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Stephen Watson of Watson Woodworks in Norwich makes cajons

Stephen Watson, of Watson Woodworks in Norwich, is passionate about creating custom cajons, a traditional Peruvian percussion instrument, using ‘single-use’ wood products. His commitment to upcycling wood that would otherwise be sent to landfill has led him to source wood from building sites, old donated furniture, and the occasional skip. With the UK wasting four and a half million tonnes of wood every year, Stephen’s work aligns with the efforts to minimize wood waste going to landfills by recycling it into useful products. His innovative designs can be found at the Cookes music store in St. Benedicts Street.

In addition to creating cajons, Stephen has crafted various other products such as chopping boards, coffee tables, bookshelves, and toy boxes, all with a focus on upcycling wood materials that would otherwise go to waste. His inspiration to create cajons with adaptable snares came from playing in a church band and wondering how he could change the design as a professional drummer. Designed with the needs of the drumming community in mind, Stephen believes that his hardwood cajon designs resonate much better than standard plywood versions. These custom designs are now available at Cookes music store for consumers to enjoy.

Stephen Watson’s commitment to upcycling wood products into custom cajons reflects the global initiative to reduce wood waste. With a move to recycle as much wood waste into panel board and livestock bedding as possible, Stephen’s work adds to a growing effort to repurpose wood materials. By utilizing high-quality woods from timber frames and door supports, he creates products with a new and brighter purpose. Additionally, the practical design of his instruments and his innovative use of materials have led to an expansion of his work, which is now available for the community to access at the Cookes music store in St. Benedicts Street.

As a musician and craftsman, Stephen Watson is dedicated to creating custom cajons that not only reflect traditional designs but also are practical and effective, with their adaptable snares allowing the user to change the tone to suit different styles of music. His commitment to upcycling wood products is evident in his work, and he is proud to be able to give new life to good quality woods that would have otherwise gone to landfill. With his custom designs available at a local music store, Stephen is able to share his passion with the drumming community in Norwich and beyond.

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