We'll be walking through the steps of creating an integral (one piece) Ulu, this is my take on a traditional Inuit utility knife. Keep in mind that this process is extremely simple (taking roughly 3 hours start to finish) compared to my more advanced work, some of which I will spend 80+ hours creating.
The normal operation temperature of my forge is between 1900 F and 2000 F, high carbon steel moves like incredibly stubborn clay at these heats. It takes roughly an hour of high speed, high impact hammering to turn a bar in to a smooth point of the correct length for a handle.
I often forge blades two at a time. It normally takes 30-45 seconds of heat to get an already hot blade up to workable temp. Once at that temp. I have maximum about 10-15 seconds of time to forge my piece before it needs to go back to the fire. This requires me to plan what I will be doing, where I will be striking, and what I'm trying to form before I take the piece out.
When I do this two at a time, it is constant motion and planning, ensuring neither piece overheats, and keeping in mind two separate projects simultaneously. It is a state of Satori, or Zen for me. My mind is solely focused on the blades.
The geometry of the blade is absolutely key in how it performs. A 3 Degree difference in angle on one part can be the difference between your blade being keen as a razor, or barely able to cut butter. The discoloration on the blades at this point is caused by oxidization from the forge. I forge the edge down to about 1/16th of an inch.
This involves getting the entire edge up to at least 1450F, but no more than 1550F, by eye (which is to say I have trained myself to be very good at distinguishing various colors of orange) If the blade is not forged and ground evenly, it will warp, if I don't normalize it (a process involving repeatedly heating and cooling the steel at a certain rate) it runs a high risk of cracking during the quench. At this point, the blade is the hardest it will ever be, and is brittle until I've tempered it.
I do this with a MAPP gas torch, I keep the flame on the spine of the blade, steadily moving it back and forth. The goal is to get the edge to a nice straw gold color, so it will hold the best possible edge, and still be durable.
The blades have been ground clean on a specially built 2x72 belt sander. I grind the edge down to roughly 1/32nd of an inch before heat treating. The next two steps are forming the handle, and stamping my name in to the blade, I unfortunately have no pictures of this, so just imagine it.
I've ground the edge to its final form. In order, I use these grits of belt: 60, 80, 120, 220, 400. after sharpening, you can shave with these blades. All in told, each blade takes roughly 3 hours from bar stock to this.
To reiterate, these are the most simple blades I make. This should give you a basic idea of what I do.