Shop Tours

Jon Rael - Joinery-Design Shop

comments (25) July 8th, 2010 in Shop Tours        
JRael JRael, member
thumbs up 61 users recommend

view facing assembly side, offices beyond. Click to enlarge.
Work benches, storage. Windows to full height offices. Click to enlarge.
Sheet storage table. Dust collector room behind white door. Loft above, offices below. Click to enlarge.
Machine side. Dust collection pipe is behind shelf 4 off floor. 9 sliding table saw. Click to enlarge.
View below shelf. d.c. pipe and air hose runs back to d.c., compressor, storage room. 16 j/p 24 bandsaw. Underground pipe and electrical to second tablesaw in center of the shop. Click to enlarge.
view facing assembly side, offices beyond. Click to enlarge. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

view facing assembly side, offices beyond. Click to enlarge.

Shop Specs

  • Location: Pasadena, California, USA
  • Size: 2000sq. ft.
  • Type: Other
  • Focus: Furniture
  • Heating/Cooling: 5 ton ac

My shop is in a cinder block industrial building located in Pasadena, CA. It is approx. 1200 s.f. Ceilings are 16' high. We designed the hanging plywood light wings to help balance the light and give a the feeling of a lower ceiling. There is a loft above the back offices, and about 800 s.f. of more office space beyond demising wall. My work can be seen at

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Comments (25)

newrector newrector writes: Jon, a great looking and efficient shop. Love the design and layout. I am most interested in the large storage table attached to the right side of your table saw, to which your fence system is attached. I am designing a new shop and am looking for a table very much like that. Any chance you could send me the plans for the table? i would really appreciate it. again, thanks for sharing your shop.
Posted: 10:43 am on January 8th

Doug_S Doug_S writes: I just moved from your sister town, Altadena, back to where I grew up outside of Boston, and though I'm glad to be back home I now have two regrets about leaving southern california. 1) I only met Sam Maloof once, and 2) I never got you to hire me as an assistant in that awsome shop! Great stuff!

Doug Scott
Hopkinton, MA

Posted: 6:23 pm on December 1st

kstrega kstrega writes: Awesome Shop.Nicely set up thanks for sharing !
Posted: 2:50 am on November 8th

RonT RonT writes: FineBurl:
Posted: 12:35 pm on September 20th

RonT RonT writes: FineBurl:
Posted: 12:35 pm on September 20th

brownman brownman writes: Nicely equipped and laid out.I like the way you did your dust collection. My shop is similarly equipped , at half that size, since it's in my back yard. The Felder and Festool Co's love you too! I considered those at the time I set up my shop, but chose similar high quality tools at a much lower cost. Since your supporting all those Germanic Co's I'm going to assume a BMW is parked in your garage too. Happy woodworking!
Posted: 12:37 am on July 29th

Pabs Pabs writes: sweet kitchen is not that clean.... that is sweet!

Posted: 11:15 pm on July 27th

JRael JRael writes: Thanks for all the nice comments guys. I belive "dream shop" is a state of mind. Real life is tripping over cords and hoses, never being able to find one of 50 pencils or tape measures in the shop, accidentally drinking linseed oil (which I recently did,someday I will switch to a real coffee cup)cutting boards one inch too short (frequently) cell phone and two other lines ringing just when you are ready to do a critical task, you know what I mean. I try to keep the shop clean for my wife and kids, at least that is what I tell myself. It took a lot of trial and error but I am finally happy with the machine placement, kind of like a working triange in a kitchen. I would like to build a better bench and switch from tool drawers to wall hung cabinets. Today I'm working on a dresser, two bathroom consoles, and a couple mock-up designs. Out of space, dirty, mad, and just as frustrated as everyone else but greatful as can be.

Posted: 2:29 pm on July 27th

FineBurl FineBurl writes: I found the website. You need to enter in directly and it will connect you with another website, which provides the information. Apparently if you Google it, it does not show up.
Posted: 9:57 am on July 27th

FineBurl FineBurl writes: I also like the mobile lift table. It looks like it provides mobility, flexibility and durability for a shop setting. I was not able to find it on a hess-usa website. It only showed a concrete equipment company, lighting company and oil company. Do you have a website for them or can you provide a contact or distributor for the mobile lift tables?
Posted: 9:38 am on July 27th

oldschool oldschool writes: Like others that have posted I envy your shop and also your craftsmanship. We can tell a lot of planning has gone into your shop layout and furniture projects. Great inspiration.
Posted: 9:38 am on July 27th

Wayne_Stiles Wayne_Stiles writes: Norm Abram didn't have it this good! Wow! Now . . . back to the real world.
Posted: 9:37 am on July 27th

magicmartz magicmartz writes: Is this a shop or a restaurant that was made to look like a shop? I'm thinking that not a lot of work goes on here. Certainly no work going on while the photography was being done. I personally like a lived-in look. But still a dream shop for sure.
Posted: 9:01 am on July 27th

domainguy domainguy writes: Nice, professional shop. For those of us who aren't selling our products this shop and its equipment is so far removed from the reality of weekend hobbyist that it isn't even a dream. We don't do projects that would require such high-end professional equipment. I don't think that my love for my hobby would be improved with this shop. My wife would expect that it would become a livelihood and the joy would die.
Posted: 8:56 am on July 27th

magicmartz magicmartz writes: Is this a shop or a restaurant that was made to look like a shop? I'm thinking that not a lot of work goes on here. Certainly no work going on while the photography was being done. I personally like a lived-in look. But still a dream shop for sure.
Posted: 8:51 am on July 27th

Shawn_Nystrom Shawn_Nystrom writes: My inital impression was "this guy doesn't do any work" ! No stacks of lumber in the corners, patterns hanging on the walls or sawdust anywhere. After looking at your web site I see I was very wrong. Many beautiful pieces! I have been in the HVAC business for years and through my work have seen hundreds of shops of all types. From the most complete high end shop imaginable owned by a group of dentists that made whirly-gigs and bookends, to a converted chicken house in Surry, Va. The only power tools there were an old Craftsman 4" jointer-8" table saw combo unit and a 14 " bandsaw. That guy was the most meticulous craftsman I ever saw. He was carving a ball and claw foot sample to send to NY for approval. It was for a set of 10 chairs consigned for 10K each. The shop does not make the woodworker but..... it sure is nice to have a great one !! Congratulations. Next time don't clean before the photos, It adds character.
Posted: 8:28 am on July 27th

kmpres kmpres writes: A fine looking shop! When my 8'x8' space grows up, it will look like that...
Posted: 6:43 am on July 27th

Stu in Tokyo Stu in Tokyo writes: Wonderful work space to be sure, I'm green with envy for all the free space you have!

Thanks for sharing!
Posted: 5:00 am on July 27th

GeorgeCarlson GeorgeCarlson writes: Thanks for the info on the adjustable bench. Now I want it more.
Posted: 7:20 pm on July 16th

JRael JRael writes: The mobil lift table is from Made in Germany. I installed an old Columbian quick release vise on the end and I use the Festool MFT Table dogs and other accesories on it. I use this table for everything. Materials can come off the truck bed and right up to the saw if needed. Great for a one man shop.
Posted: 12:22 pm on July 12th

GeorgeCarlson GeorgeCarlson writes: This is one of the few shops I've seen that looks prepared for serious work. Tell me about the roll around scissor type adjustable bench. Who makes it? Where can I buy one? I have a small shop with one medium workbench/table and one small,short workbench/table. An ajustable one like that would make the perfect second table.
Posted: 4:03 pm on July 11th

Dean7 Dean7 writes: Jon, thanks for the information. Very helpful. Beautiful shop.
Posted: 7:47 pm on July 10th

JRael JRael writes: Dean7, first I made up the chevron shaped beam parts with 2X2s, 3/4" plywood on the sides and 1/4 plywood on the part that faces down. 4X8 1/4" plywood is naied face down from the top. There are 6 - 2' flourescent fixtures on the bottom section. Overall size is 16' X 8', hung with 1/2" allthread, 6 per wing (double nutted through the rafters). I estimated thier weight at around 300 lbs. so 50 lbs per hanger isn't too bad for earthquake country (I hope) They were fairly easy to install with 2 hvac crank lifts. If I turn off the big pendant lights it's like mood lighting :)
Posted: 11:30 am on July 10th

Dean7 Dean7 writes: Obviously a well equipped, well designed workshop, that is spacious and has a nice open feeling. I can only dream of such a thing.

I was curious about the plywood light wings. Would you please described the rough construction details? What type of fixtures did you use? The reflection panels look curved or is that just an illusion? I know that can effect the way the light distributes. Your furniture is very nicely designed. It looks well constructed.

Thanks much Jon for sharing.
Posted: 10:56 am on July 10th

HayesFurnitureDesign HayesFurnitureDesign writes: Very nice shop, makes me a little jealous, lol. Great furniture to, keep up the good work Jon.

Posted: 9:08 pm on July 8th

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