Prefinish parts ... before even cutting them to finished size?

Another fairly ignorant question. I consider that my job, by the way; my contribution to keeping the group supplied with on-topic threads. :)
My recent project had so many small parts (thirty-two 9" 1x2s, for instance) that sanding, easing edges, staining and finishing them all was a chore. Could I have sanded and (mostly) finished the uncut stock, then cut them to length? Or would I lose time being so careful not to scratch up the prefinished stock?
Would your answer change if you knew I had to drill two dowel holes in each end of all those pieces?
One curious mind wants to know.
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On 1/9/2015 9:52 AM, Greg Guarino wrote:

You can prefinish before cutting if this will be an operation that will not harm the surface, such as denting, just save the last coat of finish for after the part is cut. I typically don't.
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One lazy mind says it is easier to sand/finish a few big things than a bunch of smaller things. Within reason; by that I mean (in your case) I probably would have sanded/finished them as 4 - 8 pieces, then cut those into the 9" lengths.
There is a big advantage to doing that when sanding because you can clamp them together to sand all edges at once, lay them side by side to do all faces together; it's good idea to rotate their positions from time to time to avoid rounding edges. They can be finished before cutting to length too.
They may blow out a bit when cutting; if one has a scoring saw - I don't - that wouldn't happen; without one, using a board under what you are cutting can help. Another possible solution is to cut them slightly long, then use a disk sander to get exact size. Another way - my usual one - is to put the blow out where it doesn't show :)
As far as the dowels go, I wouldn't have used them. Being lazy, I would have made grooves in the stiles and matching tongues in the rails; the excess grooves would have been filled up with a wood filler, probably profiled and less wide than the stiles.
--

dadiOH
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On 1/9/2015 11:16 AM, dadiOH wrote:

Well, my tool complement is pretty primitive for woodworking. I not only don't have a scoring saw, I don't have a table saw of any kind. Thus (for now) I tend to design for minimal ripping. Except for the (plywood) shelves, the entire project was made from 1x2 and 1x3 oak, left full-width.
Having said that, I rarely get "blow out" with my miter saw, presumably because I pretty much never use the saw "as-is". I made a couple of zero-clearance-style table and fence jigs that seem to support the backs and bottoms of the pieces nicely.

One man's "lazy" is another man's "holy crap would that be time-consuming", I guess. Drilling the 128 dowel holes in the the ends of the rails took a little less than a half-hour, not counting making the jig. The 128 mating holes in the rails took a little longer, but not much.
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On Friday, January 9, 2015 at 9:52:03 AM UTC-6, Greg Guarino wrote:

Or don't do projects with lots of "smalls". (sic)
Do large projects, like skis... with one or two long pieces of wood. Skis oughta be a hot item, right now, with all that snow you all are having, up north. They oughta sell like hot cakes... and hot chocolate.
It's even brrrr down here, but no snow....yet! Sonny
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