You can do just about anything you need with the free version, I've been using it for about 13 years. You can learn the basics pretty quickly and then there are a lot of videos out there that will teach you nifty shortcuts and techniques. One of the first things to do is to go into the Preferences settings and change the Drawing Template to "Woodworking".
The real secret to using Sketchup is to make each piece you draw a component. That way if you need 4 shelves that are 3/4" x 11" x 36", you only have to draw one shelf and then add the other three from your component library. That's important because if your design changes and you decide the shelves should only be 34" long, by editing the component all the shelves are automatically changed. The same applies to cabinet sides. Let's say you draw one side of your cabinet and make it a component. You can copy that component, drag it to the other side and flip it for a mirror image. Then if you decide to add a rabbet or dados, you only modify the component and the other side auto updates and matches perfectly.
I find Sketchup very helpful for large projects and it helps me avoid a lot of errors that wouldn't have shown up until assembly.
Dragons slain. Damsels rescued. No reasonable request refused ... unless the dragon's really big. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo da Vinci You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ~Oscar Wilde http://profhenrys.blogspot.com
Last edited by Gaffboat; 01-18-2016 at 10:20 AM.