Sunday, May 15, 2016

Narcissus Restoration Update - Part 4 - Exterior Poplar Frames 5-11-2016

Original Narcissus exterior poplar frames in the foreground with the mock-up
behind them. PWM

This is the fourth post in the series following Seashore Trolley Museum volunteer, Lary Shaffer, at his woodworking shop at Scarborough Marsh Fine Furniture, as he uses vintage poplar supplied by Rousseau Reclaimed in South Portland, ME to repair original exterior frames and make replacement exterior frames that were missing on the 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban, Narcissus. The historic Narcissus is currently in Seashore Trolley Museum's Town House Restoration Shop where its exterior is being fully restored.

This post has Lary doing the various cuts needed on the repaired frames and the newly built replacement frames. These cuts are done in a specific order. There are several different jigs that Lary built to hold the frames as they go through the shaper with various blades, in various positions as they are used to make the complicated contours necessary to match the originals.

Each half of an poplar arch is secured to the body of the
Narcissus with a screw that it counter sunk. Here you see
where Lary has tuned a vintage piece of poplar into a dowel
that he then glues into place to repair the hole made in
order to remove the original slotted-head, steel screw
that had rusted into place. PWM
After wooden dowel sanded down

Orignal exterior poplar frames
that have each had their ends
repaired. Each new end will
need to be shaped, then put
through several steps to cut the
contours to match the original.
New left and rights of the exterior
poplar frames made from
vintage poplar. Each of these
will next be shaped, then put
through several steps to cut the
contours to match the original
frames. PWM

The Narcissus as it waits to be moved into Seashore Trolley Museum's Town House
Restoration Shop in Kennebunkport, ME on May 20, 2015. You can see where two exterior
poplar arches come together with their horizontal extensions (tails). The ends of each of the
half arches are clearly missing. Each of the 14 full arches has a left and right "half". Two
complete arches (four halves) were missing. Lary Shaffer replicated them by using vintage
reclaimed poplar, supplied by Rousseau Reclaimed in South Portland, ME. Only four original
ends of the arches survived and were saved through restoration. Lary Shaffer made twenty-four new
ends from vintage poplar and attached them to the repaired original arch halves. PWM
Each of the newly made exterior arch halves, as well as each of the newly attached repaired ends to the original halves, will go through several steps to cut the contours into the vintage poplar to match the originals.

The first step is to have each of the newly made full, half arches (blanks) and the new ends added to the original arches, take turns on the jig and have their excess vintage poplar material removed by passing them through the shaper.

The second step is rounding over the top arched edge by passing them through a special router before the third step, which is to then place the arch on one of the specially made jigs for the shaper that will cut the channel that will hold several small vertical sheathing pieces on the exterior of the Narcissus.

Lary Shaffer guiding a new exterior
half arch through the shaper on a
specially designed jig that will have
the cutters remove excess vintage
poplar and shape the blank to the
specs of the original half arches
from the Narcissus. PWM
New end on an
exterior half arch
repair. PWM

Lary Shaffer pointing to the
channel cut into one of the new
exterior arch halves of the
Narcissus. PWM
Freshly cut channel in the new
end of a repaired original
exterior poplar arch half for the
Narcissus. PWM

One of the new exterior poplar arch halves for the Narcissus waiting for its
turn on the next jig to receive its next shaper cut. PWM

Channel cut on inside of new
exterior poplar arch half.
This channel will hold
the mahogany sash frame
of the ornate leaded
stained glass window. PWM
Channel cut on inside of new end
repair of the 
original exterior
poplar arch.  
This channel
will hold 
the mahogany
sash frame 
of the ornate
stained glass
window. PWM

This next step is the most challenging cut. Removing wood from the outside while rounding over the transition to the center cut of each arch.

The complicated cut on the right of this original exterior poplar arch frame half
is clearly visible. There are still a couple more steps for each arch to go
through before each frame has had all the necessary cuts. The 90-degree
cut seen here in the upper left side of the frame will need to be made on all
the new frames and the repair ends. Also, barely visible in this image at the
bottom of the image, is the lap-over extension. This is where the top of each
half arched frame is connected.

The unique cutter set up to
for the shaper to
accommodate the specially
made jig to make the
challenging cut on the
exterior poplar arch frames.
Lary Shaffer guiding the jig
along the shaper making the
challenging cut. PWM

Second time through to
make the final cut. PWM
The finished product :)

One of the original exterior poplar arch halves with its original ends repaired.

To help the original end pieces hold together, a hole was drilled, then filled
with a vintage poplar dowel seen in the end center of the end. PWM

Click Here to view the first post in the arched poplar frames work series and to see Lary Shaffer's bio.
Click Here to view the second post in the arched poplar frames work series.
Click Here to view the third post in the arched poplar frames work series.
Click Here to view the first post on the mahogany sash and passenger windows work
Click Here to view the post on leaded stained glass window work
Click Here to view the post on the Reclaimed Vintage lumber supplied by Rousseau Reclaimed

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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