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John Sindelar’s Michigan tool museum will close its doors in a couple weeks when Sindelar moves his woodworking business about five miles down the road.

Sindelar is one of the most public tool collectors I’ve ever met, and he opens his amazing collection in Edwardsburg, Mich., to anyone who asks nicely. He also opens it to the public during tool swap meetings in conjunction with the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association.

But by the end of June, Sindelar’s many rooms of tools will be packed up into boxes and put into storage. Sindelar is moving his woodworking business into a smaller but more modern facility – air conditioning, epoxy floors etc. But there isn’t going to be room to display his collection, which fills several rooms behind his woodworking shop in his current location.

Sindelar has been trying to open a permanent tool museum with a dedicated building and classroom space for several years. He told me today that he’s still trying to make that happen “sooner or later.”

So if you have any research you need to do on historic tools that might have involved a trip to visit Sindelar, now is the time to get off your butt. Or if you had always planned to see his crazy-amazing collection for yourself (four words: naked mermaid bit brace), then now is the time to get off your butt and drive to Edwardsburg.

I can tell you this: No matter where you live, it is worth the trip.

You can contact Sindelar through his web site:

— Christopher Schwarz

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Showing 4 comments
  • Jon

    he should try to get the RV Hall of Fame Museum on the east side of Elkhart, IN. Its only about 10 miles from his present location, but its more accessible – right off I-80, and I have yet to see a car parked in the visitor lot. Its a very nice building. In fact it nearly cosed permanently. They are in debt over their heads.
    I got a tour through his tool museum a few years ago. The ancient stuff, especially the old cast tool heads were what intrigued me the most (thousands of years old). Some were from europe, but maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought some of these ancient stone molds for cast metal tool heads (axes and such) were from the south eastern USA.

  • gumpbelly

    When it comes to the old adage “he who dies with the most tools/toys wins” I`m pretty sure John is leagues ahead of the rest of us slackers. Plus he is a really good guy, and a gracious and generous host.

  • Mr.Woodworker

    That sucks that he cant display his collection anymore. Hopefully he will be able to open a tool museum.

  • davegutz

    If the web site is representative, that’s quite a place. The plumb bobs by themselves are worth a visit to the web site.


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