The learning continues! Thanks to those who have answered my questions, I've managed to "finish" a model of a knife my granddaughter wants to make. Not necessarily exactly final form, but it has served as a good training exercise.
This turned out to be much more difficult that I expected due to the shapes and methods needed to create the shapes!
Any comments or suggestions greatly appreciated!
Some of what I think I've learned:
Rail sweep is quirky, but can be useful in Deluxe since that's all it has!
I couldn't get a rail sweep of the blade profile to rigid sweep to the quadrant point of an ellipse, I assume because it's trying to drive the profile parallel to itself at the end point. Trimming off just a bit of the ellipse fixed that, plus gives the blade a "point", rather than a flat end. Rail sweep seems very dependent on the "direction" that the path was created. Reversing the path creation direction, and/or mirror imaging the desired profile can get it to work, but takes some trial and error, at least for me so far!
Trying to split a solid with the split line coincident or tangent with the surface of an object can seem like it is working, but turns the solid into just a shell, hollow with a missing face. Fixed that by leaving extra material on thr first half blade profile such that a split along the desired line had material on both sides of the split.
Using boolian operatioins on solids seems to cause trouble if you try to do things while in hidden line removed mode. I just didn't use this mode except for viewing.
Trying to subtract one object from another caused trouble if the objects share a surface. It turns one or both from solids into just hollow shells with missing surfaces. Make sure there aren't coincident surfaces. If necessary, extend one, do your cut, then cut the extra off later.
These are my best guesses on how the program works, again, any comments are appreciated. I can learn, but only if I know what I'm doing wrong, or if there's a better way to do something.
PS Can someone explain how to insert images or thumbnails into posts? Attaching seems pretty easy, but I haven't figured out how to insert with the text.