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Keith

purpleheart

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I would like a opinion on using purpleheart for knife handles.Thanks for any advice.

 

Keith

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A long time ago I talked to a knifemaker in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. I think his name was Lloyd Thompson but, my memory for names is poor. Anyway, he had made the comment (paraphrasing here) that some people are allergic to purpleheart and that it was important to seal the piece completely. Not good business to sell a product that may give your customer a rash! Other than that, from the personal experience file, it makes a very poor handle for a machete. I replaced the handle on an old Ontario Knifeworks machete with purpleheart when I was in high school. Hit anything hard with that thing and let me tell you - the shock is enough to make your hand go numb! It is VERY DURABLE, my brother still has the machete 12 years later and the handle is still intact... I think he has been hoping that if he abuses it enough, eventually the handle will break and he can replace it!

 

~Bruce~

Edited by B. Norris

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I have never heard that purpleheat causes a rash but I guess that there is someone out there that has an allergy to it. Put purpleheart with ebony and you will get a beautiful looking handle that even if you have an allergy you wouldn't care because it looks so nice.

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I have worked with Purple Heart for over 10 years with great results. I make canes, sheaths and handels out of Purple Heart. I have never had a rash but I have had resprotory problems when I did not wear a mask. If you want a deep Purple let it set out for a few days before you seal it. True oil works realy good or toung oil works too

I hope this will help.

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I just used some for an integral handle, and it is lovely wood.

It was difficult to drill, but it cut well with files and rasps, and takes a nice high finish. very closed grain, almost like a hard maple.

I didn't seal it, because I was not allergic to it, but it makes sencce that there are people out there who are.

 

I found out that I am allergic to lacewood. It is a lovely wood for handles, but I dont think that I can use it anymore. Bummer

 

And it is a good idea to wear some sort of respratory protection when making any sort of fine dust.

 

Mike Lambiase

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The only thing I can add is to remember that it will darken to shades of brown rather than purple with prolonged exposure to heat or sun. Don't ask how I know.

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