My reason to not cut the log in half until it had dried significantly was to avoid splitting of the wood along the table top surface. The log at present is about a foot or more longer than necessary so any end checking could be cut off. I am not concerned should there be any splits on the outside surface of the log as this is not the "working" surface and would only add character to the rustic nature of the table. My understanding is that as wood dries, it shrinks causing stresses that can result in wood movement based on the internal structure of the wood fiber matrix. Since the log is drying from the outside in, the interior part of the log will be supported by the wood closer to the surface thus protected somewhat from wood movement stress. The previous log, while it was damaged by bark beetle larvae, was fairly free of any checking or splitting.