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Louson Drums is a custom cajón and drum company from Pittsburgh, PA

We build cajón drums in our small workshop with an attention to detail and function.  Our featured product, the Cajón Tablet, is an excellent alternative for percussion on the go. The standard size, 10"x10", provides pleasing low notes and poppy edge slaps.  The jumbo bass cajón is 12"x12", and produces even rumblier low ends but less dramatic edge slaps. One inventive set-up is to play the jumbo on the right side of the body and the standard on the left (or vice versa). 

Jumbo tablet in natural with strap

Jumbo tablet in natural with strap

 

What is a cajón?

The cajón is a simple yet extremely dynamic hand drum, shaped like a box.  Although it can be played with certain mallets and sticks, its greatness lies in its ability to be played simply by hand and yet achieve an astonishing number of various sounds and tones.

The versatility of this instrument's sound lies in its simplicity.  A thin sheet of quality ultra-thin plywood is secured to an inner frame on one side of the cajón, creating the "tapa" or playing surface of the drum.  Strike the tapa near the edges and you'll hear a high pitched pop.  Strike an inch or two in and hear a fuzzy slap tone with accents from snare wires installed on the inside of the drum.  Strike even lower still and hear the satisfying hum of the bass tone.  Alternating these various tones allows the skilled cajónist to replicate the tones of a full drum kit, without the ear splitting volume. 

These drums are perfect for intimate settings such as acoustic performances, friendly jam sessions with your friends, campfires and picnics, studio recording... The cajón is a truly versatile and enjoyable instrument and a must have for every percussion enthusiast.

Louis with a Louson Standard cajón

Louis with a Louson Standard cajón


Testimonials

“Hey man, I did the A/B/C test with my Meinl and holy cow your cajons blow it away...I am going to take both of them! They are the bomb!”
— Scott Jones, March 2016

Cajón drums from Pennsylvania
 

The cajón building process is a labor of love. We start by measuring and cutting quality domestic birch plywood for our shells.  The sides are routed for a precise fit, then clamped and glued into a square box that will one day become a cajón.
 

Initial cuts for a new cajón

Initial cuts for a new cajón

They will remain clamped to dry for at least 24 hours.

Some cajón shells, waiting for faces, backs and snares.

Some cajón shells, waiting for faces, backs and snares.

After constructing an inner frame, the back is clamped and glued and the tapa is carefully measured and installed.

One cajón requires over a dozen clamps to complete!

One cajón requires over a dozen clamps to complete!

After installing the snare system and applying a final finishing coat, the Louson cajón is ready for sound checking and finally sale to the customer.

A completed production run of Louson cajónes.

A completed production run of Louson cajónes.

Are you interested in commisioning a custom cajón?

Lets talk about your idea!  We can make your cajón as individual as you are.  We offer a wide variety of woods, finishes and colors, and tapa materials. We love new projects. Contact us today for information. 

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