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Materials: EXPEDIT Wall shelf, black-brown 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ oak planks 1/2″ oak plywod Wood glue Onyx stain Mahogony varnish Table saw Miter saw Drill press 1″ forstner bit Finish nailer

Description: I was just wandering through Ikea and saw the EXPEDIT wall shelf, and liked it for a nightstand. I didn’t like the idea of cords hanging down the sides, or that it was less than 16″ deep. I wanted just a little more, and I wanted a way to hide the cords for my lamps, clock, etc. I also didn’t like that the spacing for the wall mounts wouldn’t let me mount it into a wall stud, so I’d be very limited in the weight it would support. But with just a small change….

I created a back for it, using 18″x24″ pieces of 1/2″ thick oak veneer plywood. I framed this plywood with 3/4″ oak strips, to create a box. I lined up the unit and drilled holes for the EXPEDIT mount and (once again using the blue tape) marked where the top of the wall shelf would be. I used the forstner bit to drill two holes to pass power cords through. To mount it to the wall I used the best, simplest (and least expensive) wall mount I know of – the french cleat.

I used another 3/4″ x 3″ piece of my leftover plywood and ran it through the table saw, cutting it down the middle at a 45 degree angle. One piece was glued and nailed in the frame for my nightstand, the other was screwed into studs in the wall. To hang it up, I simply raise the table and lower it onto the cleat. The angle forces it down and more firmly onto the cleat. Voila! Two floating nightstands, for less than $100 total. Look at the photo of the french cleat and you’ll see why I value blue tape for marking things.

~ Scott C, Southern California