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 In End Grain

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A sharp reminder and remembrance of a life cut short.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Popular Woodworking.

A chisel roll is an unlikely time capsule. Untouched in the three years since his death, the green canvas Ian salvaged from a discarded patio umbrella has protected his tools admirably. They are exactly as he left them: organized, razor sharp, and without a spot of rust.

His mother and I sit at the dining room table he built for her with the tool roll open in front of us. We silently contemplate the tools she intends to give me. Ian was my closest friend and a gifted woodworker.

He was 24 when he was killed in a car accident and the tools tucked into the roll’s many pockets speak of a life in progress. A life cut short. On the left are the tools that got him started – flea-market finds, ground down to the last inch, but lovingly restored.


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