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How does not removing all of the spacers for shrinkage effect your log?. We have large vertical splits in the logs we did not take the spacers out of.

I am not exactly sure what spacers you are talking about, but they should not be removed.  Also, do not fill the checks (cracks) in the logs as this can cause log rot over time.  The caulk will pull away from the wood over time and allow still water down into the check but now that it is filled it will not dry out and start rot.

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