guitar, cajon, travel drum

Rockbox Cajon Drums Made In Australia

Discovering Cajon
I bought my first guitar in my early teens, that was the start of my journey playing music, a journey that's survived almost 5 decades.
Most of that time I kept it acoustic, it's just easier, no amps leads etc to lug around and generally with just one or two other acoustic guitarists.
But this all changed after going to a party in Avalon in the northern beaches of NSW where they had a live band playing.
The band had a vocalist, lead, rhythm and bass guitar and a drummer sitting on a wooden box. All the instruments were amplified and it sounded awesome!
I was in love, with the wooden box that is, so compact and convenient compared to a large drum kit and as mentioned the sound really was awesome.
The above cajon image is of a White Cedar Rockbox, made from recycled timber. The design is printed directly upon the timber and the French polished.I stood listening for about 15 minutes with bated breath waiting for the break.
As soon as the band stopped I headed straight over to the drummer, introduced myself and asked a barrage of questions about the drum box.
This was now 17 years ago and cajons were pretty scarce. It was the first cajon I'd ever seen and I'd been playing guitar for about 35 years. Since then the cajon has become quite popular.  it's really compact, which lends itself to smaller venues and easy to transport. It's also not too loud when playing with unamplified acoustic instruments.
Back then few music shops knew of the instrument and even fewer could pronounce the name, CAJON (pronounced CA-HON)
Now ever music store stock a cajon and generally more than one brand.
There are so many different types of cajon drums, Peruvian, flamenco, Cuban, rock style, cajon drum kits and hundreds of different brands.

Like guitars, the best cajons are made from quality timbers.

The cheaper more commercial models are made from laminated ply or composite timber (MDF), most cajons have a plywood tapa (front hitting plate/ wood skin). This is for strength as the front hitting plate needs to be thin and strong.
My cajon making journey started the week I heard my first cajon. From day one my aim was to produce a cajon that sounded lke a basic drum kit, something to accompany my acoustic guitar playing.
Fearless in my production, I've made some shocking sounding cajons, but none of these ever make it out of my workshop, they're markers, reference points and eventually firewood or rebuilds.
The successful cajon designs are kept as control models, these are replicated, sometimes modified and enjoyed!
The name Rockbox is self-explanatory, my cajon is designed to give an authentic rock 'n' roll sounding snare and bass drum, along with some in-between tones. All in a box that doubles as seating.
My drums are made from sustainable timber and made to last.
There is zero built in obsolescence in my designs and although my drums are not indestructible, such as the front hitting panel. Every component within the drum can be easily replaced if needed.


The cajon image

is of a White Cedar Rockbox, made from recycled timber. The design is printed directly upon the timber and then French polished.
Snare System Design;
My latest snare design (Pat Pending) allows the angle, pressure and position of the snare to be adjusted and can be removed in seconds when needed as in the case of my cajon luggage model.

For me the snare system is the most important design of the cajon, regardless of the size or timber.
Other innovations I've conceived are; adjustable front panel/tapa tensioning, adjustable aperture size, extendable seating for cary-on luggage, cajons on stands to facilitate standing and playing  ..... and my favourite, the suitcase cajon model.
The suitcase model is like luggage of the 1920's and 30's, the art deco era. It's luggage, seating, storage or a Rockbox cajon drum.
The luggage model is perfect for travel, boats, camping, RV's, flights. Anywhere space is limited.

Here's me playing my Maple travel drum, a short audio sample of a Rockbox Maple Cajon
I'd give myself 2 out of 10 for playing and 8 out of 10 for the actually sound of the Rockbox cajon.
What do you think?