Kit: Cajon


This Cajon is an alternative to the original Cajon Drum Box. By using the following instruction you can easily build your own alternative Cajon. We wanted to challenge the original one using different material for making various sounds. The front will have a more basic snare drum sound while the right side will provide a deeper sound level.


This box project is made through the webside If you want to make the drum box through a processing sketch you can find instructions and a short guide at the end of this guide.


1x soft hammer
1x file
1x saw
1x screw driver
1x drill


You will need following materials
1x Snare
1x Plastic tube (30 cm)
8x Short metal screws
4x Rubber feet
The amount of each of the material above will be shown further down


Cajon This is the software you will need. Instructions will be explained further down

  • Plywood for top and bottom (2 pieces 30x30) The plywood on this picture has a protection layer

  • Plywood for front, back and left side (3 pieces 30x46) This picture only shows the front and the back although the left side has the same material

MDF for right side (1 piece 30x46)
On the the picture you can see the right side made out of MDF and painted with graffiti.The picture also shows the "missing" left side from the picture above

The Snare has been cut into two pieces. The picture shows one piece. You will need both pieces!

Plastic Tube (around 30 cm)

8x short screws

4x Rubber feet

Now you know what tools you need and how the material should or could look.
Next you can see how to build your Cajon by following the steps below.

Step 1 - Cutting the material

Download the SVG-file through the link below and open in CorelDraw. Export the file as a PLT and open it in your CNC-program.
In lazycam you generate this file to a G-code file. Now you can load the G-code in Mach 3 which controls the CNC machine - and you are now ready to cut your Cajon.

Shortcut! If you want to save some time, you will also find a saved PLT-file (through the same link) which you can open directly in your CNC-program.

Step 2 - Making sure the cut is "clean"

When all the pieces are cut out you can use a file to get a cleaner look and making sure the pieces come together easier.

Step 3 - Mounting the snare

The two snares are mounted on the front side (plywood) and on the right side (MDF).

Now you need your plastic tube, your snare, the short screws and the saw.

Fasten the plastic tube to a clamp and use the saw to make two pieces of 15 cm. Next make sure all the ends look like the picture below for an easier mount to the inside of the front and the right side. Then use a drill to make holes for the screws.

There should be one hole at each end for mounting the tube to the wood and two holes in the middle of the tube for placing the snare to the tube (Use the holes in the snare for measuring the distance between the holes) And be aware of the screws being too long and not comming out through the wood.

The picture below shows how the snare should be mounted

Step 4 - Gather the pieces

For this step you will need the soft-faced hammer.Start by putting two pieces together. Use the soft hammer for making sure the pieces are as tight as possible.

Now work your way through all the pieces.
(The plywood is a little bit fragile. Therefore make sure you use the hammer "gently" and that you do not go from one corner to another right away - but make your way slowly along the edges).

Step 5 - Mounting the rubber feet

For protection and for isolating the sound you will need to mount plastic “feet” on the outside of the drum.
These kinds are self-adhesive and really easy.

Step 6 - Final touch

As a final touch you can use some sandpaper for a smoother look!


Processing Cajon

Here you will find a short guide to build the Cajon by using a processing sketch.
Click on the link below, open the folder "generic_build_interface_b_26_alpha" and choose the processing program "generic_build_interface_b_26_alpha.pde"


By pressing the key 'p' you save the sketch as a PDF-file. This file you can open in CorelDraw (just as you do in step 1 in the guide above), then save it as a PLT-file. Load the PLT-file in lazycam and generate a G-code file. Now you can load the G-code in Mach 3 which controls the CNC machine - and you are ready to cut your Cajon.

Click the link below for a more specific guide

Made by

Lasse Hjorth & Leonora Bryndum

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