butcher block table question

I am building a butcher block table and constructing the top by gluing together 15 pieces of 2" hard maple. As expected the pieces are not lining up just right. I was wondering if anyone can lend advice as to the best method of smoothing out the pieces. I thought about using a belt sander to "grind" them smooth. Since end grain is showing, would this be ok? (I don't have any experience with a belt sander so forgive my ignorance.) If the belt sander method would work, what path should I take to accomplish my goal? Should I work parallel to the lines or perpendicular?
Thanks in advance for your help....
Chris
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I would take the whole thing to a local sawmil or cabinet shop or ? and have them run it through the large belt sander. You'll pay a fee for it but it should be reasonable. You'll accomplish what you want in a few minutes.
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Traditionally the blocks were made from birch and bolted together in a frame. As end grain was used the small gaps were filled with the meshing fibres. Having worked with birch i can see why it was the wood of choice. i would just use a belt sander after assembly.
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Chris,
If you have a friend with a planner or jointer you can run the boards through them before you glue them up.
Rob
Chris Nail wrote:

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