Purple Douglas Fir?

I have been milling the lumber for the top of my workbench.  I blogged about it previously here, The Bench Blog Bench and here, The Workbench Build Begins.

I was running the boards over my jointer to clean and straighten one face.  As the rough-sawn material was removed, it uncovered this in one of the boards.

I found a bright purple area in one end of this board.

I found a bright purple area in one end of this board.

The photos don’t quite do it justice.  The purple is very bright.  It doesn’t run throughout the whole length of the board and is only present at one end.

Here's a better view of the purple area.

Here’s a better view of the purple area.

The purple is very bright.

The purple is very vivid.

The color is strongest nearest to the sap wood.  While is shows on the right edge of the board as seen below, it can’t be seen on the left edge.  The left edge will be on the top when I do the glue up, so it wont be visible in the bench (unless you crawl under it).

The color looks most vibrant closer to the sap wood.

The color looks most vibrant closer to the sap wood.

I’ve used a lot of Doug Fir previously, but I have never encountered this color before. Granted this is my first experience with custom milled lumber that I have dried myself. All the other Doug Fir that I have used has been kiln dried 2 X lumber.  I did a little searching online but couldn’t find any other similar images.

I think the purple is kind of cool looking.  It might be quite striking in the right project if the color distribution was a little more consistent.  However, this board is destined for my workbench top.

Have any of you ever seen this before?

 

About Jonathan

I am a woodworker and hand tool restorer / collector. I buy too many tools and don't build enough - I need help!
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2 Responses to Purple Douglas Fir?

  1. Brian Anderson says:

    Interesting, probably a fungal infection. I got a load of “firewood” for free last summer because it had been sitting out in the woods too long. There was enough sound wood to make it worth the trouble, but amazing variety of different colors of fungus in some of the logs, white, orange, blue, day-glow purple… Could be that if your board had been kiln-dried, it would have just cooked the stuff brown. If you like the color and have enough extra wood, you could maybe cut the section off, wet it down and tie another board to the purple face and set it aside for a while outdoors somewhere. Maybe get enough of the pink wood to do a door panel or frame or something interesting.

    • Jonathan says:

      Brian,

      That’s interesting. I’d never thought about the kiln drying cooking the color to brown. You might be on to something there. Thanks for your input.

      Jonathan

I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, or questions.