Indeed the colour change is amazing and drastic, yes the Almond can split easily, I tend to leave any rescued firewood logs and stash them under my work bench for a year or so, most of my work incorporating Almond is fairly small as smaller bits tend to crack less, also I'm no fan of the smell, really strong and pungent....and no idon't use any sealer to treat them... CheersI have a few almond trees and any wood from them splits and cracks almost immediately. Is there a magic trick to getting usable wood? I assume from the firewood comment you didn't treat anything with kid gloves before making a fabulous box. My almond wood also changes colour as you watch it - does yours do the same? Goes from pale to dark orange within minutes of being cut.