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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for your insight and experience on working with Purple Heart. The more I research it the more contradictions I find. With that said before I start my first project with Purple Heart, give me a heads up/how to and what worked for you. Thanks in advance...... pic's would be nice.
 

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I love working with purple heart. It is really hard and it carves beautifully in my cnc. It is heavy and finishes really well with tung oil which is my favorite finish.

You will need sharp tools to work with it. My next project is a chess board with purple heart and white limba.

It oxidizes to a dark brown with purplish overtones.

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Table Wood Drawer Rectangle Wood stain
 

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I don't use it very much because it eventually turns brown. I do use it for splines at the corners of frames. It is very tight grain and the contrast looks nice on lighter frames, and blends well with darker finishes. I is pretty pricey stuff and hard to get where I live. I think it keeps its color better after finishing and sealing. It is really beautiful though for accents. legs on a fancy box, or a handle, or a fitted top to a box. I am always very careful cutting it to avoid tearout. Always use a sacrificial piece to back it up. Used in frame splines, I use it oversized and trim it with a really sharp Japanese saw. You have to be careful with sanding because it's often harder than the rest of the frame, which is why I'm so careful with that pull saw. I've occasionally put tape on the frame to protect it from any OOPSIE with the saw|

I also have a shop made jig just for cutting 1/8th inch splines. It adjusts for spacing for the spline or splines. The sled moves on rails that fit in the table saw's miter slots. Precision, baby! Here tis.

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Purpleheart is on sale for 50% off this month at Woodcraft!!!
wow. I had not realized how pricey purple heart has gotten. I have the luxury I can order it at my (relatively) local lumber shop and pay local wood store prices but I am assuming the price has gone up since last I bought (about a year ago). Out of curiosity I went online to check the lumber prices at the woodshop. Really weird, some went up but some went down.

This is my daily use mallet. I've had it about 6 years and you can see how it's oxidized. If you take it out in the sun you can see a glint of purple in it. Poly finish on this piece.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A friend of mine builds cue sticks... he built a cue shaft out of purpleheart for me... it was designed as a jump/break stick... perfect for that application!
Purpleheart is on sale for 50% off this month at Woodcraft!!!
+1 on the sale at Woodcraft. Like everything the price is high but Great quality both looks and milling wise. It was a wow for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I love working with purple heart. It is really hard and it carves beautifully in my cnc. It is heavy and finishes really well with tung oil which is my favorite finish.

You will need sharp tools to work with it. My next project is a chess board with purple heart and white limba.

It oxidizes to a dark brown with purplish overtones.

View attachment 402070 View attachment 402071
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't use it very much because it eventually turns brown. I do use it for splines at the corners of frames. It is very tight grain and the contrast looks nice on lighter frames, and blends well with darker finishes. I is pretty pricey stuff and hard to get where I live. I think it keeps its color better after finishing and sealing. It is really beautiful though for accents. legs on a fancy box, or a handle, or a fitted top to a box. I am always very careful cutting it to avoid tearout. Always use a sacrificial piece to back it up. Used in frame splines, I use it oversized and trim it with a really sharp Japanese saw. You have to be careful with sanding because it's often harder than the rest of the frame, which is why I'm so careful with that pull saw. I've occasionally put tape on the frame to protect it from any OOPSIE with the saw|

I also have a shop made jig just for cutting 1/8th inch splines. It adjusts for spacing for the spline or splines. The sled moves on rails that fit in the table saw's miter slots. Precision, baby! Here tis.

View attachment 402072
Thanks
 

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I did forget to ask but,...

what cool project are you making out of purple heart?

It is not the perfect lumber to work with as mentioned above. It is really dense and that makes it somewhat brittle. You really need sharp tools. Dull blades will create burn marks and they are bear to remove. But you might get addicted to it. It is one of my favorite species.

Also see if it causes an allergic reaction on skin contact. It doesn't for me but other exotic hard woods are with skin irritation on contact to the sawdust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did forget to ask but,...

what cool project are you making out of purple heart?

It is not the perfect lumber to work with as mentioned above. It is really dense and that makes it somewhat brittle. You really need sharp tools. Dull blades will create burn marks and they are bear to remove. But you might get addicted to it. It is one of my favorite species.

Also see if it causes an allergic reaction on skin contact. It doesn't for me but other exotic hard woods are with skin irritation on contact to the sawdust.
Thanks for the info on the wood. Cool project(s) well one I wanted to work with purple heart it was second on the list after walnut. I work with a couple of guys who are Big LSU fans and will likely do a blue tooth speaker box if they can get past the sticker shock. Also box accents and picture frames.
 

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You can't beat walnut. Walnut is my favorite of all time species to work with. Sadly the biggest increase in price at my local woodshop was walnut. Not exactly sure why. It went up several dollars a board foot. Surprisingly, mahogany went down a few dollars a board foot. Again no clue why.

At some point I have to brave my 100+ degree garage shop and make something. I have several flute blanks cut (in purple heart) and who knows what the humidity has done to them. They have been sitting there for a month or two. Its been hot and humid here.
 
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