Cutting Purpleheart

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Forum topic by nancyann posted 488 days ago 1058 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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106 posts in 488 days

488 days ago

I worked with purple heart for the first time and it was a doosy! I finished the dragonfly shelf using a number 2 tlb blade, and found myself going through quite a few blades, because the wood was so hard! LOL

Can anyone tell me what blades to use that holds up to this wood? I used 1/2” thick, and not only did the blades give out quickly, but also had some burning, which required sanding.

Thanks in advance.

-- Nancy Antley

10 replies so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7458 posts in 1515 days

#1 posted 487 days ago

I answered on your other post. :)


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View RussellAP's profile


2938 posts in 881 days

#2 posted 487 days ago

Feed it slower, let the blade do the work.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View tjride's profile


8 posts in 521 days

#3 posted 487 days ago

I typically use a #5 Ultra Reverse blade and cut a little slower than usual. But the biggest help is with the use of packing tape over the pattern. The packing tape acts like a lubricant and really helps greatly. So far I have cut up to 1” with no problems once I got it figured out.

I just realized you had 2 posts on this and Sheila answered your concerns on the other post..


-- TJ

View BikerDad's profile


67 posts in 2196 days

#4 posted 487 days ago

Wow!! That’s some pretty sweet work there. I LOVE me my purpleheart, but haven’t done anything like that. I have a Rigid Scrollsaw (it was sorta-kinda free), is it likely to be up to that level of work, assuming I build the skill, or is that something that really calls for a step up in scrollsaw quality?

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View Woodbum's profile


405 posts in 1660 days

#5 posted 487 days ago

Beautiful work!! In my experience with purpleheart, you will always get some burning of sorts. I am not the best scroll saw producer in the world, but as a box maker (among others) I enjoy the look and the hardness of the species, but hate the burning. Sharp tools, not so sharp tools-fast feed rate, slow feed rate etc., just prepare for some sanding or scraping. Keep up the good work. You have waaaaay more patience and better eyes than I.

-- Improvidus, Apto quod Victum-- Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4927 posts in 1903 days

#6 posted 487 days ago

I don’t use a scroll saw but have worked with purpleheart numerous times. Not sure if they have carbide blades for scroll saws…but if so I would try them.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View Bayman's profile


7 posts in 911 days

#7 posted 456 days ago

That’s a very hard dense wood…

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5241 posts in 2180 days

#8 posted 456 days ago

I have never had a problem with purpleheart but then I never owned such a big piece nice work.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View nancyann's profile


106 posts in 488 days

#9 posted 455 days ago

I took William’s advise and purchased Flying Dutchman blades, and the FD-UR No. 3 worked great on the 1/2” purpleheart.

Thanks William!

-- Nancy Antley

View jordanp's profile


1021 posts in 535 days

#10 posted 455 days ago

I had the same problem with a smaller piece made from Tzalam and Cocobolo but I think their Janka hardness is very close to Purpleheart. I had to slow way down “like RussellAP said” and let the blade do the work.

There again all I was doing was cutting a curve into a small piece but it was on my scroll saw and I did slow down to about 1/10th of my normal cutting speed i operate at on softer woods.

Nice work by the way.

-- J. Palmer Woodworks - Rockwall TX -I woke up this morning thinking “man, I really hope someone posted some soul scarring sh*t on LJs today.” -- - Billy

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