Bertie made his first successful piece of Damascus by hand in 1991. After that first success things started changing rapidly, and as one of the first Damascus makers in South Africa at the time, soon Bertie was producing Damascus steel for the local knifemakers hungry to use this new blade material.
As time went by he acquired and built better equipment, and refined the techniques of making laminated steel Damascus.
A bit of a milestone was when he acquired Shaya, a 500pd Massey self contained pneumatic power hammer. It took 8 years of toil to get the hammer rebuilt and get it mounted in its own building, as the knifemaking workshop was not ideal for such a large beast. This hammer has proved invaluable in making Damascus of very high quality, and to be honest, if a piece of steel has met the wrath of Shaya, there are no flaws or delaminations, just a perfect weld!