Finish for Purpleheart for best color?

Getting my kids involved in the shop to make Xmas gifts for SWMBO (Mom). I'm simplifying plans I saw for a desk clock and we're making a matching pencil can that will have keyed miters. The main wood is clear, straight maple (no crazy grain for kids' first project). The keys and the hour markers on the clock will be purpleheart (the kids picked it out at the lumberyard reminding me that her favorite color is purple).
Never having worked with PH before, what can we do to preserve or even enhance the color a little? Will a straight oil deepen the color? What about using the end grain? Dyeing or "cheating" the color goes against my grain (pun intended) but is that something to consider? Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance from a newby and his novice kids.
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Ian Dodd wrote:
<snip>

Applying oil with cause the purpleheart to turn brown. Avoid oil based finishes.

There has been a lot of discussion about what causes purpleheart to darken. Some say it's caused by UV light. Others say it's oxidation. I tend to go with the UV theory as I have had a piece in kept in the basement for over 3 years and it is still purple. Cuts from the same piece, finished with shellac, and exposed to sunlight have turned brown in within a few months.
In my opinion, purpleheart that has turned brown still looks nice, especially when contrasted against maple.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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I've gotten a reply to the same question. The person said to use "ArmorAll - (tm)"

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Sam Soltan wrote:

Michael Fortune recomended armoral to keep purple heart purple - UV being the reason for browning. There is an even better UV protection spray called 303 Aero Space Protectant "100% Prevention of UV caused slow-fade with regular use". Came highly recomended by an auto upholstery and convertible top installer AND by a spa company for protection spa covers. Recomended to apply every 3-5 weeks for stuff exposed to exterior direct sunlight.
www.303-products.com
I think you can get it at any auto parts store.
charlie b
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And a pretty cool intro page as well
Dave
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).

Ian,
A very effective way to deepen the color of purpleheart is to heat it. Place it a 250 degree oven until you get the desired result. The end grain will be a darker color. With judicious use of sandpaper, you can create highlights.
You need to be careful about leaving fingerprints. The layer of dark purple oxidation will react with the oils in your skin. Cover with finish as soon as possible - I use a water based poly.
Bob Lewis
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I use varathane gloss on my purpleheart projects. Comes out awesome. I have made a desk and a dresser using purpleheart and maple. Contrast is nice and the varathane gives it a wet look while keeping the purple color. Tip is to use a wet rag after sanding and this will defeat the browning caused by sanding. If you want to see the finished look let me know. I have posted them previously on alt.bin.pic.ww but can repost if you like. Kevin
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I've used dewaxed shellac on PH and haven't seen any change in color over a few years.
On 7 Dec 2003 10:35:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (Ian Dodd) wrote:

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