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Have you ever gone looking for real world answers to questions about exotic woods? "Difficult to machine" is not my idea of an answer. "Run your drill press at its highest speed to avoid chip out" is. I made some cribbage boards out of african padauk. I never did manage to get the tiny pits out of it no matter how I sanded it. But 2 coats of a clear danish oil finish and wow! The deep redish tones of the wood warmed your heart to look at it. Then I read that after applying my black paint marker lines I am supposed to apply a clear top coat to protect them. What can I use over the danish oil? I never did find an answer so I gambled and used Minwax clear gloss polyurethane spray. It worked like a champ. Mind you I let the oil finish dry for 2 weeks before trying that.
I have some purpleheart, brazilian cherry and zebrawood to work with. If anybody has any tips about working with these woods please let me know.

Mike
 

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Hey Mike,
I have worked with purpleheart in the past. It is a pretty dense wood that has a severe blunting effect on your cutting tools. It also is prone to chip-out. For those reasons, I quit using it. The zebrawood is a pretty easy wood to work with. It is kind of difficult to plane. It tends to get "fuzzy" when you do. Sanding will take care of that. I use zebrawood all the time.
Good Luck,
Kevin
 
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