A few months ago we decided to build ourselves a new table based on the Farmhouse Table plans. We knew we wanted to make the table out of some red oak that I had gotten for free, so we would deviate from the plans a bit. Long story short, I deviated from the plans _quite_ a bit. We had planned to make the table essentially with free materials, but that changed when I spent several days squaring up the rough stock I had been given. I also joined a crowned plank in the center of the table-top...big mistake. After glueing, screwing, and sanding, I realized there would be no way to get the crown out of the top. So...the first table-top became the bench cover and the other half is going to be used for a computer desk in another room. After a trip to the local lumber yard, I had about $220 worth of red oak: 4 1x4x14ft planks for the legs and 7 1x6x6ft planks for the table top.
I began by cutting the 14 ft. 1x4's to length and then joining them with lots of glue and clamps to form the legs. Next I set up the table saw to notch out the tops of the legs to receive the box. I prefer this method over using a circular saw or jig-saw. Picked up my wood-chisel to clean things up and then sanded, scraped using a card scraper (I would highly recommend a scraper for the smooth finish and handcrafted feel the tool provides), applied two coats of stain, and finished with two coats of wipe on poly.
I followed Ana's plans to construct the 2x4 base, modifying it to fit the size of my table and the specific overhang I sought. I also simply used 2x4 scraps to span the width of the box, and then Kreg jigged them to the box and table-top for support.
I joined the table-top planks using a Kreg Jig and glue. Lots of sanding and scraping again, and then I flipped the top, attached the box, and attached the legs. I used more of the 1x4's for the skirts to hide the 2x4 box.
We decided that we wanted to build a built-in bench for storage instead of a free standing one to accompany the table. I followed the plan at the following site, modifying it as necessary to match the length of our table. I also only built the bench and not the wall unit (http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20301255,00.html). My mistake with the first table-top ended up being a blessing of sorts when we were looking for a sturdy bench-top.
All in all, we love it! It took a good deal of time to finish the table—in part because I'm a horrible perfectionist. The bench, on the other hand, was finished in a day's work.
The table is constructed entirely out of red oak. The bench-top is also red oak. The bench is birch plywood and pine.
Total cost for table: $220 for wood; we already had all other supplies
Bench: $25; again, we already had most of the materials needed.