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Is Purple Heart wood poisonous?

MalinDC Aug 30, 2006 02:38 PM

My husband and I have been doing an extensive renovation on our house. We came into some oak and purple heart and are interested in turning it into a cutting board, but is purple heart poisonous? We would rather not spend a lot of time and effort making something that is just going to make us ill! ;-)

Thanks so much!

  1. a
    abourget Oct 15, 2006 02:00 AM

    No, it is not poisonous. I have a 50-lb. antique French marble mortar that was missing a pestle. I took the mortar and several photographs of antique pestles to an excellent wood turner. We went through various woods and his recommendation was purple heart/amaranth. He made the most beautful pestle that fit perfectly in the bowl of the mortar and my hand! I watched him craft the pestle and it was amazing. As is the resulting pestle. Just gorgeous.After a batch of aioli it do clean it with soap and water and immediately dry it. Periodically is gets an rubbing of mineral oil. This is gorgeous wood.

    1. JMF Aug 30, 2006 03:07 PM

      Purple heart and oak are often used in combination in making cutting boards.

      1. r
        ronzen Aug 30, 2006 03:07 PM

        I'd be more concerned with the seams between the oak and purple heart than Toxicity. Since the woods have different hardness and densities, they will expand and contract differently under changes in temperature and humidity.
        You may want to do all purple heart, I've never heard of it being toxic, and it is very dense and resists scoring.

        1. Infomaniac Aug 30, 2006 02:46 PM

          I've never heard of it being poisonous. Were you thinking of mixing the oak with the purple heart wood....I bet that would make a nice looking cutting board.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Infomaniac
            MalinDC Aug 30, 2006 02:50 PM

            We are thinking of doing a line of oak and then a line of purplewood and then a line of oak, etc. I think it will be great, when we get around to that piece, or at least I hope so!

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