1. Understand the project


2. Prep steps

Create an Easel account

Get rid of their demo project

  • On the left-hand side of the screen, click and drag with the mouse to highlight the demo project
  • Right-click
  • Select “remove” from the drop-down menu

Choose the machine

  • From the bar at the top of the screen, click on “Machine”
  • Pull down the drop-down menu of machine options
  • Select “Carvey”

Set the bit size and type

  • On the upper right-hand side of the screen, click on “Bit”
  • Scroll down the options to select “1/8” Straight cut”

Set the material size and type

  • Next to the bit option, click on the material type and size
  • From the “Material Type” dropdown, select “Walnut
  • Set the material dimensions to 12” x 5.5” x 0.75”


3. Bring in the design

Copy and paste in the design


4. Lid carving prep steps

Add another workpane

  • At the bottom of the screen, click on the “+” icon

Change the bit

  • On the upper right-hand side of the screen, click on “Bit”
  • Scroll down the options to select “1/16” Up cut”

Copy and paste the right-most hexagon

  • Go back to your original workpane
  • Click on the hexagon on the right-hand side of the design
  • From the upper menu, click on “Edit – Copy”
  • Go to the new workpane
  • From the upper menu, click on “Edit – Paste”
  • You will create your lid design within this hexagon. DO NOT move it to a different place on the workpane. It MUST stay exactly where it is.


5. Options for creating a lid carving

Time for creativity! The following options allow you to create the design of your choice to be carved into the box lid.

Option 1 – Use the design tools in Easel

Option 2 – Image trace

  • To do an image trace you must first find and save a suitable image, and then, under the “Import” menu at the bottom of the left-hand toolbar, run the “Image Trace” tool
  • The video gives a quick run-down of the process. See also the following handout:


Option 3 – Import an svg file

  • A kind of image file known as an svg (scalable vector graphic) file can be imported directly into Easel.
  • The video explains the process of searching for and importing an svg file.
  • The first handout covers searching for an svg file; the second explains what to do with it once you have it




6. Check your work

Check the final design

  • The right-hand side of the screen shows what your carved design will look like. Since this part of the project uses a 1/16" bit, any details smaller than 1/16" will not carve. Sometimes this means that you have to change the design to something bolder or simpler for it to carve properly

7. Change the cut depth

Select the design

  • From the upper menu, click on “Edit – Select All”

Change the depth

  • The “Cut” tab of the toolpane sets the depth of the cut
  • To keep from cutting straight through the lid of the box, the cut needs to be only 1/16” deep
  • Drag the depth slider to 1/16” (halfway between 0” and 1/8”)
  • Or, enter “0.0625” in the “Depth” window just below the slider

Select just the outer hexagon

  • Click on the outer hexagon

Delete that hexagon

  • Right-click on the selected hexagon
  • From the drop-down menu, select "Remove"


8. Finishing steps

Check the time the job will take

  • In the lower right-hand corner, click on the “Simulate” button. This will calculate the time the Carvey will take to cut the project

Send us the link

  • If you are signed up for the project to be made by Idea Studio staff, you need to send us the link to your project
  • From the upper toolbar, click on “File,” then “Share”
  • Select “Shared with link”
  • Select and copy the link it gives you
  • Click “Save”
  • Paste that link into an email and send it to ideastaff@fdlpl.org

To cut the piece yourself

  • If you are already badged on the Carvey, reserve time on the machine, bring in a 5.5" x 12" piece of  3/4" thick wood, and run the project
  • If desired, a piece of mahogany can be purchased from the Idea Studio for $3 until supplies run out
  • Also if desired, magnets can be purchased from the Idea Studio for $1 for a set of 4
  • If you are not already badged on the Carvey, contact us at ideastaff@fdlpl.org to set up a time to get trained on the machine
  • For those who will be running their own project, this video explains the technique for the lid carving

Finishing steps

  • To make your finished piece look its best, consider the following steps
  • Use a piece of sandpaper to clean up any carving-fuzz, and, if desired, to gently round sharp edges
  • Use superglue to glue in the magnets, orienting them so that the lid and base attract each other rather than repel each other
  • Paint, and/or apply a coat of wood finish if desired