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One of the world’s biggest tool collectors is bringing his brand-new traveling tool museum to Northern Kentucky on Oct. 1-2 to show it off to the public at the Woodworking in America event at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

John Sindelar of Edwardsburg, Mich., has spent his entire adult life amassing some of the world’s rarest, most expensive and beautiful tools. And this year Sindelar built a traveling tool museum that will travel the country to share some of the highlights of his collection at festivals and fairs.

Even if you got shut out of the classes at Woodworking in America this year, the Marketplace itself is well worth the trip (and it’s only $7 for two days).

Sindelar’s traveling collection includes more than 500 items (valued at $300,000) from all the trades, from woodworking to blacksmithing to household tools. Visitors can see one of the first axes ever made in the New World, according to archaeologists (it’s copper!), specialized plow planes made entirely of ivory, antique levels from Asia and much more.

“You name it, we have it,” Sindelar says. “From the beginning of time to the present day.”

The traveling collection is housed in a custom-built trailer that Sindelar’s woodworking business outfitted to look like the inside of a vintage luxury locomotive car. The interior is constructed entirely with antiqued frame-and-panel in cherry , and features a tool in the center of each panel.

The 30′-long, 220-square-foot traveling museum is Sindelar’s effort to build support for a permanent tool museum for his enormous tool collection now housed in his shop in Michigan.

The traveling tool museum will be parked on the floor of the Marketplace at Woodworking in America at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Admission to the Marketplace (just $7) gets you in to see the traveling tool museum, plus more than 70 woodworking vendors and demonstrators showing off all aspects of woodworking with both hand and power tools.

– Christopher Schwarz

P.S. I’ll have photos of the traveling tool museum later this week.

More Links to Obscenely Gorgeous Tools

– For more information on Sindelar’s collection, visit his web site at:

– Read (for free) a story I wrote where I test-drove some of the world’s most expensive planes.

– “Tools Rare and Ingenious” by Sandor Nagyszalanczy has some serious brass and steel.

– My book, “Handplane Essentials,” has a lot of stories about modern makers, including Konrad Sauer, Ron Brese, Karl Holtey, Bill Carter, Wayne Anderson, D.L. Barrett & Sons and more. It’s available from our bookstore.

– View a free slideshow of my trip to Sindelar’s tool museum a few years ago.

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Showing 2 comments
  • The Village Carpenter

    I am going to try my hardest to not bug the crap out of this guy at WIA. But I’ll probably fail.

  • Nein-fill

    At first I thought "hey its a re-run blog post" with the same picture as a post from a ways back, and while the content is similar to that earlier post, the real gem is the link to the infill article I some how missed… amazing.I had just caught up on Ron Hock’s blog today and he had mentioned that day, and I had thought it would be cool to know more about that event. Thanks for reading my mind…

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