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I have been recieving large wood from a tree company for splitting and burning durning the winter months. Recently, they dropped off a piece of oak that was about four feet in diameter and eight feet long. My thought was to cut discs out of it and make a small table with it. I cut a three inch thick piece and sanded it down till smooth and stained it. I do know enough about wood to know that once it starts to dry it will split. The piece has been sitting inside for a few weeks and is already begining to split. How do I prevent this from happening? I heard that I needed to soak it in PEG. Also, for the base I was going to use a piece of cherry, or so i thought it was cherry. It was red on the outside but as I started to cut it to size with a chainsaw the shaving were bright yellow. What kind of wood is this?
 

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Others with more experience may chime in, however, given the size and the fact that it is the whole trunk, there is going to be shrinkage and cracking and I don't think you can prevent it. Best you can do is fill it with epoxy after it happens. Being such a large item, you may require the aid of a kiln dryer, slice it into sections then get it to the dryer.
 
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