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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,
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