I have wanted for some time to make a mook jong dummy. These training aids, traditionally made from logs, are staples in many martial arts movies. They have a cylindrical body with three odd-looking arms that stick straight out at various heights and angles. Often associated with Wing Chun Kung Fu, they are used by many different disciplines. Since prices for “store-bought” ones can run from $750 to $1,500, I decided to make my own.
I started by getting wood for the support frame. I plan on keeping the dummy in my shop, and the walls will not support a wall-mounted frame. My choice of a free-standing design was therefore obvious. After a few notes and calculations, I bought 4 8’ 2×10’s to make the frame members.
Once I got the wood back to the shop, I ripped each board into two 4 1/4” wide pieces, and then skip planed them to a uniform thickness that removed all mill marks. In the process, I discovered one piece of reaction wood. As Shannon Rogers (The Renaissance Woodworker) pointed out, the pith runs right through the middle of the piece, making the wood’s response to ripping understandable. Fortunately, my tablesaw has a riving knife, and only one side bowed, so all ended well. I’m not sure if I can use that piece or not, but I may be able to get a diagonal brace out of it. If not, I’ll have to go back and get a 2×6 to supplement.
The plan is to face-glue pieces of this stock together to make components about 4” wide and 2 1/2” thick. This will be assembled with hand-cut mortise-and-tenon joinery to make the left and right support members. For now, however, the boards have been stickered and left to stabilize while I work on other things.