Round Cajon

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Project by bobkberg posted 01-31-2015 08:47 PM 2082 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was chatting with a fellow at work, and discovered that he is also a musician, albeit more serious than I am, and he learned that I am a woodworker, also more serious than most people, and the conversation turned to cajones, (A drum made entirely of wood – originally from Peru, according to Wikipedia, made from boxes) Relatively recent versions include an octagon bongo-like cajon. Traditionally, they’ve been a box you sit on and drum on the front surface, but I’ve been thinking of how to have one and not have to bend over.

So, he wondered if I could make him a round one. I agreed to try and as usual for me, I started with a prototype made of cheap scrap. It was, as the saying goes “a learning experience”. But having learned from the experience, I went ahead and spent several weeks of free time producing the one in the first picture.

It’s made of 30 pieces of 3/4” Birch, beveled, glued and sanded to a nice cylinder, with a 3 3/4” sound hole and top and bottom made of 3 mm birch plywood.

For the final glue up, I cut a circle of plywood fitted and strapped around the center (picture 4) to make sure that it really WAS a cylinder. Then I used many of my smaller clamps to make sure that the alignment of all the staves on each end. More on how I cut the circle on another project post.

It’s finished smooth, inside and out, and he loved it. This might be a lousy business model since I didn’t charge him anywhere near the amount of time it took for me to learn how to make it, but on the positive side, I got to play with the concepts, materials and skills on somebody else’s nickel, so I view it as a win-win.

I’ll be posting the second one later today.


-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

2 comments so far

View oldskoolmodder's profile


801 posts in 4190 days

#1 posted 02-01-2015 03:20 AM

You never get what you are worth monetarily speaking. You got experience and as you said, someone else paid for you to learn. Cajones are on my todo list, but I am not happy about the box type.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View bobkberg's profile


439 posts in 3584 days

#2 posted 02-01-2015 07:02 AM

Hi OldSkookModder,

I don’t care about what I might be worth monetarily speaking – I was enjoying the experience, and it was a nice addition that someone suggested something that I could learn from.

I wasn’t happy with the box type either – that’s what led to the conversation at work. But I’m grateful that some unknown person in South America saw something in a wooden box that no one else saw – and made something of it.


-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

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