I use 1/4 wood for these. I cut the blade and scales from contrasting woods. Any size end mill will work for this. I usually use a 1/4 end mill to speed it up. Once your blades and scales are cut out, use wood glue or epoxy to glue the scales to the blade. Once that dries, I dowel in my scales, but this is optional and just for looks, for some added detail. I use a belt sander and spindle sander to then shape the scales and sharpen the blade. Personalization on the blade is done on my laser, but could easily be done with a vbit before gluing everything up.