Member Spotlight  | Dave Richards

Dave Richards


Many of you know our SketchUp (SU) guru from his helpful posts on designing projects and how to use various features in SU.   He has been with us since 2013 and is a moderator for our CAD/CAM/CNC/Laser forum.  But did you know he was also a woodworker himself?

He grew up in Wisconsin working in his father and grandfather’s woodworking shop, making everything from letter openers to cabinets.  He continued woodworking as a hobby while he pursued a career as a biomedical equipment technician specializing in anesthesia and respiratory equipment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  He became responsible for teaching the doctors and technicians the ‘hands on’ how to operate the equipment.

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He began using an early version of SketchUp back in 2003 as a way of designing his own projects and kept up with all the revisions and enhancements as the software grew to what it is today.  He eventually took their test to become a certified trainer, which he still actively does and is now considered one of their sages.  He has several DVDs and tutorials on using SU.


For 12 years he has been creating the digital and printed plans for Fine Woodworking Magazine, during which he has learned a wide variety of things about woodworking.  He willingly shares that knowledge, as well as his knowledge of SU, with us and other woodworkers through our forum.


His most notable woodworking project is a sailboat which he built from scratch. The design is called The Weekender and was modeled after the Friendship Sloop which was a popular Maine fishing and lobstering boat. It’s 16 feet long on deck with a beam of about 6 feet. Most of the boat is built from plywood and the hull is fiberglassed. He even built the steering wheel which is made of maple and cherry.

Another interest of his is cooking, and he especially enjoys his Pit Barrel Smoker.

If you’d like to see some of his SketchUp work, you can view his album at: SketchUp Drawings