Basswood splitting

I recently cut some basswood into 2' lenghts. The logs were approx. 6" in dia. It still has bark on it and I want to eventually use it for caving. The logs had been drying outside for 2 years. How can I avoid the pieces cut from cracking? They are now stored in garage. Should you recommend sealing the ends what should I use and how much longer does it need to dry?
Thks for any responses.
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Yes, seal the ends of the pieces and let dry about 1 year for each inch of thickness. The splitting is caused by the ends drying out much faster than the inner parts of the wood.
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OR -- longitudal splitting in logs is from the outside drying faster than the inside. It is almost impossible to dry a log without some splitting. You need to cut them into quarters at the pith line to reduce the splitting.
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I have harvested quite a bit of basswood for carving. I would say that if you have had it around for 2 years, it would either be fairly dry or has started rotting because the bark was left on it. I suspect that if you look closely at your logs, they have already checked already, and are liable to have longitudinal cracks. That doesn't mean its a lost cause. You just might not have as much usable wood as you thought you did. (a six inch log is pretty small to make much out of).
I agree that you should split the log down the pith as that will just give you trouble in your carvings anyway. my favored procedure is to take a log, split it with wedges down the pith, peel them, and let them dry for at least a year before further work. I like longer lengths (6-8') because I can just discard the ends that have checked. I have tried coating the ends, but found the the wood near the coating tended to rot and was ruined anyway. Basswood will rot more easily than any wood I know of! You need to be careful when bringing it into a heated house because I have gotten some checks even in very small blocks. Figure out a way to bring it into the house in stages-- I bring mine into the basement first.
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