The incredibly simple cardboard box electric diddley bow / cajon

Picture of The incredibly simple cardboard box electric diddley bow / cajon
I had an idea in my head for a simple and cheap way to tune a string using stuff lying around the workshop. 

For this you will need:

- A Box (small, chunky and sturdy is best)

- A wooden stick of some kind (could be a mop handle, dowel, again anything sturdy) All i happened to have was some bamboo from grandmas garden.

- 1 long bolt with 2 nuts to fit it

- 1 piezo transducer (I think in the states you usually buy a buzzer and take it apart, here in the UK we have maplins who sell them naked - http://www.maplin.co.uk/piezo-transducers-3202)

- 1 1/4 inch mono chassis socket (again, maplins comes in useful http://www.maplin.co.uk/1-4-mono-chassis-socket-1252)

- 1 piece of wire (guitar/banjo string would be ideal, if you don't have that you can strip a small length of washing line, they usually have a good width wire inside the plastic core)

- 1 piece of very hard wire, or a nail, bent into a figure of 8. or a washer with a hole or a small L-bracket would suffice. as long as it can fit onto your long bolt. (i'll explain more in step 6)

- 1 small piece of scrap wood to act as a bridge


soldering iron
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Step 1:

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The first step is to solder the piezo to the 1/4 inch chassis socket.

Red/black to either pin, it makes no difference.

You have now made the easiest contact mic set-up you're likely to find anywhere.

Step 2:

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Draw around the threaded part of the socket near the corner near where you want the front of your ground-breaking instrument to be. 

Cut out the hole and insert/screw tight the chassis socket.

Head back inside the box and tape the piezo disc onto the surface of the box you want to be your front.

Step 3:

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Cut 2 holes into your amazing box, one to insert your stick'o'wood into, and one on the front of your box close to the very bottom.
this is where we will thread our wire into laters.
maddirk3 years ago
Awesome ! Thank you. :)
ASCAS3 years ago
Nice work! Well done!
But what software am I supposed to use?
offtandiscord (author)  ASCAS3 years ago
I only used software to record with, you can simply plug this into an amp to play on also.

A very good piece of software to record with is Reaper (http://www.reaper.fm/). which has a never-ending evaluation period and is pretty cheap anyway!
thanks! well done :))
Project 233 years ago
Can u make a video so we can see how it works? Great instructable by the way.
offtandiscord (author)  Project 233 years ago
There's a video of it in action in step 8!

if that doesn't work for whatever reason it's on the youtubes here:
susanrm3 years ago
This is so cool!! What software/setup did you use to live record the tracks and add more to them?
offtandiscord (author)  susanrm3 years ago
I recorded the tracks onto computer with Reaper, which is a useful semi-free audio recirding fella.

There are no extra tracks though, I used an effects pedal called a loopstation (Boss RC-20XL) which you can instantly loop and record ontop of.
Thanks for the info! Love it!
mikeasaurus3 years ago
Wow, awesome!