I will be creating a floating side table for my wife and am wondering the best way to join two pieces of wood.

They will be joined in an “L” shape with the back of the L hanging against the wall and the leg of the L used as the table.

My question is what is the best way to join these two pieces so the table portion can bear a good deal of weight? Mortise and tenon? I’d like the two pieces, once joined and painted, to look like one piece (seamless).

Also any idea of the best way of mounting it to the wall so it sits flush? I was thinking of recessing a French cleat in the back.

Type of wood suggestions are appreciated as well. Something that will provide a good deal of strength.

Please see this quick drawing to get a better idea of what I’m talking about:

hand drawn diagram of my idea

  • How far from the wall will it extend and what will make up the downward force? – Dave D Sep 4 '20 at 19:29
  • The piece hanging on the wall is 16in tall and the table section jutting our from it will also be 16in long. – bongerama Sep 4 '20 at 20:18
  • It will be used as a side table so typical things that go on a side table(water bottle phones, occasionally heavier things up to around 30Lbs) will make up the downward force – bongerama Sep 4 '20 at 20:32
  • 2
    Hi, welcome to StackExchange. A 16" projection with that kind of load is likely too much for a M&T joint. You'd be better off going with one of the mounting ideas used for floating shelves, where metal rods project from the wall and the 'table' will slip over them. There's a lot of guidance on this online because of the current popularity of floating shelves, and a series of vids on YouTube covering how strongly they can be made mounted just to drywall (assuming you can't find a stud to mount to which would be better, or are working off a block wall). – Graphus Sep 5 '20 at 6:58
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    There are basically 3 questions buried in this one question. Related, maybe, but 3 distinct questions. Maybe edit this one to make it clear that you are interested primarily in the mechanical strength of a floating shelf. Installation would probably be a separate question and the type of wood is nearly irrelevant with any floating shelf technique you use. – jdv Sep 6 '20 at 13:39

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