Vine maple

We have a lot of what's called vine maple on our property. I'm not sure if it IS actually maple but it is a very hard wood. It's also very pretty when finished. I want to utilize it in some fashion since for the most part it grows to a particular length and then dies so there is a lot of dead wood laying about. I've cut some of it green and am going to dry it but I am wondering how to do this without the wood checking. Or is it inevitable that it will check? leave the bark on? Remove it?
I've got a few ideas for projects one of which is a bed frame. Another is to make some outdoor chairs.
The diameters of the wood range from 1" to about 5-6".
I'm new to building with stuff from my forest but fortunately I have lots of material so I can make mistakes and it's only time I'm out.
Kirk
"Moe, Larry, the cheese!", Curly
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After cutting the boards, paint the ends with a heavy coat of latex paint to prevent checking and splitting. Vine maple tends to have a very high moisture content, and needs to dry slowly.

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