, you are right. After thinking about it more I may have to reconsider on using pocket holes to connect the aprons. I guess you find something you like and you try to use it everywhere. I’m very new to woodworking all together but love it and thanks for you input. The video is not that big of a deal, just thought it might in stress you. I added a download option to the link so you might be able to download it now. I also added the Sketchup file itself so if you still have a problem you may be able to flip through the scenes.
    New Link—>

  43. Kyle aka Kyled on woodnet says:

    Just want to say thank you for your tutorials on sketchup. I am trying to teach myself on sketchup and tend to get stuck in the most mundane of tasks. Your tutorials really help.

    Kyle Stebleton

  44. Joe says:

    Hi Kyle,

    Thanks, I am glad you find these videos helpful. I hope you don’t mind, but I added you to my Chiefwoodworker’s Newsletter distribution.


  45. Jon says:

    I just stumbled across your site this morning,
    all I can say is “WOW”, nice job.

    I too like others am learning sketch-up, I have used different programs through the years and want something that’s compatabile with Mac and PC’s.

    I will mainly draw buiding’s floorplans but the capacity for furniture is awesome

    As time permits I intend to watch your tutorials/go through your website


  46. Joe says:

    Thank you Jon, and I am glad you stumbled in. Are you an architect? Do you intend to use SketchUp professionally? I know many architects try SketchUp and never look back.


  47. Joe Deighton says:

    HI Joe
    I stumbled on your site while looking for help on Sketchup….Wow thanks very much. I recently retired from the military and took up woodworking as way to relax and enjoy a quieter pace of life for awhile. I thoroughly enjoy it and the helpful people like yourself . once again thanks for the awesome site.

    I will be here often I suspect.

  48. Joe says:


    It is I who needs to thank you for the service you have given for our country. I am glad you like the site and I hope the SketchUp tutorials help. Let me know if you have any problems with them. You can always write me at


  49. Bob says:

    really liked the photo gallery. Thank you for taking the time and effort to post. The secretary is something we desire to build but unable to come up with a set of plans. Are your drawings available?
    I currently looking for information on SKETCHUP and was looking for the process to create mortis and tenons when I happened onto your site. Enjoyed it very much.
    Just finished another safety course at work and read a few blogs about dust, notice in all of your pictures you are not wearing a mask, this is still recommended even when using air filters and a vacuum system

    thank again, keep cutting,

  50. Joe says:

    Hi Bob,

    I have a 3D model of the Secretary and you can get it on my Free Plans page. Select Free Plans from the menu above. It is not dimensioned, but if you are taking my beginner’s tutorial you will know how to do that. If you need help, let me know. This model was created in TurboCAD, the software I use to use before SketchUp. I exported it from TurboCAD to SketchUp, but unfortunately TurboCAD did not do a great job and all the dimensions were left out. There may be some minor other problems. So don’t hesitate to ask if you need help with it.

    My photos are a bit staged. If you notice, no machines are ever running when I take pictures. For example you will see saw blades are stationary, not moving. I always wear a mask when sanding, either by hand or by any machine. But you are correct. I should also wear them when sawing and I admit I don’t. Maybe you have nudged me in that direction.


  51. Warren Snow says:

    Just wanted to add my thanks for the great information you share on your website. I’m a professional woodworker who recently made a switch to SketchUp as my drawing program. While searching for good information to learn SU, I came across your site. Your tutorials have solved many of the problems I’ve had with SU.

    As an unexpected bonus, your photography tutorials are equally valuable to the specific needs of woodworkers. There are many areas on your website that I have yet to explore, and I look forward to doing so.

    Thanks for making your valuable experience and information available on this website.

  52. Joe says:

    Hi Warren,

    I have toured your website and must say, you do some gorgeous work. The design, quality and presentation are superb. You obviously love what you are doing and making a living at it is the icing on the cake.

    Glad you find my tutorials helpful. I have fun doing them. I would like to do more photography tutorials, but not a lot of woodworkers find it useful. I am with you; if you don’t present your work properly people will never fully appreciate the craftsmanship.

    Good luck with you business.


  53. Scott says:

    Hi, Joe, I found your site while looking around for some information on SketchUp. I have finally viewed all of your tutorials (a few of them several times!) and have put your advice to good use. I am a beginning woodworker but planning even simple projects with SketchUp has helped me think through the details and get all my ‘ducks in a row’ before starting. I use the cold Canada winter for planning projects and now I have a number of sketches ready for when the weather warms up (my garage is not insulated). Thanks for all the information and inspiration!

  54. Joe says:

    Hi Scott,

    Where are you located in Canada? I use to work for a company headquartered in Toronto and made weekly trip to the office there. I know what you mean about the cold. I have had enough. I want to get out in the woods and cut some trees down and saw them into little pieces.

    I am glad you are making good use of the videos. I was working on Part 2 of the Intermediate series until a few minutes ago. I have the written portion done. I hope to record and edit the video tomorrow, do cleanup on Wednesday and release it. So stand by. I think you will find this one interesting.


  55. Scott says:

    I am from Grimsby which is about 45 minutes southwest of Toronto.

  56. drafter says:

    When you direct us to certain required plugins, it would be nice to know if the Pro version is req’d to run them.

  57. Joe says:

    Hi drafter,

    You can safely assume that all Ruby scripts I ask you to download work with SketchUp free version on a PC platform. I can’t vouch for Mac platforms because I do not own a Mac and have no way of testing them.

    If I want you to install a Ruby script that only works on SketchUp Pro I will explicitly tell you so.

    Hope that helps.


  58. Skip Evans says:

    I am again watching the 1st video in the beginner series. It appears that when you move an object around the screen, the north axis(Blue line) stays vertical. When I use the pan tool to move an object, the blue line does not stay vertical as your does. What method are you using to move an object?

  59. Joe says:

    Hi Skip,

    I suspect you are viewing your model in perspective mode; menu Camera/Perspective. I only use the perspective mode to view a finished piece. While drawing a piece I always use parallel projection; menu Camera/Parallel Projection. Try that and see if you get the same thing I get.


  60. Skip Evans says:

    I cannot figure out how you are using the zoom while have another tool selected. I saw you zoom in while trying to create tenons. You had the offset tool selected and you had to zoom in to get to the center point of the tenon.

  61. Skip Evans says:

    I figures it out.

  62. Skip Evans says:

    I meant to say “I figured it out”
    Lesson 2 complete, but I’ll probably redo it b4 going to part 3.

  63. Joe says:

    Hi Skip,

    I guess you figured out it is my mouse wheel I am using. Sounds like you are making good progress. I won’t be near my computer tomorrow, but I will be back on Wednesday and check to see if you have any issues. By the way, you can write me directly in email at .


  64. Christian Chicoine says:


    I am amazed at how good you are for teaching sketch up ( at least for woodworkers). I am a project manager for woodworking in Canada, Quebec. I just started to use sketch up cause it seemed to be even lighter than the lite version of autocad. I somehow found your website and you really got me started with this software.

    Thanks for sharing all that knowledge.
    Christian Chicoine, Montreal , Canada

  65. Joe says:

    Hi Christian,

    First, thank you for that very nice compliment; I really appreciate it.

    You are welcome for the tutorials. I am glad you have discovered them and find them useful.

    What kind of woodwork do you do there in Montreal? By the way, you have a beautiful city. I have visited it a number of times, both professionally and on vacation.


  66. ol wich says:

    pleez hav mor storeez ubowt the lidl dawg. thu fernichur stuf iz aawl grat butt we reelee liks dawg pikchurs an fur u to tel us whut that dawg iz dowing aawl thu tim in thu wrk shp. thnk u for ur atenshin. uz gize,,,, epe an bnnnee.

  67. Joe says:

    Dear Epee & Benny,

    You are right. We have too few dog stories here. Perhaps because it has been a long, hard winter, and I am not a northern dog as you know. But this weekend I am going to Cape Cod to escape the New England cold. Perhaps when I come back I will write of my adventures in a warmer climate. In any case I am planning on visiting you on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 25 – 27. We can get caught up at that time.

    Your Buddy, Max

  68. Ken T says:

    I enjoyed reading your articles and looking at your projects. Very nice inspite of being an engineer…no offence intended; I am a semi retired architect :-).

    I have been using Sketchup Pro for many years and found your plans for chests and wanted to look at the blanket chest. Unfortunately I have not found any need to upgrade ver 8 yet and since your plans are in 8, I can’t see them. Can you provide me and maybe others with a v7 model?

    I guess I could just get the free version of 8 and convert myself…couldn’t I.


  69. Joe says:

    Ken T,

    I would be happy to send you the blanket chest model in SketchUp 7. I’ll send it out right away. But I highly suggest updating to version 8. It is very stable and I have found no problems in reading old files.


  70. Fred Schoenfeld says:

    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for the two SketchUp sessions at the NWA show this past weekend. I found both of them to be really useful. I picked up several tips that have already made a difference in the ease of use. I have started going through your tutorials and again find them interesting, useful and great for woodworkers.
    It’s funny, you had a picture of you debugging a PDP-9. I learned programming on a PDP11 and teach assembly language programming on microcontrollers now.
    Thanks again and please keep the tutorials coming.

  71. Joe says:

    Hi Fred,

    Wow! I haven’t talked to anyone who knows assembly language in 25 years. I thought it was a lost art. My first programs were in assembly language. I once wrote a music editor and player for the PDP-7. You typed the music’s notes into memory on an ASR 33 Teletype and the PDP-7 played the music. Lots of fun.

    Thanks for attending the workshops and visiting my website. I hope you continue to find it useful. If you have any problems with the tutorials be sure to drop me a line.


  72. mdntrdr says:

    Thanx Chief,

    Your tutorials have helped me imensly.
    Whenever a newbie is having trouble, I shoot them a link to your site.

    Thanx again, Scott

  73. Joe says:


    Thanks. Much appreciated.


  74. John says:

    Your sketchup tutorials are excellent! Just finished the beginners series. Thank you. Your site is great too. can’t believe you are not linked to (Were I found a link to your site.)

  75. John says:

    Oops, make that: “Where I found a link to your site”…

  76. Joe says:

    Hi John,

    Thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate that. I am not sure what you mean by linked, but I do post my tutorials on Lumberjocks. I use to spend a lot of time posting and reading Lumberjocks posts, but my own website is now nearly a full time job. So now I just announce when a new tutorial comes out.

    Thanks again, Joe….

  77. Ron says:

    I recently finished my first woodworking project designed with Sketchup. Thanks to the fine tutorials here it wasn’t really too hard. For the time being, by clicking on my name you should be able to see a picture of the Sketchup rendering and a photo of the finished product.

  78. Chuck Walker says:

    I regret having to miss your lectures at this year’s Showcase in Saratoga Springs. I had that peculiar marquetry saw on display in the workbench area and found the interest exceeded expectations. Also two lectures on French marquetry plus a desire to hear Ernie Conover and Peter Follansbee left me short of time.

    I have been probing at Sketchup for a while now and it has been a bit frustrating. Not surprising given the power and complexity of the task served by the program. my usual approach to learning how to use a program is to first pound on it like the proverbial monkeys and typewriters, and see what it does. After a while, I could see that this approach was not going to do the job. So after a little searching and trials, I hit on your tutorials and they have set me on the path I think. Still a long way to go as I am just starting to work through all of the beginners videos. Should add that I am a retired analytical chemist that spent much of his career with IBM developing software to serve analytical instruments. I have programmed in Fortran, 360 assembler, PLS, and other high level languages but not since retiring 20 years ago.

    My approach is to watch a tutorial either entirely or in part and repeat as needed for emphasis. Downloading was best as it makes it easy to back up and review if your mind wanders. I then try to apply what I have learned to a personal project. A group of us, all members of Northeastern Woodworkers Association, are engaged in rebuilding a mostly copy of an antique treadle lathe. My first crack at Sketchup, has been to design a “cradle” to support the 80 plus pound flywheel and crankshaft assembly so we could get it up off the ground and rotate it while replacing the sheathing pieces that provide a belt pully and also hold in the rocks that weight the wheel. The lathe spent many decades in damp conditions and 70% of the wood will need to be replaced. The cradle drawing is complete but am not sure if the model holds together too well yet. I keep finding little surprises when looking inside the model and then try to correct them. The next task will be to make a model of the lathe frame itself but I need to be familiar with more than the few Sketchup tools I know now.

    In short, your tutorials have gotten me over the first big hump in internalizing Sketchup but a long way to go remains. Thank you for your contribution to woodworking knowledge and Sketchup, an extraordinary tool!

    Chuck Walker

  79. david jansen says:

    just looked at your pictures you posted in 2003,that is the very reason i told you that is why i will NOT be coming to that part of the world. but one thing is it sure is pretty. been looking at your videos and learned more by them than i have on my own in three months. my wife says that i am hardheaded but i say my brain is fuller and it takes longer to delete things. great website
    downtown east texas

  80. Joe says:


    I think I share that full brain problem with you. I have trouble remembering things, but when you must sort through so much material it takes a long time.

    Yeah, New England winters are not for the feint of heart. New Englanders are a tough bunch. Did you see the bear pictures? Those are frequent guests too.


  81. Rick Copes says:

    I really enjoy your tutorials. They are excellent. You are not only demonstrating but teaching the skills needed to complete a task. I started the intermediate tutorial and got to non circular curve tools and had a question: Where did the BZ Toolbar come from? I downloaded the other tools, should this toolbar be part of that?
    Another question, unrelated to the tutorials,is there a way to scale a raised panel door without changing the width of the rails and stiles?



  82. Joe says:

    Hi Rick,

    Sorry for getting back to you so late. I’ve been traveling. Very happy to see you find the tutorials useful.

    The BZ Toolbar is part of the Bezier tools. In the PDF you downloaded you should have seen a link to bezierspline.rb. If you download and extract to install that script properly you can then go to the View/Toolbars menu and select BZ_Toolbar.

    If you need help with downloading and installing bezierspline.rb contact me at


  83. Paul Faerber says:


    Thanks so much for taking the time to develop your Sketchup tutorials and sharing them. I am working through them and have learned a lot. I do have a question on something that I can’t seem to get to work as you have in the tutorial and was wondering if you had any thoughts about what I am doing wrong.

    When I use the Move tool to move the bull nose outline 5 inches in front of the drawer front (@ 12:10) it stretches lines that are attached to the lower right corner of the outline and distorts the drawer front.

    I tried redrawing the bull nose outline a couple time with the same results. Was able to work around this problem by doing a Move/Copy instead and then deleting the original bull nose outline and finish the tutorial but it would be nice to understand what I have done to create this stretching “feature” when you are able to just select and move the outline.

    Perhaps someone else has also made this mistake and may benefit from your answer in this feedback section.

    Thanks again for sharing all this great information.

  84. Joe says:

    Hi Paul,

    It is difficult to give you a specific answer to what you are doing wrong without seeing your model. But it sounds to me that one or more of your parts is not a component but just primitives. When two parts are primitives and they touch, even if only at one point, they join together. When that happens if you move part a, part b will move also, and this usually creates a distorted part.

    Send me your .skp file with the problem and I will give you a detailed specific answer. My email address is

    Glad you like the tutorials and find them helpful.


  85. Paul Faerber says:


    I figured out my problem. I was still in the edit component mode when I drew the bull nose profile. When I exited the edit component mode, the profile that I drew was no longer on part of the drawer front component and things worked as in your tutorial.

    Probably begginer mistake number 1.

    Thanks again for sharing your tutorials and for getting back to my so soon!

  86. Don Johnson says:

    Hi Joe,
    I’m not sure whether I previously thanked you for your Sketchup tutorials, but can I say that they are excellent. You ask for comments about them, and – although its a bit late now as they have been there for some time – may I say that they ARE long, but they cover their subjects fully enabling complete understanding.
    I recently recommended your tutorials on and whilst checking your address, I noticed the article on ‘Primitives, Components and Layers’. Watching that cleared up a lot of confusion that I hadn’t realised was lurking in my head, and explained some odd happenings in earlier designs. Thanks for making the subject so clear, and enabling me to ‘get’ Sketchup!

  87. Joe says:

    Hi Don,

    I read your post to UK Workshop along with this one. Thank you for the very kind and complimentary words. I really appreciate that you went out of your way to spread the word of the tutorials. That helps others to learn SketchUp too and that was my intent when I created them.

    I don’t know if you have tried the intermediate tutorials yet, but they should help you with curved parts which are the basis of period furniture.

    I am currently working on an advanced course, though I may call it Mastering SketchUp. Its focus will be to delve into each tool in detail and expose all of the tools capabilities. The SketchUp documentation, their books and tutorials all fail to do this. You can search the web for hours and not discover the hidden capabilities of the Select tool for instance. My struggle is to find a way to present this material in that is not boring. Keep an eye out for them and when they appear I would appreciate any feedback.

    Thanks again,


  88. William Cassanova says:

    Mr. Zeh,

    I would like to commend you on the excellent SketchUp tutorials ! I recently purchased a Digital Version of a Sketchup book and find that it simply told me things I had already figured out myself. Your tutorials on the other hand go into in depth detail about the inner workings of SketchUp that have made my life sane again !

    Thanks Again,

  89. Joe says:

    Hi Bill,

    Thank you for those kind words. I am glad you find the tutorials helpful. I try my best. And anything I can do to stomp out mental illness I am all in ;<) Joe.....

  90. Jonathan Mau says:

    Hi Mr. Zeh:

    I’ve been working through your beginner sketchup tutorials. Nice job and thank you.

    Are you aware of any component libraries for WW hardware items like hinges and drawer slides? Or maybe people don’t model their projects to that extreme.


  91. Joe says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    Most of the people I know who model with hardware included get their hardware models from Google’s SketchUp 3D Warehouse. I don’t mode to that degree. I seldom texture or add hardware. My goal is getting to the shop as quickly as possible with accurate and usable shop drawings.

    However, if I were a professional and wanted to sell a client I would surely take these extra steps.

    Hope you enjoy the tutorials and get what you need from them.


  92. Don Thomson says:

    Hi Joe,

    I’ve been trying to get the Cutlist plugin working and keep running into the dreaded:

    “This program cannot display the webpage”

    error. I use Firefox (not Internet Explorer) and was wondering if you would happen to know what needs to be done to get Cutlist to work in Firefox. I’ve tried the Cutlist plugin website with no luck in getting this resolved. Not asking for support here, just wondering if you have come across this and know of any fixes. Thank you sir!!!

  93. Joe says:

    Hi Don,

    I believe that Cut List uses a SketchUp Ruby Web Dialog for its user interface. If so, and you are on a Windows OS, you need to have IE installed. Web Dialog only speaks to IE on Windows platforms. On a MAC it only speaks to the MAC’s native browser. So download and install IE. You can keep Firefox as you default browser. That is what I do. But without IE you can’t take advantage of some SketchUp Ruby scripts like Cut List (and two that yours truly has written).


  94. Don Thomson says:

    Hi Joe,

    I do have IE 32-bit and 64-bit installed on my machine. Did you have to fiddle with some settings in IE to get Cutlist to play nice with it?

  95. Joe says:

    Hi Don,

    I didn’t have to perform any tweaks. Can you tell which browser is giving you the error message “This program cannot display the webpage”? Also, can you write me a note at so I can get your email address (I may already have it on my newsletter list but don’t want to take a chance I get it wrong and email someone else). Then I will send you one of my tools that also uses Web Dialog and see if you have the same problem with that. If you do, then I can help debug it. If you want, you can contact me by phone at 413-238-0338 to discuss the problem.


  96. Rick says:


    For printing C or D prints you can try using Cute PDF writer
    to print as a PDF and take them to Kinko’s for printing. I have the free version of Sketchup and use it all the time to E-mail details of drawings in PDF format You will have to check it out in Layout but it should work. Hope this helps.


  97. Joe says:

    Hey Rick,

    I’ll have to check that out. That may come in handy for the house design I am doing. I don’t have a Kinkos in the area, but maybe Staples has the same capability. Thanks for the tip.


  98. stan hafers says:

    Why when I download it tells me this can be only opened under sketchup #8 but you only offer #7 to be a free download??

  99. Joe says:


    I don’t understand the question. What did you download? What specifically is the error message? There is no SketchUp version 8 yet and I have nothing to do with its release or availability.

    Email me some details of the problem you are having and send the email to Thanks,


  100. Dave Kolstad says:

    Hail to the Chief!

    I’ve been trying to learn SketchUp from YouTube video…egad. I’ve acquired more useful SketchUp skills in your first two tutorials than I have in the dozens of other videos I’ve viewed.

    Thanks for making things so clear and helpful…you’re an excellent instructor.

  101. Joe says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the compliment. Much appreciated. And I am glad the tutorials are helping you to master SketchUp. If you have any problems just write me at and forward a copy of the .skp file you are working on. I will get back to you asap.


  102. angapmac says:

    On my Mac, I can view the “SketchUp Tutorial” videos in Safari but no download takes place. I’m looking for a way to download these excellent tutorials.

  103. Joe Zeh says:


    Instead of clicking on the hyperlink, try right clicking and then choose “Download Linked File” and ask it to save the file. That should work. If you still have problems email me at


  104. Charles Israel says:

    Have been enjoying your sketchup tutorials and newsletter. Just recently received the new newsletter from the Go-2-School folks that stated Google was selling Sketchup to Trimble.

    A quick review of FAQ posted by Trimble made no reference to possible changes affecting the free version used by many woodworkers.

    Any news?

  105. Joe says:

    Hi Charles,

    I haven’t heard any more than what you have read. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the free version eventually had a price point of $130 – $150. TurboCAD’s entry 3D is at that price point. Google provides a lot of software for free because it drives their primary business model which is advertising. Trimble has no equivalent model so it probably won’t make sense for them to give away software. Even at $150 SketchUp is still a bargain. We will see.


  106. ozan says:

    thanks for your article! I want to try use dynamic component data with pro version sketch up to create edge band data, and transfer the files to to cultist plus fx using 4.1.1 but the problem is how to add edge band information to 4.1.1 cultist plug in ? I appreciate any advice thanks O.

  107. Joe Zeh says:


    I created a new Ruby plugin that let’s you pass Edge Band data to CutList Plus fx as well as a lot of other data. I describe it in my June 11, 2012 newsletter as well a provide a link to download it. Go to and read the article on CutList Bridge on page 16. Let me know via if you have any problems.


  108. ozan says:

    Thanks Joe!
    I install the cultist bridge, It is works great and it is short cut to transfer files, It works on widows version.and mac version I have problems since I I did latest update free version sketch up 8.0.1, cultist when I open 4.1.14345 and cultist bridge beta the columns are black now, I can’t see what I type but not have this problem in windows 7. I hope google sketch up not going to create viruses to not use this kind of ruby scrips in future, I am a woodworker I can’t follow up with these software wars, woodworking and designing the parts are not requare very complex software packages which they sell around $35,000.00 and above and I don’t think software designers know how to do woodworking, If they do then I lose my woodworking business or If i knew how to design software they loose their business. Yes it is true , thats why softwares are so expensive this strategy is all over the woodworking machinery industry and any other woodworking business relations, I spent so much money to these partners and now I am too broke. and This is what I came with and it’s works just great all you need 2 d drafting cad software to see your measurents and 3D drawing software with transfereble data information and last cut-list software to organize your parts to cut them. all this cost me around $600. if i add google pro version on my list $499 I can use sketch up data to adjust entire dimensions of the furniture one click. I didn’t try yet but I am thinking about it.

    Thanks for all

  109. Joe says:


    If you are having problems with CutList Bridge, send your telephone number to my email address (not my blog page) and a time to call when you are at your computer. I’ll call you and talk you through the problem. I live on the East Coast, so specify a time in Eastern Time.


  110. Bob says:

    Great site Joe – happened upon it when googling 8″ jointers.

    Glad I did & appreciated your findings.

    Thanks & keep up the good work.


  111. Joe says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the feedback and kind words. I hope you find this site worth coming back to. And good luck with your 8″ jointer search. Best jointer I ever had was a 6″ Powermatic, model 54A I believe. It was a great machine and I would go back to it in a heartbeat.


  112. Drew says:


    Thank you for your time and effort you’ve put into this site and sharing your experience and knowledge. I’ve found it a great help and learning tool. Keep it up!


  113. Joe says:

    Hi Drew,

    I am happy you find this site helpful and thank you for the kind words. I am always looking for suggestions on how to make it better and more useful, so if you have any ideas fire away.


  114. jeremiah denton says:

    new to sketchup watched other videos on but not much help
    but your videos are so great not much of a coumpter person but thankyou for the viedos veary easy to follow along u made sketchup fun i really do appreciate the videos and u do a real service to woodworkers who dont know how to use sketchup

    thank you

    avid woodworker
    jeremiah denton

  115. Joe says:

    Hi Jeremiah,

    I am glad you like the videos and really appreciate your feedback. If you have any trouble with SketchUp and need help don’t hesitate to write me at Include a copy of your .skp file.

    Thanks again, Joe….

  116. Bob R says:

    Greetings, I enjoyed looking through your website and seeing the furniture you’ve built; very nice. When I checked out your plans available for download I was pleased to find the pdf versions. I didn’t have time to look at you blog but I plan on returning. Oh yes, and thanks for the tool reviews. I injoyed reading them. Bob

  117. Joe says:

    Hi Bob,

    Welcome to might website. Glad you enjoyed it and hope you got some useful plans you can work with. If you use SketchUp you will hopefully find my blog useful too. Thanks for the feedback.


  118. John Rota says:

    Hi Joe,
    Thank you for your site. I was browsing looking for plans for a tool cabinet and I found your site.
    I appreciate the thought you have put in to creating a useful resource to other woodworkers/ aspiring woodworkers. I also like the plan section you make available so that we can benefit from your experience. I am in Bilpin a small hill town outside of Sydney in Australia. I live on a small farm and I am trying to set up a small woodworking shop and your help is invaluable. Thank you again


  119. Joe says:

    Hi John,

    Sorry to get back to you so late, but I have been away at a wedding in Missouri. Didn’t have my computer with me.

    Thank you for the very kind words. I am glad you find my site useful. By the way, my wife and I vacationed in your beautiful country a year and a half ago. I loved Sydney and would consider moving there if I were younger.

    Good luck with the shop and if there is any way I can help with woodworking or SketchUp, don’t hesitate to write.


  120. Bob Bollinger says:

    Hi Joe,

    Just started with your Sketchup tutorials and I am feeling real good about learning this stuff. Thanks for your efforts. They are very much appreciated. I am finding your tutorials very easy to follow (especially when I can pause it and try several times to do what you tell me!!)

  121. Joe says:

    Hi Bob,

    Great! I am glad the tutorials are helping to get you started. I am thinking of refreshing the tutorials, so if there is anything you would suggest I change please let me know (you can contact me direct at You can also use my email if you have any problems and need help. Good luck.


  122. Paul Parker says:

    Enjoyed the shop tour but it stuck on # 67

    Just wanted you to know

  123. Joe says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for the heads up. However, I ran through the tour this morning with no interruptions. The internet is a complex beast and the problem could be just about anywhere. Try it again and see if you get any further. One suggestion: every few minutes move your mouse to be sure that a screen saver or power management interruption is not initiated. That can cause problems sometimes.

    Let me know if you continue to have problems.


  124. Charles Dunn says:

    Joe,you have an amazing shop and so is your talent. Since I will be building a complete shop pretty soon I looked at your shop layout and tour pictures for quite a while. Your shop is layed out very well and doesn’t seem to be crowded at all. From the layout I guessed the length of your workbench to be about 7′ long in order to figure the size of your shop. I would like to know the size of your shop if you don’t mind. I’ve book marked your site and will be back occasionally.

    Thanks, Charles

  125. Joe says:

    Hi Charles,

    My shop is 30′ x 30′ and is two stories. The first floor is all shop. The second floor is storage for local hardwoods that I sticker and let dry. If I had it to do over again I would make the shop 30′ x 60′. Carrying that lumber up and down a flight of stairs is getting old in my old age;<) My traditional hand tool bench is made by Lie-Nielsen and is 7'. My table saw/router table combo is 7' x 7'. I am very happy with my layout and change it very little over time. Thanks for the kind words and please do re-visit the site. Joe....

  126. Jay says:

    Happy New Year! What a treasure chest of a website/blog! Just discovered it and my honey-do list is lingering while I enjoy the fruits of your labors. As much as I admire your hardwood wall mounted tool cabinet, I see some 3/4″ plywood (cherry veneered) to make my version. All the best, Jay

  127. Joe Zeh says:

    Hi Jay,

    Happy New Year to you too and welcome to Swamp Road Wood Works and Chiefwoodworker’s Blog. I hope you find my site worth retuning to. Good luck with the tool cabinet. By the way, cherry is my favorite wood. Hardwood of course ;<)


  128. BD says:

    Could you please email me the plans – Wall Hanging Hand Tool Cabinet, in AutoCAD format.
    I am collecting pictures from the net for inspiration. Your plans would give me a good basis for dimensions to start from.



  129. Joe says:

    Hi BD,

    I don’t have this in AutoCAD format. Only SketchUp format. However, I exported it to both .dxf and .dwg formats so you can read it in. (Sent in an email) I can’t vouch for the correctness of the export/import process. But it is the best I can do.


  130. Hannes says:

    Hi Joe,

    thanks a lot for your great sketchup tutorials – I watched them all and I am looking forward to your next recordings.
    You started off a bit slow but I guess that´s the kind of focus and attention for details you have to have in the workshop to not get injured and to get the project right.

    Your whole website is very informative and instructive and extremely well organized – great place to get started into 3D modelling for woodworking – you even linked plenty of related blogs and sites for further studies – so there is no necessity for further google-research.

    I would like to be able to record as good tutorials on 3D-modelling in the near future just as you did.

    again – thanks for sharing your insights and know-how on 3D-modelling for woodworkers.

    All the best – Hannes

  131. Joe says:


    I appreciate your comments very much and am glad you find my site useful. I try hard to make the site a place a woodworker would want to visit from time to time. Stay in touch and if I can help with SketchUp or anything woodworking related let me know.


  132. Alan Cooper says:

    Hi Joe, I tried to download the cutlist plugin but my antivirus settings wouldn’t let me. However, a google search found an alternative location and your link is 2 versions older. Thought you would like to know. By the way Turbocad 20 is out now but I’m relooking at Sketchup. Decisions on software for my workflow are still hard as ever. Best regards, Alan Cooper.

  133. Joe says:

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for the heads up on the bad hyperlink. If it is not too much trouble can you email me the link that is old? My email is

    Now that SketchUp is part of Trimble I expect a lot of improvements coming (bigger budget for the team). SO you can’t coax me back to TurboCAD; no way! ;<) Joe....

  134. JF Richer says:

    My name is JF and I’m a cabinet-maker in Sherbrooke, QC, Canada. I’m turning to Sketchup for my shop drawing and your video tutorials and tips really help. Your website is full of useful information and nice furniture too.
    Thanks for taking the time to post all that info.
    Best regards,
    JF Richer

  135. Joe says:

    Hi JF,

    And welcome to SketchUp. I think you will like it. A lot of cabinetmakers use it professionally. If I can help in any way with SketchUp please let me know.


  136. John Lloyd says:

    Just wanted to thank you for the time and effort you have expended to share your obvious love of the craft with the rest of us. Beautiful work, and workshop. I hope you have children to whom you can pass on both your skill and resources.

    Spent an enjoyable 30 minutes or so browsing the site, also well executed.

    Recently retired, I built a 30 x 40 workshop on my property in Southern Illinois, and started equipping it 3 years prior to retirement. Much the same equipment as I see here, except most of my stationary machinery is Grizzly, with the exception of a new Unisaw. I then lucked into nearly 5,000 feet of clear, old growth local lumber, which I helped a local sawyer quarter saw (all of it!)

    I stuffed so much equipment and supplies into my shop before actually planning the layout, that I can barely move around, especially after adding the lumber and a large rack of sheet goods. I’m ashamed to admit I have a few pieces that have never been turned on, except to see what they sounded like.

    Because of unforeseen medical issues, I’m now limited to small projects, that I can safely handle safely using a cane and limited available standing time.

    My White Oak is destined for flooring (I’m keeping a few hundred feet of it), for either a new home or a major remodel, depending on my wife’s wishes (and my skill with SketchUp).

    I enjoy a limited amount of time in my shop, and spend the rest of it reading about the craft, and vicariously enjoying it though magazines, books, and on the web.

    Your site has been a treat!

    Thanks again for the tour.


  137. Gabriel says:

    could you email me the plans for cabinet in living room,and i want to use for put on the top my fish tank.
    Thank you

  138. dale herman says:

    two things I am practicing with your beginner DVD for Sketch up 2014. I tried to install construction plus plugin from your site. But cannot find the plugins folder mentioned in notes. also when I click on your website my screen goes black does not matter which tab I use. I have to insert the address again.

  139. Joe says:

    Hi Dale,

    “two things I am practicing with your beginner DVD for Sketch up 2014. I tried to install construction plus plugin from your site. But cannot find the plugins folder mentioned in notes.”

    Did you read the article on page:

    Look under the heading Locating Your Plugins Folder.

    “also when I click on your website my screen goes black does not matter which tab I use. I have to insert the address again.”

    Hmmmm. I can’t help you with that. It sounds like a problem on your end.

    If you continue to have problems with installing my plug-ins email me at and I will help you.


  140. Jeffrey Wright says:

    Would it be possible for me to view the missing video within this posting of yours:

    I am currently enrolled in your SketchUp 2015 course that is part of the Popular Woodworking initiative. You point us to this posting of yours to better understand your Layer0 Warning. Thank you.

    J Wright

  141. Joe says:

    Hi Jeffrey,

    Yes, I believe I can still locate that video and upload it. It will take me a day or two but I will get it to you.


  142. Karren Seely says:

    Thank you for making the ketchup tutorials. It made learning ketchup so much faster and more enjoyable.

  143. Joe says:

    Hi Karren,

    You are very welcome. If you have any problems drop me a line at I am always glad to help.


  144. Bob Davis says:

    I cannot find anywhere on your website or at Popular Woodworking site what Operating systems are supported for culist bridge. Sketchup is supported on Windows and Mac. Will bridge work on both? I run sketchup on Mac and cutlist plus on windows (two separate computers).

  145. Joe says:

    Hi Bob,

    CutList Bridge is compatible with both the Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.

    It will work just fine with you dual OS setup too.


  146. Wayne Fingas says:

    Joe, I just found your site, signed up for your blog and was inspired! Thankyou.

    I retired from Boston 10 years ago and am living my dream in Western Canada…. 12 miles through the mountains from Banff. My hobby is woodworking in between all the other activities. I have dabbled in Sketchup and have used it to design most of the stuff I have built over the last few years. Your tip on “photos to sketch up” by resizing was a revelation for me and shows me how far I need to go. I’ll be using your site ( and perhaps your book ) for further ideas and hints. Thanks again.

  147. Joe says:

    Hi Wayne,

    I too retired from the Boston area. I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation and ATI Technologies Inc. ATI was headquartered in Toronto. I have traveled Canada pretty extensively except for the western area; which I dearly want to do before I check out.

    Thanks for your interest in my site. Let me know if you need any SketchUp help. Always happy to assist a fellow wookdworker.


  148. Deb says:

    Looking for the downloads for the book chapters? Can’t seem to find them

  149. Joe says:

    Hi Deb,

    Go to menu My Book/Support Page on my website – Click on the the Chapter # hyperlink and you will be directed to download a ZIP file with all the files in it. Thanks for your patronage.


  150. Jim Rawlings says:

    I just located this directory. I couldn’t find the download for the Layers Management plugin. But I saw the response to Debbie and the problem was solved. By the way, how do you change the file extension from .zip to .rbz?

  151. Joe says:

    Hi Jim,

    On the PC you simply right click on the file name and choose Rename. The file name will be highlighted and the extension will not be highlighted. Highlight the extension yourself and change it. Simple as that.


  152. Jim Rawlings says:

    What you suggested didn’t work for me. I couldn’t reach the zip extension to change it. However, I do have a plugin (Simple Plugin Installer)from ThomThom @ Sketchucation which works. I also found that WinZip files apparently have a different format and won’t work with this plugin. So, I changed the WinZip files to plain compressed zip files. Thanks for your prompt response.

  153. Joe says:

    Hi Jim,

    Hmmmmm. It should have worked. I’ll have to research that and see what is the matter. Thanks for the feedback.


  154. Gary Norgan says:

    Just got your book, “SketchUp, a design guide for woodworkers”, and the basics DVD for SketchUp guide for woodworkers last week from Barnes/Noble. I have been “sort of” using the free version to attempt learning this software but ultimately lose interest and just head to the shop and build, designing as I go. I’m a retired high school science teacher so maybe my tolerance for textbooks is low…up to this point!!! Your book is excellent!!! I am again a student and want to learn. And I want to actually create and have a measured set of plans. Then maybe I can actually finish projects on time.
    So here is my first question/issue to solve.
    I downloaded SU 2016. Followed your directions somewhat carefully. But my workbench of tools is not exactly like yours. I am missing the Save icon and the Layers icon. Maybe not an issue? I could just open Files and Tools (View?) to get there anyway.
    Did I make a mistake moving tools around maybe?
    Thanks for a much needed book. A definite cover to cover read for me!

  155. Joe says:

    Hi Gary,

    I am especially glad a high school science teacher likes the book. My daughter is a high school math teacher and I am well aware of the commitment teachers make to our students. Thanks for the comments.

    Could you send me a screen shot showing you current desktop toolbar arrangement? I will be able to tell from that what the problem is. But you can always reset toolbars and try again. You don’t have to reset all of them. You can select one toolbar and reset it and then remove the tool icons you don’t want. Follow this procedure:
    1. Open the View/Toolbars dialog box with the Toolbars tab selected.
    2. Highlight the Toolbar you want to reset. E.g. the Standard toolbar where the Save icon should be.
    3. Click on the Reset button.
    4. Answer Yes to the message and the Standard toolbar will return to its ‘factory setting’.

    Hope this helps.


  156. Bob Tulloh says:

    Your book is just what I needed. It really got me going quickly with Sketchup. I had been completely befuddled by the Sketchup documentation (or lack of documentation). The way you conveyed the information really worked for me and I quickly got to the point where I could use Sketchup effectively. Great job.

    I have used CAD/CAM/CAE tools for years and I very familiar with Autocad and Mechanical Desktop (among other tools). These tools are so different in philosophy that it made it hard to find the on-ramp to the learning curve in Sketchup, but your book put me right on track.

    Great job organizing the info and communicating it. I especially appreciate the way you started out by getting the environment and preferences set up. It really helps to point the tool in the right direction. Keep up the good work —

  157. Joe says:

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you very much for both purchasing my book and the kind complimentary words.

    I tool used AutoCAD and TurboCAD for years. All of my woodworking and furniture designs were once drawn in TurboCAD. But those tools are so complex that if you are not a professional using them every day you quickly loose your skills. When I discovered SketchUp in 2007 I fell in love with it. It is so intuitive and has so few tools and yet is so powerful that I couldn’t turn back to TurboCAD. I then started posting about it on my blog and that turned into the book. I essentially wrote the book as I was learning to master SketchUp. I am very glad you like it.

    Let me know if I can help with your effort to master SketchUp. I can be reached at


  158. Doug Kelley says:

    The book has been a huge help in learning Sketchup. I have had very few problems; I have been able to work through the few I have had until now.

    I am getting an error when I attempt to open any ruby scripts. It downloads fine, switches to a .rbz file, kicks up the alert about whether or not I trust the file, but instead of getting the message about a successful installation it reads, “Sketchup was unable to install the Extension you have chosen for some unknown reason. Consult your Extension’s document for additional help.” I have read the PDF file that accompanies the script file, but am at the end of my rope on this one. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

    -I am the only user profile on the computer
    -the file was saved to the download folder
    -I am using notepad as suggested
    -the file has been set up as a .rbz file
    -I am using a windows xp platform

  159. Joe says:

    Hi Doug,

    I am not sure what you mean when you say “switches to a .rbz file”. If you had to change an extension to .rbz manually then you got the extension from the wrong place. You should hve gone to and on that page clicked the link in the first sentence “Note: For Chapter Download Files Click Here” which would have brought you to:

    On that page you can download all the support files for each chapter. Chapter 8 is where the extensions (plugins) are. Open the zip file and you will see three folders, one for each extension. In each folder is an installation file and they are already an .rbz file. You don’t need to change any extensions.

    I suggest downloading all the chapters and save them on your disk. Also on that page read the Errata section and download all the Sample models.

    If you have further problems write me at and I will walk you through installing the extensions. And thank you for purchasing my book. I very much appreciate it.


  160. Bob Groves says:

    Hi Jim, just started using the book, so far so good. Where is the FAQ site, for the life of me I cannot find it. I am trying to make sure the tapered legs measurements are correct with the tape measure and I am getting a tilde where the taper ends and the straight leg stars. Thanks for any help

  161. Joe says:

    Hi Bob,

    My Apologies for responding so late. I just noticed your post. Somehow I missed the notification. You may have already figured this out, but the book’s support page is .

    If you are measuring the taper (angled) line you can expect a tilde symbol. It is not a dimension you specified but rather one that is calculated from dimensions you specified, analogous to computing the hypotenuse of a triangle from two specified sides. The hypotenuse is likely to be an inexact number.


  162. Doug Sanders says:

    I just purchased your book along with Sketchup 2017. I know I’m a little late to the party but so far I’ve dealt with the apparent changes to Sketchup since your book in 2014. Any chances of new upgraded book in the future. Also I love the book.

  163. Joe says:

    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for purchasing my SketchUp book. I very much appreciate it.

    Yes, I hope to publish a more up to date version, but I should tell you that the process is a very long one. You will probably be a SketchUp master by then and won’t need a book. Right now I have my nose to the grind stone on a new extension I will be releasing in the next month or two called CabWriter. You can check it out at .


  164. Ken Walling says:

    pg. 136 of SketchUp A Design Guide for Woodworkers, last paragraph, next to last sentence should read … Figure 28, not Figure 8.

  165. Joe says:

    Hi Ken,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to report what you believe is an error. I mean that sincerely. If the book is re-released these corrections will make it easier for everyone. However, the sentence is correct as it stands. I am simply pointing out that the drawer pull when rendered can be rendered with the inside face color instead of the outside face color much like the bull nose trim in Figure 8. I could probably have said it much more clearly. My bad.


  166. Mike says:

    Hi Joe.
    I previously took your enjoyable Sketchup course.
    I have been reading about your new CabWriter. Sounds like a great tool.
    I do not make cabinets but I am interested in your latest CutList Bridge product. I am somewhat confused about the difference between CustList Bridge FX, CustList Bridge Pro, and CustList Bridge 4. Which would you recommend for a home project sawdust maker like me?

  167. Joe says:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the kind feedback. The version of CutList Bridge you want is 4 i.e. CutList Bridge 4.


  168. Mike says:

    Thanks Joe.
    I also got the book when it was hot off the press. I still like referring back to the video lessons once in a while but the book usually answers any of my questions.
    Keep up the good work and I wish you much more success.

  169. LEWIS KAUFFMAN says:

    I have noticed that the “Drawer Side” function of the Construction Plus extension no longer works. I’m using Sketchup Make 2017. Am I doing something wrong? When I try to open it I get a navigation error. Also, the Construction Plus tool bar shows a green frown face where the drawer side icon used to be. The other Construction Plus functions seem to work OK.

    Thanks in advance for any insights,

  170. Federico says:

    Just approached SketchUp while looking over some Youtube’s videos…
    Then I immediatily decided to found something more; trying to be able to use that kind of software.
    I’ve looked for a book as I like to do and found yours.
    And then the rest came easily, with step by step instructions and detailed images, all of this mixed with some very direct and simple input render this book -and your work- something really great.
    At the end of the last chapter found myself in trouble with some sketching but i had just to came to your site and download what I was looking for! And this is very good because I was starting to be frustrated but you provided for that kind of assistence too.
    What i want to say it’s just a great thank you to you in first person and the others who helped you to realize that functional guide…

    Chini Federico, ITALY

  171. Joe says:

    Hi Chini,

    Thank you very much for your feedback and kind words. I am very glad you didn’t give up on SketchUp when you got frustrated, but rather found help. My email is If ever you need help just write. You might also want to look at my Popular Woodworking blog for ideas. See:

    Good luck and have fun with SketchUp.


  172. Joe says:

    I love your book.
    Are you still using SketchUp Make 2015 or do you use a newer version? Thanks.

  173. Joe says:

    Thanks for the feedback and I am glad you are finding the book useful. I use 2019 now for a number of reasons: first I teach SketchUp and have to teach the latest version; second, I am the author/developer of CabWriter ( and need to test it against the latest versions, and finally I am a beta tester of SketchUp.

    Thanks for purchasing my book. Let me lnow if you have any problems with it or SketchUp.


  174. Joe says:

    Thanks for your response. I read that some of the newer versions ran slower, and maybe not as good as 2015.

    I am interested in the design process using 3D. When you modeled the bedside table, it was already designed. How did you design it to begin with?
    I am used to 2D (CAD and drafting board!), where you draw center-lines, base lines, make a layout, 3 views, auxiliary views, then detail drawings, etc. At this point I could make physical parts or SketchUp parts. I couldn’t model a table leg until I had the whole table designed. How do you actually design a new piece of furniture from scratch? Thanks.

  175. Joe says:

    Hi Joe,

    I use to design in 2D exactly as you described. The was the approach I learned in college. When drawing or designing in 3D you have to forget all of that. I have a blog on Popular Woodworking you may find useful. Go to:

    In that blog series you will find an article called Designing Furniture From Scratch In SketchUp. It is a 9 part series plus a wrap up part. You can start at this address with Part 1.

    Hope this helps.


  176. Steve Lindley says:

    Hi Joe

    I bought your SketchUp book a few days ago and just now went through the introduction after which I accessed your website. Unfortunately the top level menu options “SketchUp” and “Contact” whilst displaying the sub-menu items, did not allow them to be selected. I did access by looking at the site source html and copying and pasting the links into my browser. That worked out fine. After doing all that I discovered that Firefox browser was the problem. I tried Chrome, Internet Exlorer, Edge and Safari and they all work fine!

    So, if anyone complains about the same problem, you may wish to ask them which browser they are using.

    I have been self-learning SketchUp (Make 2017)at odd moments over the last month or so. I have got the hang of the basics – Just enought to realise that there is much more to it which I want to learn. Your book looks to be just the job for me. Being aged 75 I like to keep my brain active as well as my hands!

    Kind regards
    Steve Lindley
    Andover, Hampshire, UK

  177. Joe says:

    Hi Steve,

    My apology for not responding sooner. Some how notification of your post got by me. Thank you very much for purchasing my book. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to write me at And thanks for the heads up re: Firefox.


  178. emmett says:

    what does invalid signature mean? how do i fix it?

  179. Joe says:

    Is CutList Bridge 4 working? If so just ignore it. All it means is that the extension was purchased from the Extensions Warehouse and yours wasn’t. If CutList Bridge 4 is not working let me know.


  180. Paul Weygandt says:

    At this point you already seem like a long-time friend. I have loved woodworking all my life, but life tended to get in the way. I am now retasked (not retired), and have built the workshop of my dreams. The most difficult aspect facing me was getting from my design thoughts to workable projects. I have to say, your book is excellent. Perhaps I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive, but I have redrawn the bedside table at least half a dozen times and each time it has been more accurate, but more importantly, the process has been very much faster. Even now, I’m rereading chapter 1 (again) and improving my workspace.

    Thanks again for your efforts in creating the book.

  181. Joe says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you very much for purchasing my book. I am very glad you find it useful. You have done it right. I tell all my live classes that the best learning approach is to continue to re-do the table until you can get it right with no errors. That is when you really understand it and will remember your skills even if you are a casual SketchUp user. Thanks again,


  182. Mark Johnson says:

    Love your website. I wish I had a workshop like yours, I am mesmerized. I have self taught the free version of sketchup on the web. I mastered all the basic functions, including tags and scenes to organize my designs. I am curious if you think your book would be advisable to someone planning to use only the free web version or not.

  183. Joe says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the kind words regarding my website. My book was written for the desktop version of SketchUp, in fact the on-line version didn’t exist at the time. It may be generally useful, but you may get frustrated mapping the tool icon differences and the location of tool differences. I must admit, I am not a fan of the on-line version, mostly because it does not support extensions and you have to be on-line. I have only used it to try it out and have never gone back to it.

    Here is an alternative you might want to think about. SketchUp Make 2017 is still available and is free. Go to the link below and look toward the bottom of the page. SketchUp Make 2017 is a desktop version, it supports extensions and my book is very compatible with it. Mastering it will give you the option to upgrade to the Pro one day if you wish to, and you can always go back to the free version, though I will warn you that once you use the desktop version with extensions you will never want to go back to the web version.

    Good luck, Joe…

  184. Ray Mallo says:

    I have always enjoyed reading your articles. My only feedback would for you to add a date to the article. This would help knowing how current some of the information or links may or may not be.

    Have a great day, stay safe, and thank you again for all the wonderful articles.


  185. Joe says:

    Hi Ray,

    Thank you for the feedback. I am glad you find the articles helpful. I am confused though. Each article already has a date on it. What am I missing?