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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Timber turns purple!

    I got roped into clearing out a hoarders house a few years ago, and one of the things he liked collecting was rare and exotic hardwoods. I ended up coming home with a car and boot full of short lengths of light and dark through to black timber. One of these pieces I've machined up for a project, and it is weird.
    Leave it for a day or even shorter, and it turns purple! Some air reaction is going on, and light sanding doesn't remove it. Haven't tried washing it out yet. Not that I dislike it, its just peculiar.'
    So two questions arise - what is it? And I wonder how it will affect a clear finish?
    Any clues?
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  3. #2
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    Default

    I’d reckon you have some Purpleheart there. Google it, or search within this forum.
    There ain't no devil, it's just god when he's drunk!!

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  4. #3
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    Mornington Peninsula
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    Default

    PurpleHeart.

  5. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Enfield Guy View Post
    I’d reckon you have some Purpleheart there. Google it, or search within this forum.
    Thanks - I did just that! Much the wiser now.
    So a clear finish over the purple is okay? Doesn't leach or bleed in any peculiar way?
    I was only planning to use estapol gloss.

  6. #5
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    Use a UV paint like car top coat clear, otherwise it will turn brown again pretty quickly
    Neil
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  7. #6
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dai sensei View Post
    Use a UV paint like car top coat clear, otherwise it will turn brown again pretty quickly
    Even when it will be in the house permanently?
    I've just been googling automotive clear coats that look to be acrylic, around $21 for a spray can - is this the kind of thing you mean?

  8. #7
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    I have a box made using purple heart more than 15 years ago, finished with Kunos oil, that hasn't gone brown, just a darker purple.
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
    I have a box made using purple heart more than 15 years ago, finished with Kunos oil, that hasn't gone brown, just a darker purple.
    Similarly, I have spin tops and pens with Purple Heart segments in them that have retained their colour well. They have been finished with Minwax WOP, Wattyl Stylwood, Dulux spray can Estapol (early attempts) and a couple of other finishes including oils.

    Not sure on the mechanism / chemistry of the colour change but it does appear to be an "oxidation" process to create the initial change to purple then colour degrades as with most timbers to UV exposure. I think there are a couple of species marketed as "purple heart" as I have found some to be quite brittle and difficult to work and others much more user friendly, could be just the kiln drying process. It was sold in FNQ as decking bearers and joists for a while in the 1990's.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabell View Post
    Even when it will be in the house permanently?
    I've just been googling automotive clear coats that look to be acrylic, around $21 for a spray can - is this the kind of thing you mean?
    In the house is much better than outside. As others have said sometimes it lasts with just a finish but I like to make sure.

    There are 2 types of top coat clear, the acrylic and the two part stuff, either would do. I use the acrylic and use my own spray paint system
    Neil
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