Building Instructions Cajón

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The Cajón (box drum) is a traditional percussion instrument from Peru. Its sound resembles that of a drum, in some cases the instrument is played with a broom. In contrast to classic drums, the striking surface of the crate drum does not consist of a foil or fur covering but wooden boards. More specifically, the entire instrument is made of wood, which makes it relatively easy for home improvement to recreate.

In practice, the cajón serves as a rhythm instrument in many styles of music. Musicians from the fields of rock, pop and folk-rock have discovered the Cajón for themselves. A cajón is usually big enough for your player to sit on. In the past, musicians tucked the cajón between their legs.


The body of the Cajón is a resonator that consists of a box-shaped frame. This must have a certain stability, as the musician sits on the instrument. Home improvement can be achieved by pressure-locking the frame parts.

To ensure good sound and high stability, we recommend home improvement to use high quality wood. Birch plywood has proved to be a good material for producing a cajón.

You need:

  • Workbench
  • min. 2 straps
  • Protective equipment (gloves, goggles, ear protection)
  • 2x plywood boards 50/30 cm with 20 mm thickness (eg multiplex)
  • 2x plywood boards 30/30 cm with 20 mm thickness (eg multiplex)
  • 1x plywood panel 50/30 cm with 5 mm thickness (eg multiplex)
  • 1x plywood panel 30/30 cm with 5 mm thickness (eg multiplex)
  • approx. 30x galvanized nails approx. 2/35 mm
  • Emery paper 400 grain
  • Circular saw with guide rail
  • Jigsaw with fine wood saw blade
  • Router with slot milling head or fine piercing iron
  • Wood glue
  • Wood drill with 10mm diameter
  • Pencil
  • Circle
  • Hammer
  • Steel Ruler

Assembly Guide Cajón

How to do it :

Step 1

Prepare parts 1 to 4 as shown in the diagram , Saw up the plywood boards in the cutting department of a DIY store, which is cheap and saves you a lot of time and effort. Alternatively, you can cut the plates to the appropriate size using a circular saw with a guide rail.

Clean all edges with the 400 grit sandpaper.

Step 2

Use a router with a slot milling head to attach to the Front sides of parts 1 and 2, over the entire length, a 1 cm deep and wide groove to mill. As a result, the components can interlock better later and produce a non-positive bond. If you do not have a router, you can have it done in the cutting department of a hardware store. Alternatively, the groove can be carved out with the aid of a burr, however, great skill and care are required.

Step 3

Once you have worked out the grooves from the plywood boards, you can glue the individual components together. Pull one glue lane through each groove and fit the parts 1 and 2 together. To strengthen the glue, you can put tension straps around the construction and carefully tighten them, so that enough pressure is applied to the frame.

Step 4

Determine the center of the hole on part 3 (see blueprint). Put on the compass and transfer a circle of 12 cm diameter onto the plywood board.

If you do not have a compass at hand, you can draw a perfect circle with a string. The string is wrapped around the pencil, the other end is placed at the center point.

Drill through the previously defined center using the wood drill and attach the jigsaw here. Slowly and carefully, along the circular line, cut out the circle and then smooth the edges with the help of the emery paper.

Step 5

In the last step, the front and back are fastened. Loosen the straps from the frame structure and lay the frame flat on a firm surface. Now place the front or back (parts 3 and 4) in position and nail them with about 14-15 nails. Proceed in the same way with the opposite side.



  • The Cajon is a resonance-based game instrument. The hole in component 3 amplifies the bass and makes the sound more full. Through additional lamellae or wood in the interior, the sound can be changed further and further.
  • You can color the cajon or make it more resistant to the effects of the weather (for example when installing outdoors) with the aid of a wood protection coating.