|each section was originally 42" wide and 2.5" thick and VERY heavy|
It turns out the pieces aren't glued together but held together with a lot of nails. Figuring out how would be best to keep it together added a lot of time to this project. I ended up using some 10" screws offset and counter sunk to try and hold it all together.
The first step was to get as much of the old finish off as possible. I thought using a card scraper would be a good choice for this and it did work good, but when I started sanding it still acted like there was finish there.