For my first attempt at woodworking I'm (ambitiously) trying to build a dinner table using reclaimed wood. To start with, I got a batch of 14 pieces of backside-planed reclaimed oak barn lumber off a shop on ebay. Since I'm entirely new to woodworking I have a bunch of questions.
Let's start with a few pictures of the wood to clear things up:
First of all, the wood is not perfectly straight. I asked the shop beforehand whether the wood was dried, and they responded that it dried for 30 days in their shop before they planed it. Each piece is 4" x 32" x 3/4" inch. Sizes seem very precisely cut. The non-straightness is from warping a little, presumably(?) because they were not dry enough to begin with. Question is, how much warping is acceptable and / or should I wait some more to see how it develops? I bought them over a month ago and it seems like they are now actually settling a bit more. They were straight when I received them, then warped a bit within a week, and now I think it's getting a little better overall. Most commonly the boards are bell-shaped with their face side up with the middle about 2mm raised, though not all are. Some vary a bit in thickness based on the wood structure itself, i.e. knots. An example 'bell' warp with a millimeter ruler:
Secondly, there are 2 designs I can think of; first one:
For option 2, it seems the sizes are cut precisely enough that it fits perfectly. Now since I'm new to this, and the wood probably not being perfectly dry, I wonder if that will work well. Seems like the wood would 'work' mostly along their long sides and thus this second design would strain the top more? I'm perfectly happy going for the easy route here since I like both designs.
Lastly; how to join the boards to form the top? I think, from reading around, that using biscuits + wood glue would do the trick, and possibly also compensate for the warping. Just not sure how much warping it would tolerate.
I have more questions, but this seems like a good start.