That takes me back to some similar jobs we did back in the 80s -- big dining tables, conference tables, etc., though I must admit that when I needed a large veneer layup, I'd go visit a buddy who had a 5 x 9 Belgian hot press. That said, your go-bar routine (Or "jo-pokes" as my friend in western Canada calls them) is a time-honored way to exert pressure where clamps fear to tread. I installed a fake marble vanity top recently using this exact method. I did find a good improvement on the technique: Make a skid plate from a slick piece of wood, spring your go bar on to it and then tap the skid plate in to bow the pole. It's easier and more forgiving than trying to skid the end of the pole itself.