Not long ago I contacted Lisa and we began discussing what I wanted. Not a full size axe, and not one of those mini-hatchets either. I've owned a few of those and ended up giving them away. I wanted something longer than the Small Hunter's Axe from Wetterlings that has an overall length of 15". While that 'camp axe' as I call it has served adequately over the past couple years it just didn't ring with me the way I like my gear to do. Guess that sounds odd but to me it isn't. I can try three or four items, closely matched to one another and all service the same role, and find that there's always just something about one of them that 'rings'.
A camp axe to me means it's packable but still of sufficient length to be used as an axe. While no 'camp axe' is going to be a full time feller or forest axe, the size has proved to me that it can serve as needed, when needed. In this case the axe I commissioned came out with an overall length of 17". I've owned the large hunter's axe, at 19" and the small that had an overall length of 15", one too long and one too short. 17" was the Goldilocks size for me, for my particular packs and uses this size is ideal, it probably sounds crazy that 2" of length can make that much difference, to me it does. For longer periods of time in a static camp I do make use of a 31" axe, but for the most part it is seldom used. I've found for my fire wood needs a bucksaw and a 'camp axe' are more than adequate.
The camp axe that Lisa worked up is a rather elegant and robust version of my vision of a packable camp axe. Execution is terrific, the steel excellent, and out of the box had one of the sharpest edges I've received in any blade in the past five years. The edge is truly fine and polished to mirror like luster. She took the following photographs before shipping the axe to me.
The ash haft was hand shaped, a lot of time went into that and the tooled mask. From the pictures I knew I was going to like it, when I got it I was quite surprised at just how much. I spent some time on it with a leather dye and some pure beeswax. After a time, this is the result.