Gluing Purpleheart

Purpleheart is a dense, oily wood that can be difficult to glue. October 12, 2008

Does anyone have advice on gluing purpleheart, also known as violetwood? We have tried Excel One polyurethane with little success and suspect a lack of pressure or a burnished joint was the main cause of the failure to glue this very hard and dense timber, however all the information on this species say it is easy to glue.

Forum Responses
(Adhesive Forum)
From contributor C:
I too have had trouble with this problem. I have had success edge gluing panels with yellow glue without mishap, maybe due to the floating nature of a raised panel. But when I glued up mitered cases for jewelry boxes with epoxy and also tried yellow glue, they practically fell apart. It seemed that any exposed end grain cells secreted oil or something to compromise the adhesion. I opted for cross doweled corners with hard maple Miller dowels.

From contributor D:
I've been successful with Titebond III in mortise/floating tenon applications. I've had a lot of problems with purpleheart. It can have a lot of internal stress so I let it sit for a week after it has been jointed/planed. Working with purpleheart requires much patience.

From contributor B:
I've had success gluing purpleheart with a product called Gorilla Glue. Their slogan is "Strongest glue on Planet Earth" and I firmly believe it. Just dampen the wood before gluing. The moisture reacts with the glue, causing it to foam and fill any gaps. The glue can be messy, so don't get too carried away with it. Once the glue sets up it's almost indestructible!