First experience with purple heart

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Project by JackFriday posted 12-23-2015 06:22 PM 1417 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife wanted a spice rack and I had just gotten a killer deal on an assortment of small stock from a friend. I have seen projects made from Purple Heart but never worked with it. Imagine my surprise when it turned brown when I milled it down. Rats!
Well when in doubt “Google”.
Thus began my second first, coloring wood with a propane torch. Hmmm. I guess flame + wood doesn’t always equal black :)
I then hand burnished the purple heart with 000 steel wool and finished the whole thing with spray spar urethane. De-nibbed with 400 and butcher block wax. Not exactly conventional but it looks good and my wife loves it :)

5 comments so far

View JimRochester's profile


578 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 12-23-2015 08:53 PM

Purpleheart along with Padauk are my favorite accent woods. Both will darken but purpleheart can be especially finicky in the sander. Very nice project and good use of the wood. A soldier told me when he was stationed in Iraq, purpleheart was all over the place. Apparently it likes the hot climates.

-- Schooled in the advanced art of sawdust and woodchip manufacturing.

View bamaboy's profile


30 posts in 4864 days

#2 posted 12-23-2015 10:03 PM

I also love purpleheart and it can really cause problems with sanding and turning dust. As to the issue with color.. a friend told me to put the boards in direct sunlight for several hours and it brings out the dark purple color. I did this several times as I cut different pieces of my project and it worked great.

View LoganN's profile


489 posts in 3360 days

#3 posted 12-24-2015 02:41 AM

Looks great!
I always use a heat gun to turn it purple – set it on a medium high heat and move it slowly over the wood and the purple comes out

View Ivan's profile


17283 posts in 4326 days

#4 posted 12-24-2015 03:58 PM

Nice rack, this wood colour is realy something.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View OG51's profile


157 posts in 1570 days

#5 posted 02-15-2018 02:12 AM

Beautiful piece. I love working with purple heart but like any hardwood it will darken with age. In this case to a purplish tinged brown. Still beautiful in its own way but not that bright purple when freshly cut.

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