All log furniture is subject to “checking”. The checking, or vertical stress relief cracking of logs is part of a natural process as the logs dry and release moisture. Checking allows the logs to breathe and thereby resist rotting. The checks vary from very fine slivers, to large cracks down the length of the log to the heart of the wood (see photo above). The larger the log, the larger the checks tend to be, but in either case this checking is a completely normal process that can not be avoided.
Once the logs are dried enough to begin the process of manufacturing log furniture (usually around 10% moisture content or less), the vast majority of the checking process has completed. Log furniture manufacturers do not consider checking a defect, nor do checked logs diminish the strength, durability, design or structural performance of the furniture. The checks, as well as knots, burls, beetle marks and other imperfections are considered to add rustic character and distinction to the log furniture.