Have you noticed hard maple to get an unusual level of heavy checks? Seems to happen when I've bought logs that were standing dead, and the checks go right through the plank, not just surface. I just unloaded my kiln and one whole log had checks in every board, down the middle of each plank. Every piece, jacket lumber, perfectly clear, as well as heartwood. Any piece in the whole log. The checks go clear through the piece like it's broken right down the middle, though it's not straight or continuous - they aren't connected like one big split. It's something similar that happens when we try to dry turn blanks of hard maple. Seems like the dead tree is more brittle? This damage occurs while air drying, before it ever goes in the kiln. Curious if this type of lumber might have been saved if we covered the air dry stacks with landscape fabric like our QSWO, though I'd be worried about sticker stain… I've seen this happen in other hard maple logs, and the only thing I can think of that is similar is that they were dead standing trees. I've never had it happen like this in any other species. Might have been really windy and dry when I stacked? Can't remember that.
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
This behavior is unusual and indicates that the wood was either weaker than normal (not likely) or that the checks developed in the tree and then were worsened in normal air drying. Not enough info to really tell what caused this unusual behavior.
One thing I have found is to saw and put into the kiln as soon as possible. Then keep it moist and raise the temp. The next trick is to keep it from drying too fast. Yes, mold and spalt is a risk, but chances are a dead standing tree has it anyway if it is going to have it. I like the spalt and it sells well anyway.
Most often the checking does not run from top to bottom of the log, so it is hard to saw around the stress cracks.