After posting about different ways to do this job, i ended up creating a big outline that i got printed at Kinkos and then cut a template out of 1/8 plywood. This project used Jeff's maple from Illinois and it is beautiful (if not easy to work-he was right that sanding was tough). It is the first time i used the bandsaw to resaw for a bookmatch and i ended up with a slightly thinner top than i wanted but i think it is fine. i used loose tenon joinery but because i didn't have a lower support i added Kreg screws as well. was also the first time that i used a router table without a fence and that went fairly well but if you rub your hands along the edge it isn't perfectly smooth. I was nervous about the router part but think i will do a better job and feel more comfortable next time around. Still thinking of what the side tables will be-either round or oval.