I Can Do That! – Simple Woodworking Projects and Instruction

Popular Woodworking’s home for simple woodworking projects and videos. Watch I Can Do That! video series episodes and download ICDT Woodworking Projects from the magazine.


There have been a variety of work surfaces in the I Can Do That shop – from horses and plywood to a much too elaborate bench for someone starting out in woodworking. In this episode (and the next, it’s a two-parter), we’ve finally answered the need. Our I Can Do That workbench is built simply, sturdily and affordable, from plywood and 2x material, with basic but useful storage options, a face vise, and bench dogs. And we even make it mobile!

Get plans for the workbench here: http://bit.ly/ICDT_Workbench_Plans

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Woodworkers love their routers, but they may not be getting as much out of them as possible. In this episode of I Can Do That, Andrew takes routers beyond roundovers, and shows how to cut rabbets, makes a simple jig for accurate grooves and dadoes, and shows a few methods to create arcs and circles with a router. Lot’s of router fun!

Get plans for the grooving jig here: http://bit.ly/Router_GrooveDado_Jig

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In our last episode, we introduced the table saw. This time, we’re covering three more types of cuts that will take your woodworking to the next level. We start by angling the blade. By angling the blade, you’ll be able to make bevels and chamfers that add a lot of dimension to your projects – we show you how to avoid issues in making this cut. Next, we cover the basics of using a dado stack. For cabinets and shelves, the ability to make a dado quickly and safely is a huge advantage. Your projects will be stronger and more stable because of this type of joinery. We use a 6″ Freud dado set available from Woodcraft. http://bit.ly/2jiObVQ

Finally, we dive into how to make a tenon for mortise and tenon joinery. Many would consider mortise and tenon to be the ultimate wood joint. They are incredibly strong and not nearly as complicated as you think! We show you how to make a tenon with just a few cuts. Andrew Zoellner will demonstrate how to make the mortise that we used in this episode in his router episode next time!


Season 4 of I Can Do That kicks off with your new hosts David Lyell and Andrew Zoellner. Together, they’ll introduce you to a new tool in the ICDT shop – a portable table saw. You’ll learn the things you should become familiar with on the saw before you turn it on, as well as essential cross-cutting and ripping techniques. Then, they’ll use the table saw to build the most essential table saw accessory – a crosscut sled.

Get plans for the crosscut sled here: http://bit.ly/ICDT_Table_Saw_Sled_Plans

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Easy Free Woodworking Projects

3 Simple Free Projects Click & Download

Our free I Can Do That! online manual (in PDF format) explains all the tools and shows you how to perform the basic operations in a step-by-step format. You’ll learn to rip with a jigsaw, cross cut with a miter saw and drill straight with the help of our manual.

Contemporary Coffee Table

I Can Do That: Contemporary Coffee Table

Take the easy way out: Find sizes without measuring. By Robert Lang Pages 62-63 This small coffee table is a great introduction to building furniture. It doesn’t require much material and it’s an opportunity to develop your skills. This project is sturdy, attractive and easy to build. All of the parts come from standard...

I Can Do That: Message Center

A low-tech solution for a family on the go. By Steve Shanesy Pages: 26-27 The kitchen is the crossroads for today’s busy family. And while we have high-tech gadgets to text messages, take notes and keep a calendar, I’ve found a kitchen message board has helped to keep my family organized for 30 years....

I Can Do That: Gent’s Chest

A simple box for basic household tools. By Megan Fitzpatrick Pages: 58-59 From the December 2011 issue #194 Buy this issue now Common in the 19th-century, a “Gentleman’s Tool Chest” typically contained a set of fancy household tools including the first “multi-tools” – a handsome handle into which a variety of tools including gimlets, drivers,...

I Can Do That: Tool Tote

Wedged through-tenons keep this handle secure. By Megan Fitzpatrick Pages: 58-60 From the November 2011 issue #193 Buy this issue now Whether you’re using it for woodworking tools or garden tools, a tote is a simple and quick project. It’s so simple, in fact, that I decided to add a wee degree of difficulty with...

I Can Do That: Spastic Susan

Make a Sherpa of a dining table centerpiece that goes the distance. By Mag Ruffman The modest Lazy Susan is a staple on circular dining tables. Everyone can reach out and activate its convenient, if sluggish, spinning action in order to self-serve their favorite condiments from a jumble of bottles, shakers and jars. BLOG:...

I Can Do That: Small Bench

This simple seat is ideal for a hallway or porch. By Megan Fitzpatrick Pages: 26-27 From The October 2011 issue #192 Buy the issue now This project is inspired by a period choir bench in my mom’s dining room – but I modernized the Gothic revival design of the original with sweeping curves...

I Can Do That: Limbert Outdoor Cafe Chair

A great chair to make in pairs (or more), this outdoor version of a classic Charles Limbert Arts & Crafts cafe chair is simple to make using basic home center lumber and only a few common tools. Very little woodworking experience required.   Download the Limbert Chair Plans Here