07 February 2014
Purple Heart Razor Scales
I’m not going to go into too much detail on how I made these since I covered a lot of that in my ebony scales post. Instead, I’ll just focus on what I did differently.
The first difference is obviously the wood choice. Purple heart has very straight grain, a high oil content, and I already had some that had been drying for years (that’s the best part.) This project was started the day after I finished my bow limb grinder, so I used that to thickness sand the stock for the scales. That was far easier and better. It allowed me to easily bring the thickness down to just below 1/8″ - something that proved to be a lot better than the first attempt.
I also just got a new oscillating sander which made much easier and quicker work of the rough profiling. Instead of rounding all the edges as I did on the ebony scales, I only rounded the ends. Leaving the middle flat and with crisp edges proved to be a more manly look, which I believe will be important as the purple heart gets its color back. Purple heart is purple due to natural resins in the wood. When it is cut and sanded, these resins turn brown. Leaving the wood in UV light and finishing with an oil or other wet finish will pull more resin to the surface and brighten the color of the wood. So, other changes would be epoxy to glue the wedge instead of titebond III (I’ll do an intro to glues post sometime too). However, that was mostly a factor of being impatient.
I also used a different set of plans. These were the ones I had planned originally for the first set before the wood was too narrow. All in all, I think these turned out pretty well. I’ll use this set for a while until I make a new set. They also match my current brush handle, which is nice (made from the same block of wood).