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SOUTH AMERICAN PURPLEHEART

V. Ryan 2008

 

When first worked it is yellow, but overnight changes to an attractive purple, which darkens with age. It is a very attractive defect free timber.

Peltogyne pubescens
Family: Leguminosae

Common Names: Amaranth, Violetwood.

Distribution
: Central America and tropical South America.

 
 
 

General Description: The heartwood is yellow when freshly cut, maturing to a deep purple/violet; the original colour is restored when re-cut. Straight grained, but often irregular, wavy and sometimes interlocked, producing a pleasing striped figure on quartered surfaces. Texture moderate to fine. Weight varies from 800-1,000kg/m3 (50-63lb/ft3) averaging 860kg/m3 (54lb/ft3); specific gravity .86.

Mechanical Properties: High strength in bending, stiffness and crushing categories and medium resistance to shock loads, with moderate steam bending classification.

Working Properties: It is rather difficult to work with moderate to severe blunting effect on tools. It exudes gummy resin when heated by dull cutters and the material is best run slowly through machines equipped with high speed steel knives. The wood turns well and smoothly. Pre-bore for nailing, glues without difficulty and stains and wax polishes easily. Spirit finishes remove the purple colour; lacquer finishes preserve the colour.

Durability: Very durable. Sapwood liable to attack from powder post beetle. Extremely resistant to preservative treatment but the sapwood is permeable.

Uses: It is used for heavy outdoor constructional work, bridge building, fresh water piling, dock work, cladding, house construction and vats. Excellent for flooring and suitable for gymnasium equipment, shafts, tool handles, boat building, turnery, furniture and billiard tables. Also as decorative veneers for inlaying and marquetry work etc.

 
 
 
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