My wife and I love this table: http://www.woodlandcreekfurniture.com/graphics/DT00100NEW.pdf so I took the Farmhouse Table plan and modified it just a little bit. I used pocket screws to join the table top and eventually wound up installing 2x4 runners on the underside to sturdy the top even more. I also used my son to help keep the boards flush while I screwed them together. He though it was wonderful to help his dad out this way.
For the table frame I used a 1" straight bit in my router to put a little "flair" on the rail. The leg bracing is 1x1 scrap that I had left over from ripping the rail to size. I used my drill press on the bracing to make the recessed hole for the screws at the correct angle. I then covered the screw hole with a 5/8" red oak dowel.
I decided to go a little more traditional on the breadboard end just to see if I could do it. Its really not that hard just more time consuming. I used a 5/8" red oak dowel that I bought at the hardware store for joining the breadboard to the rest of the table top.
My table is made of a mixture of pine and spruce. I used shellac to seal the wood before staining. Shellac keeps these softwoods from splotching when they are stained. I then used Minwax Red Oak stain. I let the stain sit for about 15 minutes before wiping it off. The color turned out great. I used my Christmas money to buy an LVLP spray gun to hook up to my pancake compressor. I used the Spray-It 3000 to apply polyurethane. I put 5 coats on the frame and 10 coats on the top itself. In between each coat I used 0000 steel wool to buff the surface. The very last coat I left alone so it would shine. It left it with a little bit of an "orange peel" finish but I thought it made the table look more rustic so I left it alone.
All in all it took me about 60 hours over a 6 month period to get the table done. When you have a real job, kids, and a house to take care of it takes a while to do stuff like this.
I've got a plan for some chairs so I think I'm going to try chairs next. They say if you can build chairs you can build anything. I've built just about everything but chairs so maybe this saying will work in reverse. If the chairs go as fast as the table did, it might take another 6 months to get one done.
The wood for this table I got for free. My brother-in-law works in the lumber business and this wood was the throw away that none of the contractors wanted. All of it had been sitting in the sun and was warped, gray, and cracked. A friend from church who does woodworking for a living planed and jointed the boards straight and square for me. The lumber is construction grade pine and spruce. Most of the money I spent on this was for the spray gun, the finish, and the hardware that I used for joining the tabletop to the frame.
A help hint I found out after the fact. If you're sanding pine and spruce with a random orbit sander or any electric sander you are going to leave little "swirlies" throughout the wood. Either sand the wood by hand to prevent the "swirlies" or learn how to use a card scraper so you don't have to mess with sandpaper. The "swirlies" showed up when I applied the stain. Before then I couldn't see them. My wife thought the "swirlies" added to the rustic-ness of the table, so I left them alone.
Minwax Red Oak Stain
Clear Gloss Polyurethane