I gave up on the idea of trying to take a test extra-wide veneer for now. Although I was close, further tweaking was still needed. I have some wide claro walnut that I want to get some veneers from for a future project, but that is a ways off still. For this project, since I decided to make the top of the bookcase with a frame and panel construction, I don't need any more **** veneer!
The elm slab planed down nicely to about 7/8", it'll be good for the top panel. I went out to PJ White's and bought some more sapele for the edgings of it and the shelves. I still need some 3/4" ply to veneer with the elm veneers for the shelves. The sapele is all cut oversized now, just waiting a while for it to settle then I'll take it down to its final dimensions.
I want to put a couple more coats of shellac on the sapele body of the bookcase, finish the panels, then assemble that part of it. Once that is done I can cut the shelves to the exact size, and build the top to the exact size as well.
BTW, here is where I got the idea for this bookcase from.
3 hours ago