LumberJocks

All Replies on PurpleHeart dining table Help Please!

  • Advertise with us
View AramM's profile

PurpleHeart dining table Help Please!

by AramM
posted 04-07-2021 01:20 PM


31 replies so far

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3816 posts in 2872 days


#1 posted 04-07-2021 02:00 PM

Of course it will cup if you heat one side. My suggestion is if the cupping is unacceptable you will need to re mill the table. I am saying rip the top back down to boards and plane them till flat. I would concentrate on the bottom.
I bet if you remove wood from the underside of the boards the top will straight out a bit .
For the color conundrum I would experiment with a purple dye . Purple Heart turns brown over time.

-- Aj

View SMP's profile (online now)

SMP

3932 posts in 980 days


#2 posted 04-07-2021 02:05 PM


.
For the color conundrum I would experiment with a purple dye . Purple Heart turns brown over time.

- Aj2

Yeah, lot of unnecessary stress for a brown table. Maple takes purple dye well if intent on a purple table.

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2614 posts in 1663 days


#3 posted 04-07-2021 02:58 PM

Since its a solid top and not veneer anytime the surface goes brown just give it a little sanding and freshen up the finish. This is easy if you use a soft finish like plain paste wax.

Heat both sides evenly. Finish both sides evenly.

Did you alternate ring direction on the glue up?

Tip:
Round those corners!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View avsmusic1's profile

avsmusic1

682 posts in 1760 days


#4 posted 04-07-2021 03:25 PM

just my feeling – the botchy color is a bigger issue than the cupping. I’d worry first about leveling out the color at this point.

I’m not very experienced with purpleheart but will it deepen in color on it’s own over time (like cherry)? It’s probably too late but i wouldn’t rush it if this is the natural progression. Also, if it tends to go brown (like padauk) then you could even consider coloring the finish

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

4427 posts in 2569 days


#5 posted 04-07-2021 04:06 PM

All that work for a temporary color change? No thank you.
https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/preventing-color-changes-in-exotic-woods/

+1 maple
This is only way I would make purple wood:

If C-channel is not stopping the cupping, then limited options exist to fix it. Likely have to rip boards into narrow widths, and attempt to balance the grain direction and stresses. The mix of flat sawn and rift sawn boards is not helping. It takes flat boards to make flat table top.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1764 posts in 801 days


#6 posted 04-07-2021 04:21 PM

If I was at this stage, I would get a weed burner
Flip the table over and do the bottom first. Burn in full length strokes from side to side just as if you were spraying a finish overlapping with each stroke, then final spot burning where needed to even color. I wouldn’t worry about overheating the glue joints.
Afterwards check the top and see if the cupping changed or got worse.
I have no idea what the wood will do, but when you do the top it may balance out.

Disclaimer: I’ve never done this. It’s just an idea. As I like to say, just food for thought.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3816 posts in 2872 days


#7 posted 04-07-2021 05:37 PM

I bet that top was close to grand. This reminds me of a post several years back a guy with very limited woodworking experience bought 2 k worth of Rough sawn walnut to make a table.
He asked to forum how to cobble together the wood without a jointer or planer. Just gotta admire the I can do anything sprit of Americans.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3013 posts in 3713 days


#8 posted 04-07-2021 06:07 PM

8/4 PH is $4.00/bf at Advantage Lumber Florida. It’s cheaper than Maple.

Should be nowhere near a grand.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#9 posted 04-07-2021 06:40 PM


Of course it will cup if you heat one side. My suggestion is if the cupping is unacceptable you will need to re mill the table. I am saying rip the top back down to boards and plane them till flat.
- Aj2

My blood pressure is rising! Seriously, I’m really grateful for all of you jumping in to help. This is where my inexperience shows.

I don’t think it’s bad enough to re-cut the boards and start from scratch. At least I want to try some science first to help it go back.


Heat both sides evenly. Finish both sides evenly.
- Madmark2

This is what I wanted to hear! Thank you Madmark2. This is what I want to pursue. It doesn’t need to be perfect, I just need it to go back enough to where an average person wouldnt confuse it for a skateboarding half-pipe. The table is for my own home, not a client.


All that work for a temporary color change? No thank you.
https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/preventing-color-changes-in-exotic-woods/

+1 maple
This is only way I would make purple wood:

- CaptainKlutz

I was really drawn to the color that purpleheart can look at it’s best. That was why I started this table.

Look at this color here!
https://youtu.be/p6kf_PIu3GU?t=190

So I really wanted the natural color. Dying another wood purple, to me wouldn’t look as elegant and might look a little more whimsical.

I know it browns after (5 years I think). That’s why I got the thick boards, My plan was to re-sand and finish again in 5 years. Working with this wood was just something I had to do.


8/4 PH is $4.00/bf at Advantage Lumber Florida. It s cheaper than Maple.
Should be nowhere near a grand.

- Ocelot

Yikes, I should’ve rented a van and gone to FL. I live in CA, and I paid a lot more than that! Well over a grand, but I have nearly 3ft cut offs from each of the 5 boards and I want to make a matching coffee table. The dining table is 48” x 80”

Anyways, Thank you all! I will keep you posted. I’m gonna put it out in the sun bottom up or heat gun and hope it goes back. Then finish roasting the top, then probably re-do the back again. This has been way more work than intended, and my wife is close to using the heat gun on me. but if it works out, I’ll be grateful.

Aram

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

543 posts in 4821 days


#10 posted 04-07-2021 06:42 PM

I have worked a little with Purpleheart. I would not take on a large project like a table top with it. It’s too unpredictable. In the past year I included some in two different cutting boards from the same piece of 8/4 Purpleheart. The wood from one end developed little hairline cracks all over the surface within a few weeks, while wood from the next section was just fine even after 6 months. The piece had been in my shop for well over a year. I remember when I was going through a large stack of it at the lumber supplier there was a substantial variance in color from one piece to the next, even from one end to the other. I have never seen Purpleheart look like it does in that video, if I didn’t know better it looks like he is spraying purple dye on it. But if it’s on the internet, it has to be real.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#11 posted 04-07-2021 06:45 PM

As for the blotchy color. It is hard to get a consistent color with the gun, but one swipe of 600 grit, and the charred particles go away and gets way more even. I think the color will be good in the end.

View SMP's profile (online now)

SMP

3932 posts in 980 days


#12 posted 04-07-2021 07:07 PM



Look at this color here!
https://youtu.be/p6kf_PIu3GU?t=190

So I really wanted the natural color. Dying another wood purple, to me wouldn t look as elegant and might look a little more whimsical.

- AramM

I think a purple table is going to look whimsical whether its painted, dyed, or made from purple legos. Its a purple table! Personally i would just do whatever is easiest and doesn’t require refinishing every couple years.

View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#13 posted 04-08-2021 09:36 PM

Fair enough.


I think a purple table is going to look whimsical whether its painted, dyed, or made from purple legos. Its a purple table! Personally i would just do whatever is easiest and doesn’t require refinishing every couple years.

- SMP


View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#14 posted 04-12-2021 05:24 AM

UPDATE on the drama*

Did a lot of reading, and feeling deep regret for attempting to burn a perfectly flat tabletop that I paid so much money for…

Everything pointed to the heating and drying of one side caused the table to cup upwards. I first tried some mild ways to dry the other side in hopes I would see slow progress bending back. I plastic wrapped the top side flipped it and then left a large fan blowing on it for days…..Nothing.

I clamped it and forced it flat, and left it in the sun….Nothing.

I tried to use a light touch with the heat gun. (Not enough to change the color) to dry….and wait for it…. Nothing.

Feeling deep regret, shame, and out of options, come monday, I was gonna take it to a pro whos got a CNC, and have him flatten it, probably having to remove up 1/4” along each side.

Then I remembered what Madmark2 said here…


Heat both sides evenly.

- Madmark2

I figured ‘what the hell’ I should at least try to burn the bottom side purple the exact same amount I did the top. I so took the gun and burned the heavily cupped zone on the underside, turned it purple while it was clamped straight. Then and got a beer, and started rethinking my life.

30 minutes later, I went out to bring the table inside, and clamps just SLID off! I couldn’t believe it! It worked! With burning the underside, I am able to surgically pinpoint the exact spots that are warped and bend it back! The table is almost perfectly flat now! There was 1/2” of a dip in the middle before. Just thought I’d share.

Now I have to make a decision, to finish burning the top, (then likely re-burn the bottom.) OR Sand off the purple I have done and finish the damn table.

Am I right to assume the clamps played a huge role in this? I am now thinking if I burn the top while clamped flat, it will not warp. I think the heat gun loosens the wood and it can be forced to re-tighten in a shape by clamp pressure, and stay that way? Do you guys know this to be true?

Here’s a guy filming this in action really quick. This is what I did….
https://youtu.be/jWDQGhLv-_k

All of you critiquing the purpleheart choice…are right. After doing this process. It seems like chasing these exotic bright colors is an amateurs game. But I am where I am.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

4427 posts in 2569 days


#15 posted 04-12-2021 01:34 PM

Do not beat yourself up to much. Nothing wrong with using Purple Heart with proper expectations.
Plus it is fun to use/learn about different woods.

Some projects make you stutter and drool when you see Purple Heart used:
Click for details

Your table will probably be stunning as well. :)

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#16 posted 04-13-2021 07:53 AM

Thank you! And wow that is by far the greatest workbench I’ve ever seen. Must weigh several tons. I really think purpleheart is one of the most stunning types of wood. It’s so cool.

For some reason the boards I bought had a uglier color. That is why I felt the need to enhance it with the heat. Some purpleheart it seems is more lavender/light purple color in the lumberyard. The color of this wood is really squirrely.

I’ve decided to continue burning the top while held straight in clamps. If this table makes it to the finish line, It’l be a miracle and I would never repeat these steps again. I’ll keep you posted.

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

6537 posts in 3384 days


#17 posted 04-13-2021 03:28 PM



Thank you! And wow that is by far the greatest workbench I ve ever seen. Must weigh several tons. I really think purpleheart is one of the most stunning types of wood. It s so cool.

For some reason the boards I bought had a uglier color. That is why I felt the need to enhance it with the heat. Some purpleheart it seems is more lavender/light purple color in the lumberyard. The color of this wood is really squirrely.

I ve decided to continue burning the top while held straight in clamps. If this table makes it to the finish line, It l be a miracle and I would never repeat these steps again. I ll keep you posted.

- AramM


Nice looking shop you have there.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#18 posted 04-13-2021 05:54 PM

Thanks, It’s my living room. haha.

I don’t have a shop, I just haul my tools outside for most projects. I am a musician by trade hence why i’m in over my head this time.

Nice looking shop you have there.

- AlaskaGuy


View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

3381 posts in 4602 days


#19 posted 04-13-2021 06:33 PM

I admire your ambition! You are certainly better at woodworking than non-musician woodworkers are at playing music.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3816 posts in 2872 days


#20 posted 04-13-2021 07:03 PM

I’m wondering what the chairs are going to look like. Are they going to be one color or are you going full rainbow

-- Aj

View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#21 posted 04-23-2021 10:12 AM

Finish line in sight, but not quite…

So after I got the warp to miraculously straighten out. I continue to burn the remainder of the top to get it all purple. This time in clamps. The clamps ended up helping but it still warped a little, not as much as the first round.

So I flipped it again, a second time. Clamped, and started burning the bottom to get it straighten out again. So much stress during this process as I hear cracking, and moving throughout. I got it unwarp a bit, but this time it wasn’t moving back so generously. The table was starting to get angry.

I decided I can live with the little cupping that’s there. I believe it’s not noticeable to an average person anymore. Although I won’t be able to fill my soups to the brim.

Then I filled the new cracks that appeared then did the fine sanding. It’s looking blotchy, but at least the color is good…

Finally time for the finish. I chose Odie’s Oil (first time trying it).

Only first coat so far, and it REALLY darkened the heck out of it, and the slight amber color in the finish, and in most oil finishes I thinks, pulled the color away from purple a bit, to more reddish!

This project was cursed for me and I’m quitting wood!

It looks really cool under strong light, there’s a lot of figure in the wood.

I don’t know what to do. What finish doesn’t darken and have yellow in it?

NOW I’m thinking to sand! Significant sanding…to remove the burned blotches, lighten it up as it gets back to natural color, flatten out the warp. Maaaaaaybe DYE this expensive Purpleheart violet?? It would have to be our secret if so.

What do you guys think?

This tongue drum from the internet, is the perfect PH color for me. Is there any chance to achieve this with my poorly chosen faded salmon color wood? I think this guy probably had better colored wood to start with, but I’m willing to try anything at this point.

Any input is greatly appreciated!

Aj2, I’ll build suspense for the chairs and legs till the very end.

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

543 posts in 4821 days


#22 posted 04-23-2021 12:52 PM

I don’t see anything wrong with the blotchy color, it’s what I would expect from purple heart. I have a couple of large pieces of 8/4 in my shop that are very purple and they are blotchy and nothing has have been done to them except for planing them. If you table will remain stable and relatively flat I think you were successful. It’s a beautiful table. Don’t give up on working with wood, just research more ahead of time, and stick with woods that are known to have characteristics suited for the project at hand.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

207 posts in 2434 days


#23 posted 04-23-2021 03:13 PM

If I were you I would leave it alone for a few months and see if the color evens out. In my opinion, using dye on it would be a bad idea and would probably make things worse. Dye is very unforgiving, especially if you haven’t used it before. Sanding and time can improve the blotchiness you have now. The blotchiness you would get from dying it would be 10x worse and you’d have to sand 10x deeper to fix it. I’ve never made a purpleheart table but my wife forced me to use it in several projects when we found out it was a thing… In those projects I found that using heat to bring back color was a shortcut that didn’t pay off. I could never get a consistent purple by heating it but over time it would usually even out. When I was patient and allowed the color to come in on it’s own the results were much better. It’s not fun waiting weeks or even a month or two, but the results were much better in my experience.

View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#24 posted 04-23-2021 05:50 PM

MikeUT, thanks for explaining that. Your experience in this specific field is really helpful.

northwoodsman, Thanks so much!

I’ll surrender to the blotchy-ness. However what I’m most annoyed by is the fact that I worked and stressed so hard to get that light brick/salmon color of the wood to turn purple. I wasn’t burning it so that it gets darker, the burning also changes the fundamental color to introduce those more blueish violet tones.

And then for the finish coat to take that away is unacceptable. If you see the first pics of my last post, (pre-finishing). Is there a good way to just re-do the finish and preserve that look? I was happy with the look before the finish.

So a finish that doesn’t darken as much, and doesn’t add yellow/blonde tones.

I hear a lot of people doing shellac and lacquer on PH, I’ve never used either, but aren’t also darkening and yellowing?

As far as dye… what about adding a small drop of violet dye to the new clear coat to tint slightly? Anyone done that?

Thanks again jocks!

View MisterZ's profile

MisterZ

10 posts in 12 days


#25 posted 04-23-2021 06:42 PM

I wouldn’t take on this project with Purpleheart but good luck to you. The suggestions to remill and use stain (not heat) are sound.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3013 posts in 3713 days


#26 posted 04-23-2021 06:50 PM

Shipwright did some experiments in the Arizona sun. The shelac on PH did very well. However many people say shelac is too soft for a table and if you serve alcoholic bevs, they will disolve the finish if spilled.

I have 100 bf of 8/4 PH on the lumber rack, so I’m interested in this problem.

Look at that test.

-Paul

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View SMP's profile (online now)

SMP

3932 posts in 980 days


#27 posted 04-23-2021 07:20 PM

You can get good results with GF waterbased high performance poly. Oil based finishes tend to add yellow and/or yellow with age. The putpleheart is going to turn brown over time so not really a big deal, but the water based will look better for at least the meantime.

View AramM's profile

AramM

11 posts in 37 days


#28 posted 04-30-2021 04:45 AM

Ocelot , thanks for linking those tests that Shipwright posted.

Outdoor exposure not being an issue, I thought the epoxy finish highlighted the PH color best. I wonder what product he used.

Given my living room woodshop situation… I had to call it a day with this table for now. Here it is…

In a month or so, I plan to sand and re-finish. I’m determined to get it really vibrant purple. It’s just not what I pictured it to be. Sanding should lighten it up as removes some of the burned blotches.

My plan is to tint the clear finish a light violet, to help the color a long a bit.

I plan to do a few tests on scrap, I want to test GF waterbased poly, and this shellac+lacquer combo.

I’m leaning towards clear shellac, followed by lacquer. It’s most common advice I read about when it comes to PH.

One thing I’m not understanding. Since shellac isn’t great for protection…Why would people use shellac under lacquer?? I don’t understand the benefit. Wouldn’t just lacquer on bare wood seal the pores and protect even better?

View CWWoodworking's profile

CWWoodworking

1735 posts in 1253 days


#29 posted 04-30-2021 10:51 AM

Some people use shellac under WB because it doesn’t raise the grain. Then you can start with your WB.

Under regular lacquer, I dunno. I guess they use it for tinting or a sanding sealer. You can do the same with regular lacquer though. IMO it’s a poor sanding sealer.

I would spray the purple as a stain before toning. Putting it in the top coat is just to add depth. Not to get full color.

View BigMig's profile

BigMig

616 posts in 3688 days


#30 posted 04-30-2021 03:24 PM

If you use shellac under another finish (which you should do for a table top), you must use DEWAXED shellac – so Waterlox or whatever you’re putting on top of the shellac will bond to the shellac.

Shellac with wax won’t take anything else on top…FYI

-- Mike from Lansdowne, PA

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3816 posts in 2872 days


#31 posted 04-30-2021 05:23 PM

People use shellac under finishing because they are sheep. There’s no reason to build a finish on top of shellac unless you were using it to control staining wood that blotchy.
Cool table not my cup of tea but cool.
Good Luck

-- Aj

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com