JC Percussion – Cajons Made in Bogota Colombia

I was privileged to visit the cajon workshop of JC Percussion in Bogota Colombia. After months of traveling it was a delight to smell proper sawdust and be around all the familiar tools of a well equipped workshop. Javier had three recently made cajons for me to look at and play. They were all beautifully made with great sound. I recorded one with my standard Zoom H4N on the tapa and my traveling bass mic, a Nady DM-80.

These are precisely made cajons with awesome sound. Javier is an engineer by trade and his cajons reflect it. Joints are tight and edges are perfect. The tapas are plywood covered with real veneer wood, each one is unique. This got me thinking about most commercially made factory cajons, mega factory tapa’s that look like wood are often printed, not real veneer at all. Javier’s are real wood.

Smal pieces of veneer left over from making cajon tapas.
Extra pieces of veneer left over after making the tapa playing surface of cajons. JC Percussion workshop in Bogota Colombia.

There was a CNC machine off to the side and I asked about it, “You got the plans on the internet?” “No, I designed it myself.” Wow! He uses it to cut the sound holes and some of the snare mechanism pieces.  A thoughtful touch is that the veneer on the knob of each cajon matches the tapa.

Cajon front matches the snare on-off knob.
The tapa veneer matches the snare on-off knob.

The snare mechanism is very effective. When it is off there is no sound from the snares on the recordings. But when it is on  there’s plenty of snare.

Inside a cajon showing the snare wires and on-off mechanism.
Snare mechanism showing damper where the snare wires sit when the snare is off.
Internal snare mechanism of a cajon.
The snare mechanism in JC Percussion cajons.

These professional quality cajons are a fraction of the cost of imported name-brand cajons available in the big music shops in Bogota. They are a real deal. If you are a Colombian musician JC Percussion cajons are a completely profession cajon option that are built in Colombia. If you are headed back home after traveling in Colombia, these cajons are great instruments worth bring back as a memory of your travels.

Javier has several models as well as shakers and bongo cajons.  He can be reached at https://www.facebook.com/jcpercussion or at http://www.jcpercussion.com

Back of a cajon with sound hole.
Back of a JC Percussion cajon showing the uniquely shaped sound hole.

Cajonearte Cajon Made in Peru

Cajonearte cajons come with, or without, personalized artwork. As you can see from Cajoneartes Instagram page, each decorated cajon is uniquely hand painted.

Screen capture from Cajoneartes Instagram page.

The video below demo’s the sound. It was recorded with a Zoom H4N stereo mic’s on the upper tapa and a Nady DM80 microphone on the sound hole. A little mid-side mastering compression was added in post processing.  The Nady has a very flat response and the bass is not as strong as it would be with other bass mics.

The cajon box is made from 12 mm, 5 ply, plywood purchased in Peru.  Its dimensions are about 30 x 27 x 48 cm.   Box joints are used on the side to top and side to bottom joints. Finish nails are used to secure the sides, top and back.

Box Joint on Cajonearte cajon

There is no snare system. There are no braces or other reinforcement on the inside. The back is glued on. The tapa is attached with screws.

Inside a Cajonearte cajon. This is the tapa-side-top corner.

These are great sounding, beautiful, unique cajons. All hand made. I played this one at the 2018 Gran Cajoneada in Lima and while there were hundreds of very, very nice cajons there, this was by far the most striking. Contact Luis at Cajoneartes Facebook page to check on availability or to order custom artwork.