Finally an update....
Time on the forum has been pretty non-existent for me for the past 3 or 4 months. I have been able to squeeze in a bit of shop time here and there and things are really starting to shape up.
I finished getting the legs and apron cut out and shaped. First dry fit looks good -- all the joints are pretty tight, maybe a bit of futzing with one or two but overall I'm happy.
At this point I decided to pre-finish the pieces before final assembly. Wasn't quite sure what to do so I made up a sample board out of some of the cut offs. The panels are various combinations of clear shellac, garnet shellac with some dye added, red mahogany stain, alcohol dyes, and/or pore filler. The winner was a coat of clear shellac followed by tinted pore filer. On top of that a thin application of red mahogany stain and tinted garnet shellac. Topped it off with several more coats of clear shellac. Still debating on if I want to give the final piece a few coats of poly or just a few more layers of shellac. Leaning more towards the shellac because it is easier to repair. My family tends to be hard on furniture, so my fear is the poly will eventually get damaged and the repair process will be much more involved.
With the pieces pre-finished, cleaning up the glue squeeze out was easy. I let the glue set up for 30 minutes and it cleaned right off with a sharp chisel. I'm definitely going to use this technique for future projects.
With that done, it is time to move onto the top.
Measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with an axe.