1. Understand the project

  • The Name Puzzle is designed to be cut from a single 8”x12” piece of ½” thick plywood. Maximum size for the finished puzzle is 11” long and 3½” wide.
  • If desired, a dowel can be glued to each letter in the puzzle, making them easier to pick up.
  • There are two different options for creating the text; use whichever one gives the look you prefer.

Name puzzle

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 blue menu bar at the top, 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 Birch Plywood
  • Set the material dimensions to 12” x 8” x 0.5”

3. Create the text, Option 1

Choose a font from Easel’s Fonts tool

  • From the toolbar on the left-hand side of the screen, click on the “T” icon.
  • Choose a font from the list

Type the name

  • Type the name. It will automatically override the word “Text” that appears when you select a font
  • If it does not replace the word “Text,” triple-click on the word to select it, and then type the name

OR, 3. Create the text, Option 2

In word processing software like Microsoft Word, type the name and select a font

  • In a Word document, type the name
  • Change the text size to make it easier to see
  • Double-click on the word to select it
  • Choose a font from the font menu

If desired, expand the font

  • With the text selected, bring up the Font dialog box
  • Under the “Advanced” tab, change “Spacing” from “Normal” to “Expanded”
  • Change the number of points the font is expanded by and check the preview until it looks good

Perform a screen capture and save it as a jpeg

(Note: Mac users will have different steps)

  • Make sure the text is NOT highlighted, and hit “Enter” a few times to get the cursor out of the way
  • Press the “PrtScr” button on your keyboard
  • Open Paint, or other image software
  • Paste in your screen capture
  • Crop it until it is just the text
  • Save it as a .jpeg file

In Easel, import that jpeg and perform an image trace

  • On the left-hand side toolbar, click on the lowest option to open the Import menu
  • From that menu, select “Image Trace”
  • Click the blue “Upload File” button
  • Click “Select Files to Upload”
  • Locate your file and open it
  • Click the blue “Upload” button
  • Click the green “Import” button

Combine the pieces of your image

  • Make sure all the letters are selected
  • Right-click on the name, and from the drop-down menu, select “Combine”

4. Adjust and check your text

Change its size

  • With the name selected, click and drag the boxes on the corners and/or sides of the selection-outline to change the size of the letters
  • 10” long is generally a good final size
  • Make sure the name does not overlap the pink L-shape at the bottom left of the design area.

Check what it will look like

  • Once your text is the size you want, check the right-hand side of the screen to be sure it looks good, and that all detail comes through

Check it with the inlay app

  • From the left-hand toolbar, click on the Lego icon to open the Apps window
  • Click on “Inlay Generator”
  • Make sure the bit size is 0.125
  • Change the tolerance to 0.05
  • Hit the “Enter” key to update the preview
  • Check to see if any letters are connected to each other. If so, this font will not work. Try another one, or, if using Option 2 above, expand the font, take another screen capture, and try again.
  • Click the grey “X” in the upper right corner of the inlay generator window to close it. You do not want to import it at this time.

5. Create the puzzle board

Create a square

  • From the left-hand toolbar, click on the Shapes icon
  • From the options, click on the square

Change it to full-depth and outline

  • With the square selected, drag the slider on the “Cut” toolpane to the bottom, creating a full-depth cut
  • Below the slider, click on “Clear out a pocket” to bring up the list of options
  • Select “Cut outside shape path”

Adjust its final size and location

  • Drag the square up to the top half of the screen
  • Use the grey boxes at the corners and sides of the selection-outline to change the square into a rectangle the size you want your puzzle board to be
  • It helps to move your name up into the rectangle to check final size for both the name and the rectangle.
  • Adjust until everything looks good

Round its corners

  • With the rectangle selected, go to the “Shape” tab on the toolpane
  • Under “Corner radius” enter “0.25 in”

6. Turn your text into an inlay

Create the inlay and position the pieces

  • With the name selected, click on the “Apps” icon and choose the Inlay Generator as you did before.
  • Again, make sure bit size is 0.125, and change tolerance to 0.05
  • Check one last time to be sure no letters are connected, and click the green “Import” button
  • Delete your original text
  • Move the shaded version of the name into position inside the rectangle
  • Move the outline version of the name into the blank area below it
  • DO NOT change the size of either name once you have run the inlay app

Change the text cut depth

  • With the shaded version of the name selected, go to the “Cut” tab in the toolpane
  • Just below the slider, enter “0.1875” in the “Depth” window

7. Adjust the cutting tabs

Reposition the tabs on the rectangle

  • Click on the rectangle to select it
  • Drag the four yellow tabs until there are two on the top and two on the bottom, fairly close to the corners

Add and position tabs on the name

  • Click on the outlined name
  • At the bottom of the “Cut” tab in the toolpane is a window that says “Quantity.” Enter twice the number of letters in the name (so for a 5-letter name, enter “10”)
  • Drag the tabs around until each letter has two, one at the top, and one at the bottom

8. Finishing steps

If desired, add dowel holes

  • If you wish to include dowels, each letter needs a hole to glue the dowel into
  • From the Shapes menu on the left-hand toolbar, select the circle.
  • With the circle selected, go to the “Shape” tab on the toolpane
  • Under “Width” and “Height” enter the size of the dowel (so if using a ¼” dowel, enter “0.25” in both places)
  • Go to the “Cut” tab on the toolpane
  • Along the edge of the slider, click on “3/8” to set the hole to that depth
  • Drag the hole into position on one of the letters
  • Repeat for each letter

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 an 8"x12" piece of 1/2" thickplywood, and run the project
  • If desired, the plywood can be purchased from the Idea Studio for $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

Finishing touches for the final project

  • The finished project benefits from being sanded to clean it up and round over sharp edges
  • If desired, the finished project can be painted or given a coat of wood finish
  • If  you have dowel holes, cut 1” sections of dowel and glue them into the holes