One additional comment: Steven Russell suggest boiling for an hour per inch - as my roughs can be less that perfect, I generally boil for 2-hours. I then let the water cool overnight and pull the soaked piece, put it into a sealed cardboard box (can find a large enough grocery bag) and let it go for 3-5 months with a small computer fan pulling the air out of the interior and circulating the moist air inside the box - don't have the air blowing into the piece. It is also in a de-humidified room - summers can be sticky here in Dallas. The amazing, and counter-intuitive, thing is: the wood dries quicker (dry defined as 6%-MC). And while the surface may be between dull and yukkie, when you cut 1/16 or more below the surface, it's like it was. When you think about it, the trunk of a large tree has serious tonnage pressing down and serious forces with even a small breeze - the limbs sticking out at angles have serious stress - try extending your arm holding a few pounds - then imagine doing that a few decades. The boiling seems to mitigate some of those internal stresses. My goal for the last ten-years has always been to out-smart the log - every time I think I'm getting there I get my "come-uppins"