So I got an old hand me down knife from a friend, and decided it needed some TLC. It's an old stainless steel blade and was a real pain to sharpen, but it all turned out pretty well. Most of the tools I used are not expensive, but it does take some skill and experience with power and hand tools. Remember to use proper safety equipment and precautions. Anyways, here's how I did it.
Step 1: Clean up
I took off the old stamped steel handle, and buffed off all the rust on the belt sander. You could also use some regular 80 or 120 grit sand paper.
Step 2: Get out your tools
Here is the wood I used, a piece of spalted maple about 2"x3"x10" left over from a bowl turning blank. Above that is my knife sharpener and a few other tools I used to remove the old handle and clean up the blade, including honing oil.
Step 3: Cut the scales
I have clamped my block of wood to the table and have ripped it into 4 scales, about 5/16" to 1/4" thick. The thicker ones are for the sheath, the thinner for the handle. I cut most of the way with a circular saw, and then finished with the jig saw in the picture.
Step 4: Draw it out
Next I traced the tang (the part of the blade that goes down in to the handle) onto one of the narrower scales.
Step 5: Draw the new handle shape
And now I've drawn the basic handle shape that I want to go around the tang.
Step 6: Cut it out
I cut the rough shape with a jig saw, and then shaped the finger grooves with a little drum sanding bit in my trigger locking drill, which I have clamped in the vice on the table so I can use both hands to move the wood. If you try this, don't crush your drill.
Step 7: Duplicate
Next I traced the handle shape on the other half...