Many of us have a cherished old tree on our property that, unfortunately, has to be cut down for some reason, or has fallen in a storm. We may want to have something made from its wood, particularly if the tree holds nostalgic significance. Or, maybe we just think the wood is beautiful, so why not have something made from it?
If you're considering having a woodturning (or other object) made from your freshly cut tree, here's some information to help you get the most from its wood. Since I'm a woodturner, I'll discuss it from a woodturner's point of view.
What do you seal the ends of the wood with? Well, there are commercial products designed specifically for that purpose, but you could use melted paraffin wax, or any latex paint. You want to paint the sealer onto the cut ends of the chunks as soon as possible; amazingly, the freshly cut wood can crack within minutes on a dry day. Just look at the ends of your firewood... see how each piece has "checked" (ie, cracked)?
Now that you've split and sealed the ends of the log chunks, you're in much better shape to have something made from them. Be sure to cut the chunks significantly longer than needed, so that if the ends do crack, they can hopefully be trimmed back to uncracked wood.
If you're interested in having a woodturner make something from your tree, probably the best course of action is to contact the woodturner before the log is cut up. A discussion with him of what you'd like will give him a chance to plan the best cuts to be made, and he can advise on the proper handling of the wood. But most importantly, remember--you must take steps to prevent the improper drying of the wood. If you do nothing else, at least cover the wood with a tarp, and keep it out of direct sunlight until it can be gotten to the woodturner.