top of page

J+Clap molders courtesy The Chronicle 67-1

J + Clap

Possible tier 1 candidates

  • James Clap (1759-1803) Scituate, HW and joiner

  • Joseph Clap (1769-1821) Deerfield, Montague, joiner

GAWP5 candidates

  • Joshua Clap III (1729-1790) Walpole

  • Joshua Clap (1750-1804) Walpole

J + Clap

1st tier

James Clap 1759 Scituate -  1803 Scituate

Deeds: 1789 carpenter (directly below); 1790, 1792 and 1795 housewright

Inventory 1803 (below) “ Timber, plank and other stock in the Joiners Shop including all the Joiner and Carpenter Tools”































Joseph Clap 1769 Deerfield – 1821 Montague

Deeds: 1795 (directly below), 1796, 1801 and 1808 joiner

Inventory 1821 (page 2 below) includes “window squares …  lumber, timber … saws, bench planes, augers, chisels, hollow and rounds, panel plane, four rabbet planes, squares, shop forms, three tool chests”








































2nd tier

Joseph S Clap of Scituate was listed as a housewright in a 1799 deed. However in 1803 and 1845 deeds he’s listed as a shipwright.



J Clap planes are linked to the Joshua Clap family of Walpole, MA (four generations).  The ca 1770 planes with flat chamfers are attributed to Joshua III (1729-1790), while the ca 1790-1800 planes with round chamfers are attributed to his son Joshua (1750-1804). Additional information, including Dupee and Clap connections, is presented in Elliott’s 2014 Chronicle article on C Dupee and J Clap, (67-1).


Investigation Notes

The Massachusetts Counties of Franklin, Hampshire, Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bristol, Plymouth and Worcester were searched as well as Rockingham County, New Hampshire. In addition Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine probates / wills were searched. No other J Claps with a woodworking trade were found, including the four Joshua Clap generations of Walpole.


J + Clap Plane Notes

From The Chronicle 67-1; Molders are 9” and 9.5” long with the earlier examples (ca 1770) having flat chamfers and the later examples (ca 1790) having heavy round champers. The earlier molders have relieved wedge finials which are elongated while the later molders have relieved wedge finials which are more rounded. (The Chronicle’s figure 9 shown below with the later plane at the back.)










From correspondences with Tom Elliott and Mike Humphrey; wedge similarities are observed with E Wright, Luther Litchfield, C Litchfield. Many of the Litchfield planes were found in the Scituate area. Only one candidate has been found so far; a Luther Litchfield was born in Scituate in 1778. In 1799, he was listed as a carpenter in Charlton, Worcester Co, Massachusetts. His detailed inventory from 1856 has a separate carpenter tool section with many planes listed.


Profile comparisons of toted rabbet wedge and the proportionately smaller early molder wedge.


16.75" beech rabbet with pegged, offset maple tote, 3/16" flat chamfers.











8.0" long beech smoother with 1/4" heavy round chamfers.

bottom of page