High Performance Hand Axe

First off, I would like to thank Old Jimbo for his extensive help with this modification. This work was largely inspired by his work on grinding the Vaughan mini axe.

In order to get this right, I sent him many e-mails, diagrams and pictures. He was very patient will all my questioning, and I don’t think I could have pulled this off without him.

Here is the axe as I started with. It is the Snow and Nealley Penobscot Bay Kindling axe.

Here it is finished up.


Non-headwise, I sanded the handle and did multiple coats of linseed oil, followed by a beeswax treatment.

Head-wise, laying the flat board against the head, you can see the two areas of contact.

Laying it flat against the platen of my grinder, I made sure these areas were smooth and even.

Lower area too.

As the head profile already seemed good, I just made sure that the ramps leading up to the eye were again smooth and even across the whole area of the head.


Here are pictures of it batoning the most twisted piece of wood I had. Honestly, it just blew apart all my other pieces, so I had to look for something twisted like this.




Of course, the least-favorite feature of the GB, being shown here.


Then, I just convexed out the edge to a high polish.



I have been very excited about the performance of this axe. It is a winner for sure. Since doing this, I have done the same modifications to its big brother, the Hudson Bay Camp axe, with a 24" handle. That thing is a completely different animal all together!