When I use a chisel or draw knife, sometimes a knot will initiate a big splinter of wood, highly problematic. My orbital sander or a rasp are my preferred attack for knots.I have two project I'm going to tackle next. One is a rather large maple stick, into which I've been carving the ball on the end. The other is a length of long-leaf pine that's been drying for over a year. (interesting little beads of dried sap along the length just pop right off).
Both have a fair number of knots. Not huge, but enough to make me pause.
With the maple stick, I'm going to want to make the stick thinner, so will need to reduce the knots down along with the rest of the surface.
With the pine, I'm mainly just wanting to smooth them down to the surface of the stick.
Since I only have hand tools (with the exception of a random orbital sander I've used only twice, and a dremel tool) I'm thinking a mixture of chisels, rasps, files and sand paper for the pine stick. For the maple, I'll be using a drawknife for the general reduction, but for the knots I'm wondering if I use more of chisels, sawing?, rasps...
Any suggestions? What do you use for smoothing and reducing knots in different woods?