Cracking and checking is a natural process with log furniture and is to be expected – it should be looked at as added character, not as a flaw.
Checking, or cracking, happens as wood releases moisture. It is the usual result of wood seasoning. 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. Season checking tends to be radial, or from the center of the log, cracking outward in one direction and often spiraling around the log. Checking can range from very slight slivers to cracks running the full length of the log to the heart (middle of the log) of the wood. Typically, the larger the diameter of the log, the larger the cracks and season checking will be. Checking very rarely cracks through the entire log. In either case this checking is completely normal and in no way affects the integrity of the wood or the strength of the furniture.