SketchUp, Wordpress
Comments 10

Some Unfinished SketchUp Business

I hate leaving projects hanging. An unfinished project is a sad thing, but I need some diversions while I’m involved with something big like the bookcase I’m working on. While my attention has been on other things, two SketchUp projects have been patiently waiting to be completed. During the week, when I did not feel like heading down into my cold basement workshop, I spent some time in front of the computer with SketchUp open.

Project One
The oldest of the two unfinished SketchUp projects is one which I am attempting simply for the challenge it represents. Long ago, I was taken aback by an “open hutch” featured on the cover of Fine Woodworking, issue 89, August, 1991. The cover photo was stunning; the large hutch in glorious tiger maple with great proportions – designer and builder Ronald Layport immediately went on my list of influential woodworkers.

An "open hutch" by woodworker Ronald Layport

An “open hutch” by woodworker Ronald Layport

Since I just don’t ever see me building this hutch, I thought it would be fun to model it in SketchUp. In fact, I am going to continue creating SketchUp models of what I feel are remarkable furniture designs.

Currently, I have the base cabinet completed…

Ronald Layport - exceptional use of moldings.

Ronald Layport – exceptional use of moldings.

I was fortunate to find a really good tiger maple image.

I was fortunate to find a really good tiger maple image.

Note the unusual upper moldings.

Note the frequent use of beading and unusual upper moldings.

Base moldings are equally unique.

Base moldings are equally unique.

Layport's command of proportion on display here.

Layport’s command of proportion is evident here.

I have created this model to be as accurate to the original as possible. This has meant scanning molding profiles from the magazine article and importing them into SketchUp so I can trace them ensuring they are the right size.

Scan of the foot molding profile.

Scan of the foot molding profile.

The tiger maple wood texture has been applied with care to create a realistic look. This of course is time-consuming. And I am only about half way finished with this little initiative of mine. The upper cabinet should be a little less challenging but will take some effort to get the wood texture applied correctly. In the end, I hope to use this model as a learning experience and a good addition to my SketchUp portfolio.

Project Two
The second item on my SketchUp to-do list is the completion of the large media cabinet. I worked on this week finalizing the joinery as well adding components which help position the drawers.

Note the birch plywood texture on the cabinet interior.

Note the birch plywood texture on the cabinet interior.

With the model finalized, I can make progress with the woodworking plan it is featured in. I have the first three pages mostly completed…

Page 1 020615

Page 2 020615

Page 3 020615

The text in the right column on page two will undergo a complete re-write. Next up on the plan is to create orthographic views with dimensions, then the cut list will be next – tedious work. I got an updated copy of Microsoft Publisher for Christmas. It has a lot of new features which will help me make this woodworking plan even better. I’ll have an update on it soon.

* * * * *

Also, if you care about such things; I changed the theme for my blog about a week ago. I had been using the free WordPress theme, “Twenty Fourteen” and was looking for something new for this year.

I changed to “Zuki” (see the demo site here). Zuki has a killer front page template which I have only begun to explore. The post area is much larger than Twenty Fourteen, so images are nice and big on a wide monitor. And there is an emphasis on typography which I like (example here); note the drop cap shown above. Zuki is a premium theme; $24.00 which is inexpensive as premium themes go. I’m pretty pleased with it.

I must have tried five different themes before settling on Zuki. There is not one WordPress theme which does everything I want it to, but Zuki is pretty close. A site I am looking at a lot from a theme design perspective is Grantland. I’ll have a website which looks like Grantland some day.

That is all. Time to go pour a cup of coffee. 🙂

This entry was posted in: SketchUp, Wordpress
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During the week, I sell flooring products for TDG Floors. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.


  1. Nice work with the models Jeff ! Like the texture mapping on the surfaces emulating the flame maple, it real does give it a good sense of the potential finished product.

    • Thanks! Getting a texture to wrap from one surface to the next is something I got from Dave Richards. It is a little thing that has a big payoff.

  2. Jeff, great SkechUp work as always! But at the risk of extending your already extended Open Hutch project I’m wondering if you are leaving out the sliding breadboards… it’s hard to tell for sure from the images.

    I’m a huge fan of breadboards, and think it would be a big loss to the piece if you left them out. This would really be a great project in any number of wood species!

    • Dave, believe me, I would have shown the breadboards if they were there. I’ll add them because I want to ultimately get a shot of the SketchUp model positioned similarly to the photo on the cover of the magazine. And they won’t be that hard to add – the front edge of the breadboard is already there; a highly molded edge with a tiny knob.

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