I have been really enjoying the process of working with my first piece of green cherry wood, but it seems that the heartwood is much denser than the outer wood and it's causing radial cracking on the end grain. I'm starting to feel like I'm fighting a loosing battle chasing the cracks on my Cherry Kuksa. I've been working on it since last weekend and I am trying to keep the bottom with the bark on (it's so cool looking), and have preserved some of the heartwood on the rim. I've thinned out the heartwood as thin as I dare and cut out the core. I've gotten very thin on the ends as well. Perhaps too thin, can see light glowing through in several spots. I've kept it cold and moist in a paper bag with shavings, and chased the cracks daily, sometimes twice a day. I coated the piece periodically with walnut oil, which had an interesting effect. It kept some of the moist red cherry color on the surface in stead of the usual fade to pale. I cut through the handle because the heartwood was causing cracks that made me think the relief cut was necessary. It definitely helped, and today as I was whittling away the cracks the gap between the top and bottom pieces of handle shrunk from 1/8" to closed. so I opened it up another 1/16th or so. I'll post some pics from my phone. I just want to try to salvage the piece from further cracking. So do you think I need to take the bark off the bottom for more even drying? Keeping my fingers crossed.