Purpleheart (Amaranth): Peltogyne spp.
Rough: 4/4 & 8/4 RW
D2S: short boards of various widths & lengths available
Pricing: from $13.95 /BF +
Purpleheart is probably the most available and known “exotic wood” from South America. Its a big, fat tree and produces large, wide planks. Its claim to fame is its dramatic, intense purple colour.
Is purple heart a hardwood or a softwood? Well if you are asking me that question from a woodworkers’ perspective …. purpleheart is definitely a hardwood. Its grain is very tight and typically straight. Without sharp tools it will burn…. but it turns beautifully! …of course with sharp chisels lol Sanding is a process that requires patience. Now having said all that , its worth the effort especially if you are incorporating it into a small project, a wood box, a wood cutting board or a feature strip in your wood countertop. The colour is intense, makes a great contrast to more traditional Canadian woods.
Purpleheart is one of the most available and cost effective exotic woods. Interesting note is that it is pretty rot resistant and seen used in exterior stairs in South America .. .that might seem to be quite criminal to you and I 🙂
NOTES: The intense purple colour is a rather fluid conversation. When purpleheart wood is first cut it can be somewhat muddy in colour, and then when you plane it and offer exposure to UV rays, the purple intensifies … as you see in the left side of the photo above…. give it a bit more time and it darkens again 🙂 …. so plan for that in your project designs … I’ve had variable success with using UV protectant finishes.