The resulting surface is gorgeous, almost completely free of knots, and ready to go. And by the way, it smells heavenly! I'm a little reluctant to touch it. Only a little.
Now I'm studying up on carving technique cause the rubber hits the road on this project pretty soon and I want to be ready. By the way, I'm getting lots of good ideas for future projects; I could barely sleep last night thinking about them. I hope my friends like wood gifts. Is this gonna be like gifts from your 2 year old I wonder?