Around 2010, the cajon, an acoustic box drum, was emerging as a popular percussive instrument option for drummers. ODP began simply when owner, Mike Collison, wanting a cajon to play for live music, found the cajons on the market cost prohibitive.
Looking for a different way, Mike and his son Ryan did some online research and went into their Little Chute, WI garage/shop to build their first successful cajon using repurposed plywood. They explored and experimented, building a few more prototype cajons and a pair of drums for a church fundraiser. This discovery era culminated with a summer tutoring program cajon build featuring dozens of kid-sized cajons and a massive drum circle. In all of this, the desire to build drums with solid wood grew strong, but the cost of solid woods remained too expensive to be feasible.
The flash of light epiphany happened down the block from the family home. While out for a jog, Mike saw that a neighbor had put out a beat-up vintage dresser on the curb for large garbage day. He went back with a hammer and prybar, broke the dresser apart, and brought home the pieces, proclaiming, “We will build solid wood cajons with reclaimed solid wood!” Two solid wood cajons were built using the tops, sides, and drawer faces of that dresser. A brain-storming session yielded both the ODP name and a logo inked by Ryan. Out of the Drawer Percussion became an enterprise and Logan joined the team.
In the early days, the work of building a reclaimed wood inventory included, scouring curbsides, job sites, and thrift stores, and putting the word out that we were on the hunt. Friends gave pieces and tips on wood sources. Just as mission critical, instrument input and partnership with musicians and college percussion faculty informed the development of new products. Following building batches of Classic Cajons came the introduction and creative development of more plywood head, “cajoned” instruments; Shakers, Conga Cajon quartet series, Bongo Cajons, Tambourine Cajons, and Bata Cajons trio.
The Collison home/ODP garage shop became a hub of sawdusty enterprise of cutting, gluing, sanding, staining, and finishing drums and shakers. Launching out from the home headquarters, the trio with a few percussion partners, went out on the road to drums shows, days of percussion, festivals, college master classes, and educational interactives, ODP expanded and evolved, even as Ryan and Logan moved through high school and college.
In 2018, ODP moved to the Northwoods of Hatley, WI where an upgraded and dedicated woodshop was set up to continue building our signature instruments. In celebration of 10 years, we have added some fun ODP items to our line of reclaimed solid wood hand percussion.
To all who have inspired, informed, and helped us in our adventure of building Out of the Drawer, we have nothing but deep gratitude.