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thewoodards52
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎09-15-2010
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Finishing Purple Heart

Hello.

I am making the small clock from issue #187. I have some purple heart I am using for the top section and then I am using curly maple for the base. I have never used purple heart before and am wondering how I should finish it, to retain its color? Just with milling it, the purple has turned more brown. I am hoping to bring the purple back out during the final snading and finishing process. Any suggestions on how and what to use?

 

Thanks!!!

 

Jason

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Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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Freshly milled…

Jason;

 

…purple heart is brown.  Soon after exposure it will again become purple.  Then, depending on the species (there are nearly 40 species harvested and sold as purple heart) the wood will again oxidize to a brownish purple.  With some species that transition is measured in months; in others it takes years.  No finish you apply will succeed in preventing the color shift.  The best way to retain the purple color as long as possible is to keep the piece out of direct sunlight…

 

Steve

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thewoodards52
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎09-15-2010
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Re: Freshly milled…

Thanks Steve. I did not realize that. So, would you recomedn a clear laquer as a finish, just to protect it?

 

I appreciate your time and advice!!

 

Jason

Honored Advisor
Steve Mickley
Posts: 1,567
Registered: ‎10-21-2009
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Lacquer will be fine…

Jason;

 

…so would shellac.  The important thing is to use a finish that is easy to apply to small objects.  In these applications I lean toward aerosol cans; lacquer, shellac, or pre-cat lacquer.  I would avoid water-borne finishes since most tend to “cool” and dull the look of the wood…

 

Steve

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Contributor
thewoodards52
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎09-15-2010
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Re: Lacquer will be fine…

Thanks for the input! I glued it all up tonight and will begin applying a finish tomorrow. PS - the webiste for the clock face, Klockit.com, is great. Highly recomended.

 

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