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My friend turned 50 this past weekend. He's in a couple of bands that mainly play acoustic guitars. He's expressed a desire for some percussion from a cajone before, but I finally got around to making it for him.

I think it sounds pretty good. There are a few things I'd do differently next time - mainly make it bigger. I'm not totally happy with the bass sound. It's not bad, I'd just like a deeper thump. But, different drummers and all that…

Sound examples (i.e. me playing it very badly) and build/design video is here:

Gallery

Comments

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Pretty neat! Seems like it would be a really fun project to do.
 

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Nice job. I like the snares. I mounted my snare on a cupboard door hinge which snaps close so I have to reach in through the sound hole ion the back to flip it on or off. I'm curious what you used for the tapa?
 

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Nice job. I like the snares. I mounted my snare on a cupboard door hinge which snaps close so I have to reach in through the sound hole ion the back to flip it on or off. I m curious what you used for the tapa?

- HankLP
Shoot! I completely left that out of the video. That was part of what I lost when I forgot to hit the record button.

It was just plain 1/4" maple veneer plywood. I couldn't find any 1/8" ply at the home stores around me.

Also, with the snares, I found that putting them up against the tapa below the dowel (rather than above as seen in the picture) gives a much better snare sound.
 

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Really nice, Tony! I'm sure your friend will love it. My wife liked hers so much, we created a little drum kit around it.
 

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You did a nice job on this and your friend should be pleased.
 

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It looks really nice to me, I'm sure your friend will think so too. I bet it sounds as good as it is beautiful.Thanks for inspiring
 

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This looks beautiful!
2 things I see that can be affecting the bass sounds:
- sound hole too close to the tapa: distorts some low tones into inaudible vibration
- tapa too thick (and potentially too dense): tapping moves the tapa in smaller waves than a thinner one

If you don't want to or can't change the tapa (in the case of a gift, I'd rather send an "extra one") you could route the outer edges, making a rabbet close to the border where it's screwed on, the thicker the rabbet, the more chance there is to increase the size of the sound waves, making a deeper sound.

I've been thinking it'd be fun to try tapas with variable thickness (one side thicker than the other), that could increase the range, and snares that can rotate (additionally from retraction) so they could go from a bass snare to a high snare. Too many variables, and likely to fail, just saying it'd be fun.
 

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This looks beautiful!
2 things I see that can be affecting the bass sounds:
- sound hole too close to the tapa: distorts some low tones into inaudible vibration
- tapa too thick (and potentially too dense): tapping moves the tapa in smaller waves than a thinner one

If you don t want to or can t change the tapa (in the case of a gift, I d rather send an "extra one") you could route the outer edges, making a rabbet close to the border where it s screwed on, the thicker the rabbet, the more chance there is to increase the size of the sound waves, making a deeper sound.

I ve been thinking it d be fun to try tapas with variable thickness (one side thicker than the other), that could increase the range, and snares that can rotate (additionally from retraction) so they could go from a bass snare to a high snare. Too many variables, and likely to fail, just saying it d be fun.

- Frank
Interesting. I'll definitely keep this in mind when building my next one. I already have other ideas on what to do with it. I think it will be fun. But it won't be for a while yet. Got a lot of other projects in the pipeline.
 

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Really nice, Tony! I m sure your friend will love it. My wife liked hers so much, we created a little drum kit around it.

- SirGareth
My friend already has a full (cheap) drum kit, but it's a bit prohibitive to carry around to small acoustic gigs. However he could totally cannibalize the kit for pedals and such to use on the cajon.
 
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