If you are about to start a carving or turning project, don't take wood from cold outside temperatures into your shop with high heat and low humidity and immediately start working on it. Give the wood a chance to equalize with your shop's climate, preferably for at least two weeks. Also don't leave large areas of end grain exposed to heat and low humidity. If the project can't be completed through a final finish, use some type of temporary sealer, such as paste wax or shellac, which can easily be removed before finishing.
Cross cuts are cuts the go against the woodgrain. Once you’ve properly measured and marked your piece of wood, guide the side of the handsaw blade with the knuckle of your thumb. Start the cut by pulling your hand saw up two or three times, then push the saw blade forward at about a 45 degree angle. It is preferable to begin your cuts on the side of the wood that will show less when the project is complete.