Making a table from a cross section, how can I stop it splitting?

I cut up wood for my furnace, and sometimes I get some nice looking cross sections that my wife wants to be made into coffee tables and the like. Imagine: 24" diameter and around 2-4 inches thick, cross cut from a maple or oak tree.
Now I know that if I leave them to dry they will split. How can I stop this? I plan to plane and sand the top side, do I need to oil the wood or wax it or do something else to it, so that it won't split? Thanks all!
-Dean
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On 21 Jan 2005 13:41:45 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

saw it in half through the center. coat all surfaces thickly with wax. dry 1 year per inch. clean the wax off. joint and join. pray.
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Sorry - what do you mean by "saw it in half through the center"? Its a horizontal cross section of a tree, so you can see all the rings centered in the middle.
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On 21 Jan 2005 15:12:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

make it into two half circles.
kinda brutal, but getting slices like that to not crack is about impossible. people use all kinds of tricks to do it, and some of them probably work better than others. do some more research- you might find something that will work for you.
Google: salt water cure PEG
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On 21 Jan 2005 15:12:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Saw it in half along a diameter. Then let it dry slowly and you should get two pie-shaped but unsplit wedges. Joint them back into semicircles (if now slightly oval) and re-assemble.
If you care about it staying circular then use two disks and re-assemble three sawn-down sections as 120 wedges.
The other way is to dry it as a disk, but put a large hole thorugh the pith first (up to 1/3rd of the diameter, you'll have to experiment). Then fill the hole up with something, such as glass.
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