Purpleheart wood??

Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
1,398
Anyone ever use Purpleheart for knife handles? Any issues with it? A friend/customer discovered it and might want me to make a knife with it for him. I'm just wondering whether it is suitable for a small - medium sized knife.

Thanks, Steve
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
810
I have a nice sized chuck of it and it seems super hard. I haven't gotten around to using any yet. I'll be watching for others to chime in.
 

Bill DeShivs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Messages
11,774
Purpleheart is a very good handle wood.
It does change color after a while.
 

Greenberg Woods

Wood Fanatic and Rosewood Addict
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
2,599
It's durable and tough, but the grain isn't very fine and it tends to dull in color rather quickly
 

Robert Erickson

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
2,660
Yep perfectly suitable handle material. It will darken with age and use.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2011
Messages
1,398
Wow some quick replies - thanks. Any issues about finishing it? Do I oil it, or just buff it etc.?
 
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
1,268
Personally I hate the stuff... Coarse grained, and turns mud brown after a few years. The grain is also quite a pain to fill.
Durability wise it's fine, it's just not great looking or nice to work with.
If you want a purple color in a nicer wood, take a look at katalox. Unlike purple heart it's actually one of my favorite woods
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
449
purple heart will hold its color as long as it gets some sunlight on it, the color change is where it is left in a dark place. I use it for sharpening stone boxes as well as handles. if you want it to stay purple use a tung or Danish oil finish and keep it where it will get some light.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
1,427
I won't use it again. It changes color fairly rapidly and looks terrible in my opinion. There are too many beautiful woods to use before Purple heart. I might still have some but it's not worth using in my estimation. Larry
 

Greenberg Woods

Wood Fanatic and Rosewood Addict
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
2,599
If you want purple, strong, figured and affordable try some kingwood
bCuLEJn.jpg

eiKu6ye.jpg


Send me an email or take a peak at my site
 
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
1,268
That's a nice block!
Pao Ferro can be quite nice too. Real range of colors depending on the tree. Some are real purple looking, some look almost like a European walnut, some could damn near be mistaken for Brazilian Rosewood.
It's another favorite of mine
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2015
Messages
6,975
As a material I have a love hate relationship with purple heart. I finally mastered it (chip out free hand planing and no dinging of my hard chisels after increasing the edge angle) but some batches eats tool edges and the stuff smells like dirty feet while working it. Where ever it comes into contactct with iron and water it can turn black (but is superficial; you can just plane it off).
This bench has never seen day light. I have no windows in my shop. Any light that falls on it is electric light. There is zero finish on the wood. I just finish planed it and started using it. Infact the whole bench is not totally complete yet ( there are still some assembly notes on it I will plane off someday once I put the final work into the bench).

Since PhotoSplucket is being a drag you may have to go to my account there to see the photos.
Here goes nut’in.

This first photo is of an area in the bench that has a high degree of chatoyance. It was by chance I didn't buy this wood for the look but for the high degree of stability and extreme strength not to mention the mass. This stuff is HEAVY !
This chatoyance looks just like the throat of a humming bird when it lights up ! ! !

http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/...rtincludingfancyveneeronfront_zpsb618dbf9.jpg

http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy298/noydb1/Bigvise_zpse9474d0c.jpg

http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy298/noydb1/IMG_2344_zpsee5096ad.jpg

As far as the degree of purple it can depend on the light you view it in.

This was taken years later. Same bench in the same shop / location. New modern high efficiency florescent bulbs. The pervious bulbs were old style incandescents (I don’t like the buzz of old florescence.

http://i801.photobucket.com/albums/yy298/noydb1/Theveryfirstcurls.jpg
 
Last edited:

Greenberg Woods

Wood Fanatic and Rosewood Addict
Dealer / Materials Provider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
2,599
That's a nice block!
Pao Ferro can be quite nice too. Real range of colors depending on the tree. Some are real purple looking, some look almost like a European walnut, some could damn near be mistaken for Brazilian Rosewood.
It's another favorite of mine
pau ferro is nice, but its NASTY stuff. Id out it on par with cocobolo or even worse.

Ive got literally hundreds of board feet of kingwood, i had to make a bulk option on my site since im way to lazy to list them all
 

Bill DeShivs

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jun 6, 2000
Messages
11,774
I love cocobolo, but when I'm working it, it looks like I have been pepper-sprayed.
Snot running like water, sneezing, choking.
 
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
1,268
That it is. I've got quite a pile of it in my wood collection, and it's one of my most common handle materials. It's very nasty stuff though. I have very good dust collection and wear a cartridge respirator, and on occasion I still won't feel great after shaping a dozen or more handles.
It's still right up there with Nigerian ebony and lignum vitae in my list of favorite woods though, beautiful stuff
pau ferro is nice, but its NASTY stuff. Id out it on par with cocobolo or even worse.

Ive got literally hundreds of board feet of kingwood, i had to make a bulk option on my site since im way to lazy to list them all
to
 
Top