Sometimes, I feel like I don't explain what I do enough...at least visually. So, as Amy wanted to see the wood "before and after," I thought I'd take the time to be really meticulous with this project's posting.
The board on the left has been run through the planer, now showing its true inner self. The stack on the right is the "patina" they've acquired over God knows how many decades of hay, manure (maybe) and general weathering. Kinda fuzzy on the outside, but definitely solid throughout the board.
After all of the boards have been planed, this is when I'll scan each side with a critical eye looking for odd characteristics, blemishes and differences in color compared to the others. Sometimes, mineral stains, knots and unique figuring make the piece and I'll intentionally include a "blemish." The third board from the left didn't make the cut due to it being just a little darker than the others. I don't mind some difference, but after a coat of poly, you'll really be able to tell what matches and what doesn't.
Here are the four boards that made the cut. The pieces of maple that are laying perpendicular to the board mark the overall length the desktop will be once it's assembled.
I don't know whether or not to be surprised that there's very little cupping, warping or movement in these pieces. Each piece was a breeze to rip for glue-ups on the saw, as shown here.
To help strengthen a simple butt joint glue-up, each interior edge that mates up with another is further secured with biscuit joinery. The biscuits also help to keep all the boards on the same plane, thus, making sanding simplified as the surface is not hampered with varying heights relative to each other....trust me.
Here's all of the edges after they've been jointed with the plate jointer. Joint is 3/4" on center since the overall thickness is 1 1/2".
After the joints have been glued and biscuited, this is (roughly) what the desktop will look like upon completion.
With any luck, tomorrow we'll be cutting mortise and tenon joints for the legs...and start sanding that top.
Thanks again, Amy! Cheers...