It's all good. I expect more experienced people to judge me a little and I know that my project is in violation of the art of woodworking in some capacity. My inquiry does not merit the attention of the entire community.
Soon after I first had this idea, (several years ago) I learned that it really wasn't a very practical one. I learned that a workable piece of wood this size would be nearly impossible to procure from a reliable source, and certainly beyond the budget of a hobbyist.
.. Well I never got the idea out of my head. And now there has been a bad wind storm and I have access to some big chunks of wood. The wood is not really ready for working but it is also fresh enough that it hasn't yet cracked significantly. If there is a moment to experiment with this impractical idea, i expected that this was it!
Anyway I have done what I've done and I would like to conclude this initial attempt. If the block that I have been working is already too mistaken to properly finish, then I will simply finish cutting it to shape and set it somewhere where it will be useful and nice to look at until it falls apart. .. If it is possibly salvageable in some capacity then I may make a more protracted and deliberate attempt with this piece. This is the current state of the Ginkgo block described:
This was the original concept, as it developed after I learned that I couldn't just buy a huge chunk of wood:
I thought this would be the desirable grain orientation, (for structural stability). I thought that the dramatically rounded corners and top edges would be less likely to crack. I thought that hollowing out the center all the way through would help relieve tension.
My original idea did not entail a "distressed" look, but I definitely always considered that the process would dictate the outcome and that I would have to accomodate some unintentional results. .. With the Ginkgo block in progress I really like seeing all the chainsaw marks and irregularities.
I had no particular wood species in mind and the Ginkgo is just what I happened to find. I love the pale color but there are no pieces oriented the way I had desired.
.. The PEG is still seeming to me like a worthy material to experiment with on wet wood. But I think it might be too expensive and time consuming to invest into the block I already have going. It is not supposed to come in contact with metal and already have long thick nails embedded deep in the table legs.