Or should I say evil pith. I know you want to avoid the pith. I had a small elm about 8" down that had been on the firewood pile for a year and noticed very little cracking around the pith. Just for practice turning hollow forms I turned two pieces, one pith to pith and one through the pith. Just some minor cracking around the pith after 4 months finished. So are there woods that you can leave the pith? I've heard NIP is one. Does anyone remove and plug the pith (thinking hollow forms and not bowls). Are there treatment for leaving the pith? Here is a vase turned for practice ( and some small bowls) I was practicing. The cracking extension out some what, but seem to be stable. Some would not want any cracking, but some it would be "character". Opinions?