Two Purpleheart Bowls

I have worked with and covered Purpleheart in the past, and if you read that post you will readily discover that I am NOT a fan of Purpleheart.  Suffice it to say that I am still not a fan, although, my attitude has softened considerably from what it once was.

The wood proved, again, to be fibrous and brittle, prone to breakage and chipping, as well as having truly atrocious end grain tear out and lifting.  Granted that the wood is pretty, but I have it on good authority that the color will change to a dull brown over time so one must enjoy the vibrant purples while they, briefly, last.

And speaking of color, check out the wide difference in purple color between the two pieces pictured above.  The small piece on the right almost looks like it was dyed while the one on the left hardly looks purple at all, although some of that is due to the lighting in the photo, but even in real life there is a strong difference.

Purpleheart 1

This small dish measures only 5″ x 1.5″.  It is this small, in part, because of extensive breakage on the rim during turning that had to be cut out, thereby reducing the depth considerably.

Purpleheart 2

This much larger bowl measures 7″ x 3″.

All major cuts were made using the Easy Wood Tool system on my Robust American Beauty lathe, although I do use Robert Sorby bowl gouges for light final passes before sanding.  Forward chucking was in a Nova Chuck, while reverse chucking was done using a Nova Chuck with Cole Jaws.  Sanding was with Gold and Green Wave sanding discs as well as Abranet screens from Packard Woodworks.  Final finish is Shellawax.

As always, I wish all my readers a great experience in whatever your wood working interests happen to be and to those who like working with lathes especially, do a good turn today!