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 Timber Species

Purpleheart

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Scientific Name Peltogyne pubescens
Family Caesalpiniaceae (Leguminosae)
Standard Name Amaranth
Other Names Amaranth Nazareno, Pau Roxo, Bois Violet, Barabu
Wood Appearance When freshly cut the heartwood of Purpleheart is a dull grayish/purplish brown. Upon exposure 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.
Physical & Mechanical Properties Diffuse-porous; medium to large pores, few; solitary and radial multiples; mineral deposits occasionally present; growth rings may be either distinct or indistinct depending on species and growing conditions; medium rays barely visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma winged, lozenge, confluent, unilateral, and occasionally marginal.
Natural Durability Purpleheart is rated as being very durable, and resists both decay and most insect attacks, though it has been reported to be susceptible to attack from marine borers.
Timber Processing 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.
Uses nlays/accent pieces, flooring, furniture, boatbuilding, heavy construction, and a variety of specialty wood items.
Availability nlays/accent pieces, flooring, furniture, boatbuilding, heavy construction, and a variety of specialty wood items.