tree trunk slice picture frame
I have never used a forum nor have I done any woodworking to date. I have a 3'X4" round tree trunk slice that I want to make an ornate picture frame from. All I can find online are forums about trunk slice tabletops and branch picture frames. I have read the postings concerning PEG shrink prevention and curing the wood with minimal cracks. I don't want to make a table so cracking isn't that big of a deal. I intend to hollow out the back of the piece but not all the way through. Leave about 1/4" of thickness to the front. I could fit the "hole" with a round piece of glass. In the front of the piece, I would cut "windows" of various shapes n sizes (for pictures). Glass in back, pictures next, and maybe cardboard behind pictures. Since I have no woodworking experience, any help would be appreciated. Should I do the cutting early on? Perhaps that will prevent cracking. What are the best methods and tools for sanding? Is a router the best tool for hollowing the back? Again, any info would be helpful. Thanks.