I found this useful bit of advice during a search for something else:
> … you can create a template that will load when you open SU that deals with the scale issue you mentioned. Open a new drawing. Draw a square in the center that’s about average size for the things you draw. Zoom into give an acceptable view. While you’re at it set display settings. I like to start in perspective view, Hidden line, profile lines turned off, shadows off, white background.
> Next delete the square so you have a blank drawing space. Save As My Template or whatever you want to call it. Save it in the Templates folder under SketchUp. Find the Preferences dialog under Window in SU. Set the Drawing Template to whatever you just named that drawing you saved. That’s all there is to that one.
My thanks to Dave Richards of Rochester, Minnesota who contributed that to a discussion on the Sawmilll Creek forums — Sawmill Creek is an online community for woodworkers.
First of all, many thanks to the folks at AtLast Software and at Google for making SketchUp Pro available to educators at such an unbelievable price — it’s now free for instructors!
As I re-acquaint myself with the application and begin to gear up for making illustrations of the crawfish boats, I am finding that there is an amazing variety of educational materials. One is [Google’s own collection of videos](http://sketchup.google.com/training/videos.html), which are divided into sections for [new users](http://sketchup.google.com/training/videos/new_to_gsu.html), intermediate users, advanced users, et cetera. There’s even a video on [modeling a tractor](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Daz4N-WLA&feature=channel).
There is also something called [The SketchUp Show](http://atotheo.libsyn.com/), which has a variety of lessons — they are up to Show 56 at this writing.
There is also a [SketchUp Cookbook](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0596155115?ie=UTF8&tag=johnlaudun-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0596155115) published O’Reilly — link is to Amazon. If you have O’Reilly’s Safari Online Book service, then you can find the cookbook [here](http://my.safaribooksonline.com/9780596157784).