My first knife

My first knife

Finished image first

I learnt most of the process here from youtube videos.
Gough Customs:
Walter Sorrels:

I used google sketchup to draw out my design. I searched through some existing designs to find one I like. This is type is called a drop point because of the shape of the tip.
Testing the design

I printed the design out and glued the print onto some scrap wood. Then I cut out the wood so that I can hold the design in my hand and feel if I like it.
The blank

I bought a steel with the code N690. It is a stainless steel known for knife making. I traced out my wooden blank onto the steel and cut it out using my grinder, sander and files.
Starting the bevel

I made this jig to make sure that I keep the same angle along the blade.
It is basically 2 pieces of scrap plywood connected in a T-shape. I then added bolts to keep the knife in place with a G-clamp. I used pipe clamps to attach a rod to a bastard file and added a eye-bolt for the file's rod to go through.
Closer view of the bevel

I use the higher stop bolt to align the plunge line to make sure it is straight.
The plunge line is the line where the bevel stops and the handle part starts.
Same for the other side

I flipped the knife over and made sure the plunge line is symmetrical to the opposite side.
Getting the handle flat

I clamp the blade down and use the draw filing technique by holding the file with both hands and moving forwards and backwards along the length of the handle.
Draw filing is used for producing smooth, square edges. It removes less material than normal filing.
Squaring the spine

Here i use draw filing to make the spine square
preparing for sanding

I made a little sanding block from scrap wood.
I also marked out sizes on another piece of scrap wood. The sizes a calculated so that I get 12 pieces out of one sheet of sandpaper.
Sanding setup

I used a G-clamp to hold down the blade and also a plank that hangs over the table edge.
The plank gives a surface to sturdy the blade and also provides some protection for my fingers from the blade edge. (not sharp yet but can still hurt)
The Grits

I start off with 120 wet sanding paper, dipping the sandpaper in water as I go. I then continue working through the following grits: 120, 180, 220, 320, 400
How much to sand

Between every grit you want to sand in a different direction from the previous grit and sand until the marks from the previous grit is gone.
Here you can see grooves going across the blade that need to disappear before I can move onto the next grit. The easiest directions to sand in is diagonal to the edge and for the alternating direction diagonal to the spine.
Done sanding, for now

Here the blade is sanded down to 400 grit. This is where you should make sure all the edge are looking nice, because after hardening sanding will be quite a bit tougher.

For hardening I sent it to the metal supplier who can harden the blade to the correct specification. I really like that I had this option and not do it myself yet.
Sanding… again

I start sanding again with the same process as before. I start off with the same grit i finished in.
The grits I used here: 400, 800, 1200
Done sanding the blade

Here the blade is sanded to 1200 grit
The wood

I got some Indian ebony, it is a dark hard wood with nice contrasting colors.
Getting a handle on things

I cut out 2 pieces of the wood and used epoxy glue. I also wrapped it in wax paper to prevent my G-clamps from sticking to the handle. I clamped it up and let the glue cure.
The handle

Here is a image of the handle before shaping.
Sanding… again

Here I am just shaping the handle using sand paper and sanding machine.
Protecting the blade

I just used some masking tape to protect the blade from scratches while I work on the handle.
Finishing the handle

I used some linseed oil on the handle.
Glamour shot

Another view of the finished knife.
Source : TripWireZa from Reddit