Thanks for the feedback!
First on material - I mentioned popular because HD has a sale on 3/4 popular ply right now, so i thought maybe that would be a good choice... but do you think it won't take teh stain well? I could return it and get some BB ply, its just 10$ more per sheet. Can you get Birch side pieces then to use as the "caps"? Since i need to use a similar wood for the cap pieces, i'll need something that takes the stain in a similar manor.
Regarding glue-up. In some searching, seems like there is concern with causing the boards to warp a bit sing they'll be getting glue on only one side of the ply... Any rec's on best way to glue them up? I saw one suggestion of a home made vacuum bag using plastic and a shop vac, looked pretty cool:). With a composites background, I'm intrigued by the idea:)
I like the idea of mitering the top sheet, but i'm concerned with the best way to then bond those outer shees to the inner sheets and have it be strong without a ton of screws. Ideally there won't be any shown fasteners. I'm going to ask if they'd mind some screws going in from the bottom up through the 3 layers of ply, they'd be hidden on the bottom side of the table.
I have 2 ideas for the joints. I'd like to keep them simple as the table is so big, i'm not sure how i'd get feather joints on the long ends of the top boards. I don't feel great about a 5' board on end going through the dado blade... I've attached a few ideas. one is the outer miter concept, but i'm still not sure how i'd then bond the top/outer sheets.
I'm thinking about using PL adhesive, as i had read it works great for plywood bonding and won't be as big of an issue with moisture:
thanks for any more input!