Gum Wood Questions

I just found out I may have a chance to get some free gum wood. Firewood. So I take it that it's probably no longer than 18", possible less, and not split. Small pieces, for small projects. Probably sweet gum, but don't know. Did some googling (naturally), and the pictures looked nice, and suposedly it works well. Except it said it's prone to warping while drying.
So, a question or two for anyone here that's used it, and more specifically, dried it. Would I be better off sealing the ends, and drying in a while section? Or, drying after it's been split up into smaller chunks? Never used any before, and for sure never dried any.
It's free, and free wood is always popular wood. Hope some is still available.
JOAT If you can read this you're in range.
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On Jan 2, 4:46 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Full cross sections tend to split a lot. If you split it into something resembling boards, don't make them too thin (stick with 2" or so), because sweetgum warps early in drying in thin stock. Otherwise, it's reasonably stable, and once dry it's fine. It does work easily and is a lovely wood. It actually gives you two woods, the light colored sapgum, and the amber (maybe more toward brown, but a fairly light and bright brown that is not tan: you'll figure it out when you see it, I guess) redgum heartwood is what you want to use, if possible. The sapgum is OK. The redgum is wonderful. Now, if you've run into blackgum (Nyassa sylvatica), all bets are off. It twists, warps and generally kicks your butt during drying, has interlocked grain that makes it hard to work, and isn't very attractive. Great if you're making chopping blocks or bowls, lousy for firewood (I split one log, 30 years ago, and I can still feel my sore hands if I think about it).
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J T wrote:

firewood: Forget it. Splitting it is like splitting plywood, as the grain is all interlaced. Burning it is like burning firecrackers, it pops and spits hot coals everywhere.
I just picked up some more yesterday for bowl turning. It cuts well with a chainsaw. Seal the end grain with wax emulsion to prevent checking.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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