Rookie woodworker here.
I just finished a table top for a sofa table I am building. The top consists of three pieces of pine that are 6" wide by 5'10" long.
They are currently joined by wood glue and I have not yet added the cross pieces underneath that will help keep everything together.
My issue is that my 3 pieces of pine aren't perfect. Now that they are joined, the top is not flat where the seems meet. There are slight height differences because the wood is slightly bowed.
Is there a way to level the top? Is using a planer a good idea?
I also am putting bakers ends on the table and there are slight length differences that make it difficult to add the ends? Is it okay to run the 3 joined pieces through a table saw to make sure everything is even?
Sorry if I confused everyone. My lingo and terminology is not that great yet.
Pine works really easy, to level and smooth.
If you are new to this, hand planes and card scrapers with this project will be a good start, but it is important to note that each have their secrets and need skill. So this is going to take some practice and training, research or coaching. If this is what you want to do, have at it.
If I can help, this is the advice I will offer a new woodworker.
1.) Allow for the worst possible condition to fix this top to its base frame, being expansion/contraction of up to 1.2% across the grain. Grain length wise is not an issue. This means on a top of say 36" wide you have to allow for 7/16" movement, or almost 1/2"
2.) There are many ways to accomplish the above, if you need more let me know and I can post some pictures.
3.) Before you try and level the top, fix it to its base frame, the right way as mentioned above, then start the leveling process.
4.) To even the top on a table saw will take some skill and careful handling if it is over 5' long as you say in your original post and 18" wide. Try and use a straight edge and a portable circular saw. You can get a good one for around $70.
5.) As mentioned earlier, if you want to level the top with hand planes and scrapers after fixing it to its base, go for it. The other alternative is using a straight edge and either a random oribital sander, or a belt sander. The latter is faster but also takes a bit of experience, as using too course a grit can cause the ends to dig in, leaving little valleys, especially with Pine. Using a finer grit will help though.
6.) Doing breadboard ends will again need a straight edge and a router, or alternatively, you can use a shoulder plane, again the latter needing somewhat of experience, not my recommendation for someone new to this.
Some good advice already offered by the other posters.
Good luck, let us know how you are progressing.