Meanwhile I reconsidered the end cuts I had carefully made on the slab using a circular saw a few weeks ago. There was more tear out than I wanted - I wanted zero. I thought I could get rid of it by rounding the edges a bit, but some of the tear out was just too much. So I decided to recut the ends, this time using my bandsaw.
Since I had already rough cut the butterfly key opening on one end I did not have a lot of material to work with, I decided to take 1/4" off each end.
Although the bandsaw table is small and the slab is large, with a support roller it actually worked very well - no tear out at all!
After the cutting I cleaned up the edges with a range of sandpapers. I know that using a spokeshave or other cutting tool would yield a much better finish, but I use my slab of 1" plate steel as a sanding block and it makes short work of the task, and keeps the edge super even. I'll run the papers up to 400 grit to make it gleam!
This piece of steel is one of my favourite 'tools', its substantial weight and perfect flatness make it super handy for many tasks. I attended a steel scraping class some years ago and this was a little project we did there. I personally scraped this thing flat to within less than 0.001".