Picture of How to build a cajon
A Cajon is a common instrument in South America. It is often related to flamenco music/ samba.But you can use it just as a real drum with a guitar for accompany. When you play the cajon, you are sitting on it an drumming with your hands on the front side of the drum. You can find out a whole technics and learning stuff if you just search on cajon drumming on youtube for example.

In this instructable I will tell you how I builded my Cajon!

Step 1: The construction

Picture of The construction
I looked up a whole bunch of sites on how to build cajons on google. There were plenty of people who had nice instructions on how they builded there cajons. But i decided to create one from a construction i found on Orcana Artesania* . It was an easy instruction except it was in Spanish but I did only use the measurements. Instead of having guitar strings in it I bought a snare drum wire that i put in it.

*Link : http://www.ocanartesania.com/

This is the parts of the box and the measurements: (see the PDF file)
construccion-aleman.pdf(612x792) 462 KB
LucDaRocka12 years ago
Can anybody tell me how to pronounce "Cajon"?


npanrob9 months ago
Thank you. It's cool.
pronounced KA-HON
BuildBros2 years ago
Here's the english version of those instructions:
The instructions are in German, not spanish...
The vid sound isn't the best, but I've heard these in real life, and its like half a drum set in one box! Might build one once i have time...
1spartan954 years ago
Wouldn't spruce be a better wood to use?
89joho87 (author)  1spartan954 years ago
Maybe! Let's find out =D
I'm going to try it with spruce, and I'll tell ya about it when I'm done.
Awesome 'ible!!
89joho87 (author) 4 years ago
It was a bit tricky to tighten the snare wire! I got to metal plates as you can see in the pictue, those are tighten with two metal screws and two nuts on the inside of the drum. On the outside of the drum I only got one wingnut to tighten the whole construction. I don't find wingnuts are so sharp that they could have your leg bleedning but of course everthing can happen! Build it on yor own risk! =P
man, this is right up my alley! i already beat on everything in sight, this is another project for me!
vvshende5 years ago
I'm also a little confused how you arranged the snare in the cajon. I much prefer this way to loose snare wires, but I don't understand how you attached the snares. Could you explain a little more?
LandMime5 years ago
So using the wing nut can you tighten and loosen the snare without opening the box? If so, I'm not sure from this photo I can tell how the strap would move. Also, have you found the placement of the wing nut troublesome? I'd hate to get my leg up against that too many times. Already looks like some blood on the side . . . :O)
strings30025 years ago
I JUST built a Cajon! I saw one at a jam and thought,"I can do that!" It was a fun and easy build. Mine is not as loud as I may wish. My next one will be better.
Logan D6 years ago
I just finished mine. I used actual snare drum tensioning devices that are inside the box and the snare is shimmed up on the edges to keep them pressed against the tapa. It sounds great, but in the future I might want to test out a traditional guitar string setup. I made mine out of crappy warped plywood I found and flattened down with a box of chains(kind of worked), some cedar scraps for an internal frame, and 1/8" birch front plywood for the tapa. I was also looking into the Marímbula idea that bigredlevy mentioned, but to do this the sound hole would have to be put on the side. Overall: really fun instrument, great jamming applications, and very easy to tweak and make interesting by adding different types of snares, wires, etc. to the inside of the box.
Logan D6 years ago
Does the placement of the snares on the drum matter? Should they be horizontal, vertical, further up or down, etc.?
89joho87 (author)  Logan D6 years ago
Further up, cause you want to get the snare sound further up rather than down!
ok, so I should be horizontal to the front of the box?
bigredlevy6 years ago
nice work mate. simple construction.
maybe you could mod it a bit. maybe install a bass mbira in the side or something. some african bands use this instead of bass guitar i think.

bass mbira:
fultron896 years ago
So... it's a box with a snare strip inside?
That's exactly what it is! The Cajon was (is) the poor mans instrument in South America. And I imagine elsewhere too but it might go by a different name.
89joho87 (author)  fultron896 years ago
Basically yes! Are you Intresting to build one ? =)
liam.s6 years ago
legend. genius
aedwards756 years ago
Why is the wing nut on the front?
89joho87 (author)  aedwards756 years ago
It's not!
bassdale6 years ago
Wow I spent 150 American bucks for a cajon and this one we built for a friend for under 30 bucks. I could have vested money in making a few of these. Nice project! and easy if you construct the box out of squared ply wood.
89joho87 (author)  bassdale6 years ago
Thanks! That's awesome! I thought the same when i decided to build this one. The more you spend energy/time to make the drum the better it sounds. I spent about one week to build mine, It sounds good, but I am planning to make a better one!!!
this was EXACTLY what i was looking for this is really awesome, you should post a video of it in action. but unfortunately the linked site isnt working for me :(