finishing purpleheart

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thetyreman

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I've just a made a hand plane from purpleheart,

do I need to wait for it to go purple before applying shellac or will it go purple anyway? it's still brown coloured after a couple of days, not unhappy but it's not as purple as I expected yet.
 

MikeG.

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Hmmm. Doesn't that mean it's been purple, and has now settled on the brown colour? I think the purple phase has probably come and gone.
 

CHJ

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Some samples I've had go to a dark brown and others just to a darker purple over time.

I believe Oil finishes will speed the darkening, did you apply the Tung Oil visible in your Plane thread.
 

thetyreman

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CHJ":nqg4bue5 said:
Some samples I've had go to a dark brown and others just to a darker purple over time.

I believe Oil finishes will speed the darkening, did you apply the Tung Oil visible in your Plane thread.
I applied pure tung oil yes but only to the sole and cross pin, the sides top and other parts are de-waxed shellac just one layer brushed on carefully, I'll see how it is in a few days again but it looks like it might stay a brown colour at the moment.
 

Inspector

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I've heard that putting it in direct sunlight will turn it purple again. Rotate it so all sides get exposed. I've also heard the same about heat changing the colour. I'd try it on the scrap first to confirm.

For what it is worth a gent I worked with from Guyana said there are 14 or more species of purple heart so they aren't all the same.

Pete
 

sunnybob

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Purpleheart starts off purple. Exposure to sunlight makes it fade to brown. If its brown, it will not go back to purple.
 

Ttrees

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Here is a clear demonstration of oxidised purpleheart evidently brown when freshly milled.
Rob Cosman's surfacing some purpleheart @19:27 into video
[youtube]5scnp5Hx5ho[/youtube]


Very interesting to hear not all "purpleheart" is like this!
Thanks for the heads up fellas
 

sunnybob

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I made this box almost 5 years ago. The purple heart is still as purple now, but the box is very rarely opened.
I have a small piece of the same wood in the offcuts box, but again, it is almost completely covered by other wood and never sees actual sunlight.


A friend showed me something he had made from "purple" purpleheart but had left it on his kitchen windowsill. It was a muddy brown.
 

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sploo

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Where I've taken significant cuts (or routed) purpleheart the freshly exposed timber is a sort of yellow/green colour, and shifts to a deep purple on contact with air. I did once route a box from a solid chunk on the CNC machine, and then fitted the lid immediately - hoping to minimise any movement due to the removed material. The outside went purple after a few hours, the inside stayed yellow/green and then didn't change further.

Other purpleheart pieces I've made over the years have shifted to a deep brown over time. I'm not aware that you can get it to go from brown back to purple, so if it's not started as purple then it may be too late.
 

thetyreman

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just an update, I put the handplane in the sunshine outside for about 10-20 minutes today to see if it would change and hey presto it has changed to a much nicer deep purple colour, so that was the answer to the mystery, the garage it's stored in doesn't get much sunlight as there's 3 solid walls and the garage door to let all the light in.
 
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