The Sindelar Tool Collection

After collecting tens of thousands of the world’s most beautiful tools, cabinetmaker John Sindelar is ready to show them off in a new tool museum.
By Christopher Schwarz
Pages: 56-59

From the August 2007 issue #163
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John Sindelar stands in front of a door at the back of his thriving cabinet and millwork shop in Edwardsburg, Mich. The door opens into blackness and Sindelar turns around for a moment before entering.

“This room,” he says with a sly grin, “is like church to me.”

He flips on the light and walks into the small paneled room. The room is filled with antique tools. No, strike that last sentence. The room is filled with tools that you never thought existed or that you would see in person. Tools that you have only heard about, seen in auction catalogs or drooled over in Sandor Nagyszalanczy’s books “The Art of Fine Tools” or “Tools Rare and Ingenious” (Taunton).

And not just a few tools. Hundreds and hundreds of vintage tools lined up on tables, shelves and a display case made from a harness for an elephant. Few of the tools are under glass. In addition to the tools, there are two comfortable chairs against one wall and under a panel of stained glass. And that is a good thing because I have to sit down.

Online Extra

Download a free slideshow of the Sindelar tool collection.

From the August 2007 issue #163
Buy this issue now