Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Council Tool Jersey Axe – Part 2, by bmatt, an American Bushcrafter in Finland

Today in the News:  We're at 29 followers!  Help us get to 30 by clicking "follow" in the upper left hand corner of the web page.  As always, I'm looking for guest writers.  Email me at house.of.howes@hotmail.com .

Link of the Day: http://www.garant.com/  This company is based out of Canada and sells many tools, including axes.  If anyone knows of an American Source for these axes, please email me at house.of.howes@hotmail.com .

Today we have a great follow up to the post last week by bmatt - this is a sharp (pun intended) looking axe! - MOH

Council Tool Jersey Axe – Part 2 - by bmatt, an American Bushcrafter in Finland
I’ve decided to split up my review of the Council Tool Jersey Classic Axe into 3 parts instead of two.
Part 3 will cover usage in the field.
Today I wanted to write about the work I’ve done on the axe to make it more to my liking. I spent about 1 – 1.5 hours reshaping the handle with my knife. I would say I have medium-sized hands, and the handle of this axe as it came was a bit wide for my liking. Now it fits like a glove. I spent another hour doing finishing touches to and sanding down the handle. I used 60 grit at first, then wetted the handle to raise the grain, then sanded lightly with 240 grit. Finally I applied several light coats of linseed oil. What a smooth, sexy handle!

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about the partially-missing phantom bevel on the one side of the head, but I ultimately decided to keep them all instead of sanding them off. I redefined/fleshed them out a bit to make them all even and have begun putting a patina on them. I will continue this process to get them as dark as I can. They’re a nice feature of the Jersey pattern.

Finally, I put a working edge on the head. I filed off the burr and sharpened the edge with a file and then moved on to a natural stone. The edge now cuts paper pretty cleanly.

With about 3 hours of work into this axe (probably a lot longer than it needed to be), I’m happy with how she looks and feels. Truth be told, if you don’t mind a bigger handle, all you’d really need to do would be to take a few minutes to file and sharpen the edge. I have to have things juuuust right, so I put the extra work in.

Thanks, bmatt for this awesome post!

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel.....out.


  1. That is a good looking helve, much straighter than the usual modern helve. I usually make my own, but I came across a very inexpensive helve at the market one time that was straight and made for a double bit axe. So I bought it and fitted it to my period felling axe. It is great to use.

  2. Thanks, Le Loup. The helve on this axe was even straighter when I bought it, though it is Council's "curved" version. I had to remove material from the helve in order to be able to use this axe properly. I took off wood from two places, under the shoulder on the back of the helve and above the knob on the front of the helve. In effect, this gave it more of a curve, but it's still pretty straight in comparison, as you said. By some miracle, I got it to come out just right (for me). :)

    You have a great blog, by the way!


  3. WoW!
    Glad I found this
    albeit two years late.

    I've been trying to track down
    an axe like my father's,
    only to find the company has long
    been out of business.
    This one though looks very close to his.
    Thanks for posting the review!