After heat treatment, the blade received a generous wet sanding at 150, then 220 then 340 grit. At this stage one can make some slight tweaks to the bevel.
I am going with some book-matched flame maple for these scales. I wetted the left side of the slabs to show off the beautiful grain patterns.
Trace the outline with the tang placed on top of the wood.
Cut the scales (individually) with the bandsaw. This is a rough cut and will be about 1/8" over sized, EXCEPT THE FRONTS. Before drilling, I shape as best I can the fronts of the scales on the belt sander. I want the front area to have the closest shape to complete as possible as I will use it for alignment of the two scales.
Clamp one scale to the tang and drill the pin holes out to 1/8" with the drill press.
Once drilled, work the shank of a 1/8" drill bit through the scale and into the tang hole. Anyone will do. This is only a temporary hold until all three pieces can be clamped together.
Align the front edges as perfectly as possible and clamp with a ratchet clamp. Now drill through the existing holes all the way through the second scale.
This is the roughed handle scales. The blade needs a little more polish before going ahead with a permanent attachment.