Sometime ago Jim Bode advertised a Norris marking knife. It was lovely.
knife was sold before I could move on it. I looked over the pictures Jim
posted and decided to build my own.
Using 1” x 1/2” brass bar, I cut the brass in a size similar to the one sold. I
used 1/8” x 3/8” 01 tool steel for the knife. In true Norris style, the knife
had a rosewood infill. So would mine.
It was interesting trying to reverse engineer how Norris made this knife early
in the 20th century. Once I figured out the steps, the build was pretty straight
Norris really used some remarkable and ingenious methods to build this knife. I
try to recreate the steps and order of manufacture to illustrate these very
Here is the knife as advertised from Jim Bode. A real beauty.
Photo courtesy Jim Bode Antique Tools.
So here we begin...
The first step was laying out the infill. A good bit of brass will need to be
Using the hacksaw, I made many narrow cuts in order to remove enough
material for the hacksaw to fit and cut parallel to the length of the bar.
Then these pieces were knocked out with the chisel. Next a quick file
to the correct depth.