Because it’s difficult to get hardwood in a piece large enough, you might try laminated wood (although the look will be different with all those lines running through it). Turn the arms on a lathe, rather than make them by hand, since a smooth level surface is essential.
All three arms are identical Each is twenty-two inches long, divided into two sections: one eleven inch half goes through the wooden dummy body and out the back, the other eleven inch half sticks out from in front of the dummy.
The visible half of the arm, extending from the dummy, is cylindrical – though wider at the point where it leaves the body and tapering smaller towards the tip. The holes cut in the body for the arms should provide a fairly tight fit, neither too tight or too loose.
The upper section of the leg is twenty-two inches long: one half of which extends through the dummy and out the back, the other half extending out in front. The diameter of the leg is not standardized, since it was traditionally made from a hardwood branch with a knot and bend where the knee would be. The section of the leg extending through the wing chun wooden dummy must be cut with a square cross-section, to eliminate any rotation of the leg in its hole. The leg leaves the dummy at a point roughly sixteen or seventeen inches from the base of the body. The dummy is suspended above the ground by two crosspieces or slats, each one inch wide by two inches high. No matter what wood is used for the rest of the wooden dummy, these crosspieces must be a strong hardwood since they receive most of the force given to the dummy. The crosspieces should be no less than five feet long, so they are long enough to flex when the dummy is moved forward or backward, and long enough to extend out several inches on either side of the framework. The top crosspiece is six inches down from the top of the dummy, the bottom crosspiece is nine inches up from the bottom of the dummy. The crosspieces must be cut perfectly parallel to each other, the top directly over the bottom, otherwise they will bind, and not slide, in the supporting framework.
Mount your wing chun wooden dummy on two sturdy parallel upright wooden posts (four by eight is a good size) about five feet apart, or on any framework that adequately supports the weight of the dummy while allowing for its movement. You can make the dummy portable by cutting downward pointing L-shaped slots in the uprights to hold the crosspieces. You don’t need to use oil or stain to finish the wooden dummy, natural oils from the hands and arms will eventually seal and color the wood.


Fill out the form on the right side of that page and it will take you to the page with a full size pdf. The dummy consists of a body with two upper arms at shoulder level, a lower arm at stomach height, and one leg, suspended on a framework by two crosspieces.
Try to find wood native to your area since transporting it from a different climate, especially with different humidity, can cause cracking. The lower arm is eight and a half inches down from the upper arms, extending straight out from the center of the body.
The upper part of the leg may come straight out from the dummy, parallel with the floor, or it may extend downwards at an angle. The part that passes through the wooden dummy must be smaller than the part that is visible, so the leg won’t slide back up into the dummy. On the other hand they must not be too brittle, otherwise they will crack rather than flex under stress.
At this distance apart they provide support so the dummy does not tip forward or backward when moved. Put another set of stops on the crosspieces to keep the dummy from sliding all the way out of the framework on either side.
Set them far enough out from anything behind to allow for forward and backward movement of the dummy.
Muk Yan Jong - Shaolin Wooden Dummy, Sections 1-4 This is the seventh in a series presented by the Ving Tsun Museum on the Yip Man system. Muk Yan Jong - Shaolin Wooden Dummy, Sections 5-8 This is the eighth in a series presented by the Ving Tsun Museum on the Yip Man system.
Some softwoods may not have enough strength to withstand the force applied to a dummy, or have the proper weight.
Even with these precautions wood will still sometimes check or split, in which case you might use a wood fill or banding.
In order to give both arms room to pass through the wooden dummy, the left arm (facing the dummy) is slightly higher than the right.
The amount of taper differs, but a loss of about an inch, down to one and a half inches in diameter at the tip, is average.
This half of the arm can be either in line with the outer half, or offset from center so one corner of the inner half touches one edge of the outer half while the opposite corner of the squared inner half is inset from the edge of the rounded outer half.


The lower part of the leg may come straight down, at a right angle to the floor, or it may extend forward at an angle. The bottom of the leg should line up with the bottom of the body, about six inches above the floor. Also, if the top crosspiece is any closer to the top of the wooden dummy it gets in the way of a neck-pull. The Muk Yan Jong is one of the first apparatus, or training tools, used in the Yip Man system. For some this task has an incredible end result, a training partner with your sweat, blood and qi.
Anything smaller doesn’t give the needed weight and requires adjustments in the length of arms and leg.
The holes intersect at their outer edges where they cross in the exact center of the dummy. While this offset is more difficult to make, it allows theĀ  wooden dummy arms to be adjusted to different angles simply by switching or turning the arms, causing the width apart at the tapered ends to be changed. It is meant to correspond to your own leg, if you were to stand with one leg forward, so keep this pattern in mind when making your wooden leg.
It’s a good idea to have an extra set of crosspieces on hand for the inevitable day when one cracks. Cut the bottom of the slots at the lowest height needed for the dummy then, to raise the dummy, insert wooden risers in each slot. An advantage of hardwood is that you’re less likely to tear up the center of the dummy as you cut these overlapping holes. You can also support the crosspieces on L-shaped brackets attached to the front of the uprights.



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