Plastics are a good intermediate step, too. Similar equipment can be used for both.
There's also the sheet metal + rivets option that Sylvestre forgot. But using bolts intelligently is the best way to make something that's also easy to take apart.
I'm a fan of sturdy-mounted bench vises (aka the table doesn't move easily either), belt sanders, and aluminum. Get a good quality center-punch for holes in aluminum, too.