I've just cut a few nice pieces of American Hornbeam that I'm hoping to make in to walking sticks and or canes. A great deal of the information I'm finding on the Internet is that it checks badly. I love the muscle look of this wood and want to retain that look for the canes and walking sticks. It is extremely hard and strong.
Has anyone used and dried American Hornbeam with a minimal amount of checking? If so what was your process?
I have not removed the bark yet. Two of the pieces are cut from below ground level and still have the root ball attached. Another is a bit thicker and longer piece with no root ball.
I'm thinking of putting them in the unheated garage, maybe sealing the ends and letting nature take its course. I read a suggestion of wrapping them in paper shopping bags while in the garage.