The CurveTop™ Cajon Concept Part 2 – Building a Better Box

August 08, 2014 Todd Chavez

Back from the UK, I knew what I needed—a cajon with a severely curved leading edge—and searched the Google Universe but found nothing to match. It was odd. After all, there are approximately 1.3 bazillion people making cajons. The solution was to build my own. Well, ummm... I mean find someone who could help me build my own.
I was finally able to move from concept to prototype when I met up with wood craftsman Bryan Connington. In the summer of 2013, Bryan and I began developing the CurveTop Cajon.
The primary goal was to develop the curved leading edge. Unlike other cajons, our cajon top rises significantly above the rest of the box so that the curve can be developed fully for a much more ergonomic experience. The first prototype had the curve across the entire leading edge. It worked and sounded great except for one issue: Because of the raised top, the outside of my thumbs were colliding with the wood and became bruised. Removing one source of pain only to bring in another is counter productive. So, we introduced a semi-circular groove to give the thumbs a way to glide over the wood without striking it. I’ve named it the “ThumbGlide.” Pretty catchy, eh?

Here's an early prototype without the ThumbGlide along the top leading edge (above the blonde colored striking plate):

Here's an early prototype without the ThumbGlide along the top leading edge (above the blonde colored striking plate)
A secondary goal was to make a cajon that has a removable snare module so the player can have a tight snare sound (Flamenco style cajon) or have a clean open snareless sound (Peruvian style cajon) on demand. Many cajons feature on/off snare systems with varying degrees of success in terms of sound and mechanical function. I wanted something really simple and always effective. In the end, we found there’s nothing more simple and effective than a module that pops in and out!

Another goal was to offer a cajon with an easy opening top so the instrument can be used as storage for accessories and gear. Thus the "PopTop" was born. Pretty catchy, eh? The opening PopTop of our CurveTop Cajon is simple enough due to the elevated design of the top! On a typical cajon, an opening top would be problematic to design and build.

So there you have it! The CurveTop Cajon from Chavez Cajon was born! Sure, there were some other things to tend to, like company formation, applying for patents, getting a web site going, producing the initial inventory and now moving on to social media, but it’s all good... and I think we did build a better box!

Welcome to Chavez Cajon - A comfortable meeting of hand and cajon

Until next time - Todd

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