Albert Curtis Knife Art


Producing Damascus or forge wielded pattern steel involves stacking several layers of at least 2 different
kinds of steel in alternating layers and wielding them together using heat (1800 degrees F) and pressure.
The alternating layers fuse into a solid block which is then (drawn out) making it longer and thinner. The
billet is then folded or cut and restacked and the process is repeated until the desired layer count is
The characteristic patterns are produced by subjecting the billet to a variety of processes including
drilling, twisting and dye forming. Once the blade is beveled and finish sanded to at least 800 grit, the
blade is submerged in an acid bath which etches the higher carbon steel black and in relief. The High
nickel steel remains unchanged and the contrast between the 2 different types of steel is then revealed.
To obtain a Damascus billet of 440 layers to produce one large blade can take several hours.

Stabilizing and dying wood for knife handle material is a highly specialized process done in-house at
Albert-Curtis Knife Art. The wood is dried to < 3% moisture and submerged in a specialized (clear or
colored) resin fluid within a vacuum chamber. The vacuum is activated to minus 35 pounds Hg until all
the intracellular air is extracted. Once the bubbling of the escaping air has stopped the vacuum is
released and as the material is returned to ambient atmospheric pressure, the air space is filled with the
resin liquid. After soaking for 12 hours the resin saturated wood is placed in an oven and heated to 200
degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees. At this point the heat catalyzed
resin hardens and the wood is left non-porous, hardened and impervious to fluids and staining.