How to Make a Box Drum

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • 4 6-by-8 inch pieces of wood
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Coping saw
  • 12 1-1/2-inch finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Wood glue
  • Mallet or drumsticks

How to Make a Box Drum. A simple box drum is an excellent portable drum with a beautiful and unique sound and is relatively easy to make. Each finished box drum will have its own distinctive sound, depending on the type of wood used, the thickness, and the patterns that have been drawn.

Draw slit patterns on the four pieces of wood. The patterns should be as large as possible while still allowing about one inch around all of the edges. The patterns should be drawn like the letters I, H, Z and L, one pattern on each piece of wood.

Drill holes on all the angles of the patterns to allow for easy insertion of the saw blade.

Cut carefully on the lines drawn with the coping saw.

Make the box. Glue and nail the edges of the four pattern pieces together. The final box drum will be open at both ends.

Decorate the drum if you wish. Try drawing tribal or simple designs with permanent black marker or painting a picture on each panel and finishing with a nice wood stain or lacquer.

Play the box drum by laying it down on any side. Using a mallet or one or two drumsticks, experiment by tapping on different parts of the cut designs to play different tonal patterns.


When choosing the type of wood to construct the box drum, hardwoods are a good choice, as they tend to have a very nice sound. However, just about any type of wood will do. Although many different types of saws can be used for this box drum project, a coping saw is best, because the blade can be removed for easy cutting of the inside shapes.

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