“Fall in love with the process and the results will come.”
Each of my knives starts life as a piece of high quality carbon or stainless steel. Right now most of my work is 52100, O1, W2, and AEB-L. The blades are shaped by both stock removal and forging methods. I put great effort and pride in my heat treat. I’ve tried many different methods and am always learning in this field. The steels I’ve chosen to work with work best (for me in my shop with my equipment) because they are capable of a very fine grain structure which in turn allows me to take the edge to a very thin geometry. The thinner the edge, the better it cuts. Edge retention and toughness is customized to the knives intended usage as I perform the heat treat process. My knives are made to cut, period. I’m very unimpressed by demonstrations where knives are being used to pry and hammer things. If you plan on this sort of usage just let me know and the edge can be tuned accordingly. Otherwise expect a very sharp knife that will cut. Blades are typically finished with a machined finish, hand sanded, acid washed, or parkerized. The manganese parkerized finish is currently my favorite for carbon steels. The end result is a nice non-reactive matte black blade that does not add any extra thickness to the secondary bevel that something like a cerakote finish does.
Handles are either synthetic materials such a G10, Micarta or stabilized wood. I also enjoy wrapping handles using hemp and various cordage. Regarding wood I will use only stabilized wood 99.9% of the time. Handles are secured using Acraglass epoxy and high quality fasteners and rods. Each component is a premium part.
Sheaths will be leather or kydex. My favorite leather style sheath is the dangler style sheath that traditional puukko knives from Finland and Scandinavia have. The absolute best concealable EDC sheath I have seen for a fixed blade are the style made by Tracker Dan, Winkler Knives on behalf of Dynamis Alliance, Salient Arms, Headhunter Blades, Atienza Custom Knives & Blade Rigs. I also highly recommend the work of Chris at Veil Solutions. He makes a very nice knife sheath and is a fellow blade enthusiast which I highly recommend.
As technology changes so will my methods. The process is never a closed book.