GP Wood Drying Time

Another general question regarding GPs. I’ve picked up a couple of 2X4s to make some more GPs today, and wonder how long I need to let them dry out before making my first cuts. They are WRC, and have been stored outside at a lumber yard in wet Seattle weather. They are now being stored inside a garage–out of the rain, but not in a heated environment. I’m anxious to get started on them, but don’t want to blow it by rushing into it and seeing warpage later. Thoughts? Thanks!

dry time…
Assuming the pieces are kiln-dried (and are dry under the surface), I’d just wait until they are dry outside and get going. But that said, storing them for a few days in the environment where you are going to work them certainly can’t hurt.

If you are using vertical grain with kiln-dried WRC, warping is rarely a problem. The same can’t be said of flatsawn which is much less stable and is also too flexible for my tastes.

Greg Stamer

7 - 10 days

– Last Updated: Dec-03-07 9:52 PM EST –

is the usual waiting period for cured or dried 3/4" wood to perk. This is for dry wood so if your wood was very wet when you put the under cover I get it a week longer.
Better safe than sorry.

ps...what's a custom made split GP worth?

I’ve a friend who will build one for
those he knows for $20 plus materials. Knows what he’s doing, builds kayaks and marathon river boats. Don’t know he would do it for anyone else, though.

Every board is a little bit different
I have had best results by carving the paddle down to it’s final stage, before the final sanding and letting it sit out in the sun for a couple days. By doing most of the carving first lets the paddle dry out fast. The sun is the best thing I’ve found to get as much moisture as possible out of the paddle. When drying it out in the sun make sure to rotate the paddle because the sun can warp it. This works also for removing a warp. The sun will make the paddle cup up to it. Most paddles will loose quite a bit of weight but some don’t seem to loose too much. Good luck.

If you’re using a 2x4…
…I would let it dry for a couple of weeks or more. If you have a scale, weigh it every day and when you see little or no change in the weight, it’s a good indication that the wood is dry enough. If it’s damp inside when you cut it to shape, just let it dry for a few days longer.

As Greg said, if you’re using vertical grain wood, it won’t warp as it dries. However, I’ve found that cedar will sag under it’s own weight if it’s not supported when stored flat. If you notice any change in shape, flip it over and let it sit for a while and you’ll probably find that it straightens out on its own.

Once again…
…I’m enjoying the variety of responses. Thanks, all. Regarding drying in the sun, though…did I mention I live in Seattle? :wink:

For what it is worth:
Take a look at the end of your 2 x4.

If you have the center of the tree which will show by the round bulls eye, it won’t warp.

When I use 2 x 4’s, for building projects other than framing I hand pick almost all of them and reject the ones that are not from either the center or close to it if I am worried about warping.



Wow - that’s a good friend!
It takes me 6 hours or more to make a Greenland paddle. Unless your friend has some magic technique to cut time, he must be doing it just for fun.

I carve paddles for friends and charge less than commercial rates, but I try to make a respectable amount per hour. Of course, I’m not doing it for a living…


You can find 2X4’s that don’t have bulls eyes ??

Wish our lumber yards had such.

Need a bigger tree…
YMMV but I would reject any lumber that came from such a small tree that you could see the core. In fact, rarely do I find a 2 X 4 that is suitable and use larger dimensioned wood.

I’m pretty picky with paddle blanks as my life may well depend on them. I use vertical grain or riftsawn lumber. A good diagram of cuts of wood is at . Note the size of the tree relative to the cuts.

Greg Stamer

I have a ten foot length of quarter sawn
close-grained sitka spruce, perfectly clear. I think I’ll make some soundboards instead.