Drawing Software for the Woodshop

This is my choice for creating professional drawings.

This is my choice for creating professional drawings.

I have tried a lot of CAD applications over the years, but never found one that I really liked. Some years ago I tried SketchUp’s free version. With no instruction It was a real struggle so I eventually abandoned it and went back to hand sketching my projects.

Recently I bought a laptop to allow me to work in the comfort of my easy chair. At last weekends Woodworking Show I sat in on a couple of SketchUp seminars and learned quite a bit about the software. So I decided to give the free version of SketchUp another try. What I learned in the seminars is that you have to forget what you know about CAD software. SketchUp is a 3D modeling program not a CAD program. You build your model (whatever project you want drawings for) in a 3D environment. Then you work out from there.

It is a fairly simple application but because it is so powerful and can do so much the learning curve is pretty steep. Without some instruction you will most likely get frustrated and give up like I did the first time I tried it. There is a lot of instruction available on line where you will find many video tutorials that will get you going in the right direction. You can also buy an instructional video like I did. There are also many of these available at very inexpensive prices. Here is the one I bought. There are so many resources available to help you learn this application that as long as you are patient and keep trying you will master this software.

I am still climbing the leaning curve, but this time I am making progress and can see some light at the end of the tunnel. To download SketchUp MAKE, the free version, look here.

As always, thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.


Professional furniture maker and restorer. Dealer and collector of vintage and antique woodworking tools.
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