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How to Enhance Your Home With Exotic Purpleheart Wood Accent Pieces

Updated on November 21, 2013
Purpleheart-Lyptus-Cherrywoods:  Photo by  :User:Phidauex
Purpleheart-Lyptus-Cherrywoods: Photo by :User:Phidauex
Purpleheart Wood Chim 'n Dip Bowl
Purpleheart Wood Chim 'n Dip Bowl
Purpleheart Wood Clock
Purpleheart Wood Clock
Purpleheart Wood Cutting Board
Purpleheart Wood Cutting Board
Purpleheart Wood Guitar
Purpleheart Wood Guitar
Purpleheart Wood Lumber
Purpleheart Wood Lumber

Is it Purple Heart Wood, Purpleheart Wood, or Purple Heartwood?

Is it Purple Heart Wood, Purpleheart Wood, or Purple Heartwood?

No matter how you slice the name, there is no doubt that anything made with it will be a beautiful addition to any home, or will make any type of accessory a beautiful creation. Any woodworking project that uses two-tone or multiple-tones of wood makes a more interesting piece than just a monotonous monochromatic plain slab of wood.

Some readers, perhaps are creative and confident enough to do woodworking projects on their own. However; some of us who are less skilled with our hands, hand tools, and power tools, may prefer to go out and buy our purpleheart wood accent pieces already made. There are a plethera (that means "a lot" for those who don't have Webster's handy) of items that can be had that are made from purpleheart wood, such as cutting boards, chess boards, pens, guitars, bowls, serving spoons, earrings, hair combs, and iPhone cases. Pretty much anything that can be made with wood, can be made with purpleheart wood.

What Exactly IS Purpleheart Wood?

You May be Asking, What Exactly IS Purpleheart Wood?

What exactly is purpleheart wood, you may be asking, and that would be a very good question. Purpleheart wood is also known as "Peltogyne, " of which there are 23 species that grow in Central and South America. source: Wikepedia Due to the fact that purpleheartwood is naturally moisture resistant and very hard (one of the hardest woods in the world), it is a very bood wood to use for making crafts that will be subjected to moist or wet conditions, such as cutting boards, chopping blocks, and wooden boat hulls.

The deepness of the purple is a consequence of exposue to UV light from the sun, so if you want to make a project where the purple needs to be a certain shade and no darker, when the shade you want has been achieved, it will be necessary to apply a UV inhibitor. However; keep in mind the importance of keeping any toxic chemicals away from food items. So, if you are thinking of making something like a chopping block or cutting board, make sure that you have taken the appropriate precautions to prevent any toxic substances from coming into contact with food.

Do You Ever Make Homemade Woodworking Projects Yourself

See results

How to Make an End Grain Cutting Board Part 1

How to Make an End Grain Cutting Board-Part 2

Pupleheart Wood Electric Guitar from Onzo Guitars, Buffalo, NY

What Tools Do I Need to Work With Such a Hard Wood?

What Tools Must Be Used to Work With Purpleheart Wood?

Due to the fact that purpleheart wood is so dense, it is recommended that carbide tipped blades be used for all cutting work. It may be particularly difficult to cut acress the agrain in a wood as hard as this, so end pieces may require a lot of final finishing to smooth them out. Also, keep in mind, that when working with any type of tools, you should be wearing safety glasses and the necessary hand protection (just ask someone who has gotten their fingers in the path of a circular saw).

It is best to try out your skills on some scrap pieces of purpleheart wood before you start working on your masterpiece. With power tools if you go to slow, you can burn the wood. Burn marks are not easily hidden, and if you burn your wood when you are actually starting your project, you might have to scrap it. If you go to fast, you can splinter the wood and ruin your masterpiece before you get it started. Going to fast can also dull the blades of your saws, routers, etc and dull the bits on your drills. Make sure you have spared on hand when you start working on your project.

When you are drilling, start with pilot holes first. If you go directly to your main drill bit, you can split or splinter the wood. If there are pieces that you have to glue together to make your project, make sure you use the correct type of glue, and make sure you have wood clamps available that are going to expand far enough to accommodate the pieces you are going to glue together. When you have to drill through more than one piece at a time, it is even more important to drill a pilot hole first.

Take plenty of time before you start your project to watch how-to videos on you tube. There are lots of them, even for similar projects like cutting boards. You may get some ideas of your own in the process of watching other people's how-to videos.

Purpleheart wood and White Oak Chess Table
Purpleheart wood and White Oak Chess Table
Purpleheart Wood Cat Cutting Board
Purpleheart Wood Cat Cutting Board

Document Your Purpleheart wood Project's Progress

Document the Progress of Your Purpleheart Wood Project

Whether it's for your own use, or you want to share the progress of your project with others, make sure that you take pictures along the way. Start with the picture of the final finished project, if you decided to write an article about your project. Then show the series of pictures of the progress you made along the way. Don't forget to make notes on any problems that you encountered, so you can share them with other people who might be interested in making a similar project.

If you can make a video of your own project that's great too. Even better is a combination of video and photos. Try a less difficult project first before you jump in with both feet and try to conquer something complicated. If you have scraps left over, don't toss them, because you might think of another project in which you can use them. You'd be surprised what ideas might pop into your head at random times.

Most importantly of all is have fun and be safe. Safety glasses, protective gloves, and perhaps a shop apron are must haves. If you are working with very heavy pieces of wood, it is a good practice to have steel-toed safety shoes also. We will be looking forward to seeing your projects here in the near future.


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    • pocono foothills profile imageAUTHOR

      John Fisher 

      5 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

      @idigwebsites-It's a wonderful wood to make lots of cool stuff with. Just make sure you use the proper tools and personal protective equipment.

    • idigwebsites profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Really interesting. I thought it was a painted wood until I get to read your hub and discovered more about it. I found out that purpleheart wood is extremely hard that it's even used for truck decking.

      Beautiful and very very durable wood, I should say. I think I could compare this to a rare gem. Thanks for sharing! I am learning something new here. :)

    • pocono foothills profile imageAUTHOR

      John Fisher 

      5 years ago from Easton, Pennsylvania

      @vespawoolf-Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is a very interesting, and exotic hardwood and makes for some very nice pieces when used in conjunction with lighter colored hardwoods, such as oak.

    • vespawoolf profile image


      5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I first saw purple heart wood while on vacation in Costa Rica. I didn't realize it was so dense and hard to cut! How interesting that such beautiful objects can be made from it. Thank you for sharing!


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