Your Trailmaker is a early 2002 model based on the spacer colors and design. That spacer pattern was used on the very last left over blades from 2001 before they switched blade steels (and outsourced the blade steel, and dropped many models.) Another clue to this is the single line lazer ecth of the Marbles logo, it was only used for a very short time also on the left over blades. New models in 2002 with the new blade steel were stamped not lazer etched with the single line Marbles logo. I am pretty sure the steel in your trailmaker is the 5160 they were using in the larger knifes pre 2002.
The Marbles knives pre 2002 had the lazer etch Marbles with Gladstone,Mi USA on them.
The new knives from 2002 on used the same spacer pattern and colors so they can not be dated. The 2002 knives went to the single line Marbles logo stamped/ not lazered. Around 2003/2004 Camillus started supplying the blades for the marbles knives in 0170-6 steel. The last several years of production they added USA back on the logo stamping.
No one knows for sure who supplied the blade blanks for the knives before Camillus but it is rumored it was also 0170-6.
So you Can tell a Marbles with a Camillus blade for certainty by looking for the Marbles with USA stamping.
As to your question, the classic series of fixed blades from 2002 til Marbles went bankrupt were handled and finished in Gladstone even though the blades were outsourced.
There were also different generations of boxes and sheath types.
If I had to guess the date on your Ideal I would say 2005-2006. Your Ideal has the spacers pattern and colors that they used on on the knives from 2002-end of production.
I have been collecting/studying the pre 2002 knives for over 12 years and have a large collection, all the catalogs and a database of models and pictures.
Feel free to ask questions
Edited by N710 on 04-13-12 05:22.18. Reason for edit: No reason given.