Raphael Berrios is one of our Foundations of Woodworking scholarship students in Spring 2016. He also took our Timber Frame Tiny Home course and brought home one of the structures to finish for himself (you can follow his progress on his blog!  Here’s what he had to say about what led him to PTSW, his experience so far, and thoughts for the future:
When we set out to design a new workbench for our customers, from the very beginning we decided it should, above all, be simple. We make no bones about it, our vises are designed and made to work sweetly, but not to a price point. However, not everyone is ready for a time-consuming bench build. For those looking to get their feet wet in traditional woodworking, using time-proven techniques and tools, this bench will provide all the workholding required to test the waters. For many, this will be all the bench you need, and for others it will be an excellent springboard to our Split Top Roubo, while keeping the Classic as a second bench. The bench features our Classic Leg Vise, Planing Stop and Crucible Holdfast as workholding devices. With a clever arrangement of our Planing Stop, Roubo’s Doe’s Foot and the Crucible Holdfast, you’re able to mimic the function of bench dogs and a tail vise, albeit in a more rudimentary manner.
to allow 9' at the peak, I like a "shed style" roof, but that may not fly in your HOA.I'd put double doors on or one large one, pour a slab, or use patio blocks then lay down Wolman. plywood for a floor, I would use foam insulating board everywhere I could, walls, floor and ceiling. A few bin type windows or sliders would let in light and fresh air. If you can't get away with your wiring idea, I would use a HD 30 amp twist lock extension cord with an "outside weatherproof outlet" mounted on the home professionally installed for code, 2- 8' long flouresent lights, and a 20 amp outlet inside for a heater and dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers draw about 5-6 amps. You might be better off with a small 6000 BTU window or wall mounted AC unit,( $100 on sale at the Depot), it will take the moisture out of the air and cool it as well in the summer. I'd use thin wall conduit around the shop with about 4 double duplex boxes. You may be able to bring 220v. in and then split into 2-120v circuits. If you make ANY dust in this confined space you must first catch it with a shop vac, then filter the air, and wear a mask. A bathroom ventilator fan would exchange the air and be quiet. A slab in front would allow sawing outside weather permitting. A roll up canopy over the door way would provide "shade" and rain protection. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I know you can do it if you try. You can get plenty of "free" advice here and from an expert close to you. My neighbor enlisted the help of a handyman for building his 2 sheds and they became friends and did tool swaps and labor trades for time worked. My advice to you.. go 4 it! bill

Of course, few benches can be ideal, and this one does have some drawbacks. That being said, most of the disadvantages of this bench are minor annoyances rather than deal breakers. For instance, this bench does not include any kind of storage whatsoever. Though, it does have the option of adding numerous additional features like a storage area. Still, for the bench, you would expect a drawer at the very least, maybe a shelf below the main table area.
Learn to use hand and power tools to shape wood into objects that will last for decades. You’ll learn about the properties of lumber, safe tool use, measurement and layout, and fundamental woodworking joints. At the end of this week-long course, you’ll leave with an end-grain cutting board, a mitered corner box, and the skills to build an unlimited range of wooden objects.

Of course, I, on the other hand, with my Ikea oak countertop, probable went overboard in the other direction. Since I needed to trim the countertop to width,I figured I'd take off a couple of 1/2" strips to use for edging the MDF. I clamped the countertop to my bench base, and used the long cutting guide. I'd asked around for advice on cutting this large a piece of oak, and was told to try a Freud Diablo 40-tooth blade in my circular saw. I found one at my local home center, at a reasonable price, and it worked very well.

One quality about this bench that is definitely lacking is space – both tabletop and storage. The Olympia Tools does provide an adequate shelf, but it does not come with any drawers, nor does it offer the option of adding them later. The table top is the smallest we saw at 50” long and 2’ wide, though the width is actually better than most of the other table we reviewed. Still, a significant chunk of that width is occupied by a trough. This trough is designed to hold smaller workpieces to keep them from falling or getting knocked over, but it removes about 6” of width from the tabletop.
Our Lexington model was designed to match many traditional New England homes, in Massachusetts and beyond. The steep pitch of the roof is built to withstand sometimes-punishing New England snow loads and complement today’s home design styles. Post Woodworking can match most vinyl siding colors, so that your shed color will coordinate with your home as well. And as is the case with all of our sheds, interior solar lighting is available to light up the night.
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