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( courtesy J Bode)

White, S

Believed to be:

  • Silas White Sr. (1745 - 1802) Andover and New Hartford, CT carpenter and joiner, with $55.56 worth of joiner's tools in his inventory

  • Silas White Jr. (1773 - 1828) Torrington, CT with joiner's bench, 5 bench planes and 22 planes in his inventory

White, S














10” long molder


A set of S White molding planes sold in 2003 which were 10 ¼” in length, with ½” flat chamfers (mostly on the sides) and without spring. Another 10” long plane, a complex molder, has a molded shoulder similar to later Ce Chelor molders.

(Jim Bode set below.)











Silas White Sr.

1745 Andover, CT – 1802 New Hartford, CT

RW In Capt. Strong’s 1775 Co., a private in Col. Scammon and Col. Poor Reg., in Capt. Theopolis Munson’s Co. in

Col. John Chandler’s Reg. for July 1777, and Corp. in Capt. Goodwin’s Co.


m Mary Birge 1770; ch: Silas, Roswell, Chauncey, Brainerd, Orrin, all between 1773 and 1789

m Hannah Scoville 1795; ch: Lester, Orrin, Percy, daughter, all between 1796 and 1802.

The children were born in Torrington per The Memorials of Elder John White, Allyn Kellogg, 1860. Roswell (b 1778) moved to Granville, MA ca 1805 where he was a carpenter and joiner. Later he moved to NY.


Silas Sr’s 1802 inventory included various hand tools, back, sash and compass saws and Joiner’s tools valued at $55.56. The total for the tools was $62.49 which is a significant value when compared to the total estate inventory value of $268.90 (non-real-estate).






 9 11/16” long







It is assumed that the plane above, (along with the next four planes - one illus.), represents the product of Silas Jr. who would have been 21 in 1794. In large part, this assessment is based on the significant shift in chamfer style and the shorter body length. The chamfers are narrower, closer to 45 degrees and stops are formed by a small step and a simple curved turnout. These details tend to fit with a 1790 date, roughly 20 years later than the 10” and 10.25” long planes, a second generation. The wedge profile is similar to those found in the earlier styled planes, but has a cutout below the finial which is a little shorter and has slightly more curvature. The plane is marked VI which would indicate a set of planes was constructed at the time this plane was made.


VI on wedge and body reverse






Four additional molders, made of birch, are also approximately 9 5/8” long and have similar chamfer and wedge details.

They are also marked with Roman numerals. These four are wider profiles with a shoulder and the shoulder design

is unusual in that it continues out to each end without a chamfered edge detail. One of these planes is also marked VI

indicating that it was made as part of a different batch from that of the narrow round above.










                                                                                                                                             (J Papitto)

Three of these four additional 9 5/8” long planes were found together in Ohio and range in maximum width from 1-5/16” to 1-13/16”. The flat chamfers range from 1/4” to 5/16” on the top of the body and from 5/16” to 3/8” of the ends. The fourth 9 5/8” long molder is 1” wide and has chamfers that are ¼” wide. In comparison, the illustrated small round above is 5/8” wide with chamfers that are a bit less than 3/16” wide.


Were a “sizable” number of transitional planes found, ones having details which bridged the endpoint traits described in the early and late groups, it would be reasonable to assume that all of the planes were made by one hand. Ie, Planes being made by one craftsman over a long career. This tends to be the more common scenario as exemplified by plane makers Jo Fuller and Aaron Smith. Having a father and son pair of craftsmen is indeed uncommon, and their using the same stamp is more uncommon.


Even with the proposed two craftsmen theory, an additional plane found in the group of planes from Ohio, seems to be a hybrid. It is 10 inched long, has the later styled chamfers and chamfer stops, an early style wedge and is not marked with Roman numerals. It makes sense that this plane may have been made by Silas Jr. in his father’s shop during his apprenticeship. Time will tell as to what unreported planes will surface and whether the story changes.


A second “transitional” plane has been documented. It is 10” long, narrow chamfers similar to the later planes and no Roman numerals. It does not have a wedge. However it is wide, with a shoulder that extends to the heel and toe without chamfers at the ends, following the style observed in the shorter, later planes.


Silas White Jr.

1773 Torrington, CT – 1828 Torrington, CT

m Elizabeth Plumb 1797, ch: Ransom, David, Fanny, Harriet, Sally all Torrington between 1799 and 1808. The Memorials of Elder John White, Allyn Kellogg, 1860.

Inventory including an extensive list of hand tools, panel and sash saws, 5 bench planes at $5 and 22 molding planes at $5, a joiner’s bench at $1.25 and a chest for the tools valued at 50c.

Comparative Details Early and Late (P Lasswell)






10” long Hybrid (J Papitto)





Additional Early Examples

                                                                                                                                                                                (J Bode)



























Above, 10" long molder with decorative shoulder. ( courtesy Brown Tool Auctions) (M Humphrey collection)





(C Bender) Above molders.

(S Frazier) 10" long molders, below,  with the background plane marked and the foreground plane unmarked

Other Candidates

Massachusetts deeds searched in Essex, Hampshire, Hamden, Bristol, Plymouth, Norfolk, Worcester, Middlesex Co’s.

RI, VT, ME and NH wills and probates searched.

Sylvanus White, Chesterfield, Hampshire Co., joiner in 1804, carpenter in 1806, 1812, 1821. He’s in the Chesterfield census for 1820 and 1830, with the birthdate ranging from 1771 to 1780. Sylvanus was b in 1780 in Weymouth, MA; father Nehemiah. (Sylvanus is too late for the earlier planes and his father, Nehemiah, would not have made them.)


Samuel White, b 1768 MA – d 1850 Readfield, Kennebec, ME, with a lot of old joiners tools in his 1829 guardianship inventory that were worth $2.00. His parents were William and Rachel. (Samuel is somewhat late for the earlier planes and his father, William, would not have made them.)




















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