Gene launched a passion for knifemaking back in 1981 while attending a heat treat and metallurgy school for the US Navy. During his service he received extensive training in metals, working as a nuclear components welder (4956 N.E.C.) repairing the First and Seventh US Submarine Fleets in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
He continued learning about metals after his service years by working in such industrial fields as welding, machining, grinding, polishing, plating and coating, inspection, etc. His favorite job (besides knifemaking) was as a welding instructor. His experience ranges from Welding Engineer to managing a precision CNC machine shop.
Gene made knives as gifts mainly and sold a few to support his hobby. As his skills improved with time, he began to think of some way to glorify God for the special talents that had been given him for knifemaking. In 1992 Center Cross Metal Works was born and Gene took on three small crosses as his signature mark (or logo).