Jon Siegel replies: If you are trying to make bowl blanks, then you would cut the log into lengths slightly greater than the diameter, then split these chunks in half through the center. Within hours of cutting, seal the end grain with Anchorseal (brush-on end grain sealer), or if they’re not too big, dip the end grain in hot paraffin. The sealing of the end grain will buy you some time, but it is best not to try to dry the chunks whole. Keep them outdoors, but out of the sun.
You have the choice of the once-turned or the twice-turned methods. Either way, when you’re ready to start turning, bandsaw the blanks into a circle. In the once-turned method, you simply turn the wood wet, sand it, and let it do whatever it wants to do in the drying stage. If no part is too thick, your bowl probably will dry without cracking, but the final result will not be round or a perfectly smooth surface. In the twice turned method, you rough out the bowl to a thickness of about one inch, then let it dry (about one year). If it cracks, you will probably discard it, and you haven’t lost much. If the dry blank looks good, turn it again to get the finished product.