Thursday, December 24, 2009


(Peltogyne Venosa) Purpleheart, also sometimes called amaranth or violet wood, comes from several species of tropical trees native to Central and South America. The heartwood is a light purple when cut, and darkens upon exposure to sunlight, reaching first a darker purple and eventually a brown with a purple cast. It is hard and strong, and takes attention when turning, requiring sharp tools, gentle cuts, and a LOT of sanding. An interesting side note: every kind of wood smells different when turned. Maple smells kind of like pancake syrup, mesquite like warm raw meat, walnut like something sour. Well, the dust and shavings from this wood at first smelled kind of sweet, but as I kept smelling it as I was working, it started to smell more meaty, and then kind of like sweet warm old meat. Yuck. Wikipedia says the dust can cause nausea. I can see that. Don't worry, the finished work is scentless.