The answer is that there are axes and there are axes.... ie the old axe that I found in a shed or the Gransfors Bruks (GB) Swedish carving axe.
Having tried the GB axe the difference in use is huge, the extra weight carries the axe theough the wood. The design of the axe means that it is easy to see the cut as it is being made. The cutting edge is very sharp and can almost be pushed through the wood while making fine slices. luckily my birthay was close and a friend had a GB axe for sale add the the two together and I had a wonderful new axe.
So what to do with it, spoons I guess. A "windfall" of Birch meant I could head for the shed. A few days later I have new spoons ready to be oiled.
A pair of spoons for my wife and daughter carved from Holly