No question, having a grinder and belt sander and drill press makes it a lot easier and faster, but it can be done without them. So can polishing without a buffer. So this is a quick how-to on that.
Things you WILL need
Hacksaw. And good blades. General rule is you want to have three teeth across the thickness of the piece, so finer teeth for thinner stock. This is 1/8", so I'm using 32 teeth-per-inch. 24 tpi would work well, but they were out of them.
Files. Good ones. Get a bastard file, preferably 12" or 14". 10" will do, but get longer if you can. A bastard is generally the coarsest, fastest-cutting file, so use it for most material removal.
File card or wire brush. File card is a special brush just for cleaning bits of metal out of the file teeth; a stiff wire brush will work pretty well.
Vise. You NEED a solid vise. Doesn't have to be huge or a blacksmiths' post vise, just a good-quality one that's solidly bolted down so it won't move.
Clamps. Something to clamp the blade to a board. C-clamps work well.
Drill. You can drill pin or rivet holes with a hand-crank drill; a power drill does make it faster and easier.
Abrasive paper. Get wet/dry paper, and get good-quality stuff; it'll last longer and cut faster.
Ok, start by taking your steel
and drawing the outline of the knife you want.
Clamp it in the vise, and start making cuts from the edge of the steel to the line you drew
No pics of that, use your imagination.
I'll note that making a long cut, like along a straight line for the tang, you may have to clamp the piece so you can hold the hacksaw at a flat angle to make the full cut.
Now adjust the piece so you can start filing the sides down to the line.
in the second, at the 3:00 mark, it shows them using files to shape the flats on the barrel this way.
Now you need to mark on the sides where you want the transition from ricasso(the area just in front of the guard or end of the cutting area) to edge, and it helps a lot if you mark the edge. In this case using a square and a scribe* to mark lines. Adjust the end of the ruler so it's right at the middle, lock it, and draw it along the blade, using the scribe to mark a line.
Get a piece of 2x4 or something else solid, clamp it in the vise. Solidly, you don't want it shifting. Then clamp the blade to it, with the edge right at the edge of the wood.
I was using a 10" bastard(biggest I had), and spent ten minutes to get to this point
ADDED: I was reminded in comments of something I forgot: chalk. Rub some chalk on the file before use, it will help keep bits from getting stuck in the teeth.
For actually shaping the blade, that's it. Keep filing on one side until you've got it down to the line at the edge. I'd suggest stopping just shy of the line, then draw filing to make sure the surface is flat, or if you're not worried about perfect surfaces then fairly even. Then flip it over and do the other side.
To polish out the file marks, start with about 80-grit wet/dry paper. Cut a strip you can wrap around the file, or a finer file if you have one, or you can use the whole sheet if you prefer: wrap it around and as a section gets dulled turn the file over and use the other side. When it gets dull, tear that section off.
Before you start this, put the paper in water for at least half-an-hour before using it; the water will help float the bits cut off, so they don't clog the paper as fast. And keep some water handy to dip it in occasionally so flush the filing dust off and keep water on the abrasive.
When you've got that as smooth as you wish, move up to 120-grit or so. You can take this just as fine as you wish, but I'd suggest stopping at 180 or 220-240 since the heat-treating is still to come.
The rest is as shown in the 'doing it with power tools'(shut up) post: mark and drill the pin holes, heat-treat, then polish. At that point you can really polish it, but for a working knife I'd suggest no finer than 320 or 400. Remember that after heat-treating, it'll be harder to work on, so don't get discouraged if it takes longer than you'd thought.
Making the grips, same idea: use a saw to cut to shape, then use rasp and/or file to shape, then sandpaper to finish.
And that's it.