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How do you keep purple, and how can you get the purple back?
 

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Jerry, the secret is to avoid UV light from the sun or fluorescent lighting and use a UV inhibiting finish. Even so purpleheart will fade with time to a milk chocolate color, similar to the way cherry darkens with age. You can freshen the color a bit by sanding off the outer layer but it is a losing battle. For those who have not worked with purpleheart it is comparable to walnut for ease of machining at a fraction of the price. It is an excellent choice for projects and the low cost sure helps. If you buy purpleheart you can sit it in the sun to rapidly reduce the bright purple color to a subdued purplish tint.

Purpleheart, yellowheart and redheart are all excellent choices for turning.
 

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Purpleheart is an increasingly popular wood for workbenches, especially for hand tool users who are looking for a heavy bench.

Depending upon the genus/species of purpleheart and hard maple, purpleheart is 20-40% denser (50-70 #/ft3, SG= .80-1.12) and 30-70% harder than hard maple.

IOW, a 4"x3'x7' bench top would weigh in at between 350 and 490#.

Source: Exotic Hardwood Lumber and Wood Supplies | WoodworkersSource.com
 

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I have had good luck storing purpleheart or purpleheart constructions out of direct sunlight. Once the purple's gone, though, I don't think you can get it back.
 

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How do you keep purple, and how can you get the purple back?
Jerry,

You can take a heat gun or blow dryer to it and it will turn the prettiest purple you ever seen. Keep the blow dryer moving fast or the color will be uneven. You can also put it in a heated oven for a couple of minutes.

Greg
 

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Thank you all for your responses, I will try the heat gun thing. What is a good finish that has UV protection?
 

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Most polyurethanes are good on UV protection. I have had good luck with the General Finishes products. I used their High performance Poly on a couple of purpleheart/yellowheart pieces and the color is good going on 3 years.
 

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Hmm.. very interesting, Greg...
 

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Most polyurethanes are good on UV protection. I have had good luck with the General Finishes products. I used their High performance Poly on a couple of purpleheart/yellowheart pieces and the color is good going on 3 years.
Yes very interesting, I use wipe on poly from Minwax and will check it out.
 

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That's interesting about the color. I've made quite a few pens from purple heart. I will use Hut friction polish applied while the blank is spinning and get it warm with a cloth so the polish melts into the wood. If I had one that is loosing it's color I would set it on a window sill for a day or so and the color comes back.
 
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