Is Fig Wood Any Good?

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Forum topic by Don Broussard posted 08-23-2013 07:47 PM 11449 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Broussard

2989 posts in 1675 days

08-23-2013 07:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: fig

I had to cut down a fig tree this morning. The tree was a producer for many years, but succumbed to some kind of disease. The majority of the tree was affected, but the main trunk of the tree doesn’t appear to have been affected. My question for this esteemed group relates to uses of the the good parts of the tree. I have a couple of pieces around 6” in diameter and a couple of feet or so long that are solid through and through. After drying, what can I do with them? Maybe a rolling pin? Or saw it into planks for a small box? If the wood cracks during the drying process, I guess I could use the wood in the BBQ pit or smoker.

Your advice is appreciated.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

11 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


1854 posts in 1558 days

#1 posted 08-23-2013 10:29 PM

I do not have any experience with fig wood but would recommend you end seal ASAP.

I use caning wax or latex paint to end seal but green wood sealer or anchor seal will also work. Store out of the weather & direct sunlight off the ground so can get air circulation.

-- Bill

View grizzman's profile


7783 posts in 2727 days

#2 posted 08-23-2013 10:37 PM

go check out this table made from fig wood, if it has any size ro it, you might have some pretty amazing wood

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 1928 days

#3 posted 08-23-2013 10:39 PM

Don, I have a couple fig trees and while pruning I find them to be rather soft and sappy. I assume these are the ones with the dark purple fruit? If not, disregard the first two sentences.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View Tim's profile


3032 posts in 1385 days

#4 posted 08-24-2013 12:35 AM

Don you had me curious since the only fig trees I’d ever seen were more like shrubs. This Fine Woodworking forum link has a lot on it. Basically it seems to vary a lot by species from bland to spectacular. The sap from the green parts of the tree can be somewhat toxic, but I didn’t see anything about the dried wood. Be careful anyway I suppose. If you have room for it, could be worth the gamble to see how it dries.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

2989 posts in 1675 days

#5 posted 08-24-2013 12:54 AM

Here’s a cross section of the trunk section:

It’s about 6” across and not particularly stunning. I might slice it up to see what treasures are hiding inside that bark.

@Wildwood—Good tip about using latex paint to seal the cut ends. Thanks.

@grizz—A big WOW to that table! That slab is awesome!

@DKV—You are correct on both counts. I was able to scratch the end grain with my fingernail, especially in the pith. The fruit is green during development and turns purple as it ripens and sweetens. It doesn’t look like this species is a furniture wood, both in its size and its hardness.

@Tim—That’s a good link with good info about fig wood (and rosewood and Italian stuff). Unfortunately, I don’t know what species my tree was—we called them Celeste figs. Some people are very sensitive to the leaves, causing skin irritation, as well as to the “milk” that comes out of the stem during picking. The presence of the “milk” usually indicates that the fruit is not ripe.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Wildwood's profile


1854 posts in 1558 days

#6 posted 08-24-2013 10:26 AM

View timbertailor's profile


1591 posts in 848 days

#7 posted 08-13-2014 06:52 PM

Thanks for the links Bill.

Always on the look out for good resources.

-- Brad, Texas,

View HerbC's profile


1570 posts in 2283 days

#8 posted 08-13-2014 07:17 PM

You should NOT leave the “log” in log form while it “dries” since if you do, even if you endcoat with paraffin or AnchorSeal the log will crack/split due to uneven drying. Go ahead and cut it into the rough sizes you may use and dry them to the level you want to use them at.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Texcaster's profile


1103 posts in 1097 days

#9 posted 08-14-2014 12:35 AM

The Aboriginals have been making shields from the buttresses of figs for 40,000 years. Santa Barbara has the largest Morton Bay Fig in the n. hemisphere.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View mahdee's profile


3465 posts in 1191 days

#10 posted 08-14-2014 12:59 AM

I have had two fig trees at the homestead for over 18 years. Normally they die every year due to the cold weather we experience in the Ozarks, but they always come back from the roots. One time they lived for 4 years and then last year they died again due to the severe cold. The dead branches have been consumed with beetles and the wood is too spongy to do any woodworking projects with. Maybe they were used at one time to cushion the blow of a sword; which I can grasp; very light and spongy. So far, I have not been able to think of one thing I can make out of the limbs because they are too soft and almost hollow in the middle. The fig on the other hand, is heavenly delicious. Let me know if you ever find a use for the wood… Thanks


View mahdee's profile


3465 posts in 1191 days

#11 posted 08-14-2014 01:04 AM

P.S., the sap/milk is an excellent agent to kill common wart.


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