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Finish for Purpleheart tabletop

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Forum topic by BBinNC posted 2415 days ago 5254 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BBinNC

8 posts in 2433 days


2415 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: purpleheart finishing question

I have a few questions about what you guys have used to finish purpleheart. I made a tabletop out of purpleheart and want to know what kind of finish others have used. I am looking for something durable (as it is a tabletop), but possibly with UV protectant to try and keep the purple color as long as possible.

I have also noted that purpleheart is a very hard wood that tends to splinter. Am thinking about putting a bevel, or route some kind of edge on it. Am a little hesitant at this point. Will definitely try it out on some scrap first. Any suggestions?

-- The Christian Home is the Master's workshop, where the processes of character molding are silently, lovingly, faithfully, and successfully carried on.


10 replies so far

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2760 days


#1 posted 2415 days ago

I like to let Purpleheart set for a few days after cutting and sanding to get the nice deep purple color. I generally use varnish or shellac. For the durability, varnish or lacquer would be the way to go.

Try out the rounding on a scrap piece first, but I think you will find it works fine. As you can see on my cutting board , I rounded all the sides on both the top and bottom. No difference in the Purpleheart and Maple on the rounded edges. I also cut some coves on the undersides of my chessboard , and the Purpleheart was fine and sanded smooth.

Good luck and I am looking forward to seeing your project soon.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

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BBinNC

8 posts in 2433 days


#2 posted 2415 days ago

Thanks Bill, I am new to woodworking and the finishing part is what scares me the most. Hopefully I will get some time to work on some projects over the Christmas break. I will definitely try any modifications out on some scrap first.

Love your cutting boards. I’ve been thinking it would be nice to get some kind of branding iron for that personal touch.

-- The Christian Home is the Master's workshop, where the processes of character molding are silently, lovingly, faithfully, and successfully carried on.

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2760 days


#3 posted 2415 days ago

The branding irons are not too much, less than $100 from Rockler or Woodcraft. I think several other places have them as well. Mine is the electric model, so I just plug it in about an hour before I am going to use it, to make sure it is good and warm. It does a good job, and lots of people seem to notice it on the pictures.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View rpmurphy509's profile

rpmurphy509

288 posts in 2453 days


#4 posted 2415 days ago

I’ve always like shellac on Purpleheart (another member posted a similar question just a few days ago).
As Bill stated lacquer would do very well also. I’ve not used since I don’t have the equipment to spray
it on, but would if I could.

Purpleheart will oxidize after exposing the grain through a range of colors, usually within
a day or two of cutting/sanding it. If left completely on it’s own, it will pass the purple/deep
red hues and continue on into a ruddy brown. A sealant coat of shellac/lacquer will ‘freeze’
the hue where you want it to stay (to a point).

-- Still learning everything

View leonmcd's profile

leonmcd

204 posts in 2570 days


#5 posted 2412 days ago

I used Cabot’s SPF outdoor stain for my purpleheart and cedar bench. It has high UV protection which means it includes pigment but as you can see from the photos the pigment did not hide the purpleheart color.

It has been outside almost a year and still looks fine. Although it is in a shaded backyard ( not direct sun );

These are the orginal photos. Don’t have a recent one. Purpleheart Bench

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2473 days


#6 posted 2412 days ago

I love purpleheart. Do you have any pictures?

View BBinNC's profile

BBinNC

8 posts in 2433 days


#7 posted 2409 days ago

I will try to take some pictures of the table over the holidays. Would love to get it finished up, but am working on many projects around the house.

-- The Christian Home is the Master's workshop, where the processes of character molding are silently, lovingly, faithfully, and successfully carried on.

View patrick m's profile

patrick m

197 posts in 2412 days


#8 posted 2409 days ago

Cool, I’m like 6 years new myself to working w exotics or hard woods, and purple heart sure it tuff. I still have a plank sitting right over there>. Let me know what you decide to use or do to finish your table top, I’ve been trying oils and wax’s lately, for indoor works… think my favorite is watco danish oil finish, if you don’t want to start a chemistry experiment. It stays true to the solid great wood tone, I think. Let me know. Patrick Miles . ny

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2760 days


#9 posted 2406 days ago

How did your finishing go? We are looking forward to some pictures soon.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View patrick m's profile

patrick m

197 posts in 2412 days


#10 posted 2400 days ago

Can’t wait to see the purple heart..

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

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