Introduction: How to Build a Cajon From Scratch
“Bump! Ba-Da Bump!” You play your homemade cajon with vigor and passion! Before you know it, a crowd has gathered on front lawn, hearing the groovy beats resounding from your house. You open the front door and place the cajon on your front porch. “You can try it for $5 an hour.” you announce. A line starts to form. You stay home rich.
- 1/2" Birch Plywood
- 1/8" Birch Plywood
- Gloss of your choice
- I used 1/2" #10 screws
- Snare Wire (I used 14 inch 42 strand)
In all, you can get all these materials for under $60.
Step 1: Build the Frame
You can cut the wood yourself or get it cut where you buy it. Whatever you choose, try to cut the wood as close to size as possible. Sand the front and back of the wood. Glue the support beans to the sides of the frame. Configure the frame as shown and glue together. Stack heavy objects on top of the frame while gluing to help the walls stay tight and in place. I also added a couple screws for good measure, but its up to you.
Step 2: Prepare the Front and Back
Sand the tapa (front) and the back of the cajon smooth. Then, cut the sound hole out. I used a Dremel, then sanded the circle smooth. If you choose, draw a logo or something cool onto the front of the tapa. I used plain old sharpies and pens to do mine.
Step 3: Install Snare Wire
Cut out the snare support and sand it smooth.
Time to install the snare wire! Cut it perfectly in half so that you have two identical pieces, then screw them onto the support beam. Try to ensure that ends are perfectly aligned. Pre drill holes in the frame where you want to install it. I drilled the holes 8.5" from the top and 2" from the front. Last, drill the support in, tilt it forward so that the ends of the snare protrude from the front by about 1".
Here is the snare wire I used if you are having trouble finding some:
Step 4: Drill the Front and the Back On!
Pre drill the holes in the tapa and the back. Next, I both glued and screwed the front and back on.
Step 5: Final Sanding
Sand like CRAZY! I also sanded the corners round so they don't poke your legs when you sit on it.
Step 6: Gloss Your Cajon
I used four coats of polyurethane gloss for my finish.
Step 7: You're Finished!
Congrats on making your cajon! If you want, you can also add pads to the bottom so that it doesn't scratch your floor.
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