We have seen how Walter Sorrells crafts amazing blades with a fully-stocked shop. He also makes some of the best educational videos on YouTube (here, here, here) For those of you who are starting out without much equipment, or if you are in a survival-situation, this easy build is possible for just about anyone who has access to basic hand-tools such as a hacksaw, hand-drill, and bastard file. He even heat treats the blade with an acetylene torch. This can be done with charcoal and an improvised bellows, or with a propane torch.
He also uses O1 tool steel, but this can be done with other scrap steel. Leaf springs make a good alternative though it won’t harden as well as steel with a higher carbon content. Scrap-steel selection is a vast topic for another day.