I saw, I shave, I scrape, I sand - and yes, I apply a couple of coats of shellac. It's just resting lightly on the sticks for the finishing, so it'll be a little lower than that.
So? Okay? Hideous? Do I care? Well yeah, of course I do, but I'm fairly happy with it so suggestions for alteration are going to have to be well-argued.
The join, btw, is definitely there but really the grain match isn't half bad. It would have helped if there hadn't been that dark sweep through the top piece, but as I feared before I started, you simply can't tell what exactly it's going to look like until it's been cut to final shape.