Hi how you remove the waste from the joint more or less decides what size chisel you use.If you chop the waste out you will use a wide chisel but keep your chisel off the base line and don't forget when cutting the pins one side is narrower than the other.
I cut the waste away with a coping saw but in both cases you want no more than a 1/16" of the waste left by the base line.The base line should be marked out with a striking knife and if using a wide chisel you can now place the chisel in the knife mark and just tap it down,not bash just tap,do this half way down turn the piece over and do the same from the other side.
As said I use a coping saw to remove the waste then with a narrow paring chisel place it in the knife mark and just gently press it into the joint,the sharpest part of a chisel is the corner so I sweep the corner into the joint and the waste just peels a way tun it over and repeat.
A paring chisel is a different animal to a bench chisel its thin has a honing angle down to about 20 degrees and is never hit with anything its a real nice tool to use.
As said earlier the tools need to be sharp,when sharp they don't put stress on the wood.You need to know what sharp is,a little test pick up a piece of paper in your left hand hold the chisel in your right hand now run the chisel down the paper and slice a piece of paper off,if it cant do this then its not sharp.
Take a walk over to the hand tool forum and look up sharpening threads or just ask they are a friendly group of people over there.
On a draw with half blind dove tails I like to finish the top off so the draw face runs right through and does not look chopped up.
On the bottom I like to finish of with a half tail so when the groove for the draw bottom is cut its not visible from the out side.
Sorry I may have confused you with the mortice and tenon thread but face side and face edge is a basic principle of wood working and no matter whether you use machines or just hand tools every wood worker needs to grasp that principle.
Here is an excellent thread by Sawdust factory showing just what face side and face edge are. http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f11/w...-thread-54433/
I hope that explains the point enjoy your hobby Billy.