I wanted to make cookies (transverse section of a log that are roughly circular)  from a 22” branch of maple. One way to work around cracks as the wood dries is to make 2 adjacent cookies and use the second cookie to fill the shrinking gap from the first. But the unpredictability of where the crack will appear makes this a little difficult.
I was thinking of trying the following: 
1) take a cylindrical section and orient it perpendicular to the normal alignment of the saw, 
2) center the blade on the pith and make a cut up to the pith, probably the cut will have to be off-center for logs too big to fit between the blade and blade carriage 
3) back out the blade and 
4) clamp the section vertical and make the cookies.

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