This piece below is a 5" diameter piece of purpleheart. It's upside down because I have only done rough shaping on the outside - this represents almost 2 hours work of getting it to this point from a bowl
blank- it's VERY hard wood!. When done it will have very steep sides and be about 4" deep. The three screwholes you see keep it attached to the lathe.
When I have the outside finished, I will then remove the inside. Interestingly, purpleheart turns brown when you cut it then slowly achieves the purple color. If you leave it unprotected from UV too long after that, it will turn brown again, so you have to put a UV-resistant finish on at exactly the right time.. Timing is everything!
Everything went downhill from this point. The rather ugly bowl you see on the left is the result of trying to get anything out of this piece of purpleheart after it exploded all over the shop!
I never had a problem shaping the outside of the bowls, but it gets tricky when you start removing the material from the inside. It's very tight and precise work and if you happen to catch the wrong edge of the gouge, it will dig in at high speed and then big chunks break off and fly all over the room. I was so pissed off I didn't put a finish on it so it's just brown.