‘I Can Do That’
For Chad Stanton, professional furniture maker and licensed contractor – and the host of the “I Can Do That” (ICDT) series – a chance encounter showed him that he was on the right track with the simple projects and techniques he teaches in these videoa. After returning to his home in Toledo after taping several ICDT episodes, Chad was unloading a project when a neighbor spotted it – and immediately offered to buy it.
“I want these pieces to not only be something whoever built it will be proud of, but to impress others who see it,” Chad said. “These are nice-looking pieces.”
ICDT focuses on projects built from materials and dimensional lumber found in a home center – using a good but basic set of tools – that can be completed in a weekend (and sometimes faster). “I’m really excited about letting people know that you don’t need a shop full of power tools to make great projects,” Chad said.
Six episodes of ICDT are now available on DVD for only $29.99 or as a digital download for $24.99, giving you 2-1/2 hours of easy-to-follow instruction as Chad walks you through six handsome projects.
In Episode 1, you’ll learn you how to build a Limbert chair – an Arts & Crafts classic. “You can put it on the patio, or throw a cushion on it and put it in the house,” Chad said. You assemble the chair with screws – no complex joinery here – and can complete the project in a few hours. When you sit back to bask in the glow of your accomplishment, you feel some of the design tweaks Chad added to the chair to make it especially comfortable.
Chad noted that when he creates an “I Can Do That” project, he starts with the look of the final piece, then works out ways to simplify construction without compromising the look or utility of the final piece.
Episode 2 is a Tool Rack, useful for holding a variety of woodworking tools. Built from pine, the rack securely stores chisels and other implements, and it includes pegs for hanging and a shelf above it all. This project also would work great in a kitchen to hold cooking tools or spices. For a budding woodworker just starting to build a tool set, “this rack is a good place to start,” Chad noted.
Episode 3 features a Tool Chest that could also easily be used as a blanket chest, toy box or even as a storage bench. “I like this chest because it only takes three boards and a couple of hours to make,” Chad said. Simple hardware makes this chest functional and portable, and only glue and nails are required for assembly.
The style of small computer may be called a “laptop,” but holding a laptop in your actual lap usually gets uncomfortably warm for both you and the computer. Chad offers the solution in Episode 4, with his build of a portable Lap Desk. This desk holds your laptop at the right angle and allows air to circulate to keep things cool. The curvy details of the desk are “a great way to get practice with your jig saw,” Chad said. And as in all the episodes, you’ll learn useful tips – such as the one here on how to make the charge on your cordless drill last longer.
And in Episode 6, you’ll learn how to build a set of clever wall-hung shelves joined by egg-crate joints.
Even an experienced woodworker can benefit from tackling an ICDT project, with ideas for what to use when you don’t have the “right” tool. On job sites, “I have to think about using tools in multiple ways, and that can save time,” Chad said. It’s a lesson he wished he had learned as a beginning woodworker – something he hopes to pass along. “You don’t have to have a shop full of tools to do fine work.”