After weeks of work, mistakes and triumphs, I finally finished my wall piece. Originally, I thought this would be done about a week earlier, but after a stupid mistake cutting my outer boxes in half, I had to restart that half of the project. This was a good learning experience for me though. The second attempt was brought back to pre-mistake status over a weekend. I was able to experiment with multiple types of finishes and used the dado in enough ways and enough times that I am about as confident in that as I could ever be.
I am looking forward to the next project and have already begun to sketch out some ideas.