Wing Chun Dummy – Triple Wedgie


As I mentioned last time, the dummy arms require some mechanism to hold them in place,  while at the same time allowing them to rattle when struck.  The traditional way of doing this is wedges or pegs that fit through the tenon a short distance from the body of the dummy.  I chose wedges, primarily because I had a better idea of how to employ them.

Wing Chun Dummy - Triple Wedgie 1

I inserted the arms in their mortises, and measured the clearance from the body on the back.  I decided to start the wedge mortises about 2” from the end of the arms.  These mortises would be ⅜” wide, and 1” long on top, tapering to ¾” on the bottom.  The width was based on the width of my mortising chisel, and the length was purely arbitrary – it just looked right.  This was laid out on the top of the tenon as shown at left.

Wing Chun Dummy - Triple Wedgie 7.jpg

I then drilled a starting hole near one end of the mortise and chiseled out the waste.  Yes, it looks like I’m drilling at an angle, but this is a posed shot.  Try working a camera and a brace at the same time!  The chisel is one of the wonderful English-pattern mortise chisels (pigsticker) made by Ray Iles and sold by Tools for Working Wood.  I first made the straight mortise section, then angled the sloped section to match.

Wing Chun Dummy - Triple Wedgie 8

Next, I turned my attention to the wedges.  I wanted a wood that was strong, but had some compressibility to hold in the mortise.  I had a piece of soft maple left over from another project that was too small for anything else, which made it perfect for this.  I planed it down to ⅜” thick, and cut wedges to match the mortise.  As you can see from the picture on the left, I measured a 1 ½” span in about the middle of the wedge blank, and marked it at 1” on one end and ¾” on the other.  This gave me the slope of the wedge.  I let it extent about an inch on either side of this, but a bit more at the top, since repeated removal and replacement will probably make the wedge migrate downwards somewhat..

Wing Chun Dummy - Triple Wedgie 6

And above , you see the arms installed with the wedges in place.  Because of the irregular shape of the log, I had to trim the front of two wedges back at a bit of an angle to give the required clearance.  That’s okay, because it gave me a chance to fine-tune the action of the arms.

The next step will be construction of the frame.  We’re getting into the home stretch here, and after all these strange shapes and hyper-deep mortises, it’ll be nice to get back to some classic joinery.  Stay tuned!

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2 responses to “Wing Chun Dummy – Triple Wedgie

  1. I opened your site to check your blog and got a shock, from what you say? I saw that you had featured my “Flaming Platter” on your site and felt flattered and honored! Thank you!

    Erwin (Bearpie)

    • Erwin, I was glad to have a chance to feature it. I try to cycle through different Lumberjock projects that stand out from the pack, and yours certainly qualifies. It’s my way to remind folks of the quality work that’s going on out there, and to encourage them to check out Lumberjocks if they haven’t already done so. Great work!

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