So I have read that when you prep a blank you cut about 3" out of the center to get rid of the pitch - that would be about 1 1/2 to each side. Or some say to cut it right down the middle and don't worry about it because you will end up turning alot of the pith away when your turn on the lathe (or if you mark it you can turn it away). In either event, I do not have very large diameter pc's of wood to prep in that manner - so then the question would be how do you control the pith so you do not get cracking/checking or at least keep it very minimal.
Option 1 - I read was you could drill out the pith in the bottom of your vessel and then plug it later on and sand it down.....naaaa not for me.
Option 2 - is to use thinned epoxy or CA on the pith inside the vessel and let it harden up - This is the option I use alot and have good results using it. However, I do it after I have soaked and slow dried the pc in some type of oil treatment. I also treat the bottom as part of the finishing process so that way both the inside and the outside have been treated - this is prior to finishing of course.
Option 3 - read that it just can not be done
Picture 1-2 - is a branch that I turned today and probably the deepest turning I have done so far - 17 1/2" tall and 6 1/2" diameter - This is one of many I have made and none have cracked out yet - some I have are more than 1yr old so Option 3 is not so true.
Picture 3-5 - is a section where the log was sliced and and a turning blank made with the pith pointing out and then turned - pith on the side - However, with this one i sprayed the inside with thinned down linseed oil and put a coat of Minwax wood prestain sealer on the outside (I had laying around and never got around to trying) - I'll treat the bottom inside and outside the same after a bit of time. I am always experimenting so ill see if it slows the drying down like the oil treatment protocol I use.
Pictures 6-8 are for Cynthia as an update - I decided to go back and get the other wood carving...LOL. I told my wife it was the wife of the turning god.....I don't think she was amused.
Picture 9 - When I went back to pick up the second wood carving the guy had a popcorn maker he just purchased and because he was closing the doors to his buss - he no longer wanted it. I bartered with him and because he didn't want to load it to move it - he took $150.00 and a router bit set that I had in trade. Now, the turning god's will not go hungry.......LMAO
On top of it is another very large vessel that was turned with the pith on the bottom - treated and still not cracking or checking.
Note - In some woods if you turn so the pith is on the outside like I mentioned the warping during the drying can be very dramatic - sometimes causing very unusual distortions that are interesting - other times I have not liked the way it warped but so goes it...............