Third Cajon

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 10-24-2014 08:21 PM 2085 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

[Legebla ankaĆ­ in Esperanto]

This is the third cajon I’ve built so far. A friend of mine from church plays guitar and sings in a local band. He saw my wife’s cajon and asked if I could make one for him. The drummer in the band does not like dragging his drum set around to the gigs. Since a cajon can sound like an entire drum set (minus the cymbals) he thought this would do well.

The box is made of 1/2 inch plywood. It measures about 20×12 inches. The front is of 1/8 inch plywood. It’s fastened on with brass flathead screws. The joints are all double rabbet. with glue. A pair of snares inside add a lot to the sound of this simple instrument.

It’s finished with polyurethane.

The third photo shows how the upper corners are not tight to the box. This gives out a nice snap when hit with the fingers. The last photo shows how I put a curl in the front. It works best if it’s concave, but my piece of wood became convex when I finished it, even though I treated both faces.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

4 comments so far

View SirGareth's profile


133 posts in 3541 days

#1 posted 10-24-2014 09:56 PM

I really like the finished product Dave! Just beautiful!

You used plywood, no? How did you roundover the top? When I tried that on a practice piece, it did not work out well for me.


-- Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward. - Tim, Southern California

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2022 posts in 3529 days

#2 posted 10-24-2014 10:08 PM

Tim, I used a 1/2 inch round over bit in my router. BUT apparently plywood is picky about how one rounds over. My first attempt gave me some splitting and tear out on the edge. After I turned the piece so that the side 90 degrees to the router table had the surface grain running longways, It worked fine. I was able to repair the damaged section using some ‘wood epoxy’ that I got for Christmas last year. It’s not invisibly repaired, but it’s not extremely noticeable, especially as I put that face on the bottom.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CFrye's profile


11410 posts in 3180 days

#3 posted 10-25-2014 04:36 PM

Another nicely crafted instrument, Dave!

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2022 posts in 3529 days

#4 posted 10-25-2014 09:01 PM

CFrye, Thanks. We got it all adjusted today and hopefully it will go to its new owner tomorrow.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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