Practice Putting Drawers Together; Working Properties of Purpleheart
Issue: Issue 317
Posted Date: 1/8/2013
Sides and Well from
This woodworker found, with his drawers, that "practice"
doesn't always make perfect. - Editor
today I got some shop time in, and I am trying to practice making
drawers and face framing. Things are going great up until I go to put
the drawers together. Seems I forgot to flip around one of the side
on each of the drawers, so now I have all lefts and no right-hand
sides. Well, I am glad I am only practicing, 'cause if I had to go
buy a new piece of wood for a stupid mistake I might not be
laughing." - Mike
poster reassured him that it's an easy mistake, and offered a
suggestion to avoid it in the future -- while someone else suggested
a way to "fix" it. - Editor
easy to do this. I try to mark the outside top front of each drawer
side and make sure the mark coordinates with those on the drawer
front and back as I'm laying out and sawing/chopping dovetails."
- Don S.
you're practicing anyway, you might practice recovering from the
error. I assume the problem is that the groove for the drawer bottom
is on the wrong side? If so, one way to fix the part is to rip off
the bottom of the drawer side even with the top of the groove. Then,
find a piece that matches the grain pretty closely and glue a new
piece on. Cut the drawer bottom groove on the correct side and recut
any dovetails or whatnot to complete the joinery to the front/back."
The poster who
began this discussion had some questions about the particular
properties -- and any particular difficulties of working with
purpleheart wood. - Editor
am looking at using purpleheart for a couple of keepsake boxes. Can
anyone enlighten me as to the pitfalls and problems in using this
material? Does it chip, splinter, or tear out when machined? Does it
tend to burn, does it warp, is there any problem in gluing, are there
problems with finishes?" - Jerry N.
woodworkers did say they had had some problems with the wood dulling
their tools, or burning when sanded. - Editor
used a fair bit of purpleheart and found there are two types: one
with straight grain that tends to be brownish and one that has twisty
interlocked grain and is more ultraviolet. The straight grain one is
just wonderful with hand tools, the other is just about impossible.
Both machine well. They do splinter, but it is easy to control. I
used a router on two benches and don't remember any issues with
burning. No problems with warping, gluing or finishes." - Craig
have found that it burns when I run it through the drum sander, but
that is for end grain cutting boards. It sands out with the [random
orbit sander], however." - Merle
one board I ran through my thickness planer sounded like I was
feeding a rock through it. Saw shiny specks in the grain and the
knives went really dull. Finished the jewelry box for my daughter and
swore off the stuff after that." - Dick C.
others mentioned that it doesn't necessarily stay purple — at least
when exposed to light. - Editor
doesn't stay purple, but it ages to a rich lovely brown." - Bill
planed some for a neighbor: three 8/4 boards, 8 or 10 feet long.
Stuff is horrible heavy and dulls blades pretty quick. Planed nice,
though, in spite of the interlocked grain: a lot less tearout than
African mahogany with similar grain. As Bill notes, it doesn't stay
purple long, but the inside of your boxes might. Makes a neat
surprise when you open the box." - John
made a nice box for my older sister over 30 years ago, which is still
purple, but she has no windows in the room where she kept it. A good
friend / customer had a pair of front doors made down in Costa Rica
which bled from the pores, and turned a nice teak color within a few
months. I have gotten several boards which had the bleeding problem.
I would imagine that they were not [kiln-dried], which would probably
take care of that problem." - Keith N.