Is Purple Heart wood poisonous?
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!
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.
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.