I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money and I didn't have all the typical tools most people have when they build furniture. Here's what I came up with.
This table does contain nails (for an unusual purpose), but they're not used to adhere anything. The entire table is held together with adhesives.
Step 1: Make the table top
a solid piece of wood, or:
pieces of wood that will fit together to make the table top
boards to rest the table top on
wedges for the top of the table
We bought several poplar boards instead of a solid piece of wood. It was cheaper and fit in our car. This was years ago, and the glued tabletop has been sitting around for quite some time before I finally started this project on my own.
We didn't have anything large to clamp the boards together and hold them flat as they glued, so we used a different technique. Josh had seen joining jigs using rope and wedges in some luthiers forum he was poking around, and the technique worked fine for this.
Josh put wood glue on the edges of the boards and pressed them together, laying them over some 2x2 pieces of wood wrapped in waxed paper. The waxed paper kept the tabletop from being glued to the wood it was resting on as it was pressed together and a little wood glue was squashed out.
He then placed waxed paper wrapped wedges on top of the table, directly over the bottom pieces of wood. He wrapped some nylon cord tightly over the table and around the ends of the bottom pieces of wood in a figure eight pattern with the overlapping cords on top of the wedges as shown. We tapped at the short, flat ends of the wedges (not the pointy ends) with a hammer to shove them in more tightly. Some people use flat pieces of wood right under the wedges, but we didn't feel like it.
The wedges, held tightly by the rope, applied even downward pressure while the wood glue set up overnight.
Here is another example of this type of jig being used to join flat pieces of wood. We don't have more pictures because we did this years ago.