not being critcle here toni, but why do you have to beat it together? the tenons shouldnt go in that hard.. yu need room for the glue.. if they are to tight once you add glue you can end up like i almost did and have it part together and no more movement had to clamp it together and talk to it severly for a minute or two.. i would finish after assembly and if the panels go in easy and arent gonna get hit then they could have some finish on them but yu need to allow for glue surface somewhere.on the panels.
If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
One hand washes the other!
Don't put off today till tomorrow!