In this Instructable, I build a wood snare drum / DIY cajon snare! This is a great project for adding a unique sound to your drum kit, and would also make a great gift for kids interested in music. Make sure to watch the video above for more details on the build. Enjoy!
Step 1: Gather Your Tools & Materials
Below is a list of the materials and tools I used to build this project. At a minimum, you will need a miter saw and drill to build this project.
Materials Used on the DIY Cajon Snare
- Wood Glue: http://amzn.to/2gF7Uvt
- Snare Wire Hardware: http://amzn.to/2gF7Uvt
- Spray Shellac: http://amzn.to/2gF7Uvt
- Spray Polyurethane: http://amzn.to/2gF7Uvt
Tools Used on the DIY Cajon Snare
Step 2: Cut the Sides of the Snare Drum
The side pieces are 5 ½" tall by 4 ¾" wide, and there are 8 total side pieces. I cut strips to 5 ½" on the table saw, then crosscut the 4 ¾" pieces with my blade set to an angle of 22.5 degrees. 8 pieces times 22.5 degrees results in 360 degrees, making these come together in a circle.
Step 3: Drill Port Hole in One Side Segment
I used a 2" Forstner bit for this at my drill press. You could certainly do this with a handheld drill. Only drill this hole into one of the side pieces.
Step 4: Assemble Side Pieces
Step 5: Cut the Top and Bottom Panels
I used ¼" plywood for the bottom and ⅛" plywood for the top, but you could just as easily use ⅛" plywood for both. I traced the outline of the octagon onto the plywood, using the side assembly we just glued up as my template. I then rough cut the shape at the bandsaw.
Step 6: Attach the Top and Bottom Pieces & Trim Edges Flush
I attached the bottom using glue and screws, but only used screws on the top. I wanted the top to be removable so that I can adjust the snare wire if needed.
After attaching the top and bottom, I used a flush trim bit on my router to flush up the edges of the top and bottom with the sides of the snare.
Step 7: Create Snare Assembly and Mount Inside Snare
To attach the snare wire inside the snare, I cut a piece of scrap wood to fit inside the snare walls. I then cut my snare wire in half using wire cutters and screwed the two halves of the snare wire onto the scrap wood.
Next, I attached the wood inside the snare using one screw on each side of the snare. This allows me to rotate the piece of scrap wood to adjust the snare's tone. The tighter the snare wire is against the top, the harder it must be hit to get the snare sound.
Step 8: Roundover Edges, Sand, and Apply Finish
I rounded over all of the edges using an ⅛" radius roundover bit on my router. This gives all of the edges a soft, comfortable feel. If you don't have a router, you could just break the edges with sandpaper. After rounding over the edges, I sanded the whole drum using 120 grit followed by 180 grit sandpaper.