Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tip: 3D story sticks

Last night while I was finalizing the music box plans I discovered an easy way to make a story stick on the virtual lathe that is actually a full size 3D cross section.

The following instructions assumes that you have read the book "Woodturning with SketchUp" available on turnedoutright.

To review, one of the useful things to do after you competed your computer design is to print a full scale drawing of the turning. This story stick allows you can take measurements directly with your caliper. I don't like to have to do math when I'm standing in front of the lathe, no not even multiplying by 2x :)

Normally I print a cross section view (requires that I multiply measurements by 2x) or a 3D view (doesn't show internal dimensions) and go to the shop.

Better approach:
  • After drawing the cross section make a copy to the right of your original and render it in 3D, all on the "grid background".

  • Then click on the cross section tool [Menu: tools/section plane] and drag it to the "Grid Background" plane and click on an intersection of the grid lines. This will put the crossection on the same plane as the grid and therefore it will show up on your story stick.
  • SketchUp will slice the rendered pieces at the centerline of the lathe showing internal and external dimensions in full scale.
  • Print full scale and take to the shop.
  • Now all your measurements can be taken directly by setting your caliper to match the drawing.

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