Wood filler to use for Purple heart?!?

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Blog entry by Jorge Velez posted 03-08-2014 10:24 PM 5782 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello everyone!

I’m doing a small table project with Purple Heart, and I would like to know if you can suggest what wood filler to use, I want the finish almost like mirror look.

thks in advance for your comments and recommendations!

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

11 comments so far

View bygrace's profile


180 posts in 2024 days

#1 posted 03-08-2014 11:13 PM

Take a scrap piece of purple heart, sand it down with 220 sand paper, save the dust and mix it with whatever you are going to finish with. If you are going to use something like Watco oil, mix the 220 wood dust with the oil into a thin paste you can easily spread over the project, let it dry, and then sand. Then finish the whole project like you normally would. This will assure the color of the filler will exactly match the wood.

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View AandCstyle's profile


3096 posts in 2312 days

#2 posted 03-09-2014 12:10 AM

As another option, you might consider using Timbermate Wood Filler in Natural. Try it on a piece of scrap to see if you like it or not. It will be invisible under your finish.

-- Art

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29570 posts in 2393 days

#3 posted 03-09-2014 01:18 AM

I have never used timbermate wood filler, but I have heard many good things about it.

I have done it like bygrace and it worked well.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View jfk4032's profile


365 posts in 2581 days

#4 posted 03-10-2014 11:21 AM

I have used the old sawdust mixed with white trim glue and have gotten good results filling in small holes and cracks in purpleheart. Even better with purpleheart, I’ve learned to bring out the purple color stronger by waving a minitorch over it. This really deepens the purple to a rich looking color. It takes practice so you don’t burn the wood.

-- ---Joel; Central MD...rookie empter nester and getting back into woodworking!

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

356 posts in 2641 days

#5 posted 03-10-2014 04:53 PM

Thanks everyone for your tips! since I’m at Mexico I can’t get timbermate wood filler locally, but I’ll use sawdust mixed with oil finish, but before will try the heat over the surface and try to bringh out the color.

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View Lazy_K's profile


122 posts in 2245 days

#6 posted 03-13-2014 12:48 PM

sand your piece with wet lacquer on it, or sand it with your lacquer’s solvent, the dust will fill and stick in the pores. When the lacquer is dry sand again then apply lacquer i the normal manner.
historically pushing pumice or rottenstone dust around with a cloth soaked in finish did essentially the same thing.

-- Kai SaerPren

View vetwoodworker's profile


104 posts in 1761 days

#7 posted 03-13-2014 01:01 PM

Great tips here! jfk4032, I stumbled across that by accident with a piece of scrap I had laying around, playing with fire lol

View Choctaw1's profile


3 posts in 1487 days

#8 posted 06-24-2014 08:56 PM

Some great ideas here, I’d like to add another, I hope it’s equally good.

I make my purple heartwood sawdust by drilling holes in a junk piece. I’ve found the smaller the bit, the finer the sawdust…I prefer a 1/8” bit. It sure is easy to collect this way.

To apply, I use a clear glue. Anything from epoxy to Super Glue…as long as it dries clear. Using a sharp pointed toothpick the glue is carefully applied into the crack. Obviously, the larger the crack or area to be filled, more glue is used. Then apply a thick coat of your sawdust resin….if possible, press it into the crack and allow a buildup of dust above the crack. Then sand it down when the glue dries. Walla!...instant purple heart wood filler!

There are several “clear dry” glues available. Ace Hardware and other stores carry one that gives you about 30 minutes of work time before setting, and sets in another 30 minutes. I work slow, and prefer this one.

If you use Super Glue….it dries so fast, you’d better be quick like a bunny rabbit.

Hope someone finds this info useful.

-- Choctaw1-Choctaw Indian Nation of Oklahoma

View Choctaw1's profile


3 posts in 1487 days

#9 posted 06-24-2014 09:04 PM

Bygrace’s tip is a good one…I love the paste concept.

Another way that I’ve used is to get a cheap box of multicolored kid’s chalk. If you mix blue with red and add a little brown, you can make a purple of whatever shade you need.

Then mix your custom colored chalk with the desired catalyst (glue, oil, or varnish) and you’re in business.

Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

-- Choctaw1-Choctaw Indian Nation of Oklahoma

View Choctaw1's profile


3 posts in 1487 days

#10 posted 06-24-2014 09:19 PM

TO JFK4032:

Amazing what heat will do to this wood! On this site:

There’s a whole page about “Cooking Purple Heart Wood for Color”...anything from the sun to baking at 300 degrees in an oven melts the dark grain and changes the color!

-- Choctaw1-Choctaw Indian Nation of Oklahoma

View WesternRevival's profile


10 posts in 1252 days

#11 posted 03-23-2016 04:05 AM

I love timbermate wood fillers also, I have taken purple heart dust and mixed it with the white timbermate and it looked good, couldn’t even see it. I wish they would just make it in purple heart color.

-- Will,

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