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View willhime's profile

Purpleheart turns brown

by willhime
posted 01-12-2018 07:20 AM


7 replies so far

View Bob5103's profile

Bob5103

147 posts in 1373 days


#1 posted 01-12-2018 12:13 PM

Brown or a very dark maroon is the “normal” color for purpleheart. There is a ton of good information here about trying to control the color: http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/purpleheart.htm

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2901 posts in 3054 days


#2 posted 01-12-2018 12:54 PM

I’ve used purpleheart extensively in some of my guitars and other things.
I’ve always found that if you get a brown color from cutting or sanding, just let it sit about a day in open air, and the oxygen in the air will turn it purple again. I’ve done this many times, and it always works. Not sunlight, just open air, like on the bench in your shop.

I know I have guitars out there that I build 5-6 years ago with purpleheart, finished in Tru-Oil or Lacquer, and they are still purple. Darkened maybe a bit, but still purple.
Have no idea why beeswax would turn it brown, but I bet if you wiped it off with a bit of alcohol, it would turn purple again.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View shipwright's profile (online now)

shipwright

8399 posts in 3337 days


#3 posted 01-12-2018 03:21 PM

Purpleheart is brown inside. Only the outside bit is purple and you sanded through that. As Tennessee says, if left alone a day or two it will “bloom” purple again. ....... and then slowly head in the direction of deep red brown over time.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

1243 posts in 2535 days


#4 posted 01-12-2018 03:27 PM

I saw a video online where a guy used the heat from a propane torch to accelerate the oxidation of the purple heart and turn it purple again in seconds. It was on a turned piece so it was easier to keep the heat moving evenly. Don’t try it on the per now that there is beeswax on it. The wax will ignite. Don’t put it in the oven either.

If it waspurple immediately before waxing, it is possible something re acted with the purple pigment.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

3002 posts in 1762 days


#5 posted 01-12-2018 03:55 PM

PH will do what it wants. As with most colorful woods, the intense colors will react to exposure from air and UV light. There is usually a short term (few days) effect and then a long term (years) effect. I have read that PH usually turns brown long term, but occasionally there are pieces that retain the purple, although muted from the original.

View AlmostRetired's profile

AlmostRetired

220 posts in 1254 days


#6 posted 01-12-2018 05:20 PM

I’m with bbasiaga about the heat. I read it somewhere and tried it on a cutting board I made for my wife’s grandmother and it came out great. Slowly used a dewalt heat gun to bloom that color back out….still bright purple today after applying some salad bowl finish.

View mramseyISU's profile

mramseyISU

578 posts in 2085 days


#7 posted 01-12-2018 09:26 PM



PH will do what it wants. As with most colorful woods, the intense colors will react to exposure from air and UV light. There is usually a short term (few days) effect and then a long term (years) effect. I have read that PH usually turns brown long term, but occasionally there are pieces that retain the purple, although muted from the original.

- splintergroup

That’s my experience as well. It turns brown right after I mill it and then it goes back to purple and eventually it turns brown again.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

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