Marbles Knife and Gear Thread

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by glen1100, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    A while ago I was asked to start a Marbles knife thread. With some luck we should be able to put together a good reference guide for the identifying the different models of this once great manufacturer. The plan is to do one model at a time an then move on to the next. So post as many photos and as much knowledge as you can.
    To start, the Marbles Ideal the earliest stamp I know of is WL Marbles Manufacturing, followed by the MSA and then variations of the Marbles Gladstone Mich USA mark.
    The knives shown are 5" Ideals, the top one is the older of the two, it has a smaller handle symmetrical pommel and a spear point blade. The newer Ideal is still vintage but shows the blade and handle style that I think was in production the longest.
    Sizes ranged from 4" to 8" and handles had many different materials
    Thank you
     

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  2. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Great thread, bro!!
     
  3. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    My thanks. These are some of the best of the old knives, and there is simply not enough knowledge out there about the various models and their history.

    I have done a few searches, and my google-fu is not weak, but I have not found a single good source on these. I hope we build it with this thread. :)
     
  4. Trent Rock

    Trent Rock Scout

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  5. Roamer

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    I posted about this antique store find a few months back. You guys seemed to conclude it is a Model 62. It is 9" long overall with a 4" blade. It's become one of my favorite knives overall.

    [​IMG]

    With the original sheath, which is embossed with a couple of flying ducks and a moose head, after a restitch job:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. One Legged Josh

    One Legged Josh Dirt Merchant Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    My "mis-print" 1943 Woodcraft with the Bakelite pommel.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. 45jack

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  8. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    Up next is the Marbles Expert, this is my favorite knife. I've owned this knife since I was 12 years old.
    The Expert went into production around 1906. It was a bit less robust than the Ideal, but excelled as a hunting knife.
    I have carried this knife for 38 years and it has now taken it's place in the knife cabinet next to my Dads White Hunter, I still take it out on special hunting trips
     

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  9. Schwert

    Schwert Guide

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    [​IMG]

    Here is an Expert from the more convoluted times of Marbles.

    Blade is supposed to be from around 1970…but handled in 1999 in Rosewood and Lignum Vitae. Sheath is custom as the supplied sheath was totally unusable.
     
  10. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    Nice knife, when Mike Stewart took over Marbles, there were many blanks in storage, some since WW 2. Many of them cracked during heat treating I think it was 50%. Makes your knife even more rare
     
  11. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Hoodoo

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    Here is the dating pattern from 1997 to 2000:

    B=Black
    Br=Brass
    W=White
    R=Red

    1997: B-Br-R-R-Br-B-Br (pattern reverses on pommel end of handle).

    1998: B-W-Br-R-R-Br-W-B

    1999: B-Br-W-R-R-W-Br-B

    2000: B-Br-Br-W-R-W-Br-Br-B
     
  13. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    Moving on to the Woodcrafts, the 1915 Woodcraft had crossed hatched jimping on the blade for the thumb, an easy way to recognize the Woodcraft is the "Pat 1916" mark,
    I'm going to quote "Trail Dust"
    The "Woodcraft" was designed in 1914 by George W Brooks, the editor of The Outer's Book. Marble Arms & Manufacturing Co. made the knife for him and the knife was offered for sale in 1915, with a patent granted in 1916. With the patent expiring in 1930, a number of companies jumped on the design and offered their own version of the Woodcraft.

    George Brooks and Webster Marble were of the opinion that the Woodcraft was a combination of both skinner and sticking blade (sticking knives are for bleeding out livestock). Originally (from what I have read in my material), the Woodcraft was sold with a sharpened false edge for sticking, later changed to a blunt.

    In my own experience, the Woodcraft is a great skinner and a dandy outdoor knife all-round. Like many of the early designs of the period, the handles seem to hover right around 3-3/4" long - a bit short for my XL hand. Nevertheless, I am rarely in need of a different knife in the woods and, when teamed up with a pocket knife, small saw, perhaps an axe, most any reasonable task is easily accomplished. The knife worked well in those early days when folks were able to spend much more time in the outdoors and, it still can when called upon. BTW, most of us ranchers who still process some of our beeves from hoof to market, still use the sheep skinner designs for the initial butchering of the animal. The Woodcraft is just a slightly modified version of this proven sheep skinner design.
    ____________
     

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  14. Maccool

    Maccool Tracker

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    Here's my $20 auction Marble's knife.
     

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  15. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    Good score, is that a 5" or a 6" blade?
     
  16. Maccool

    Maccool Tracker

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    It's a 6 inch blade, I was at a auction in Dundee, MI. and this pops up, I would have went a lot higher but guess no one else wanted it so I walked away with it. Money well spent if you ask me of course if you ask my wife she thinks I over paid,lol
     
  17. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    $20.00 for a six inch Ideal is an awesome deal, great knife.
    Did it come with a sheath?
     
  18. Enigma629

    Enigma629 Tracker

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    Marbles Sport 99 - Bob Loveless Drop Point Hunter


    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Maccool

    Maccool Tracker

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    Yeah, but it was mildewed so bad that it had holes in it and was crumbling apart.
     
  20. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    Good time to bring up original Marbles sheaths, they are hard to find and should be kept even if they are in bad condition.
    An original gives us a reference for shape, style, and types of materials used, even the pinwheel button on the snaps are collected.
    Some sheaths are quite rare and sought after, the shooting star sheath for the Marbles/ Haines knife for instance, can be worth several hundred dollars, and it is almost impossible to find in any condition
     
  21. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    The next knife is the Trailmaker, with a 10 inch blade this is the largest knife that Marbles produced. The one shown is near the end of the USA made knives, I believe that Camillus was making the blades, before production moved over seas.
    When I have a chance I'll post my early Trailmaker and my R W Loveless drop point that I have in storage.
    This thread is for everybody, if you have any Marbles knives or gear please feel free to post. Thanks
     

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  22. Hoodoo

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    If Camillus was making the blades towards the last, were they stainless or carbon and if carbon, and were they Carbon V?
     
  23. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    52-100B
     
  24. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    This is a post by "Trail Dust" from a different thread.
    some of the very later Marble's knives were manufactured of 0170-6 (50-100B is the AISI designation). Some experts believe that 0170-6 is essentially what Cold Steel called "Carbon V" and, what Case calls their "CV" steel. When one adds up the numbers, this steel would essentially be an enhancement of 1095. However, neither of the newer Marble's knives that I owned performed like the Becker's in 0170-6, or even the Cold Steel in Carbon V. Now I didn't keep the newer Marble's knives long enough to give them anything else other than casual observation. It might be that my dissatisfaction was a product of poor edge geometry rather than a poor heat treat. The newer Marble's knives were not something I collected or had an interest in so, I gave them away to forum friends. I know other experienced knife users who were satisfied (they owned old and new) with their Marble's knives in 0170-6 once they did a little work on the grind. It was very sad to see another historically established American company go under (Camillus, too).
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  25. EdD270

    EdD270 Guide Bushclass I

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    This is my favorite go to knife. It's made by Buck for Cabela's and is a copy of Marble's Fieldcraft. A great knife that does anything and everything, great balance, blade shape, it has it all. Also a stock photo of a Fieldcraft.
     

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  26. Hoodoo

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    Very interesting looking knife. Never seen one before. Is the steel the usual Buck stainless?
     
  27. Hoodoo

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    Interesting information. First I heard that Case CV was the same as Carbon V. I would bet Case runs the Rockwell a bit lower than either Cold Steel or Becker.
     
  28. 45jack

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    I've heard Carbon-V, was 1095 or 0170-6...
    Probably what ever they can get for the price point they want at the time.
     
  29. mdauben

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    Some nice looking knives. I only became interested in Marble's knives just before they went through their recent reoganziation and the "traditional" Made in USA knives I was interested in where dropped. The only one I had bought at that point was a Marble's Woodcraft that I had been looking at for a while (sorry, I don't have a photo of my own Woodcraft handy).

    [​IMG]

    I wish I had picked up a couple others when I had the chance (particularly the Ideal and Trailmaker) as the NIB stuff seemed to disappear overnight, and even the more recently manufactured used examples are already going for collectors prices. :(
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  30. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    There are quite a few copies of the Marbles knives, a lot of the early copies were made in Germany, I think to get around the USA patent. But Kinfolk, Wade & Butcher, Buck, and even Ka-bar to name a few made copies of the more popular Marbles knives. I think the Woodcraft was one of the most copied knives of all times
     
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  31. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    I actually have an old Kabar blade with no leather washers on it
    Paid a couple bucks for it at a garage sale but haven't done any thing with it yet
    Looks just like a woodcraft.
     
  32. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    I always liked the Ka-bar/Woodcraft knife, it's kind of cool when the copies are as good as the originals
     
  33. EdD270

    EdD270 Guide Bushclass I

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    It is stainless, and I GUESSING it is the same as most other Buck knives. I don't see why they would make a special steel for a small run like Cabela's must have had them do. Cabela's had them for a few months, then they went on clearance, which is how I got mine, and some of my kids got theirs.
     
  34. Quill

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    I would have thought by now you would have every model they made squirreled away. I bet you prefer them from 2000 to 2002.:54:
     
  35. Hoodoo

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    Now that hurt. :2:

    Don't got a Buck...:(
     
  36. Quill

    Quill Scout

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    I knew that would leave a mark or two. Seriously you should do a book, listing all your knives and thoughts their good and points. I would buy it.
     
  37. Hoodoo

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    I suppose I could do that in my spare time... :D Just the thought of it makes my head ache. :56:

    Seriously, for years I thought about doing a book on using knives, a kind of updated version of Ken Warner's "The Practical Book of Knives." But time wise, if I ever do get to it, it will have to wait until I retire. Just too many things going on work wise. I consider Ken's book one of the great "common sense" books on knives. WAY under appreciated.
     
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  38. Hoodoo

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    I think most of their knives are 420 HC eh? Not sure how far that goes back. I really don't know if they used any of the varieties of 440 way back when. At any rate, that Buck Woodcraft is a treat to see!
     
  39. cockeyedhunter

    cockeyedhunter Guide Lifetime Supporter Bushclass II

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    Marbles 5" Ideal, Woodcraft, pin on compass, match safe. Great thread, keep the history alive.


    [​IMG]
     
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  40. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    Good looking gear, I carry an old compass and matchsafe in my hunting bag. Nice knives, I agree with you, got to keep the history alive.
     

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  41. anubis1335

    anubis1335 Bushmaster

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    I love those woodcraft and fieldcraft knives!
     
  42. glen1100

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    These are two Fieldcraft knives from the Mike Stewart era. They are 52-100 with the carver style handle. I find these knives are just about the right size and shape for the local deer and work well for bushcraft .
     

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  43. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Glenn, many thanks for the information you have shared. I have this thread bookmarked and saved as a PDF file. :)
     
  44. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    My thanks to you for letting me do this. Work has been keeping me really busy the last month but I will post more as I get time
     
  45. glen1100

    glen1100 Supporter Supporter

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    I agree with you on Ken's book Hoodoo. I'll be doing a giveaway on this copy when I get some free time
     

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  46. MiddleWolf

    MiddleWolf Guide

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    I have learned more about knives since joining this forum then I knew before. i have seen many knives that look like these but gave no thought to them as I was ignorant of what they might be. But now one of the first things I search out at garage/estate/yard/and rummage sales or flea markets are the things with edges on them. Even this thread has opened my eyes. Thanks again for the "useful" knowledge.
     
  47. Hoodoo

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    Here's a few.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  48. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Nice ! But, you forgot to label them for all us slow learners. :)
     
  49. Hoodoo

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    Sorry. I'm blanking on the model names of one or two. The first 3 are field crafts. The next 3 are sport 99s (iirc).

    In the next pic, the first one I'm blanking on the model name. Then the Expert, a DeWeese, a custom, and a caper (iirc).

    The bottom three are Woodcrafts, the first one is post Stewart with "mystery steel."
     
  50. glen1100

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    Very nice Hoodoo, if that Special Hunter ever needs a good home let me know. The custom looks like a Trailmate?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012

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