Road-Trip: Best Place in Midwest to Window Shop for Tools

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Forum topic by projekt_papa posted 08-16-2018 04:38 PM 1443 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 720 days

08-16-2018 04:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand tools planes lie-nielsen

I am looking to go on a short road-trip with my wife. What are the best places in the midwest to window-shop for hand tools (new or used) such as planes, dove-tail saws, etcetera? We live in the Indianapolis area and looking for a reason to get the convertible out and drive (250-mile radius) for a day or two. I thought about visiting the Lee Valley store in Windsor, but the driving scenery might not be spectacular:)



-- DJ

7 replies so far

View BattleRidge's profile


150 posts in 1017 days

#1 posted 08-16-2018 08:02 PM

I am in east central Ohio and my primary recommendations in this area would be two spots…

Keim Lumber a somewhat hidden gem that is tucked away in Charm with a great selection of both power and hand tools, hardware items, exotic woods and much more that wouldn’t be expected in such a small and quaint village (they deliver to a large surrounding area). Keim also has the bonus of being in the heart of Amish country with its many associated sights, Amish shopping & dining opportunities and other highlights. Definitely a day well spent. Keep in mind that Keim has relatively short / early hours and it can be best to stop there in the first part of the day and to enjoy the extended Amish atmosphere afterward. Closed Sundays.

Hartville Hardware is somewhat infamous and features a nice selection of both hand and power tools, hardware & other items, including an in-store John Deere dealership, a large grill shopping area and in addition there is an actual multi-room house in the middle of the store to spur your creative ideas. As a bonus, Hartville Marketplace and Flea Market is located right behind the store with a multitude of vendors and other activities, and the delicious Hartville Kitchen is located next door to the hardware. Closed Sundays.

Keim and Hartville are located about 1-1/4 hours apart and can be combined into one outing if desired. A check of their websites can provide a glimpse of each store and an online search can provide additional sources for information on the area in general.

Additional spots are in the Columbus area…

Wood Werks with a multitude of power and hand tools, a section that is set aside as a Rockler store, an exotic wood area and more.

Woodcraft has a nice selection of woodworking tools, woods and other items, though there is also a Woodcraft in the Indianapolis area so you are likely already familiar with their selection and set-up.

Good luck in your search and be sure to post your adventure for all to see and learn.

-- ~Art~

View bandit571's profile


26110 posts in 3484 days

#2 posted 08-16-2018 08:11 PM

Take US 40 east. Westerville,IN

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View oldwood's profile


162 posts in 2045 days

#3 posted 08-17-2018 03:05 AM

Was in Charm two years ago this week and had dinner across the street from Keim. Wish I had known they were more than just a lumber/hardware store.

If you go a little further East do not miss the Warther Museum in Dover. Some of the most amazing carving work you will ever see, and they make and sell all kinds of knives. Look up the carved pliers, truly amazing and the Lincoln funeral train is a real work of art.


View pauljuilleret's profile


107 posts in 2454 days

#4 posted 08-17-2018 09:19 AM

I have to agree with Battle Ridge on his choices. Both stores are within an hours drive from my place and are quite the candy store to visit As an added bonus a short distance north of Keim lumber you will find Hershberger bakery . It’s an Amish bakery that has some of the best fried pies that I have ever eaten along with other great fat pills. Hope you enjoy your trip.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6305 posts in 3294 days

#5 posted 08-17-2018 10:30 AM

+2 for Battleridge, though I personally might pass on the Woodcraft. But the other 3 on on my bucket list. Don’t overlook Bandit’s suggestion, either. He seems to know a lot of secret good spots.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Sparks500's profile


277 posts in 1132 days

#6 posted 08-17-2018 12:09 PM

Not much to do with planes, but, I highly recommend the Warther museum in Dover, Ohio.
He was a woodcarver that loved steam engines, and carved perfect replicas.
Its also in a beautiful location and would make a nice trip.

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View bandit571's profile


26110 posts in 3484 days

#7 posted 08-17-2018 01:41 PM

There is one event coming up, this Labor Day weekend. West Liberty, OH. has a Tractor Fest. Last year I walked about 2 miles each day, looking through all the vendors….usually found quite a few tools. There are a pair of castles just east of town…The Piatt Castles. The Mad River is a great spot for trout fishing. Just south of town is Urbana, OH..home of Grimes Field, with a B-17 Museum.

Just stay on US 40…hitting quite a few Antique stores along the way, turn north at Springfield, OH. and take StRt 68 north. On the way back home, stop in Tipp City, OH. and see about 10+ Antiques shops….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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