Be light enough to be carried as part of my regular kit, replacing my heavy hand axe.
Be sturdy enough to take a bit of abuse, using it to split small logs, function as an improvised hammer etc
Be something that looks like I can be reasonably proud of making it.
Fit my hand perfectly, I don't like blisters.
Have a tip delicate enough to do a bit of wood carving
Hold a sharp edge
I deplore the prospect of knives as weapons, if you have any comments along those lines, please keep them to yourself, I don't want to know.
Asides from that, I'd love to know your thoughts. This is my first attempt at such a project and I have likely missed a few vital steps.
Step 1: Materials and tools
Steel, at least 3mm thick.
Wood, a couple of different kinds, I used pine and redwood
Threaded rod and nut, for fixing the handle in place
You can probably get away with less powertools than I used, so I'll list them in order of importance
Cloths and rags
Step 2: The Blade
Mark out the shape of the blade, leaving at least a 2cm wide handle.
Start cutting. If you are using a hacksaw then you have my sympathy...It's worth a new bandsaw blade to save all that effort. And most bandsaws are capable of cutting metal of this thickness, just take it slowly.
If your metal had a coating, grind it off, we'll be heating and welding later and bare metal is preferable.