Sawing out two big chunks from the second slab of padauk. Despite being a full 10/4 (2-1/2") thick, the board still isn't quite thick enough to get all 24 slices I'll need for the top. Luckily this slab has some nice, super-straight quartersawn grain, so the veneer from two blanks should match pretty well once it is all said and done.
Gluing a strongback (actually the sapwood from the original billet) onto each veneer blank. Hopefully it will keep the blank semi-stable as it gets sawn into veneer, plus it is nice to have a built-in handle while you are running it through the bandsaw.
Fun point of reference: the slab in the uppermost picture is about fourteen feet long by four feet wide. I had almost kind of forgotten how ridiculously massive this board was until this afternoon.