Homemade martial arts dummy
March 24, 2006 2:05 AM   Subscribe

What can I use to build the frame for a martial arts dummy?

Hi. I'm looking at building a dummy to beat up. The covering is quite straightfoward - carpet, foam, lots of duct tape - but the frame is tricky with my limited skills.

I want to make something along the lines of this but with two arms held out in front. I don't think the pvc pipe will be strong enough, and I want something thats quite hard and solid to hit.

My first thought was to use steel plumbing pipes and connectors, but they're not widely available in the UK. I've also thought of wood, but it would have to be round posts and I don't know if my DIY skills are up to making something solid. Also they're hard to find.

Is there another modular system with connectors I could use like pipes, or do you have any other ideas?
posted by lunkfish to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
Forgot to add that it doesn't matter if the frame pieces are thicker than the pipes in the diagram, in fact that could work out better.
posted by lunkfish at 2:07 AM on March 24, 2006

Scaffolding pipe. Ask a construction site and you may even get it for the price of a drink :) Be sure and wrap it well though!
posted by DrtyBlvd at 3:45 AM on March 24, 2006

Nice idea, but looks like the couplers have bolts sticking out. Could be nasty if they wore through the padding.
posted by lunkfish at 4:04 AM on March 24, 2006

ABS/PVC plumbing pipes and connectors? modular, no protruding bolts, and you can fill it with sand to add extra weight/compressive strength. build an internal frame with the piping and then tape some thick foam/whatever padding around the outside.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 6:08 AM on March 24, 2006

What's your plan for holding the frame in place? No matter how solid the frame is, I think a much bigger design consideration would be how to make it swing back a bit, but not too far, when you hit it and then swing back into place.

In my opinion, this is what hanging heavy bags are for. Why do you want a dummy per se? If you're trying to toughen up your hands by hitting something rough, just do a bunch of knuckle pushups and hit the ground a lot. No dummy you build is going to be humanlike in how it reacts to a punch, so _looking_ more humanlike seems like a kind of dubious benefit.
posted by gurple at 12:03 PM on March 24, 2006

I will just add that I had to make a sturdy dummy and found that old dive suits worked great.
posted by what-i-found at 4:53 PM on March 24, 2006

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