Welcome to the forum, EdgeOfDreams, always good to see new members.
As for your questions...
-Crafting keys off Intelligence, so if you're focusing on crafting Intelligent might be better than Strong... Educated, Gifted and Industrious are also good talents for a crafter. Artisan's the go-to Specialty, though. Human's probably best for crafting, but don't be afraid to look at the other races as well. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
-If you rule out classes and feats, you're pretty much left with superior equipment, magic items, and clever use of tricks. If you have the Adventure Companion take a look at the tricks section in the back, I'm sure you'll find one or two that'll come in handy...
-A couple of things: Ask the GM if he's willing to include reputation-raw items, like bits and bobs of rare and powerful monsters and such. If at all possible, get a small holding with a Crafting Workshop. That plus the increased threat range from the skill feats will make it fairly likely you'll get a critical success. Don't forget you get a decrease in reputation cost for certain items, as seen at the bottom of the table on page 195.
-Two things: Don't be afraid to change 'unconscious' to 'somehow not in the fight'. Whether the opponent faints, or backs into a corner too afraid to move is mostly a flavor issue, not a mechanical one. And it's generally a bit more than just wave your weapon around, we're talking going full on Hannibal Lecter on them. In your character's case it might be a wicked grin and a short but vivid description of how you'll use your hammer to crack their nuts...
. It's just a case of getting creative... and can swing you the occasional action dice for particularly good descriptions. Or just don't sweat it and just say 'I Threaten him.' and roll the dice. Either way works.
-This isn't from FantasyCraft, but I was the main crafter in another d20 game. Basically, unless you get creative and/or lucky, you'll never be the centerpiece of combats (not useless mind you, just not dropping foes left, right and centre), but the rest of the party will worship you when you dish out the finest weapons and armor like they were candy, and every time they just
make it thanks to the edge your superior gear gave them, you'll know just how much you've contributed to the party.
Also, don't be afraid to look at the other things you can contribute, besides crafting weapons and armor. And not just other crafting fields, you have a lot of skill points, and a lot of skills to pick from. Medicine, Haggle, Tactics... many skills that would greatly contribute to a party.