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Cajon drum, for my son the drummer boy

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Blog entry by PaBull posted 11-05-2010 04:55 PM 15907 reads 12 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is for my son. He was adopted at age 19, came home the year before that. He is the bio-sister of one of our daughters. He had 2nd grade education when he came home. In the morning he works for me at the nursery and in the afternoon and evening my wife home-schools him to get his high-school diploma. It is a tough road for a special needs child to do this at later age. We love him a lot.

He will be turning 21 this month. So for his birthday I was thinking about making him a drum. A Cajon Drum. He has always wanted a drum for himself. He has had Hawaiian drumming lessons.

The Cajon Drum is a fairly simple wooden box. There are several websites with good plans. They are all a little different.

http://caseyconnor.org/images/cajon/cajon.pdf
http://www.cajon-drums.com/docs/cajon-plans1.pdf

So my design is a combination of all of the above.

A good friend of mine owns a plywood trading company. He gave me some 1/2 birch plywood waist pieces. This plywood works great for a Cajon Drum. The top corners are mitred, the bottom just nailed in, and so is the back. Most designs ask for pine frames, but I believe the sound is better if I do not use a frame, so I left it out.

The sound hole is a simple 4” circle, cut with the jigsaw.

Some people use actual guitar strings for snares, some leave them out. I used drum snares. I bought them at a local music store, Guitar Center. They are easy to install. I used blocks to mount them to and after mounting them to the blocks, I used the longer block to get some tension on the strings. Without the tension the sound is terrible, it sounds like there is something broke inside.

Next are the feet. The feet are door stops. I bought those at Lowe’s. I put them on blocks for two reasons. I was concerned about the structural strength of the bottom between the side and someone sitting on the box. So the blocks are partly under the sides as well. The second reason is that I liked to raise the box a little, it looks good.

Every thing is installed, we are happy with the looks, now we are ready to put the “Tapa” or front on it. The front does not get glue, just screws. This way we can work on things like adjusting the strings etc. The front is 1/4” birch plywood. Some use 1/8”, but in my household this is too thin.

The Cajon Drum is NOT done yet. We need to get a finish on it. I was thinking a lacquer or a shellac, but I will let you know. And I asked Hisaiah, he is an artist when it comes to drawing pictures, to make me a drawing of an island drummer. He does not know where the drawing is for. And I will transpose the drawing on the face of the drum to make it truly his drum.

I will make a post of the drum as soon as the drum is completed.

Here is a link of someone playing the Cajon drum on Youtube.

For the finished project check this out:
Click for details

-- rhykenologist and plant grower



19 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4146 posts in 1546 days


#1 posted 11-05-2010 04:59 PM

What an interesting project.
I must share it with my mate Jon.
He is into Free Drumming and this will interest him.

Great work, time patience and love is all some young folk need to blossom.
The rewards are huge.

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2698 posts in 1976 days


#2 posted 11-05-2010 05:24 PM

I thought about making one a while back. You just revived my interest.

Thanks for sharing

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2354 days


#3 posted 11-05-2010 06:08 PM

Alba, what you see in this blog took me only one eveing. It comes together pretty quickly.
Yes we love our Hisaiah. He has come a long way.

Kent, I can’t wait to see yours.

Be good, Pabull.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View swirt's profile (online now)

swirt

1946 posts in 1661 days


#4 posted 11-05-2010 07:51 PM

Good work on this project, and excellent work on your son.

Looking forward to seeing the finished project. I was not familiar with this kind of drum.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2354 days


#5 posted 11-05-2010 08:48 PM

Swirt, I love your website, Timberframe-tools. I was just thinking about timberframing a patio roof. A project not too big.

This is the kind of drum even I can tackle. I saw it first at a Pacific Festival. I went back stage and asked the drummer about the drum. I looked it up online and found all kinds of information on this drum.

I will post the project as soon as I have it completed and finished.

Be good, Pabull

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View swirt's profile (online now)

swirt

1946 posts in 1661 days


#6 posted 11-05-2010 08:52 PM

Thanks PaBull. A timberframe roof can be a great project. Not too overwhelming but still a bunch of big fun joints to make.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2354 days


#7 posted 11-05-2010 09:01 PM

Swirt, I’ll check out your website and see what tools I’ll be needing.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View mafe's profile

mafe

9561 posts in 1779 days


#8 posted 11-06-2010 12:55 AM

Wonderful drum wonderful guy.
I’m sure it will be a wonderful surprice.
Best thoughts to both of you,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2354 days


#9 posted 11-06-2010 01:06 AM

Thanks, my friend, Mads. We WILL surprise this kid!

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2850 days


#10 posted 11-06-2010 09:36 PM

I saw this blog this morning and thought – hmm, I’ll have to research the cajon drum (never saw that before) .. and then this afternoon I was watching a program re: Jan Arden and lo and behold a member of her band was playing this box—sure looked like a “cajon drum” to me :)
Isn’t life interesting how it brings you answers when you least expect them.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2354 days


#11 posted 11-07-2010 10:33 PM

I will post a “project” on this drum later.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View mafe's profile

mafe

9561 posts in 1779 days


#12 posted 11-08-2010 02:04 AM

Wauu he is a exelent artist with the pen also. Who is that son of yours? He seem to be gifted!
Impressed.
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 2138 days


#13 posted 11-08-2010 12:19 PM

truly a gift from the heart…well done….....

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2354 days


#14 posted 11-08-2010 11:32 PM

Todd, you have a way with words. Thanks you.

Mads, let me introduce you to my son: His name is Hisaiah, he number 4 in the line-up of 14 children in our family. He is born on the Marshall Islands.

He lived in Waipahu, Hi for a while and was adopted by us, about 2 years ago or so. He is from a line of story tellers from the islands. He works for me in the morning at the nursery. He also does some of the deliveries. In the afternoon he works on getting his high school diploma. My wife works with him on that.
Thanks for asking.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2850 days


#15 posted 11-08-2010 11:57 PM

PaBull.. your story keeps getting more wonderful !!!
what a beautiful story

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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