Get it: Woodworker's Guide to SketchUp

I’m good with computers.

I’m good with CAD. And I’m good with Google SketchUp. Still, Robert W. Lang has me beat by a mile.

His new eBook, “Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp,” is so far ahead of anything I’ve read before that it is in a class by itself. It begins by teaching you the basic strokes – even if you’ve never used SketchUp you’ll be in fine fettle. But it takes you so far so fast, you’ll wonder why no one ever conceived of this sort of product before.

The genius of “Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp” is that it exploits every iota of its medium to make the process of learning SketchUp – the greatest free gift to woodworkers ever – as easy as possible.

Yes, there is text. And screen shots of the important steps that lead to a proper drawing. But the real killer is the short bursts of video that are embedded in the text. Sometimes when you need to see motion, Lang has created short movies that elegantly show you how to create a moulding or a turned part in SketchUp – something that is hard to explain with a static medium.

For Woodworkers – Really and Truly The other big plus to this eBook – which is available on CD – is that it is totally unlike the tutorials offered by Google. Google’s short video tutorials are designed for people who are building cities or (at the least) houses. Building furniture is easy with SketchUp, just not with Google’s instructions.

“Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp” is all about woodworking – building furniture-scale components, mouldings, turnings, cutting lists and the like with no silly trees or pitched roofs and bushes. Want to build a living room floorplan with square corners? The Google directions will do fine. Want to make cabriole legs, cabinets, bookshelves, built-ins and frame-and-panel doors? You need Lang’s new CD.

He shows you stuff that Google doesn’t even think to show you. Make dovetailed drawers, coped-stick doors – then alter those basic components with just a few clicks and drags to suit your needs.

The skeptical among you might be thinking that I’m writing this review because I work with Lang and that he’s paying me off. Nothing could be farther from the truth. He handed me his CD to review it for technical errors, and I became totally sucked into the text and have spent the last three nights studying the text, looking at the drawings and marveling at the short videos.

Heck, my parent company doesn’t even carry this CD – Lang has written and published it on his own – so I have no financial interest in the product. But I do have two $20 bills in my pocket, which I plan to lay on his desk in the morning in exchange for this CD.

You, however, don’t have to pay as much. Until July 1 you can order this CD from Lang’s web site for $29.95 with free shipping in the United States and Canada. It is absolutely the best money you will spend on improving your woodworking all year. For less than the cost of a router bit, you will be able to draw anything your brain imagines and transform it until you can build it in wood, steel and brass.

I rarely say this: Buy this. Cash in your pennies, sell some plasma and just buy it. “Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp” is a mind-blowing revelation for anyone who wants to design simple or complex projects using this free design software.

Visit Lang’s web site to order the CD.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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6 Responses to Get it: Woodworker's Guide to SketchUp

  1. Chuck Nickerson says:

    Is the content of this ebook different than the two CD’s I just bought "SketchUp for Woodworkers"? (If I could just get QuickTime working on my pc…)


  2. Jeff says:

    I have struggled with SketchUp – even bought the "Dummies" book on it. Maybe this ebook will finally be the help I need. I have a couple of projects in mind that SketchUp would be handy, but the idea of fumbling through it just isn’t appealing to me.


  3. Dan Pope says:

    I second Chuck’s question. I had planned to purchase "SketchUp for Woodworkers. Now I am confused which way to go. Any help here would be appreciated.


  4. Bob Lang says:

    The book and the videos cover much of the same territory, but in a different fashion. Both assume no knowledge of SketchUp and take you through what you need to know to plan woodworking projects. Which to get depends a lot on how you learn. If you’re a quick learner the videos will get you going. If you prefer more in depth information, the book goes into the whys behind what to do. The videos are all video, watching them is similar to sitting through my presentations at Woodworking in America. The book has 184 pages of text, supplemented with about an hours worth of video. The book is more like taking a week long class. If you’re on a tight budget or pressed for time, I’d suggest starting with the first video. If that leaves you wanting more then get the second video and/or the book.


  5. Dan Pope says:

    Thanks – sounds like I may end up with both!


  6. Dan Pope says:

    I took your advice and downloaded the video part 1. It was great as expected. Working through a trundle bed project I found why I wanted the pdf format. When something didn’t work just right I had to hunt for where you covered in the video series. I love the video format but there is no index or contents section to help one get back to specific items. So I ordered the CD ebook "Woodworker’s Guide to SketchUp".

    Bob you have done a great job. Looking forward to meeting you at WIA.


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