The Council Tool 19" Hudson Bay arrived over a week ago week but I didn't get a chance to do anything with it until today. My initial impression as I picked the axe up is that the head is much too heavy for a 19" handle. I'm going to use it as-is for a bit but I suspect I'll be getting a 28" handle for it eventually. The steel seems to be decent...I was able got an working edge on it easy enough. The handle is adequate but the grain orientation is about 45 degrees off of where it "should be." It was smooth enough to use comfortably but I still sanded it to 320 grit to remove the few minor imperfections and then wiped on a coat of boiled linseed oil. All things considered it is better than one should expect from a $40 made in the USA axe and I think it will prove to really be a great value.
I didn't order the mask option so to get it out in the woods I
threw something together out of some scrap leather I had laying around. I
used double-cap rivets because I was too lazy to sew it
and there was a lot on today's to-do list. The dye is still drying in these