Since the temperature around my neck of the woods has taken a drastic drop I decided to work on making a template for the Curtana. For those of you late to the party let it be known that I make wooden swords in my spare time. I do it for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I feel it helps balance out my time on the computer (which I do for work) with something that is NOT computer (or gaming, which I do in my spare time). Secondly I do it because I would like to sell said wooden swords to young men who I think spend way too much time in front of gaming consoles swinging virtual swords when they should be spending some time outside swinging an actual sword (or wooden replica of). Unfortunately I haven’t sold many swords, and have actually considered just giving them away if I could get some crowd-funding going on, but I have yet to try it.

A small and simple wooden sword.

In days not so long ago I would make each sword painstakingly by hand. Not a big deal with smaller swords, but more complicated ones could take a very long time to draw out, cut, shape, refine and then stain/paint. It was then that I discovered “template routing”, a fantastic process to say the least! By spending time creating a single template I could literally cut down the time it took to get the base shape of a sword down from hours to less than an hour!


I first experimented with template routing on a large scale with the Smelter Sword. Knowing I would one day want to make another I opted to first create an MDF template so I could quickly reproduce the massive thing at a moments notice. It worked EXTREMELY well!

The Smelter Sword is 6ft of pure awesome!


The way it works is you spend a lot of time making a template, then you take that template, use it to cut out a rough form then run the whole thing through the router (special bit optional). The Curtana has been one of my favorite swords to date and I really wanted to get this done so I could make a few and test out some coloring and painting options. With that in mind, moderate temperatures and a day to waste, I began.

Start out by tracing the template down on the MDF using good ol’ fashioned carbon paper. I printed this template from a 3D rip of the in-game object.
A completely traced template.
Then I use the trusty jig saw to make some cuts into the excess on the sides. I will cut most of this excess away.
Normally I use the band saw to do this, but since mine broke I will shear some of this stuff off with the circular saw attachment for my Bolt-On. I really can’t sing the praises of this nifty tool enough. Get one!
Sheared off most of one side, but those pesky pieces near the hilt will require another method. Not to worry.
With the drill attachment I popped a couple of holes in the needed areas and will clean them out using the jig saw.
After some more circular saw and jig saw work the template form is much cleaner and safer to run through the router.
Though it takes a lot of time and effort, I’ll use some straight edges and double side tape to mark off the outer lines of the template, then cut them close using the router and a special double bearing bit. It took about 1.5-2 hours to do one side, but once its done I can pump out a completed Curtana form in less than an hour!

Once it’s done the completed weapon will look more like this, but with much nicer coloring after I get the spray painting portion of it down:


Once I actually get to making a new Curtana I will post another update. Trust me, this is one bad-ass sword to be swinging around. It feels great and is light and fast!