Getting the handle into shape with a 60 grit belt. Working the top and bottom of the handle. If you have variable speed, set your belt speed slow, otherwise your shop could be filling with smoke. I like to run at about 1200 FPS.
If the belt clogs up with certain material such as oily woods, using a rubber belt cleaner frequently will help. I have found these to be a great extender of belt life.
The tops and bottoms are close to the tang.
Now starting the rounding to produce a shape that flows from the front bolster to the rear. You could use a rasp, files, sander or whatever you have to remove the scale material at this stage. The secret is to always keep the scales higher than the bolsters.
The handle is still pretty rough looking, but the basic shape is emerging.
Now up to the 120 grit belt and some more gentle sanding. For this knife (as there both front and rear bolsters) I use a block of wood and sandpaper running longwise and in contact with the two bolsters.
After sanding up to 400 grit I gave the handle a quick buff with some green polishing compound. I then cleaned with windex and did a little clean up around the bolsters where the epoxy smeared a little on to the blade. Acetone on a small paint brush cleans this up well and looks pro.
Here are some photos of the knife after finishing the handle.