An interesting fact about purple heart wood:
Purple heart wood is one of the woods that will glow under a black light with usually yellow or orange streaks (not all boards do).
One of more unique woods out there, it is normally found in some shade of purple although this is only the heartwood as the sapwood is white.
As with all vibrantly colored woods long term exposure to UV light will eventually fade the color to a dark brown with hints of purple.
Coming from South America this wood is relatively inexpensive for an “exotic hardwood” and is one I do my best to keep continuously in stock. Usually found in large pieces; extra care should be taken when handling this wood as it is very heavy.
It is this denseness that makes this wood a little challenging to work with, with a dulling effect on tools also the resin in this wood will melt out when exposed to heat which can gum up tools.
Purple heart wood is the third hardest wood we currently stock!
Outdone only by Osage Orange and Katalox, it is surprisingly rot and insect resistant to the point that it is commonly used as decking or dock material. Although it will turn darker in color, even with a UV sealant on exterior projects.
- We stock 4/4 and 8/4 thicknesses in random widths and random lengths; the pieces are generally wide and long.
- On our scale of favorites, we’d put it at 7 of 10 – losing points for its working challenges.
- Finishing recommendations: go for polyurethane, epoxies, or similar to make the grain and color stand out.
- As with many other hardwoods, we suggest dust containment and wearing a dust mask to reduce inhaling sawdust.
See downloads, size charts and more information on hardwoods.