Plywood panel table top -- Edge trim

I wish to build a 48 by 60 inch table of birch or maple. I would normally use solid materials for the top but the size and cost of birch or maple ($5.25 per bf) prohibit.
As a result, I plan to use baltic birch with a 3 inch birch trim on the outside edges of the plywood. When attaching the trim to edge how do I ensure the top surface of the trim is even with the surface of the plywood. I have made table tops like this before (that is, plywood with an edge trim) but have not yet achieved an even surface. In the worst case I have attempted to sand them even and, of course, sanded thru the hardwood outer layer of the plywood.
How have you achieved an even surface that did not need sanding?? I had thought to weight the plywood and edge pieces face down on a known flat surface and use buscuits to get strength. Problem there is that I wont know if I have an even top surface until the glue has set.
What about tongue and groove edges? It seems with this method I can do a trial assembly and determine if the surfaces are even BEFORE gluing.
I have no experience with ether bisquits or tongue and groove for this application.
I'm sure many of you have had success. How did you do it??
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Don't use a sander - use a scraper. You can sneak up on the final thickness much easier.
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I'm planning a table now.
One thing you can do is CELEBRATE the splice. Cut a groove with a skinny router bit. That way the division looks like an intentional design element, and not an economization.
Try it and see how it looks on some offcuts.
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There is a current thread on this topic. See "solid edges on plywood" from a day ago.
-- Bill Pounds http://www.bill.pounds.net/woodshop

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A flush trimming router bit is what I use.
Typically I attach the edging with a spline joint or biscuits, some times I screw the edging on and plug the holes with some contrasting colored wood for an interesting look, just depends on what it's for.
btw factory edges sometimes don't make for a nice joint because they are swelled somewhat from humidity. I like to freshen them up on a TS taking off a blade width of material with a simple little auxilary fence that I screw to my fence that works like a jointer.
David

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Your tongue and groove idea is my choice. The shakers used it too enclose end grain on most all of their table tops, they called it breadboarding. It will also give you the opportunity to test fit, adjust thickness and alignment of the two surfaces. You might also think about using some other type of fastener than glue as the trim will expand and contract more than the plywood. I have used three screws with the two at the ends with a slightly elongated hole to allow for the movement.
Dave

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