Whatever the question, sharp is the answer. I guess if prepping the seat blank with hand tools were easy the world would be awash with hand made stick chairs.
Shaping the underside bevel:
The bevel is slow going with many very obvious changes of grain direction. A drawknife is of some use and a small woodie or a #3 or #4 works well on the end grain but most of it will be done with one or more of the several spokeshaves in the tool cabinet.
When the bevel is finished I'll clean up the bottom and then start to saddle the top. That's when most of the specialized chair making tools come out to play. BTW, I now have a 6 degree reamer and tenon cutter vs. the 12 degree ones I have been using. It will be interesting to see which I like best.
Sharpening drawknives has always kicked my ass. Mostly because they are long, the handles get in the way and it is damn easy for body parts to find the sharp edge. Several nights ago, one of the drowning in snot and can't sleep ones, I came across a drawknife sharpening video where the presenter used an elevated stone holder. I can't remember who made the video but I thought that's a good idea, I'll steal it.
While digging around in the "tool room" yesterday I found a couple of wood stone holders that if glued together would/should make a stone holder for use with drawknives.
Of course I tell myself that if it works I'll make a prettier one. I can be big on self delusion, if it works I expect I'll still be using it a year from now.