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Old 23-01-2015, 15:54   #1
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need help with purple heart wood!

ok so my refit boat is in the shop atm and we have gotten some purple heart trim.........idk what to do with (varnish it, wax it, leave it) what is your guy'es advice? ik its very pricey and i don't want to let it rot or anything........btw we have a golden hind 31 and this is our page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sea-A...72356782845783

fair winds - harry tobin (age 15)
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:05   #2
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

Purple heart is very hard and very rot resistant, but doesn't have the greatest dimensional stability so not often used for fine furniture but is great for flooring.

It's a nice bright purple color when you cut or sand it but that will darken to a deep purple brown as it oxidizes.

Can be varnished or left bare. Like just about all wood it will turn silver if left out in the sun to fade. There was a place near me where they used purple heart for lining flat-bed truck beds, they always had impressive stacks of 12/4" x 8" x 20' long lying about.
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:07   #3
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

what varnish would you use? we use spar varnish on our interior so should i just slap some of that one there? also someone told me to use some kind of English wax on it?
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:12   #4
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

Depends on what you are looking for. I like varnish, but I like oil too. Like I said it is very rot resistant so if you are not particular about how pretty it looks you could leave it bare.

Spar varnish would be fine, I am sure it will look real nice. Oil or wax would be a lot less work.

Maybe you could try different finishes on a small piece and see which one you like the best? The color change happens faster in the sun light so you can put the finishes on and them put them in the window for a couple days or a week depending on how much sun you get.
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:15   #5
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

good point ya i care a lot about how my wood looks haha......idc about how much work it is :P i just want a good look!
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:19   #6
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

I've spent most of my life worrying about finishes professionally. It's hard to not let it carry over in my personal life. Plenty of varnish on my boat. I try not to be too uptight about it though. I'd rather be sailing than maintaining.
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:21   #7
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

haha ya what do you do for work?
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:23   #8
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

I have used a lot of purple heart in my boat. I like the look of glossy spar varnish. The key is to sand between coats. I did 6 coats to get the look I wanted. I also only used it for trim so I dont have any wide boards to shrink. Keep in mind when sawing and planing, the dust is very irritating to the eyes, nose and lungs.
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:23   #9
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

Make pretty looking stuff for rich people. If you only knew what the 1% did with your money. I digress...
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Old 23-01-2015, 16:31   #10
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Re: need help with purple heart wood!

haha ik........ya i want to build boats once i graduate high school and thanks matt for the advice i think i am gonna use high gloss spar varnish 6 coats with 120 between each coat
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