As you may remember, a while back I did a post on how you can build a cheap alternative version of the very useful, but very costly Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe, using the head from a Northern Tool 24oz Camp Axe. You can see the full post here.
I have been contacted by several people who have tried it for themselves, and come up with some excellent results. The axes in the below picture were made by Carl Norman. Photography is by his brother, Matt Norman.
Here you can see some examples still in progress.
He informs me that so far there have been no performance issues with the axes. I can second that. I have been using the one I made for some time now, and have had absolutely no issues. I have even put it through some rough tests, where I have hit the ground, and even chopped ice with it, without any damage to the edge. The toughness of the head has been quite a surprise to me.
I did have one reader let me know that the Northern Tool head he bought had some quality control issues. Please keep that in mind. This is a $10 hatchet, you may encounter some quality control issues. So far though, they seem to be fairly rare.
There are also some news with respect to sources for the Small Forest Axe replacement handles. I know that one US distributor is in the process of importing a number of Gransfors Bruks replacement handles at a reasonable price. I will keep you updated on their availability.