Trying to the flatten the spaces between the knots in a Celtic cross is difficult with a chisel. Typically, you wind up with a 4-sided raised pyramid as you work the chisel into the wall of each knot, as shown in the first photo.
I tried using the chisel like a scraper with fair results. But a gift certificate to Woodcraft for my birthday from my partner's mom presented a much better option.
I purchased 3 bent chisels which gave me the leverage and angle I needed to remove the pyramid and flatten the background areas between each knot. You can see how well it worked in the two square-shaped recesses in the third photo.
The smallest bent chisel is less than 1/16" wide and works great on the skinny perimeter of the design.
Another one of my favorite gifts was a book that I had found in the Woodworking Library of Dan's Woodshop. I noted a number of other books that will be added to future wish lists.
American Country Furniture showcases projects built by The Workshops of David T. Smith. The projects range from very simple (spoon rack) to more challenging (corner cabinet). A short description of the origin of the piece precedes the plans and cut list for each project.
The photos are black and white and the step-by-step instructions are well-illustrated. I've already dog-eared about half of the pages in the book, which mark construction techniques or projects I'd like to build, like the ratchet candle stand.
It's a fun little book which would appeal to anyone who loves simple, country furniture.