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Building a Cajon - Extended Project Qualification by James Carson

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James Carson

on 7 May 2013

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Transcript of Building a Cajon - Extended Project Qualification by James Carson

Building a Cajon Extended Project by James Carson Project aim & Objective Required equipment Project Plan Difficulties/challenges
& solutions to overcome them Research & Analysis How sound is produced

Some Cajons may not have any 'buzz' sound, but the majority have a snare to create the buzz or alternatively guitar strings as a different approach to the sound quality.

I wanted to have a buzz sound and so I choose a metal snare to create it.
You can also use guitar strings which give a wider range of sound volume because they touch the Tappa over a larger area than alternative solutions.

Despite that, guitar strings are only effective for high pitch and not for the lower because of the nature of vibration. Also, considering that the less frequent occasions of replacing them, weight, manufacturing costs and overall simplicity, the snare was much more appealing to me. 30cm ruler
tape measure
cutter knife
sand paper
small nails
glue for wood
4 rubber 'feet'
'snappy' snares
CD rom - to trace hole for the rear panel cutting out the sides of the wood so that the panels can stick together
cutting the piece of wood as straight as possible (had many attempts) use it in school performances
post videos on how to build it, how to play it, how to modify it and other general advice
possibly adding cymbal for exterior Make sure you have bought the snare with the suggested length (*VERIFY IF ITS TRUE). If the snare you bought was longer than 12cm (*VERIFY IF ITS TRUE), snip it carefully to make it to that correct length
screw down the snare by screwing it down the holes I made regular visits to my local music shop examining as well as testing out the Cajones they had available to see how they function to produce multiple forms of sounds. The size

The Cajon (pronounced as Cahon) is a percussion instrument in which you play by sitting on the top of it, producing multiple sounds all from one box. In a nutshell, its the percussion equivalent of a Swiss army knife.

Depending on the playing posture, the playing spot should be within 20cm from the top of the box. Making the playing spot large would cause setting the pitch accurately difficult.

I measured my comfortable sitting position level and found it would be around 45~47cm above from the floor level - which was close to the people I researched did. Referring back to my research, the width measurement should be 30 cm to make enough capacity to sound good in the ratio with the 47cm height.

The width is narrower than the height. The effect on sound by varying the hand playing position within the shorter range of the width is greater than that of the movement of hand position in terms of height. Additionally, if the width is wider, the pitch will be lower. 1. 2. Materials used

I chose MDF for the top, bottom and side panels. (every side except for the tappa) It has several advantages which led to my decision of using it.
ease of cutting it accurately
strength to take the weight of someone sitting on it
sufficiently lightweight to carry around,

In addition, MDF is used as a material for most audio speakers and has proved to have good sound producing qualities.

I choose veneer for the front panel as I need it to give light playing feeling with sharp impact and some flexibility to avoid the hands becoming tired and sore. 3. 4. Construct a piece of wood from a small block that will bridge and support the snare and the tappa (hitting panel) made out of veneer. (GIVE DIMENSIONS)
Use a pencil to mark out dots where the holes of the snare would correspond in order to give guidance to where the screws will be screwed down. STEP 1. drill in the two holes using 0.*mm drill down 0.*mm deep
apply glue onto the MDF board (BE SPECIFIC) STEP 2. STEP 3. Use a pencil to mark out a hole in each corner being 2 cm off the edge equidistantly. This is a guidance of the position of where the rubber legs (can easily purchase from hardware stores) will be attached. Obviously, its good for protection for the bottom. drill in the same drill down 0.2mm to make it easier for the screws to get in. To prevent damage on the floor, i should have placed a mat underneath. screws go through the rubber legs and they attach to those holes. STEP 4. STEP 5. STEP 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. If the thin piece of wood you got (in my case veneer) was not 47cm height x **cm width (VERIFY), mark out in pencil of where to cut your veneer for your tappa (hitting part) Use the saw/vice or a wood guillotine should you have, to cut out the wood within the markings After you sliced your wood (if you used a saw like I did), there will be jagged surfaces that will make gluing together the pieces of wood later very difficult so use the sand paper to smoothen and straighten it. Also improves sound resonance. Future plans... thickness/size/quality/shape of wood determine the kind of sound the Cajon produces
not every aspect of constructing any woodwork involves a nail and hammer. New things that I
discovered from this project MAIN OBJECTIVE- To construct my Cajon from scratch
SECONDARY OBJECTIVE - To Learn how to play it, and to make a video record of the process.
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