Woodworking Design Software – Boards Video

Inserting new boards in woodworking design software

New Board Form

Well sometimes simple is not!   A while back we added three new board icons to the SketchList 3D woodworking design software.  These allow you to insert boards of any one of the three orientations into any container [assembly, door, drawer, or hardware] in your design.  These boards come – out of the box – as 3/4 inch birch sheet good materials.  The idea is that sometime you just want a fast design.  Besides using the change all material function you can change any board’s material one at a  time.  The cool thing is that when you change a board – say material from birch to oak – that material becomes the material used for the next board you insert.

Still some people do get confused by the icons.

V4 new board icons


This is a segment of the main form.  The three icons in the yellow highlight are the [relatively] new ones.

  1. The first is for panels and most frame situations [rials and stiles].  Its surface faces the front of the assembly and the thickness is front to back.
  2. The second is for sides and dividers.  Its surface is left to right.
  3. The third is for shelving and such.  Its surface faces top and bottom.
  4. The fourth icon – with the plus – is the old fashioned ‘new board form’ that gives you complete control over the board attributes.

This video will show how I use both the ‘old’ form and the three new icons to make a box.  Near the end of the video I show an example of doing it wrong!


Wrong means using the incorrect orientation for a board.  In my example I insert a vertical board and resize is so it appears horizontal.  This is a fairly common newbie mistake.  The problem is the the woodworking design software optimizer is looking to match the part thickness with the thickness of the material.  The BIG hint that something is wrong is that a part thickness will show as – say 12 – when you know it’s rally 3/4.  Is is because the orientation is wrong.  The bigger hint is that you will see lots of red boxes when you try to optimize the project.  [If you’ve never seen these – maybe you can skip the video!]




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