Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Purpleheart

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Puyallup, WA
    Posts
    330

    Purpleheart

    I just finished up a few Christmas gifts that I made out of purpleheart. Unfortunately, due to all the cutting, sanding, etc. the "purple" has been mostly taken out of the "purpleheart". I realize that left exposed to UV sunlight, it will (supposedly) revert to its once regal color. However, and to the essence of my dilemma, we presently have very little, if any, sunlight and the forecast is not looking promising anytime in the near future. Do you think if I set it under an artificial light source it would speed the process up? If so, do you think it matters what type of light it is (e.g. fluorescent, incandescent, halogen, etc)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,471
    not sure of purple heart but in cherry i tried to hurry the process of color taning on a door that i replaced a broken one .. i used a tannin bed for 20 mins and got very little change.. i ended up taking it to work with me and let it get all of the natural uv i could feed it.. i dont thik that artifical light is gonna do it for you and also its the air that does the color change process as well, not just light.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont
    Posts
    425
    Larry's right on it there - UV accelerates the wood's ability to oxidize, which will happen only in the presence of oxygen (as from the air). If it's been finished, particularly with a yellowing finish like polyurethane, it'll change color very slowly henceforth.

    If any light will do it, a black light (available from your friendly Borg) is the light that will.
    -- Tim --

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,320
    Actually, I believe that UV exposure will actually turn the purpleheart to brown. It's lack of UV exposure that lets it keep its color.

    Sanding should have enhanced the purple - unless it's sapwood, which is naturally brownish.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
    Posts
    3,132
    Jim in my limited experience after sanding or turning it. you can help bring back the color by placing it a window. I have a piece in my truck that has been sitting behind the seat that was turning brown. after putting on the dash it turned back to the purple it was.heres a pic of my tool box that is trimed in purplehart and as you can see it has stayed purple for over 4 years. After sanding when i first made it it had turned brown so i put it where the sun shown on it and it has been purple ever since.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 005 [640x480].JPG   006 [640x480].JPG  
    Last edited by Stephen Bellinger; 12-19-2009 at 08:35 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont
    Posts
    425
    Upshot... purpleheart is a funny wood. Sometimes it goes from brown to purple, sometimes from purple to brown. It's unpredictable.
    -- Tim --

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Puyallup, WA
    Posts
    330
    Fortunately, I haven't put any finish on it yet. I guess there's nothing else to do but experiment. I'll leave one in the window, put one under incandescent light source, one under Halogen and will look into the cost of a UV bulb. I think I'll also see if the presence of an acid will accelerate the process (hence the reduction part of the oxidation equation).

    I'll let folks know if anything works.

    PS - if I wasn't clear enough before, the stuff was startlingly purple before machining.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont
    Posts
    425
    Also try household-strength ammonia & dilute Red Devil lye. Lye does MARVELOUS things to cherry.
    -- Tim --

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    falcon heights, minnesota
    Posts
    5,609
    what about those grow bulbs that help plants along? one would think they would provide the same spectrum as sunlight.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Puyallup, WA
    Posts
    330
    It's funny what a little research will turn up. Apparently, a common black light is comprised of mostly UV light. So, first thing tomorrow I'll run up to Walmart and pick up the cheapest little set up they have.

    And, even if it doesn't turn the wood back to purple, I'm sure my teenage daughter will get a kick out of it.

Similar Threads

  1. Finish for Purpleheart?
    By Earl Rumans in forum Finishing School
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-05-2014, 10:47 PM
  2. re-purpling purpleheart
    By Dan Noren in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-20-2010, 01:03 PM
  3. PurpleHeart Jolly Roger
    By Kevin Vernon in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-09-2008, 12:29 PM
  4. purpleheart & white oak cradle
    By Dewayne Baker in forum Flatwork Project Showcase
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 01-08-2008, 01:44 AM
  5. Purpleheart & Maple
    By Ed Nelson in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-09-2007, 01:17 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •