Modeling Round Objects in SketchUp - Knob and Bedpost | Bob Hoellwarth | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Modeling Round Objects in SketchUp - Knob and Bedpost

teacher avatar Bob Hoellwarth

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Modeling a Knob

    • 3. Modeling a Bedpost or Spindle

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class you'll learn how to model round objects in SketchUp and create shapes that are radially symmetrical. You will be modeling a knob and a bedpost in this tutorial, but this technique can be used to model anything that would normally be made on a lathe, including but not limited to:

  • knobs
  • bedposts
  • vases
  • bowls
  • cups
  • bottles
  • spindles
  • candle holders
  • Windsor chair pieces
  • balusters
  • finials

Skill level is Beginner.

I use SketchUp 2020, but this lesson will work in all versions of the software.

A free version of SketchUp Make or a trial version of SketchUp can be downloaded here:

Meet Your Teacher

Hello, I'm Bob Hoellwarth. I am a woodworking teacher and I make a lot of videos about woodworking. I have taught classes of adults in Woodworking I, Woodworking II, Joinery, and assisted in Building Classic Furniture.

I will be making videos on here primarily about woodworking and using SketchUp to design furniture and make plans.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: In this tutorial, I'm going to show how to model round objects in SketchUp Pro 2020. This will also work in any version of SketchUp. This includes things like knobs and BED posts and financials and spindles for Windsor chairs. Sketchup makes it quite easy to model round objects like this. My name is Bob and I'm a woodworking teacher. I also operate a YouTube channel called Bobs would stuff, where I have dozens of videos about woodworking, SketchUp, sharpening, and various DIY projects. I've been using SketchUp for several years now. And I'm still amazed at how easy and intuitive it is to model things in that software. So put on your learning hat and I'll see you in the classroom. 2. Modeling a Knob: I'll start by opening up SketchUp. I'm using SketchUp Pro 20-20, but this will work in any version of SketchUp. The template that I'm using is woodworking inches, but you can use whatever template you want to for this. I'll start by modeling a small knob and as a reference, I'll use the knob from this hand plane. Whether you're trying to model an actual object that you have or to make up something from your imagination, you want to start with some basic dimensions. So I'll start with three inches tall by 1.5 inches wide. I'll switch to the Tape Measure tool. Click on this baseline, that green axis, and move upward, making sure it snaps onto the blue axis and type three enter. Then I know I need to zoom in quite a bit. So I'll zoom in. And I'll click the blue axis and move down along this green axis by 1.5 enter. It's really difficult to pan the camera and to do any kind of zoom in SketchUp when you don't have any physical objects. So I need to draw a rectangle as soon as possible. I'll zoom out, pan up a little bit. Then I can draw a rectangle. I'll switch to the rectangle tool. Click on this intersection, and then click the opposite intersection. The way to model round objects in SketchUp is to take half of a cross-section of that object. So for instance, I should imagine slicing this knob in half and what that cross-section will look like and take half of that. So although I wanted to be an inch and a half wide, I only need to draw it three quarters of an inch wide. So I'll select one of my lines. Switch to the Move Tool. Click on this end point, and then move it by three divided by four. Now this represents half of my object and the selected line represents the very center of the round object. Next, I'll determine some more dimensions and start drawing the curves. I want this knob tab, a lip, sort of like a flange at the bottom that comes up by one quarter of an inch. So I'll click on the green axis with my tape measure tool. Move upward and type 0.25. enter. I'm not sure how thin I want the thinnest part of the knob to be, so i'll just feel it out using my tape measure tool. I'll click on this right line and just kind of move left and right to see what it looks like. I think this is pretty good right here. You can also measure the object and get the exact number if you're trying to model a real object. Now I need to design the curves. I'll use the Tape Measure tool. Click on this top line and then figure out how far down I want this curve to go right about here looks pretty good. Then I'll switch to the 2 Arc tool. You can use any of the drawing tools while doing this. And I'll show you some other ones. So I'll switch to the 2 Arc tool and I'll click the top corner here. And then find out where I wanted to match up, which is about here. Click that. And I want to make sure that it's drawing the arc on the face of this. Right now it says on face next to my cursor. So I know that it's on the face, but if I go like out here, it's not going to say on face anymore. Sometimes it looks like you're drawing on a face, but in 3D you could be on a totally different axis and not know it. So pay attention to that text that says on face. And I'll bring it out to right here. Then I'll do another one starting at this bottom intersection next to my flange. Click that, click the curve, and then I can pull that in. Make sure that says on face as well. Now I have the basic shape of my knob. On this particular knob, there's a counter sunk screw hole that goes through the middle of it. So we need to draw that as well before making this object round. Say that the screw hole is one quarter of an inch wide, will take the radius of that, which is 1 eighth of an inch, and switch to the Tape Measure tool. Click on the line on the right and go to the left and type in one divided by eight enter. And I also want to counter sink that. So the counter sync should be three-eighths. So I'll do the same thing. I'll click the line on the right and go to the left and type three divided by 16, because three sixteenths into radius is the same as a three-eighths inch hole. Now I can switch to my line tool to draw the inside face of that bore. Switched to the line tool. And then up here, I will start a line at this intersection. Bring it down a little bit. Then I'll click on the end of that line, bring it over to this line. And I'll click that line and bring it down here. You can start to see what the inside of this knob is going to look like. I think that by default, SketchUp will just start to draw another line after you draw a line. But I make it so I have to click every time. So yours might just immediately start drawing another line. Then I'll zoom in on this bottom part. Draw a couple more lines. Now I need to delete the lines that make this a rectangle, but I need to leave this line on the top and I'll show you why in a little bit. So I'll switch to the Eraser tool and click on this line on the left. And click on this line on the right. And get rid of this floating line on the bottom. And this little connecting line between this top line and the fill doesn't need to be there. Now I need to use the follow me tool to take this face and rotated along a path. But to do that, I need to draw a circle to rotate it around. That's why I left this line on the top. So I'll switch to the circle tool. Zoom in on this line on the top, and click on this right side of it because that's the center of my object. And go over to the left side. The amount of sides on this circle will determine how many sides your 3D object has. You can hit control minus. And it'll say 23 sides. Control plus. To add aside, I'll go to 32 because that's a nice round number and it'll have more polygons and look a little bit better than I'll click. And now I have a filled circle, so I'll click the fill and hit delete. And I also don't need that line anymore, so I'll click the line and hit delete. And what you should have at this point is half of a cross-section of the object and a halo floating above that. So with the Select tool, select that circle, and then switch to the follow me tool and click the fill of the object. And it will automatically pushed that fill around your circle, creating this 3D object. I'll switch to x-ray mode to see what the interior of this object looks like. So in the tray I'll scroll down to my styles, hit Edit, and on face settings. I'll click X-ray. And I can see that there's geometry inside this knob to accommodate for the screw in it. So I'll delete that circle because I don't need it anymore. And I can go to edit, delete guides. And now I have the object I've created. I'll turn off x-ray mode. And I don't like this line here, it needs to be smoothed out. So I'll triple click on the object and scroll down in my tray to the soft in edges. If you don't have soften edges in your tray, go to Window default tray, and then make sure soften edges has the checkbox next to it. And this slider can be dragged to change the softness on the edges. 0 on that slider will show every facet, which is kind of nice for modeling sometimes, but generally doesn't look very good. So I'll just drag it to the right until all the lines or hidden that I want to be hidden. If I go too far, it'll smooth out that line on the bottom and rounded over which I don't want, so I'll drag it just until the middle line has disappeared, but that bottom-line hasn't. 3. Modeling a Bedpost or Spindle: The same technique can be used to make spindles or styles for a Windsor chair or bed posts or anything that's round like this. Say you want to model something like a bed post that is 24 inches tall and four inches wide. You'd start by taking the measuring tape tool, clicking on that green axis, which is the baseline. And going up to 24 enter. And then I'll click on the green axis again and go up and just type 0 enter because it isn't necessarily going to snap to that axis. If I don't have a guide there, then I'll click on the blue axis and go to the right just to make a baseline there. And because my bed post is going to be four inches wide, I need to take the radius of that, which is two inches. So I'll click on the existing guide, go to the right along the green axis and type in to enter. And now I have the cross-section for half of my round object. And I can draw a rectangle. I'll switch to the rectangle tool. Click on this intersection, and then click down here on this opposite intersection. At this point you can determine the design of the bed post. So generally things like how far is this bulb from the top? Which one is a Cove? Which one is a bead? Where does it start and stop? You can base it off of an existing one. Say if you're trying to make a 3D model of a piece of furniture that you already have. I'll just start messing around in SketchUp and try to find something that looks cool. So I'll make several guides with the Tape Measure tool just to divide this piece into different sections. This is similar to making a story stick when you're using a Lave, where you're determining how far down the object each feature is and what the width of it is at that point. Now I can start drawing the features and the curves. This can be done with any of the arc tools or with the line tool. I'll use a combination of both. Cell zoom in on the top part here. And I'll use the two-point Arc tool. I'll click on this intersection here and then up here on this line. And it's important that for this third click, it says on face next to your cursor. Because if it's not on the face, you could be drawing something that's not on that plane. I'll click that. You'd use the same method to model something like chess pieces. Okay, I feel like this is a pretty good design. I'll go ahead and delete the guides. Go to edit, delete guides. And I'll use the eraser tool to get rid of this line on the left. And then like before I need to draw a circle up on the top. So I'll zoom in on the top. Switch to my circle tool. Start on the center of the object. You can see here that it's switching between drawing a circle on the red axis and on the blue axis. I definitely wanted on the blue axis. So I want the cursor to be at that spot. I'll click that and then go out to the end of this line. And I'll select and delete the fill right there. And delete that line because I don't need that line. And I'll use the Select tool to select this circle and then switch to the follow me tool and click on My Phil. And I have a spindle that is custom made. Now I can delete that circle that I used. With this technique, you should be able to model any round object that's normally made on a Lave. Thank you so much for watching and make sure to rate my skill. Share tutorial. Bye.