Thanks for the response NH-

What are your thoughts on the pictures I've seen of the log elevated with people scoring and hewing the top of the log? It's similar to the technique that I use to cut the footholds in my underhand blocks (you can see a bit of one in a pic I posted earlier). I thought that it might be an option for me since it would be like putting in a series of footholds.

A friend heard about the project and claims to have an old broad axe I can use. I'm going to check it out and see if I can breath some life back into it.

On the double bit axe... More than once when I've had one out at a demo or competition I've had somebody ask "You know why they had double bit axes back then dontcha?" I've gotten the explaination that you shared, jokes about guys cutting down two trees at once, etc. More than one person has told me that one side was sharper for felling/chopping and the other side was kept more blunt and durable for knocking spruce limbs off (and other abusive work). It seems plausible... any thoughts?