Purpleheart vs. Rosewood

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Dadoo posted 08-07-2008 04:49 PM 2953 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4018 days

08-07-2008 04:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’m currently refinishing a Stanley Defiance Smoothing Plane and thought the tote and knob were purpleheart (as evidenced by all the fine purple sawdust that sticks to and dyes everything it touches) but Google research finds that this plane was made with rosewood. I’m confused as I’ve no experience with purpleheart or rosewood. Which is which?

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

9 replies so far

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3783 days

#1 posted 08-07-2008 05:22 PM


Found this website that has some information about exotic woods- maybe it will help.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4428 days

#2 posted 08-07-2008 06:29 PM

Brazilian Rosewood might have a purple tint. he wood is restricted and is not sold anymore except for old wood that might still exist in the world. Other varieties of rosewood are available. The the Brazilian version is very expensive but was used a lot in old tools and was readily available them.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3772 days

#3 posted 08-07-2008 06:58 PM

I think the majority of the older planes used rosewood for the totes. I’m in the process of redoing some of my planes, but I using cherry, ala Lie-Nielsen. Wouldn’t look forward to doing all of that shaping with purpleheart.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4018 days

#4 posted 08-07-2008 09:28 PM

Thanx guys but what I’m asking is: Does Rosewood sand to a fine purple dust…a dust that tints and stains everything? It even turned the polyurethane a purple color. At first I thought it might be a dye Stanley used for the tote and knob (see this: but the deeper I sanded, the more there was!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4007 days

#5 posted 08-07-2008 10:00 PM


I suppose rosewood could produce purple sawdust, coming from certain boards. I think it would be somewhat rare though.

I’ve never heard of any commercial company that used purple heart in their operations.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4049 days

#6 posted 08-07-2008 11:08 PM

Dadoo can you give us a picture.
As far as I know there is only one general species of purpleheart but several woods get named “rose wood”
I have even seen cocobolo named rose wood.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Boardman's profile


157 posts in 3789 days

#7 posted 08-08-2008 12:10 AM

When purpleheart is sanded it looks brown at first, then turns back to purple after the air/sun hits it. Is that the case?

I’ve got some SE Asian rosewood that is definitely purplish in color.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3772 days

#8 posted 08-08-2008 01:17 AM

Dadoo, you wouldn’t be a little color blind would you? :]

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 3735 days

#9 posted 08-08-2008 03:36 AM

It might be kingwood. I’m not positive if it’s a true rosewood but I’ve seen it referred to as rosewood sometimes. Kingwood can have a very purple cast to it.

-- Use the fence Luke

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics