Shelves to table top

I am about to take down quite a few metres (maybe 20+) of shelving. This is all hardwood, though I've no idea which, that has been in place for probably 50+ years. Although runs are interrupted for support, spans are at least 1m, so there's some useful amount of hardwood there in 7" x 1" boards.
I'm thinking of making a table top from this stock. The plan would be to make 2-off 1m squares and (maybe) a 0.5 x 1m removable centre leaf. Clearly, I shall have to source something for the legs and frame.
So - questions:
1" isn't really thick enough for a stable table top and probably too shallow to biscuit joint, so I was toying with the idea of mounting these boards onto sheets of ply, screwed in from below to keep everything in place. Does this sound sensible?
Ideally, I'd like to curve the ends of the outer leaves. This would be a simple (famous last words) task to cut, but there will need to be a border around the edges and this would have to be bent into shape. How hard is it to steam and bend a (matching or contrasting) hardwood strip, which is something I've never tried before? (If this isn't going to be reliable, pragmatism says it should be rectangular!)
With the best will in the world, although they look very straight by eye, there will inevitably be some small gaps where boards meet. I'm thinking sawdust from the timber mixed with some glue would be the way to fill these. Any better suggestions?
Once built, sanded off etc etc, I'll need to finish the surface with some kind of treatment, and there are many available. It would probably look best with a good sheen at least, if not high gloss, so that probably rules out oiling. I've always quite liked French polish, but I wonder if there are any 'modern' alternatives that would perform as well as this and give a more durable finish. There will be plenty of offcuts to experiment with, of course.
Any answers or further suggestions, especially from experience, would be appreciated.
Cheers chaps
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On 07/08/2017 10:47, GMM wrote:

One inch is perfectly thick enough of it's decent wood - and plenty thick enough to be able to use biscuit joints.

Again, if it's decent wood, it won't need lipping.

Plane the edges straight, then use biscuit joints plus glue between the boards and clamp them tightly together while the glue cures.
--
Cheers,
Roger
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On 07/08/17 12:54, Roger Mills wrote:

one way to get prefect matching edges is to clamp the boards down on top of a sacrificial backplane, a little less than a router cutter apart, and run a router against a straight edge between them.
planing is a tedious process and no guarantee of straightness thereafter
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On 07/08/2017 14:10, Tjoepstil wrote:

If you do this it's likely that the board being cut in the "wrong" direction will depart stage right unless it's extremely well clamped.

It's fine if you use a long bed plane that's designed for the purpose.

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On 07/08/2017 14:21, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Probably better to use the method described in the DIY Wiki for the "Custom rebate router jig" <http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Custom_rebate_router_jig or the "Routerboard" <http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/index.php/Routerboard
--
Mike Clarke

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On 07/08/2017 15:47, Mike Clarke wrote:

+1
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On Monday, 7 August 2017 10:48:01 UTC+1, GMM wrote:

why not use what you have?

it should be ok on both counts. You can always run a strip under the joins

wood shrinks/expands with RH, ply doesn't, so no

why?

or octagonal

yuck. Get them right.
The things you're saying are better fitted to working with low end boards.
NT

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On 07/08/2017 10:47, GMM wrote:

1" should be plenty thick enough, and also more than adequate to biscuit should you wish.

its ok, but probably overkill. You will get more than adequate stiffness from the aprons on the table.

Bending (if its a thin strip) is not too difficult. However one problem that you may have is that the curved ends won't then tolerate any seasonal movement if you have a long grain strip wrapped round and rigidly fixed to them. IME you would be better profiling the edge of the boards themselves if you want a decorative edge.
(you always want to avoid fixing anything long grain to cross grain unless there is some "slop" in the fitting since wood will expand across the grain about 10x more than it does along it.

If you plane them straight first, there ought not be many gaps. (plane very slightly hollow in the middles - then when you clamp up they pull together and keep the ends well stuck and less likely to separate at the joints.

Oiling will get a nice soft sheen - especially if you wax after. The finish is not massively durable, but it is easy to touch up and re-coat when required.
If you look at the surface of:
http://wiki.diyfaq.org.uk/images/2/26/ChessCompleteSideView.jpg
That was after a three or four coats of Liberon finishing oil then waxed. The wax was applying with a pad of 0000 wire wool, and then buffing. That knocked back the gloss a bit, and got a nice sheen. The oak table its sat on was also finished in much the same way (you should be able to just see the reflection of the board in the table).

French polish if done well can get you the ultimate in glass like high gloss with rich and natural looking wood grain. However its easily marked on a table top (heat, alcohol etc) so not suited to everyday use.

One of the wipe on poly finishes which are a mix of polyurethane and oil etc. Have a look at some of the Osmo range.

--
Cheers,

John.
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