Another Purpleheart color question

Last week I posted a question regarding how to preserve or even enhance the color of some purpleheart I'm using with my kids for accents (miter keys) on SWMBO's Xmas gift. Many suggested avoiding UV light and staying away from oil-based finishes. One responder suggested heating it up in a 250 F oven to deepen the color.
Today I took the PH and starting running it through the table saw to experiment with some pieces. At one point I was feeding too slow (I think) and I scorched the wood. Interestingly, though, where I didn't actually blacken the wood it turned an INTENSE purple. I mean Crayola crayon purple! The kind of purple haze that would have made Jimi Hendrix proud!
Based on the suggestion to bake it in the oven, I'm guessing this was from the heat build up at the cut. I took a little off cut and popped it in the toaster oven at 250 for 20 minutes, popped a beer and watched it bake (kinda like watching paint dry, I gotta tell ya). The color seemed deepen some. I hit it with a little Varathane spray (as another responder suggested) and now it's drying and we'll see.
Is my hypothesis correct, that the intense color comes from the heat? If so, how can I re-create those conditions to draw out the color (without using my saw blade as a heat source)? Should I sacrifice the toaster oven and set it out in the back yard and bake my PH at, say, 450 for an hour or so (maybe SWMBO will get a new toaster oven for Xmas instead)?
Thanks for any thoughts from the gurus.
Ian
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Ian Dodd) wrote:

This is a mistake: UV light tremendously *enhances* the purple color.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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From my experiences, the flourescent lights in my shop are what bring back that deep purple color to the wood after it is freshly planed or sawn and starts out as that brownish color. I assume this since I have left freshly planed purpleheart boards lying on the bench with the lights on for a day or two, and the exposed side is that brilliant purple you describe, while the bottom side remains for the most part the way it looked off the planer. I suppose air exposure could have an impact as well.
As for maintaining the color -- oil finishes do tend to brown the color a bit, but I have had good luck with both General Finishes Salad Bowl Finish as well as Arm-R-Seal, each of which is tung oil based I believe (I know the Arm-R-Seal is for sure). Both of these finishes did indeed alter the color slightly, but it is still very much purple, however more like a wine color than that crayola purple.
Check out the pencil boxes, and oak trays on my site below for an idea of what I am talking about. The pencil boxes are now a year old, and the purpleheart still has the same color as the day I finished them. Room mine is in gets plenty of sun to boot.
Hope this helps. Good luck and be sure to post pics when your done.
-- Brian www.wood-workers.com/users/lavoie

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Brian I visited this newsgroup for the first time this evening. I've no idea why I followed this thread and then drilled down to your web-site. But what a pleasure to look at your projects. You should indeed be proud of the hall table, it's an elegant, graceful, perfectly crafted piece. All the projects are wonderful. The splined serving trays are great pieces. You sure have a sense of design. Thanks for showing them.
I'm not a woodworker, I stumbled into this newsgroup while looking for data on the history of the sizes of US dimension lumber. I've posted a query about that on alt.building.contstruction. It didn't seem appropriate here.
--
Al K
Sunny Hillside Antiques
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Al... Thanks so much for the nice comments about my work -- I appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed my site.
I hope you get the answers your looking for re: size history of dimensional lumber.
-- Brian www.wood-workers.com/users/lavoie

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Also try alt.home.repair

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Thanks, I'll give it a try.
--
Al K

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