The greater part of the sanding time will be with the coarser grits around 180 and 240 and then up through the finer grits to around 2000 and the onto micro mesh before the oil finish is applied.
Inevitably there will be instances where I will do some work with edge tools even after some sanding has been done but as a general rule this will be avoided. The sort of instances that may lead to caving after sanding would be where some shaping needs to be done that will require a relatively large amount of material to be removed. This sort of necessity is sometimes only made apparent when the texture of a surface is removed and the curve of a surface is revealed to be less fair than it ought to be.
This is also the reason why so much time needs to be spent with the coarser grits so that smooth flowing shapes and surfaces result rather than polished irregularities. With all this sanding there will be some softening of edges that would appear more attractive if sharp. So the rule of not risking blunted tools by post-sanding-carving, must be overruled so that the quality of the work will not suffer.
The cherry blossoms have been carved now and touched up with needle files. I had intended to use the ukibori method to render the small dimples, representing stamen, that surround the blossom centres but I thought it too risky after the whole cage area had been hollowed out . So I used the safer but more tedious method of carving each one onto the thin petal surface.
Here the home made micro carving tools were useful for restoring sharpness and definition to the blossoms after they had been smoothed with the needle files.
The images below show the commencement of the carving on the back of the spoon. All of the carving work has been completed on this area now, except for the large heart area at the top of the spoon . i am still intending to inlay this area with a contrasting timber, though, I ought to have done this at a much earlier stage.