Popular Woodworking 2007-08 № 163, страница 50

Popular Woodworking 2007-08 № 163, страница 50

delar says that he stays focused more on the form of the tool than its particular provenance or the myth behind it.

He shows off a tool chest that is covered in handplanes that look like nothing else that has ever been manufactured. The planes are ornate: brass sides, steel soles, shapely totes and knobs. The level of detail on some of them is outrageous for a working tool.

So where did they come from? The story, Sindelar says, is that they are from Germany. He buys them from a guy who gets them from another guy. And that guy says they came out

More Photos and Information on the Sindelar Collection

You can download a free slide show of a tour of Sindelar's collection from our web site. Visit popularwoodworking. com/aug07.

To contact John sindelar to provide ideas or donations for the museum: Sindelar Fine Woodworking

69953 section st. Edwardsburg, Mi 49112 phone ■ 269-663-8841 e-mail ■ mscarol421@aol.com

Not in any tool catalog. Some of the unusual planes that Sindelar acquired through a middleman. Little is known for sure about the planes, except that they look like nothing else. The bench planes (above) include a plane with a hefty fence integrated into its design. The other grouping (left) shows a fixed-sole compass plane and an unusual plane that was designed to plane boards to one specific thickness.

of a school for blacksmiths and silversmiths. When the students left the school, they would leave one of these example tools behind, where it would be displayed on the wall.

Does Sindelar believe the story? He shrugs. "Tool collectors have a lot of stories," he says. "I like the planes." They are attractive tools and have odd labels: A. Stohr & Son, Schuhstopsel, Hildesheim, Durchmesser.

Not all the tools are so mysterious. There's a shapely French marking hatchet in a leather sheath. The sawyer's initials are cast into the poll of the hatchet so he could mark the felled tree as his own. There's a Phillips Plow Plane, patented in 1867, with an ornate cast iron frame. There's an English stairsaw with a depth stop that works like a depth stop on a fillister or dado plane. There's even a Stanleyjointer plane that's painted gold. "That's a private joke I have with another collector," Sindelar says.

A Place for the Past and Future

And now Sindelar wants to show it all to the public. He envisions a museum that will also have a woodworking school. His initial plan was to build it near Williamsburg, Va., to take advantage of the history-seeking tourists there. Since then, he also started considering the Harrisburg, Pa., area. And since his

plans for his museum have gotten out, he's been contacted by officials in North Carolina who think the museum, the school and the state's furniture-making history would be a good combination.

Sindelar says he thinks the museum would be a winner because it would appeal to people beyond tool collectors. Many tool museums and collections tend to focus on manufactured tools. Tools that have been patented are hot items these days. Old Stanley tools have always been a popular item for collectors.

But Sindelar's collection is all about the artistic form of the tool. He's more interested in buying something that will take your breath away rather than a collection of all the patented tools from 19th-century Connecticut. And that's why he thinks the museum would succeed.

Sindelar regularly escorts people through his collection and even opens his doors to the public on occasion to benefit a charity. When he shows people around, they are overwhelmed by the tools, no matter if they are woodworkers, collectors, young or old.

"I've especially been amazed at how women, in particular, like the tools," he says. "And it's because they're all one-of-a-kind.

"They're ..." and Sindelar pauses as he looks for the right word, "just pretty." PW

Comments or questions? Contact Chris at 513-531-2690 x1407 or chris.schwarz@fwpubs.com.

Watching over the collection. A stained glass window in one of the rooms housing Sindelar's collection. When all the lights are off this is the only source of illumination.

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