Purple Heart

Help! Finish experts - will Purple Heart keep its color in exterior use with just a linseed oil finish?
If not, what could I use that would preserve the color?
Thanks for any info!
Tim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just read a little about Pupleheart. Left exposed it will turn a light brown color, unless you use a finish that blocks UV. If I'm wrong, someone correct me please. Mark L.
Ellestad wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My experience with it is exactly the opposite: it needs UV light to develop the purple color, and stays brown otherwise. For example, I made a few turned Christmas tree ornaments from purpleheart a few years ago. Freshly turned, the color was a muddy purplish-brown. Two days of hanging them in my living room window changed the color to a vivid violet, which color they remain.
One of these days, I'm gonna make some controlled tests...
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
For a copy of my TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter, send email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
A freshly cut piece of purpleheart will be bright purple on both halves. If I keep it in the shop it will remain the color for years. Once is is outside it will change color in a matter of days.
Dick

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That is _not_ true. A freshly exposed purpleheart surface is BROWN, and will regain its purple color on exposure to at least air, over a day or so. Long exposure to bright light will turn it brown again. I think (hope) a finish with an ultraviolet blocker, for example Minwax's Clear Shield, will hold off this return to brown.
I have read it and know it firsthand, having been working with it extensively since last summer on a cabinet project.
James snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For the record, I didn't write that. That's what Richard Cline wrote, and he inserted his comments in the wrong place. This is what I wrote:

Both of you, please be more careful with the attributions.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
For a copy of my TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter, send email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hey, Richard, watch the attributions, please!
snipped-for-privacy@silcom.com says...

No, I didn't write that. Let's reformat this so it accurately reflects who wrote what, shall we?
You have it exactly backwards. Did you really mean to write what you did?
Purpleheart is brown when cut, and turns purple on exposure to light and/or air. Just look at a stack of it in a lumberyard some time: the surfaces that are exposed to light are purple, and the boards on the inside of the stack, where light can't reach them, are brown.
Now let's look at the post, formatted correctly, and see who wrote what:
snipped-for-privacy@silcom.com says...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
We have had comments from many experts, there must be more than one purpleheart. I just went into the shop and sliced off a piece of purpleheart with the bandsaw. The outside of this board is a pleasant brownish-purple. The new cut is a bright purple on both sides. The bandsaw certainly does not overheat the wood. Perhaps some people have a different experience but I am confident of the behavior of the board in my possession.
Dick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Richard Cline wrote...

That is it, exactly. I have used varieties with both characteristics, and both are usually sold simply as "purpleheart." The species is rarely given (or known) by the lumber provider.
The more common type is brown when cut and purples over time. The other variety is bright purple when fresh cut -- brighter than the other type ever becomes -- but this one fades over time. The one that becomes purple over time seems to stay that way essentially indefinitely.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A direct quote from a Woodcraft store e-mail/ad
"Bright purple when cut, darkens to brownish purple with exposure to light. Finishes with UV inhibitors will preserve the bright purple. "
It's the wood-of-the-month too.... whip eee..
wrote:

develop
turned
the
room
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Trouble is, they got it exactly backwards. The only time I've ever seen purpleheart "bright purple when cut" is when I've fed the wood too slowly and started to burn it. Normally, it's brown when it's cut, and purple on exposure to light and/or air.
All you need to do to see that Woodcraft has this turned around is to look at a stack of purpleheart in one of their stores (or in any lumberyard). The surfaces that are exposed to light and air are a deep, rich purple, and when you shift boards around you will see that the parts that have not been exposed to light are a muddy purple-brown.
I really can't imagine why this myth has such persistence, when a two-second glance at a stack of purpleheart lumber is more than sufficient to refute it.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
For a copy of my TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter, send email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Maybe you're both right. From the USDA tech sheet on purpleheart:
"Heartwood brown when freshly cut becoming deep purple upon exposure, eventually turning to a dark brown sharply demarcated from the off-white sapwood. Texture medium to fine; luster medium to high, variable; grain usually straight, sometimes wavy, roey, or irregular; without distinctive odor or taste. "
http://www2.fpl.fs.fed.us/TechSheets/Chudnoff/TropAmerican/html_files/peltog1n ew.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote in message
wrote:

I will refute it in photos:
http://arwomack01.home.att.net/images/purple_pre.jpg
http://arwomack01.home.att.net/images/purple_sun.jpg
Purpleheart bought from the same store at different times. The one that stayed purple was cut and was brown. The ones that are brown were purple when cut.
From a conversation I had with Steve Knight of Knight Toolworks, I understand there are two types of purpleheart. Therefore it depends on which type you happen to get. I unfortunetly end up with both and it is a problem for this project:
http://arwomack01.home.att.net/images/butterfly_box.jpg
I've tried heating purpleheart with a heat gun (not too effective) and microwaving it. It will darken in there, but only where it was in contact with a towel which must have trapped moisture heat trying to escape.
Alan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've found that it varies from one piece to the next. I've got some tools that I made using purpleheart, and the same finish on different pieces has resulted in everything frmo no color change (dark purple) to chocolate brown. The finishes I use are typically oil + wax - BLO, tung plus bees/carnuba wax. I've had the same results with shellac.
I don't think its an effect of handling or environment - most of the tools are one-offs for custom jobs, and get used once or twice, and put in storage with all the other one-offs, so thier environmental conditions are the same, and the amount of use is about the same....
I've read a lot of differnt opinions about what to do to maintain the color, and (for me at least) its pretty much boiled down to luck.
--JD

with
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Did you earn your Purple Heart, or just get a scratch? :-)
-- ******** Bill Pounds http://www.billpounds.com

with
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.