Is this purpleheart?

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Forum topic by ErikF posted 10-25-2012 11:03 PM 1055 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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500 posts in 1668 days

10-25-2012 11:03 PM

I was rummaging through my lumber a few days ago and came across this board at the very bottom of a stack of santos mahogany. It is 9/4×8” x 9’ and I was hoping to save myself some gluing by cutting a set of legs out of it…cut the appropriate length and it smelled a lot different then expected and it had a purple tint to it. Ran it through the planer today so I could ask you fine folks what it is.

I have never used purpleheart and that is my first guess. It also has a slight mustard smell to it…

-- Power to the people.

14 replies so far

View shampeon's profile


1705 posts in 1608 days

#1 posted 10-25-2012 11:13 PM

Put it in some direct sunlight or fluorescent light for a few days. If it’s purpleheart, it will start turning bright purple before eventually darkening up.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Dusty56's profile


11804 posts in 3112 days

#2 posted 10-25-2012 11:15 PM
Doesn’t appear to be PH to me ,at least not what I have seen and worked with to date , but check out the HobbitHouse link : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View DrDirt's profile


4143 posts in 3166 days

#3 posted 10-25-2012 11:17 PM

Follow shampeon’s advice.
Put it out for a couple hours in direct sunlight and it will be unmistakably purple.
Freshly milled it is brown – then become purple with oxidation.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 2001 days

#4 posted 10-25-2012 11:21 PM

Yep, that’s purpleheart.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View WoodYard's profile


35 posts in 2436 days

#5 posted 10-26-2012 12:18 AM

Shampeon is dead on. Exposed to light it will purple up in 3-4 days with indirect sun. Walnut?

-- Rick Wood

View ErikF's profile


500 posts in 1668 days

#6 posted 10-26-2012 12:47 AM

Thanks for the responses. I’ll put it out on my porch for a few days and see what happens. I am pretty positive that it isn’t walnut…tropical density and a different smell.

-- Power to the people.

View PRGDesigns's profile


224 posts in 1737 days

#7 posted 10-26-2012 04:14 AM

Could it be Bubinga? How did the wood do in the planer? Easy or with some difficulty? If it planed easily, it just might be Bubinga. If it sounded like 2 cats killing each other, I would lean towards PH. If you have something to compare it to for weight, PH will weigh appreciably more than almost any other wood of a similar size you have in your shop. In my opinion, if it is PH, it should still be much more purple than the picture I am seeing on my laptop, if it hasn’t been exposed to sunlight for an extended period of time.

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 2001 days

#8 posted 10-26-2012 06:24 AM

He said he found it at the bottom of the stack.
I had some purpleheart not too long ago look identical. In fact I still have it, it’s just that beautiful bright purple now. And yep, pick it up, ph is very heavy.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2347 days

#9 posted 10-26-2012 11:05 AM

This item should be sent to me immediately for proper disposal!

Looks like PH to me.

-- Life is good.

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 2096 days

#10 posted 10-26-2012 11:18 AM

Looks like it could be Lyptus as well….I have some that’s the exact same color.

View ErikF's profile


500 posts in 1668 days

#11 posted 10-26-2012 11:48 AM

I’ll be putting it on the porch today…lets see what that California sunshine does for it’s color.


I am not a very big fan of purpleheart and would consider giving it to you if it wasn’t so heavy…shipping would be a nightmare. Also, I am a bit of a wood hoarder so even though I would know deep down I should clear out the valuable space, I would probably break down and have to keep it in the end. :)

-- Power to the people.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2347 days

#12 posted 10-26-2012 12:26 PM

Erik, key word here is ..heavy. Another characteristic of PH. Seriously, that is one expensive board

-- Life is good.

View lumberjoe's profile


2893 posts in 1673 days

#13 posted 10-26-2012 01:31 PM

This is a purple heart pen I turned from cutting board scraps. It was a DEEP purple before I turned it. Now that it has finish on it and hasn’t seen any light (I keep my pens in a box) it has not gone back to the deep purple color.


View jusfine's profile


2405 posts in 2350 days

#14 posted 10-26-2012 02:36 PM

Looks like purpleheart to me. I have lots of it, if anyone is interested…

Mostly 5/4 rough stock, 6-8’ long and most boards are about 8” wide.

Shipping would not likely be advantageous unless you want pen blanks or a couple smaller pieces.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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