When freshly cut the heartwood of purpleheart can be a dull grayish/purplish brown. Upon exposure—usually within a few days—the wood becomes a deeper eggplant purple. With further age and exposure to UV light, the wood becomes a dark brown with a hint of purple. This color-shift can be slowed and minimized by using a UV inhibiting finish on the wood. The grain is usually straight, but can also be wavy or irregular. Has a medium texture with good natural luster.
Working with purpleheart can present some unique challenges: if the wood is heated with dull tools, or if cutter speeds are too high, purpleheart will exude a gummy resin that can clog tools and complicate the machining process. Depending on the grain orientation, can be difficult to plane without tearout. Purpleheart also has a moderate dulling effect on cutters.
Purpleheart is commonly used for inlays/accent pieces, flooring, furniture, boatbuilding, heavy construction, and a variety of specialty wood items.
Central and South America (from Mexico down to southern Brazil)
2,520 lbf (11,190 N)
Purpleheart is sold by the board foot. A board foot is a wood measurement for a piece of lumber 12" wide by 1' long by 1" thick for estimating purposes. Request a quote to get in touch to see if we have the right size lumber for your needs.