There are various ways to find a cheap wooden dummy – either by sourcing the parts and building one yourself, or finding one second hand for sale through sites like ebay and gumtree.
Building your own wooden dummy can be a cheap alternative to buying a wooden dummy but comes with some obvious problems like finding the wood and building the thing. If you’re not great at DIY or don’t have access to wood turning equipment, you can get someone to make one for you but this will add to the cost.
I built my own dummy years ago with some help from a local wood turner. Luckily I lived in the country at the time and also had access to a lathe and shave horse as I knew someone with all the equipment. Even so it came with some difficulties and the dummy itself isn’t perfect. The arms I turned on a lathe but as I had no experience of this they all came out slightly differently!
The local contact who found the trunk cut holes in it with a chainsaw – much quicker than drilling them out and chiseling the holes. However this left some overlapping lines from the width of the chainsaw which had to be filled in.
You can also make a very basic dummy simply by attaching makeshift arms to a basic body and building a stand for it. However I really think that the nicer your dummy is, the more you will enjoy using it. If your dummy is too makeshift, you may find it falling apart as you are using it and this might not inspire you to continue training with it!
My home made dummy is currently in storage and I am looking to buy one from ebay at the moment. You will find some cheap wooden dummies on ebay. You will usually need to collect it though so it’s worth looking for dummies in your area. Use the advanced search option to locate dummies with a 50 mile radius of your address. Some sellers may offer to deliver but most likely you will have to pick up. This often reduces the number of bidders so you can really find a bargain if you wait for one.
You can save a search on ebay and get email updates when new items arrive. Simply enter in ‘wooden dummy’ into the search bar and click on ‘advanced’ next to the search button on the right. Scroll down to items near me and enter the value of distance that you are prepared to travel to collect the dummy. I used 75 miles in my search to get more results although I’m not sure I would really travel this far.
Next, enter the price you would be prepared to pay. I put £350 as a maximum. Although I wanted a cheaper wooden dummy than this, it will bring in more results and I can decide later if I wish to bid or not. Click search at the bottom and then click on ‘save search’ at the top above the results. You will get an option to be delivered emails when new items arrive which match your search criteria.
This is a great tool for finding a cheap wooden dummy. Simply check your emails regularly for updates and when an appropriately priced dummy comes up put a bid in for it. I recommend using auctionsniper.com. This will allow you to put in your maximum bid at the very last second which will avoid bumping the price up and entering into a bidding war with any potential competitors. It is well worth the small price you will pay and you will get some free snipes when you join.
Bidding too early is often a mistake as it simply alerts other bidders to increase their price also. The only time you should bid early is when there are no bids on the item at all. This stops the seller changing the starting bid or removing the item altogether. Of course this will depend on how much you want it and what the starting bid is!