There are three hearts in the Easel file and the files are good to use with a 1/4" bit. Using a larger bit makes carving these deep pockets faster than using a 1/8" bit.
Since I am using a 1/4" bit (it’s a big pocket!) and didn’t want to do a 2-stage carve-, I had to modify the text slightly to allow the bit to pass through areas around the text correctly. After writing a phrase I wanted, I used Easel’s Xploder app to break apart the text, space the letters out appropriately, and resize the letters as needed. I’d recommend doing this if you want to use your own text.
You can do a 2-stage carve- if you have a detailed design that requires a 1/8" bit. I’d still recommend using the 1/4" bit to clear out the pocket and do the final cutout to save some time!
The Easel workpieces are set up to carve one heart out of a single piece of wood. I wanted to carve the hearts out of two different kinds of wood to see which one I liked more (hint: soft maple was my fave!).
However, you can carve two hearts out of the same piece of wood to maximize your material. If you do this, I’d suggest carving the heart cutout ‘on-path’ instead of ‘outside’ so the two hearts fit on one piece of wood (see photo). The final Easel workpiece is set up for this kind of carve.
These hearts have deeeeep pockets, even with a 1/4" bit. It takes about 45 minutes per heart, which is a pretty long carve for me. Luckily, I loved the final product so it was worth it.
Sand down the edges of the dishes and remove the tabs. Some of the areas around the letters can be cleaned up with a small file; it makes a big difference when painting.
I opted to paint the soft maple heart (“100”) and used a matte acrylic clear coat. The Purpleheart (“LOVE YA”) was painted and then I used food-safe mineral oil to finish the rest of the dish once the paint dried.
The soft maple version is my favorite. The red color really pops on the light-colored wood and the dish is much more lightweight than the Purpleheart hardwood. Plus, it reminds me that I’m still “100” even after eating a lot of candy.
I was shocked at how much candy these bowls could hold! One heart can fit almost a whole bag (11.4 oz) of M&Ms. Two hearts can almost hold the big bag (18 oz) of Brach’s conversation hearts. The width of the hearts makes allows for some serious candy volume.
Now, if only I didn’t have to refill them so frequently…