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

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

Original 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.

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
halfis 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

The 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 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

Click on: "Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride," to learn about the young reader historical fiction chapter book due for release this fall. Proceeds will benefit the Narcissus Project :)

Please Consider a Donation to the Narcissus Project
to help us tell the incredible story of the Narcissus through the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project.
Thank You

   Inside the Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop, the Narcissus is in the midst of major work as we strive to complete its restoration. With our estimate to have the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Narcissus in the fall of 2021, we are now planning the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project. Donations to the Narcissus Project may be used in the future to help tell the incredible 100-plus-year-old story of the Narcissus. Your donation to the Narcissus is helping to make the dream of the project's success, a reality.

The 2015 publication of, The Illustrated Atlas
of Maine's Street & Electric Railways
1863-1946, was published by the Library
at Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport.
Copies are available for purchase from the

Seashore Trolley Museum, - Museum of Mass Transit, is celebrating its 80th Birthday year in 2019! 
Special Events are scheduled  - Public operations start on May 4, 2019. 
Click Here for the 2019 Events & Special Activities for the 80th Anniversary Season, with hot links

Click Here for 2019 Special Events 

Click Here for 80th Anniversary Year - Seashore Trolley Museum 1939-2019 post
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year -A Look Back at the 50s - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year - A Look Back at the 60s  - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year -A Look Back at the '70s - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for The Birth of Seashore Trolley Museum Blog Post
Click Here for STM's Ten National Register of Historic Places Electric Railway Vehicles post
Click Here for 1901 Tower C Boston Elevated Railway to STM in 1975
Click Here for No. 38 - 1906 Manchester & Nashua Street Railway - Acquired March 21, 1940
Click Here for No. 60 - 1895 Manchester Street Railway - Acquired April 11, 1941
Click Here for No. 4387 - 1918 Eastern Mass. Street Railway - Acquired August 29, 1946
Click Here for No. 100 - 1906 Atlantic Shore Line Railway - Acquired 1949
Click Here for No. 108 - 1904 Portsmouth, Dover & York Street Railway - Acquired 1949
Click Here for No. 14 Narcissus 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban - Acquired 1969

See below for Donation options -

It starts with YOU
Your Donation Matters
Make a Donation TODAY

Please Help the Narcissus. 

Donation Options to Help the Narcissus Project:

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 for our Current Funding Partners
20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2018 - Major Gift, 2017/2014 Matching Grants
Mass Bay RRE - 2018 Railroad Preservation Grant 
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 2018/2017/2016/2015
* The W. S. Libbey Family - Awalt, Conley, Graf, Holman, Libbey, McAvoy, McLaughlin, Meldrum, O'Halloran, Salto, - 2018/2017
* 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
* LogMein - Matching Employee Donation
* IBM - Matching Employee/Retiree Donations
* Fidelity Charitable Grant - Matching Employee Donations
* Richard E. Erwin Grant - 2017/2016

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 Register Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.
PWM photo

Please Consider Making a Donation to the project of the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus. We are currently raising funds to tell the incredible story 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 - Index

The 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
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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