I found an axe head that was just a little too large for any of the pre-fabricated axe handles I could find for sale at hardware stores. I was committed to saving it from the scrap pile as soon as I saw it, but it's been sitting in my garage for the better part of a year for lack of the right piece of wood. I was recently able to find a satisfactory piece of hickory to make a new handle from and accomplished the task over two days this last week. Here are some pictures of the build.
Of course I took it out immediately and started hammering on a fallen tree. I was confident in my craftsmanship, but it felt good to just feel the solid thunk of the axe into the wood and feel that the shape and fit were as good as they looked during construction. In one of the pictures is a previous axe I restored with about an overall weight of 5lbs, it feels like a feather compared to this new monster. This new axe is HEAVY coming in closer to 8lb overall weight with the much larger head and thicker handle. It is a lot of steel and wood to swing through the air. I imagine it will be great for splitting. Not that I get much use out of my outdoor tools where I live, but it's nice to bring tools like this back to life. Something tangible to hold up as a completed project always feels great.
When I brought the axe home I put on the first coat of boiled linseed oil. There were other oils at the shop, but it was worth waiting the few days to do the right thing.
Update: A few weeks later I made a leather sheath for this axe. Post here http://www.datamungeblog.com/2014/12/leather-axe-sheath.html