How to Make a 200 Lb. Fully Rotating Wing Chun Dummy - PVC and Concrete Version




About: Training 3 different styles of martial arts, teach self defense to children, working on becoming a police officer - that sums it all up

Yep, as a martial artist, especially after having watched Donnie Yen in Ip Man at the beginning of the summer, I set out with the intention to build something that would inspire me to train to greater heights everyday, as well as make it out of something cheap and affordable, like PVC. Ultimately, I ended up spending just under $150.00, which, for half the supplies, that got me extras for making another one in the future.

Oh, here's a list of the materials for an update, as well as the prices:
-One 10 ft section of 6 inch diameter PVC pipe - $26.33
-One 10 ft section of 3 inch diameter PVC pipe - $5.49
-One 10 ft section of 1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe - $2.79
-Two 6 inch diameter PVC endcaps - $24.46 ($12.23 individually)
-One 3 inch diameter PVC end cap - $2.98
-Three 1/2 inch diameter PVC endcaps - $2.31 ($0.77 each)
-One 45 degree PVC Elbow (the angle depends on the style you prefer, I have the leg penetrating further in due to the Hung Gar style of utilizing a wider gait and a wider gate) - $2.38
-Epoxy spray paint - Red - $4.97
-Epoxy spray paint - Black - $4.97
-1 can of Plasti-Dip spray - $4.97
-Four 60 lb. bags of concrete - $9.00 ($2.25 per each of them)
-Two 10 ft sections of 1/2 inch thick iron rebar - $5.50
-1 Hacksaw - borrowed this from my roommate
-1 Miter Saw - borrowed this from my roommate
-1 Jigsaw (even though it's mentioned in one of the steps that you can eliminate the actual need for this as Menards sells a Round Edge Glued Pine Panel 5/4" x 12" for $5.49) - I borrowed this from Master Sonny Couch's brother-in-law's father
-One 12 inch round Lazy Susan Plate, 1000 lbs. capable (you can get this off - $8.63
-One 12" x 18" Galv. Sheet Metal - $4.98
-2 x 4 studs - these were just lying around in my garage
-Loppers (for cutting the sheet metal - trust me, the hacksaw would just be a pain in the ass) - borrowed these from my roommate (Did I bother mentioning Danny is a Construction worker)
-3/4" x 2' x 2' Oak Plywood Sheet - $ 6.99
-2 Menards buckets (One to mix the concrete, one to form it, lol) - I got these as a deal of 2 for $5.00
-About 30 Drywall screws, 1.25 inches long - $5.96 for a box of 500 pieces, but i actually ended up borrowing them from Master Sonny Couch
-A hammer (for knocking the ends off the drywall screws, but you could honestly leave them up since they'll be covered in concrete anyway - Yeah, I just generally own a hammer, myself
-About ten 2 inch long Construction Screws - $5.96 for a box of 270
-Flat Head Stove Bolts,3.5 inches long, .25 inches thick - $0.82 for a pack of 4
-20 fender washers, about 1/4 inch thick should do it - $2.07 ($0.69 for a pack of 7)
-extra steel washers thicker than 1/2 inch - The definition of extra is that I didn't buy them for this project, they were just lying around and were thicker than a 1/2 inch)
-12 inch long eye bolt, 1/2 inch thick - Again lying around, but either way, it should be about $3.49
-One 1/2 inch drill bit (a drill press is easier than a hand drill, but whatever works) - this one however, was very much so lying around in my garage
-One heavy duty can of PVC glue - $7.99
-A sharp knife to cut the plastic bucket - if it's your roommate's, and he finds out by reading this instructable, that's just priceless
-Masking tape - $1.79
-2 Power Poxy Weld containers - $5.14 ($2.57 per each container) (I will be doing this step later today)
-A shipload of patience, lol

Sum total: $148.97! Good luck to anyone on the attempt, and I'll be updating the process for the base-spinning plate in a few days!

Btw, Special Thanks to MENARDS for giving me every piece of material for this project - I will eventually give them a print out/poster of this instructable to hang in their store.

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Step 1: Making Your Base-spinning Plate (Pt. 1)

One cool thing was that I found a 12 inch Lazy Susan Plate on, and it holds up to 1000 lbs. One picture I sadly did not take for this instructable was of myself and a friend holding hands while another friend pushed us around in a circle...yep, real growwn ups, we are, lol.

Anyway, taking the 12 inch lazy Susan Plate, you want to draw its outline on top of a piece of sheet metal, then cut the sheet metal out into that shape. Then, after making a trip to Menards, grab a 2 ft by 2 ft section of 3/4 inch plywood (I recently found out that they actually sell 12 inch round disks of inch thick wood that's been glued together at Menards, which I'll do the next time I go about making a Dummy for one of my instructors). Have them cut it into 12 inch squares, and don't forget an extra sheet of it at 2 ft by 2 ft, which I'll explain later.

Place the circular piece of sheet metal on one of the squares of wood, draw an outline, and after borrowing a friend with a jigsaw, lop the corners of the square to make it a circle. This step can be done away with in the future as after finding out about the 12 inch circular disks of wood that Menards actually sells. Lay the lazy susan plate on top of the sheet metal disk, and that on top of the wooden disk. There are 1 inch thick holes close to the brim of the lazy susan plate on its bottom that you will now take a hammer and a nail and make a dent through the sheet metal all the way around for every coincinding hole that is on the top plate for the lazy susan. Following the denting of the sheet metal, you're going to use some 1 inch long drywall screws to plug the lazy susan plate down through the sheet metal into the wooden disk, thus securely attaching tha lazy susan plate an affirming the holes that will match up with it. Now, flip the plate over and smack off the extra pieces of screws that are sticking up through the board, then pry them off...yes, even without tips, those screws will hold in place pretty well for what we are attempting to do here.

Step 2: Making Your Base-spinning Plate (Pt. 2)

From the last point, we'll now be drawing lines on the bottom of the sheet metal disk, as well as on top of the wooden disk to find the very center...major importante to not be off on this as it controls how smoothly your Wing Chun Dummy will spin through a movement and not be lopsided.

With the lines drawn out several times, you should be able to find the middle of your point of axis. Using a drill press, just punch a hole right through, about 1/2 an inch should be good. This is based on securely attaching your base-spinning plate to the eventual shaft of your PVC Concrete Dummy. If you want to, go ahead and do this to one of your 6 inch PVC endcaps, as it will be linked together eventually for making the base flush.

Now, I wanted some space in between the lazy susan plate and the ground, so I could go back and forth to adjust things within the lazy susan plate and the wooden disk in terms of leveling everything out (flushness). I tried to use a miter saw on some old pieces of wood that my teacher, Master Sonny Couch, had given me, but the levels were off by the tiniest millimeter, and I ended up using a 2x4 instead, cut into 2 inch squares. I quickly disassembled the lazy susan plate from the wooden disk and the sheet metal disk, laying out the screws in the order they were to go back in as, and I plugged 4 drywall screws with fender washers just beneath the heads in 1/4 inch holes that were found on the bottom plate of the lazy susan on the inside brim. I had gone about drilling 1/2 inch holes around the inside brim, but ended up sticking with the smaller pre-cut ones and just using drywall screws instead of galvanized bolts.

Step 3: Making Your Base-spinning Plate (Pt. 3)

So then, we will now make the final push in assembling the whole base-spinning plate.

Cut a 6 inch square of 3/4 inch plywood, and an 8 inch square of the same kind. You're going to want to screw your PVC endcap down to the 6 inch square to hold it in place. From there, I used stainless steel bolts (4 of them at 3 inches long by a 1/4 inch thick - I put one through each corner of the 6 inch square up through the endcap, with a fender washer beneath each bolt head from the bottom side of the plywood. Make sure you take out the drywall screws, as the bolts now hold the PVC endcap in place.

The 8 inch square of plywood was then screwed upwards into that 6 inch square with some 2 inch long construction screws. After checking the leveler on the PVC endcap with the square base sitting on the floor, I found that though one side was square, the line measure perpedicular to it was horribly off, thus the terminology of the word I now come to that is referred to as flush. So, after looking at the levels, I found I could adjust how flush the endcap was by placing extra fender washers inbetween the 6 inch square of plywood and the PVC endcap.

Now, after checking that everything is flush again, use your drill press to go all the way through those extra sections of plywood. Now, I attached a foot long 1/2 inch thick eye bolt into the bottom of the PVC endcap, as something for the concrete to hold onto more. I stuck extra fender washers, most of them thicker than a 1/2 inch hole from other projects I've done in the past. The reason behind using steel washers is that chemically, concrete eats away at steel, and thus, will hold to it a lot more strongly after sitting for a few days. The picture I have of the eyebolt shows the nut and washers on the bottom side of the lazy susan, but I switched it so the nut was at the base of the inside of the PVC endcap, for the point just mentioned, allowing only an inch or less to stick out of the bottom.

Now, screw the lazy susan bottom plate into the four 2 x 2 sections with the drywall screws and the fender washers, with the wooden disk and sheet metal disk getting screwed back into the lazy susan plate according to how the screws were laid out to fit back into place for each hole on the outside brim of the top plate. From here, use the corner that stick out on the 8 inch square piece of plywood and screw that down at angles with the drywall screws onto the top of the wooden disk.

With all of them together now, use that extra 2 ft by 2 ft section of 3/4 inch plywood as the very base piece, with those construction screws going into them at angles so the screws go into the 2 x 2 sections, but don't hit the lazy susan plate, which would chance an obstruction of the ball bearings moving smoothly. You'll be able to bolt down the bottom piece to a box platform you can make out of a thick sheet of plywood and 2 x 4 studs, or what I plan to do, which is just bolt it down to the cement foundation in my basement. Allows you to spar it while moving around it in a full 360 degree range with lots of spinning kicks. Yeah, sucka!

Step 4: Finalizing Your Base With Concrete

One of the coolest traits of my kung fu school ( is that a lot of our practice is largely based on the concept of self-discovery. I was pulling two buckets apart, trying to figure out how I could maybe build a form of 2 x 4 studs and extra plywood sections in order to pour concrete around the base, to make sure it remained flush forever. So, the bucket fell completely even with the wooden disk. I got to thinking (I know, dangerous). I just used a bunch of drywall screws to screw the top section of the bucket's brim down onto the wooden disk. Cool how it worked out. From there, I used a simple kitchen knife to cut the bottom piece of the bucket, so that I could pour the concrete in (filet knife, I think - sorry Danny, I'll buy you a new filet knife). I also duck taped the sides of the bucket's brim around the wooden disk base, just in case any concrete started to leak out.

From here, I temporarily put a 5 ft section of 6 inch dimater PVC into the endcap, mixed the concrete, and poured it into the sides around the PVC endcap, forming to the side of the bucket. You really can't photograph the consistency too well, just one of those areas of this instructable that you'll have to discover for yourself. I will say that you want it to be more liquid like as opposed to chunky and solid - not so much that water can be seen in it so easily, but when you're dropping it in, it should fall with a couple of 'splotch' sounds. Make sure the concrete forms right up against the brim of the PVC endcap, and leave the 6 inch tube inside the endcap so the sides don't get crushed inward by the concrete.

I poured some concrete into the bottom of the PVC endcap just to keep the eyebolt in place as well.

Step 5: Constructing the Main Shaft of Your PVC Dummy

Now, I took a 10 ft section of 6 inch wide PVC and cut it almost directly in half with a Miter Saw. Yep, that's my foot holding the tube down right by the saw - you all can kiss my unsafe ass, it was a Sunday and I didn't feel like putting shoes on. :-P Now then, you want to measure it so that the top is equal with your height, but recall that our base-spinning plate is a good 6 - 9 inches off the ground, which is why we don't need our actual height cut.

Going off of measurements for the traditional Wooden Man, the arms should come out 11.5 inches, the top two arms having a 14.5 inch gap inbetween their ends. The middle arm should come out at where your solar plexus measures up to it, and the hole for the leg should be just below your hip bone.

You could use hole saw attachments to cut those holes, or just take a drill bit and drill holes all around the side of where your hole will be for eachappendage. I used 1.25 inches for the arms, and 3 inches for the leg. Also, used that trusty filet knife again - that thing cuts through plastic like butter.

I used a 45 degree angle bracket for the leg, with two sections of the 3 inch pipe, each measuring about 14 inches or so. I used a 1/2 inch sectional of Iron rebar to stick throughout the legs, arms, and even through the main shaft. In this way, in case the concret cracked, or a section of arm or leg broke off, the rebar would still hold it all in place in the form of the Wing Chun Dummy. For the hole for the leg, make sure the hole itself is cut at an angle, the same angle of which the leg will be hanging down at.

But be warned, the longest thing in this process, besides waiting for the concrete to dry, is having to cut iton rebar...takes a good 5 minutes for each cut, and that's working your arm hard with a hacksaw.

Step 6: Putting the Arms and Legs Together on the Main Shaft

So, for this step, I simply bent the rebar down to fit inside each arm and leg, cutting it where necessary (you want to leave 6-10 inches of rebar to come past the PVC pipe section so that it holds to the main shaft of the concrete. I had initionally wanted the rebar inside the leg to bend down and attach to the eyebolt in the bottom of the main shaft, but it proved too awkward to try to bend it at such a sharp angle, so instead, I used one long piece to attach to the eyebolt, which went all the way up to the top of the shaft.

Before placing the concrete and rebar int, I used Heavy Duty PVC glue to rub along the inside of the endcaps along the outside of the pipe sections, then squeezed them down together. Actually, it helps smoothen out the hard siding of the endcaps. Go figure, it just worked out really well placing extra glue inside like that.

The concrete is poured into each appendage, whilst carefully holding the rebar in the center of the tube section. It's important to mention that I placed a 1 inch covering of concrete in the base of each endcap, just so the rebar would not be right up against the PVC itself. After the concrete is formed (give it a day), set the leg and arms up so that they sit in a comfortable place that won't let them drop too easily. I also duct taped them in place, and along the outside of the holes for the leg and arms, so that no concrete would come out, and so that they would stay level as well.

When anchoring each arm and the leg into the concrete, you'll want to pour the concrete down the main shaft over the course of a few days, allowing it to set in sections, just in case the PVC decides to crak and pour all that concrete out all over the floor. Yay...luckily, this was just a rumor from my roommate about concrete being poured into PVC piping...nothing actually happend like that.

The last step I took was to cover everything from the brim of the bucket to the top of the dummy with black Epoxy spray paint. I designed the endcap on the very top of the dummy with Chinese characters colored in red. First coat it in two to three coats of the black epoxy spray, then use masking tape to cover up the areas that are not the Chinese characters, as I decided to color them in a Cherry Red, coincidentally the colors for my Kung Fu school (again, I ended up having to hang on that endcap, as shown as the first photo in this instructable (no, I'm not that short in real life). Then, I finally touched up any other spots that were not covered well with a 2nd can of Black Epoxy Spray, and let the whole thing dry out. The Chinese characters are words of inspiration from a Sifu to his students: Study Diligently, Practice Vigourously. Thank you to Dr. Kristina Mao of Texas for helping me translate that. Lastly, thanks to Lacy for naming my Dummy...S.D.E.V. ;-P Yeah, I know it's an awesome name, lol. Bob has been used way too much, me thinks.

The only problem I've run into so far is recoil: when I hit the dummy too hard, the bouncing back and forth prevents it from spinning smoothly. I think I can fix this later by not having those 2 x 2 sections underneath the lazy susan plate, or just placing some sort of ruber cement between them and the bottom piece of plywood section to get rid of tiny gaps of space that allow for recoil to be going on in the first place. I'll update it when I can. Until then, catch you all later.

Here's two videos to better help anyone understand what I was going for:



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    15 Discussions


    3 years ago

    What's the difference between this one and wooden one? And why does it need to rotate?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Pvc because of wanting it to weigh more, thus the concrete. Rotation is part of the maneuverability I practice in my Kung Fu. Adds more to the concept of a lifeike opponent who actually moves with the same weight behind him as you do.


    5 years ago on Step 6

    Just curious how durable has this proven so far? We used to go pretty hard on our wooden dummies at my school. I've heard of PVC dummies before but was always skeptical about the durability of PVC vs wood for a repeated impacts.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Part of the pvc on one of the arms cracked and splintered off, revealing the truly unforgiving concrete underneath. This was over 3 years back.


    6 years ago on Step 6

    nice work friends :D
    had occurred to me to make this dummy, but my idea is to use a welded steel pipe, maybe a little more expensive but it will be more durable and stronger to withstand punches and kicks, especially on the legs dummy. Of course, the iron must be coated soft materials, such as foam

    That is one sweet wing chun dummy, I would love to construct one for my own. Is there any chance I can grab a PDF file format for that? Thanks in advance.


    Well, as an update to this project, I'm super happy I work Security for CAT, it allows me to talk with CAT technicians/welders/engineers most of the day.  Anywho, got to talking to a guy who saw a pic of my lazy susan plate, and basically told me it was the wrong one to use from the get go, but instead to use the plates they use on the pivot seats you have on boats these days.  More info to follow, I'll see if I can't just hack off part of the base this weekend and stick the new one on.  Will fill you all in as the information becomes cognizant in my mind.  ;)


    9 years ago on Step 6

     Unfortunately the Characters for Study and Diligence are switched just have o mention it. Although sweet instructable!! 

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 6

    Well, yeah, that's how they are written for the dialect my professor used, but when read to be madde understandable in an English sentence, she says to flip the words.  Really though, just looking at the characters as a whole and understanding that the meaning is in there, just not left to right, is what's important.


    Well, my Sifu came over and had a look at it, and decided that the vertical recoil exists not between the bottom plate of the lazy Susan and the base sheet of plywood, but between the top plate of the Lazy Susan and the two disks of sheet metal and 3/4 inch plywood. He suggested I get liquid nails for it and try to glue the edges of the top plate to the the sheet metal, and the sheet metal to the wooden disk. Hopefully, that should do it. I'll keep you all updated, and take a good bit of video when it's finally finished.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I think I get what this is but a better final picture would help... I think the "recoil" problem would be best solved with lots of oil on the ball bearings... the lazy suzan DOES have ball bearings right?

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    As I said, still working on getting the videos working. Movement is hard to capture with a picture, though. The recoil problem is not on a horizontal plane (there's over 100 ball bearings in the lazy susan plate, and she doesn't bend), but on a vertical plane. It rocks back and forth if you sink too much force on it...seems the problem is with putting the 2 x 2 square pieces of wood on the bottom plate. I would eliminate them all together, but another design problem is created: I can't drill up from the 2 ft by 2 ft plywood sheet into the lazy susan, as there's nothing to attach to the bottom plate of the lazy susan. Vice versa, I can't just screw from the topside of the bottom plate down into the plywood sheet, as I would still need access to the bottom side of the top plate of the lazy susan for screwing all necessary screws up through the sheet metal and wooden disk. Alas, a major design issue is raised. If anyone has any ideas, I'm more than willing to hear them - it's really a bugging matter. With the concept behind this Wing Chun Dummy, it's that you would be able to develop short power and hard qigong power training on it: that is, by having a subject weighing 200 lbs that can be spun 360 degrees around, one might be able to come to understand the amount of force required to move said subject from either using a short range redirect, or even a hard and rough strike. Hope that helps a bit.

    On an update to my problem, I think I may pull the studs off the bottom of the lazy susan plate, sand the metal surface down, and use a heavy duty metal epoxy glue and just glue the sucker down directly to the plywood sheet. I'll let you all know what happens with it.

    i will, gotta find my receipts first. Just wanted to get this up here so my fellow martial arts friends from across the globe could see how things turned out.