How to Build a Wooden Dummy


Have you ever wanted to use a wooden dummy for target practice or to trick a friend, only to come up empty when you went to purchase it? A wooden dummy is a great tool for practicing marksmen and the practical joker among us but they are difficult to find and often extremely expensive. These simple construction steps will help you build a wooden dummy to the specifications you see fit, and ultimately save you time and money in the process. Why go through the hassle of tracking down and procuring a prefabricated wooden dummy when you can build one easily and for less than half the average retail cost?

Step 1

Locate the hardware store nearest your home and find a sturdy sheet of 3/4-inch thick plywood. The standard plywood sheet may be too large for most cars, so you should come prepared with a flatbed truck or large SUV. Once you have paid for the plywood, return home and place the wood in the garage.

Step 2

Using a pencil, sketch the outline of your wooden dummy. The exact specifications will be up to you, but make sure you are making the dummy large enough as to not waste a majority of the plywood sheet. A well-sketched wooden dummy should be symmetrical and have a body, two arms, two legs and a head. Be sure to avoid elaborate details in the outline as they will be impossible to follow with the table saw router.

Step 3

Set the plywood sheet on your table saw router. Carefully follow the pencil-sketched outline until the wooden dummy has been completely cut out of the sheet of 3/4-inch thick plywood. As long as the outline is simple and there are not an abundance of sharp twists or turns, the table saw router should make quick work of the plywood.

Step 4

Using a sheet of wood grade sandpaper, sand down the cut edges of the wooden dummy until they are smooth and free of any protruding edges. If the overall appearance of the dummy is of little importance, this step can be skipped without affecting the dummy's performance.

Step 5

Using the black paint, paint any features on the dummy you feel necessary. If the dummy is going to be used for target practice, most marksmen would prefer some color contrast throughout the dummy to aid their aim. You may want to paint a face or a traditional bull's-eye symbol in the middle of the body portion of the dummy.

Tips and Warnings

  • A table saw router is an extremely dangerous piece of equipment and will need to be treated with caution. Consult the manufacturers safety manual prior to use and follow all appropriate safety measures to help avoid injury. If an accident does occur while using the table saw router, be sure to contact your local emergency services immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • 3/4-inch thick sheet of plywood
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Table saw router
  • Sandpaper
  • Black paint
Keywords: wooden, dummy, table, saw, router, plywood

About this Author

Chuck Mercier has been writing professionally since graduating college in 2004. He contributes to eHow, as well as a personal blog dealing with foreign affairs and nuclear proliferation. Mercier holds a Bachelor of Arts in English creative writing from Florida State University and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in international relations from Oklahoma University.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Build a Wooden Dummy