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.
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.
-- rhykenologist and plant grower