Cajon Drum

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Project by sugarpine posted 01-08-2012 11:06 PM 6464 views 9 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A good friend, his wife and their friends are into making music. I saw a cajon drum being played at a concert and decided to make one as a gift for him. The cajon drummer at the concert was kind enough to let me look it over and answer lots of my questions. With his input and Google, I came up with this. For those unfamiliar with a cajon drum, the drummer sits on the box and strikes the front with his finger tips like a bongo player. Striking near the upper corners produces a snare like sound. The middle produces a deep bass sound.

The box is nothing special, a simple box of 1/2” baltic birch plywood with a 3/8” baltic birch back. The corners and edge treatments are maple. The interior braces and corner treatments are alder and oak (pretty much whatever I had in my scrap bin). The feet are birch.

The front (tapa) is 1/8” baltic birch plywood with sapele pommele veener on the front and beech veener on the back. It’s attached with 3/4” X 8-32 drawer pull machine screws. Since the tapa literally takes a beating, it needs to be easy to remove and replace or refinish.

The exterior is finished with multple coats of General Finishes Satin Gel Topcoat. The interior is unfinished.

-- sugarpine

6 comments so far

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

326 posts in 2809 days

#1 posted 01-08-2012 11:21 PM

That is a beauty. The Sapele Pommele veener tapa was a good choice.

View a1Jim's profile


117272 posts in 3750 days

#2 posted 01-08-2012 11:46 PM

That’s one beautiful drum great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4135 days

#3 posted 01-09-2012 04:25 AM

Our drummer showed up with one of these and suggested I could use it with my foot at my one man shows. Heck, I can hardly get around playing my guitar and singing, let alone kickin’ one of these things. They do have a good sound and are easy to pack around.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Manasseh's profile


122 posts in 2976 days

#4 posted 01-09-2012 09:47 PM

Next on my list to do. How many Cajon’s do you think can be made from a standard sheet of birch plywood?
I figure if you can make one, you can make 2 or 3 at the same time…

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2416 days

#5 posted 05-16-2012 11:49 PM

That’s awesome man. I’m looking into building one myself and I started wondering if having all but the tapa side joined with dovetails for added sturdiness (and craftyness) would affect the tone. Guess we’ll have to try it both ways and see what happens. Thanks for the detailed pics as they are immensely helpful.

Keep ‘em coming!

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View scottishbob's profile


171 posts in 2460 days

#6 posted 02-20-2015 08:43 PM

very nice, a lot of work went into that one

-- Ireland, Galway .... fingers! "we dont sell them"

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