-Considering the Strong talent and Artisan specialty. Any others I might have overlooked for this kind of character? Or races besides Human?
In my experience, it really doesn't matter much. While there can be optimal choices for min/max purposes FC is very good at lessening the impact to your vision of your character. If a Strong Human Artisan is the flavor you crave, have fun with it. If you would prefer a Pech Artisan, have fun with that too.
-With most of my feats going into skill and gear feats, I may only pick up Hammer Basics and not have room for much else in terms of combat feats for the next 5 to 10 levels. Is there anything else I can do besides multiclassing that will substantially improve my combat prowess? Or what about a 1-level dip into something like Soldier for the BAB, armor benefits, etc.?
While you are certainly welcome to dip into a level or two of something, remember that the Gamebreaker ability comes at class level 14 so every level you dip into delays the awesome.
-Crafting magic items seems extremely time consuming. Even something very basic (5-10 rep) looks like it takes a month or more to craft. Am I reading that right? Am I missing something that can be done to significantly speed up crafting of magic items?
Yes, you are reading it right and short of the Supremacy feats, no, you can't really speed it up. However, this is more of an issue with how your group (particularly, your GM) decides to handle downtime. When I was actively running the game, the only character who put points into Crafting did it for the purposes of improvising. Downtime was short and infrequent with my players. If you want to craft, talk with the GM to ensure that your character will have that month of downtime to make something interesting.
-I've heard Tire and Threaten can be good for non-combat characters, as they're skill based. Tire makes some sense (a fighting style based on endurance instead of damage), but Threaten feels a little silly to me (I wave my weapon and look angrily at them until they get scared enough to faint!). Could someone with experience tell me about how this plays out or gets flavored in a real game?
On the surface, yes, it looks silly. However, as you rightly pointed out flavor MUST come into the picture. Threaten isn't about making the bad guys faint so much as back down. If a giant threatens to smash you, you might decide to back off so as not to die. If the Keeper threatens you with backmail, some dread curse, a secret poison or leaving you a cripple to hear the screams of those who see your hideous form (See the Princess Bride scene on "To the Pain!"), then perhaps you back off and allow yourself to be captured instead of fighting.
-In your experience, how else have Keepers contributed to your game besides Crafting and combat? Any other suggestions on how to stay relevant in a game that may turn out combat-heavy and social-light?
If the game is truly going to be that combat heavy, I would invest less in crafting and more in combat feats. Possibly, take a different Specialty to reflect a more martial world. In the end, it comes down to the type of game you and your table play. At my table, I expect a certain amount of social roleplaying. The combat monster is NOT welcome. (And in the last campaign, that was my wife's character.) Your table is unique. Talk to the GM and other players to see what they think.