There are two general approaches to making a knife. On the one hand, you can forge a blade from a piece of steel, bending the metal to your will such that it reflects your ability and taste. If you've seen the last Rambo movie, you have an idea of what this entails.
On the other hand, you can do what's commonly known as stock removal, wherein you begin with a piece of raw bar stock and basically take away what doesn't look like a knife.
While both methods are quite effective at producing superior knives - in fact, many knifemakers employ both approaches at some point in the fabrication process - for the purposes of this instructable, we will be focusing on the stock removal method.
When you finish the profiling process, it should look something like the first picture.
As we go through this tutorial, you will see some pretty cool tools. If you're lucky enough to live near a Techshop, take advantage of it. I made it at Techshop. They have awesome tools, lots of light, and plenty of space.