Purpleheart, scientifically known as Peltogyne spp., is a hardwood species native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. It is highly prized for its distinctive deep purple to purplish-brown color, exceptional hardness, and striking appearance in woodworking.
Appearance and Characteristics
Purpleheart wood is celebrated for its remarkable deep purple to purplish-brown color. When freshly cut, the wood often exhibits a vibrant hue, which darkens to a rich purple over time, especially upon exposure to light. The wood typically features a straight to interlocked grain pattern, giving it an attractive and visually captivating appearance. Purpleheart has a fine texture and is quite heavy, typically weighing around 5.5 pounds per board foot (1249 kilograms per cubic meter).
Purpleheart is known for its hardness and density, which can make it challenging to work with hand and power tools. Pre-drilling is often necessary when fastening, and carbide tooling is recommended. However, the wood glues effectively and takes finishes well, allowing for a polished and refined surface. Woodworkers appreciate Purpleheart for its striking appearance and unique character.
Uses in Woodworking
Purpleheart wood finds various applications in woodworking, including:
Fine Furniture: Purpleheart is a popular choice for crafting fine furniture, including tables, cabinets, and chairs. Its rich color and distinctive grain patterns add a bold and unique touch to furniture designs.
Decorative Woodworking: Woodworkers often choose Purpleheart for decorative projects, such as inlays, marquetry, and turnings, thanks to its vibrant color and unique character.
Veneer: The wood is sliced into veneer and used in the production of high-quality veneered furniture and decorative surfaces, offering a touch of luxury to interior designs.
Turnings: Purpleheart is favored for woodturning. Its density and striking color make it an excellent choice for crafting bowls, platters, spindles, and other turned items with precision and visual appeal.
Flooring: While not as common as other woods, Purpleheart is sometimes used for hardwood flooring, creating a stunning and durable surface.
Purpleheart wood offers exceptional durability:
Indoor Use: Purpleheart is suitable for indoor applications, particularly for furniture and decorative woodworking projects. It is highly resistant to wear and maintains its striking appearance over time.
Outdoor Use: Purpleheart can be used for outdoor applications, such as decking and outdoor furniture. It is naturally resistant to insects, decay, and weather conditions, making it a reliable choice for outdoor projects.
Bug/Insect and Rot Resistance: Purpleheart is inherently resistant to insects, decay, and rot, contributing to its longevity and durability in various applications.
Purpleheart's distinctive color, remarkable hardness, and durability make it a favored choice for various woodworking projects, particularly when a bold and unique appearance is desired.
VARIATIONS AND OPTIONS
All lumber now ships surfaced on 2 sides, and ripped on 1 edge at a minimum. Surfacing is done to a 1/16th over nominal (+- .030). Also the option for a rip to width is now available for a premium price. Ripping is done on an industrial straight line/gang rip machine. While the rip will be consistent end to end, the fence may not always end up in the same spot between orders. Rip widths will be within 1/8th of an inch of stated widths.
4/4 will be surfaced to 13/16ths.
5/4 will be surfaced to 1 and 1/16th.
6/4 6/4 will be surfaced to 1 and 5/16ths.
8/4 will be surfaced to 1 and 13/16ths.
10/4 will be surfaced to 2 and 5/16ths.
16/4 will be surfaced to 2 and 13/16ths.