There are many ways to join panels together and so I sought out the advice of another friend who does a lot of amazing woodwork. Jeff’s thoughts were to try biscuit joints but with a twist. Since I wanted to be able to rearrange panels, he suggested not gluing the biscuits in and instead relying on them as an alignment aid.
The next question was how will we keep panels butted up next to each other. We decided that we would try to push them against each other and if that didn’t work well enough, then we would come up with a soln. Others have suggested using latches but Jeff was concerned that if the latches were on the bottom side, they would create a torque and cause the seam to open on the top side.
Another question was how to finish the plywood and with what paint. I sent a note to Nakashima-san and he posted information on what he uses: this is an acrylic based paint, which in the US translates into a latex paint.
I tried a few different schemes (black chaulkboard paint – I thought it would give a nice texture but it was too smooth, flat black paint, with and with/without primer).
In the end, I decided to use two coats of flat black paint without primer. The reason I went without primer is that the primer was masking the texture of the wood and making the finish very smooth.