There are many methods used to craft custom knives. Well known are the Bladesmiths (Walley Hayes) who make their own steel, those who use the stock removal method (myself) and some very patient makers who just use hand tools alone.(Wolfgang Loerchner). What exactly is the stock removal method ? Well, to begin with I start with a 6ft long piece of 440C stainless steel flat bar stock. I draw out the pattern/patterns I want to make from that flat stock and then I cut the flat stock into the appropriate sizes. After that the hard part begins when I have to grind to shape. I always try and purchase the closest width of flat stock that matches the blade I wish to grind, less wasted material and a little less grinding. Carol has photos of me grinding to show you but we haven't figured out how to post the photos here yet. As I grind I continually dip the piece into a bucket of water to try and keep the temperature down. Once all the grinding to shape is complete, pin, thong and glue holes have to be drilled in the handle. The blade is polished, checked for straigtness and then taken to be heat treated. All of my blades are Rc 56-58 and cryogenically treated to enhance edge holding. It takes anywhere from 2-5 days to have the blades heat treated. This is the only thing that I farm out. I take them to a large company a few blocks from my shop that runs 24/7 doing nothing but heat treating - particularly for the aeronautic industry. Many other Canadian knifemakers use this same company. More work begins when the blades come back from heat treating.