North Eastern Connecticut

Ian Gagnon

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Hello everyone. 


My name is Ian, and I'm from the N.E. part of CT. 


I have a full time job, and woodworking is my hobby/passion. Many previous generations of my family were craftsmen up to my father who was trained as a machinist but then moved on to management in his 30's and now works in quality control for an aerospace company.


I work as a production engineer (lights, sound, video, rigging, etc) at a Performing Arts Center at a major University. My job allows me a lot of creativity, which very often sparks ideas for projects in my shop. There are a lot of times that things in my shop also help as problem solvers at work. It's a nice symbiotic relationship for me creatively.


My shop is 22' x 15' and resides in the basement of my house. I walled off an area for it with a door to keep the rest of the basement clean. A lot of people don't seem to care for having a shop in a basement because it isn't very easy to get materials in and out, but I am more than happy to live with it. When it is -10 degrees out in the winter, my shop never gets below 52 degrees (and if I used a little space heater, I can have it up to 65 in no time, or I can be cheap and put on warmer clothes), and in the 100+ degree hottest days in summer, the shop never gets over 78 degrees. If my shop was in a garage or outbuilding, I'd have to heat and cool it, or more likely just work in it 6 months out of the year since the heating and cooling bills would break the bank. 


I'm very careful about using active dust collection on all my tools to keep the mess contained, and have made it a habit to stop 15 minutes early when working to put my tools away, vacuum up work surfaces and sweep/vac the floor. I even do this in the middle of projects. My friends think I'm a bit OCD about it, but I usually have really limited time to be in the shop since my work schedule can regularly be 60-80 hours a week, so when I do get a chance to get into the shop I want everything where I can find it organized/clean. Additionally, since the shop is inside my house it's just important for the safety of my family to maintain a clean shop.


I'm mainly a power tool user, but I've been moving into hand tools as well. I don't have any pictures of the shop at the moment since I'm doing some work in the basement with the intention to DryLok the whole thing at some point over the summer. I run a dehumidifier, and would love to either not have to run it, or at least not run it as much. Once it is sealed up and the shop is up and happy again I'll make sure to add a shop tour under the appropriate forum section.


My projects range from furniture to general decor items, outdoor projects, construction and even the occasional instrument. Of course, there are a bunch of shop items that get built as well!


Anyway... love the forums and look forward to chatting more in the future.






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Welcome to the 'board!  Friend of mine has family up in the Putnam area, so I know how tempting it is to keep that shop in the basement.  (And how hard some garages are to find.)


Basement shops aren't for everybody.  I appreciated aspects of the basement shop I used to have, as well as aspects of the garage shop.  I know I won't ever be 100 percent satisfied, so I won't attack anybody for their choice of shop location.  As long as it works for you, that's what matters.


Glad you could join us here!  Look forward to some of those photos when you get the time.  I could always use a pointer.

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