Thursday, April 28, 2016

Narcissus Restoration Update - Part 3 - Exterior Poplar Frames 4-22-2016

A complete "half" of one newly built exterior poplar arched frame
for the 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban, Narcissus, sits on top of a
few frame segments. The segments will be assembled following the addition of
"fingers", gluing, and planing. Each complete "half" arched frame will then have
turns on three specially-made "jigs" and will make several passes along shaper
where special blades that will then shape the arched frame with contours and
grooves to match the graceful lines of the original poplar arched frames of the
This Narcissus Blog post is the third in a series that relates to the exemplary woodwork being done with the exterior poplar arched frames by Seashore Trolley Museum member/volunteer, Lary Shaffer. The exterior poplar arched frames hold the mahogany sash/frames that contain the ornate leaded stained glass windows that are above each pair of passenger windows, with the exception of, on the No. 2 end, where there is a single-sash window (The No. 2 end of the Narcissus is affectionately referred to as the "Teddy End". For it is from the open train-door on the No. 2 end, from whence Theodore Roosevelt waved to the assembled crowd of residents of Gray, Maine on August 18, 1914).
 Lary is working on the poplar arch frames in his
Scarborough Marsh Fine Furniture woodworking shop.

Click Here to view the first post in this series and to see Lary's bio.
                            Click Here to view the second post in this series.

There are thirteen passenger windows along each side of the Narcissus. Twelve "double-sash" or pairs of windows and one single sash/window. There is an arched wooden frame on the exterior of the Narcissus over each single or each pair of windows. Each of the poplar arched frames is made up of a combination of a left and right "half", and a "tail that extends from the top of the frame and runs parallel with the body of the car. These are an extremely complicated design. In addition, the original deign had each half of the arches made from one solid piece of poplar board. This use of one single board would prove to be a design flaw that resulted in the tips of the ends of each arched half failing.
The flaw in the design relates to the grain of the poplar wood from a single board. The direction of the grain of the poplar in the final two or three inches at the tips of each arched frame is structurally the "weak link", and virtually every end had broken away from every single poplar arched frame section. Good fortune had two broken end pieces nailed into place. Having these allowed Lary to have one complete set of the two halves intact....although in pieces. with these intact arches, he could then create a wooden pattern to use as he developed the plan to repair the ends of fifty "halves" of arched frames and to rebuild four halves completely. 

The large leaded stained glass "eyebrows" in their mahogany sash over each
pair of passenger windows (double sash) being held by the exterior
arched poplar frames with the "tails" extending left and right from
the top of each arch. STM image edited by PWM

An original arched frame half in need of repair. PWM

The "jig" designed by Lary Shaffer to align each arched half
so that each will be cut on the same line in the arch for a
consistent sized end replacement repair piece made from
vintage poplar. PWM

Lary Shaffer using the shaper table to cut "fingers" into the end of one of the
new vintage poplar arched frame segments that will be used to to replace
missing frames of the Narcissus. PWM

Lary shaffer holding the jig he made to hold an arched frame half segment
to have its "fingers" cut by the knives on the shaper table. Lary had to make
several different jigs to be used on the shaper table for the various segments
made to repair and or build the complicated design of exterior arched frame
of the Narcissus. PWM
Finding wood materials for the restoration that are as close to those used originally is very important. The Museum is very fortunate to have found a local supplier in southern Maine that has had great success supplying the Museum with period wood for previous restorations like the 1906 electric locomotive, Atlantic Shore Line No. 100. John Rousseau of Rousseau Reclaimed Lumber (formerly Barnstormers) has been able to supply the Town House Restoration Shop with some wonderful vintage Poplar for use by Lary to repair/rebuild the exterior Poplar frames of the Narcissus.

Three, of the fifty arched frames with the vintage poplar wood in place. Each
of these arches will have turns on three specially-made shapers prior to
several passes 
along special router blades that will then shape the new arched
frame ends with contours 
and grooves to match the graceful lines of the original
arched frames of the Narcissus. PWM

An Original poplar arched frame from Narcissus in a vise waiting for the glued "fingers" that now
connect the original poplar to the new vintage poplar end. PWM

The first video (below) has Lary explaining creating and using a couple of the shapers. And use of the router table with different blades.

The second video (below) has Lary assessing the block of vintage poplar for where to make the cut for the new section of frame, then squaring it up.

The third video (below) has Lary explaining the assembly of the segments.

The fourth video (below) has Lary gluing the fingered segments together, then planing a completed "new" half arches frame.

Click Here - to see Part 1 of the exterior poplar frame work
Click Here - to see Part 2 of the exterior poplar frame work

Part four of this series will be released after Lary has completed repairs to all original arched frame ends (50) and finished building three complete sets of arches. When all the above is done, we will video Lary attaching and "running" a left and a right complete half through the various router knives on the various jigs made for the shaper.

Please Consider Making a Donation to the Narcissus Restoration Project - See Options Below

Mark your calendars (purchase your Friday-opening tickets in advance) and plan to attend the 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days Event July 21-23, 2017

A Benefit Event For the Narcissus Project!

Click Here: First Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - W. S. Libbey's 1908 Stanley Steamer
Click Here: Second Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - Suzanne Buzby Hersey - "My Maine"
Click Here: Third Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - Wade Zahares - Artist

More details on the celebration will be announced soon.
The Friday activity requires a ticket to be purchased in
advance. There is limited seating for the Friday gala
opening activity. Saturday and Sunday are
general admission public offerings at

The Narcissus Project Blog was created in April 2015 for the purpose of reaching out to a large number of folks through the power of social media to introduce them to the Narcissus. The Narcissus is a luxury, high-speed, wooden electric interurban. The Narcissus was built in 1912 in Laconia, NH and operated on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, in Maine, between Portland and Lewiston, from 1914 into 1933. Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914. The blog posts appeal to folks with an interest in Theodore Roosevelt's connection to Maine, to folks generally interested in regional/local history, as well as those folks within the greater railway family. Hopefully, these posts will endear many of the readers to help support the Narcissus financially, as it undergoes a complete restoration over the next few years at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. 

We Did It!! 

$40,000 Raised!

Your Donations to the Narcissus Combined to Achieve the Goal Set Nineteen Months Ago. Raise $40,000 for the Narcissus to Meet the Challenge of the Matching Grant from the 

This brings the Combined Total Amount of Donations to the
Narcissus, based on the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation's matching grants to $100,000!  

The $40,000 donation will be the 2nd donation to the Narcissus from the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation as a result of successfully raising funds for a matching grant. A previous $10,000 matching grant challenge was achieved in 2014.

Donations made to the Narcissus Fund 816-A, for the remainder of 2017 and until further notice,
 will be used for work and materials needed to restore the interior of the Narcissus.

See below for Donation options -

It starts with YOU....
Your Donation Matters....
Make a Donation TODAY....

Please Help the Narcissus
Donations are now being raised to restore the interior of the Narcissus.

Donation Options to Help Restore the Narcissus:

The New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS)
is the 501c3 organization that owns and operates the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME and the National Streetcar
The NEERHS is registered with the IRS (EIN# 01-0244457) and was incorporated in Maine in 1941.

Check or Money Order ***** should be made payable to:
New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS)
In the memo please write: Narcissus Fund 816-A
Mail to: Seashore Trolley Museum
              P. O. Box A
              Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Credit Card ***** donations can be a one-time donation or you
may choose to have a specific amount charged to your card
automatically on a monthly basis. Please contact the Museum bookkeeper, Connie, via email at or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5.

Online Donations - may be made by using a Credit Card: 
Click Here to make an online donation through the Museum's website - When at the Donation page: Fill in donor info, etc., when at "To which fund are you donating? Scroll down to "Other" and type in: 816-A Narcissus, then continue on filling in the required information.

Click Here for PayPal - to make an online donation: you can use email: and in the message box write:
For Narcissus fund 816-A

Donation of Securities ***** We also accept donations of
securities. You can contact the Museum bookkeeper, Connie, via email at or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5,
for brokerage account information for accepting donated securities.

BONUS ***** If you work for a company/corporation that will
"match" an employee's donation to an approved 501c3 non-profit,
educational, organization, please be sure to complete the necessary paperwork with your employer so that your donation is matched :)

Questions? ***** Please contact Narcissus project manager:
Phil Morse, or call 207-985-9723 - cell.

Thank You :)

Thank You to our Current Funding Partners
20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2017/2014 Matching Grant Challenges
Thornton Academy (Saco, ME) - Staff & Alumni - Matching Grant Challenge 2014
* New England Electric Railway Historical Society (Kennebunkport, ME) - Member Donations
Amherst Railway Society - 2015 Heritage Grant
National Railway Historical Society - 2016 & 2015 Heritage Preservation Grants
Enterprise Holding Foundation - 2015 Community Grant
Theodore Roosevelt Association - Member Donations
John Libby Family Association and Member Donations
* The Conley Family - In Memory of Scott Libbey 2017/2016/2015
The W. S. Libbey Family - Awalt, Conley, Graf, Holman, Libbey, McAvoy, McLaughlin, Meldrum, O'Halloran, Salto, - 2017
* The Hughes Family 2017/2016/2010
New Gloucester Historical Society and Member Donations
Gray Historical Society and Member Donations
Gray Public Library Association - Pat Barter Speaker Series
* IBM - Matching Employee/Retiree Donations
* Fidelity Charitable Grant - Matching Employee Donations
* Richard E. Erwin Grant - 2017/2016
Seal Cove Auto Museum

The Narcissus, with interior back-lit, stained glass windows are majestic.
Make a donation today to help restore the interior of this Maine gem.
Help Theodore Roosevelt's Maine Ride get back on track! Once restored,
you will be able to ride in luxury on this National Historic Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.
PWM photo

Please Consider Making a Donation to the Narcissus Restoration Project. We are currently raising funds to restore the interior of this Maine gem.

Various News stories during the summer of 2015 about the
Narcissus and its connection to Theodore Roosevelt. TR
was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914.

Click Here to See the list of All Previous Blog Posts - 100-Plus

Link to Libb(e)y Family connections

Click Here - Portland Public Library Presentation - History of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - W. S. Libbey - The Man and His Mill
Click Here - W. S. Libbey - His 1908 Stanley Steamer K 30-hp Semi-Racer
Click Here - W. Scott Libbey's 1908 Stanley Steamer History to be Featured - July 21, 2017
Click Here - Scrapbook Celebrates the People of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - May 18, 1914, Newspaper Story on the Passing of PLI Builder, W. Scott Libbey
Click Here - 102nd Anniversary of the Opening of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - 83rd anniversary of the Closing of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - Sophia, W. S. Libbey Descendant Visits the Narcissus
Click Here - Libb(e)y Family Connection to Narcissus becomes Personal
Click Here - Ode To the Grand Old Interurban
Click Here - The Portland-Lewiston Interurban "Bouquet" is Ordered (1912)

Links to Narcissus Restoration Work:
Click Here - Ornate Leaded Stained Glass Work
Click Here - Narcissus Enters Town House Restoration Shop
Click Here - Sorting and Cleaning Materials on Interior of the Narcissus
Click Here - September 7, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - December 7, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - December 14, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - Beautiful Brass of the Narcissus
Click Here - December 28, 2015 Restoration Update
Click Here - January 4, 2016, Restoration Update
Click Here - Vallee Family Photos of Narcissus 1960s
Click Here - February 11, 2016, Restoration Update
Click Here - A Wooden Interurban - Restoration Info
Click Here - NRHS 2016 Heritage Grant Award to Narcissus
Click Here - Announcement of 2016 Teddy Roosevelt Days Fundraising Event for the Narcissus
Click Here - Series of Restoration Posts related to work on exterior poplar frames
Click Here - Vintage Poplar used in Narcissus restoration
Click Here - Mahogany Sash passenger windows being restored
Click Here - "A President Has Ridden in My House!" - Video of Dan Vallee
Click Here - Teddy Roosevelt Days 2016 - Weekend Event Benefits the Narcissus
Click Here - August 2016 Restoration Update
Click Here - Mid-September Restoration Update
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt & the Narcissus: Connecting Maine Communities
Click Here - How to Make New Seats for the Narcissus?
Click Here - 2016 Summary of Research and Outreach
Click Here - 2016 Restoration Summary

Narcissus - July 31, 2015. Make a donation today. 
 Help Theodore Roosevelt's Maine Ride get back on track!
Once restored, you will be able to ride in luxury on this
National Historic Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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