Free Woodworking Plans to Build a 2×2 Collection Parsons Tower

06.27.11 By //

Project Image

The Parsons Collection of furniture at a Certain Specialty Retailer is so versatile and can be used with any style of decor. If you like traditional or french country, this unassuming shelf allows you to display without getting in the way.


Tape Measure






4- 2×3 @ 8' (Legs, 4 of the Side Bars)

5 – 2×3 @ 10' (8 of the Side Bars and the Aprons)

4 – 1×3 @ 10' (Front Shelf Frames)

2 – 1×3 @ 8' (Side Shelf Frames)

4 – 1×2 @ 10' (Front Back Shelf Cleats)

2 – 1×2 @ 8' (Side Shelf Cleats)

1 – 3/4″ Plywood Sheet @ 4'x8'


4″ Screws

2″ Screws

1 1/4″ Screws

Wood Glue

Wood Filler


Anti – Tip Kit (they sell this at most big box hardware stores)

Finishing Supplies

Cut List 

4 – 2×3 @ 78 1/8″ (Legs)

12 – 2×3 @ 13″ (Side Bars)

12 – 1×3 @ 39″ (Front Shelf Frame)

12 – 1×3 @ 11 1/2″ (Side Shelf Frame)

12 – 1×2 @ 37 1/2″ (Front Back Shelf Cleats)

12 – 1×2 @ 10″ ( Side Shelf Cleats)

12 – 2×3 @ 37″ (Front and Back Aprons)

6 – 3/4″ Plywood @ 37 1/2″x11 1/2″ (Shelves)


Notes: The not to be named specialty retailer who sells this beauty recommends using a wall mounting bracket to support this shelf, and so do I. This seems like it might be a climbing magnet for children especially since as I was drawing this plan my 2 year old came over and said…”I'm gonna climb that ladder and then I'll be so big”…eek. I am including this Anti-Tip Kit in the materials list, so please do consider purchasing one especially if you have littles in your home!

You can build this with corner aprons for the Shelf Supports if you have a miter saw, it's pretty easy, I chose the method below so that those of you who don't have one can still produce this shelving!

**Always Pre-Drill and Counter Sink for the most professional appearance. Check for Square after EACH step. It will really matter in this project. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines.

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials!

Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices.

Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1

Step 1 

Build the Side Frames (2): Attach the Side Bars to the Legs, space the Side Bars 12 5/8″ apart and flush with the bottom (outside edge when vertical) of your Legs. Use 4″ Screws and Wood Glue

The Legs will lay on edge while the Side Bars will rest flat when attaching.

There should be a 1″ difference in width if the Side Bars run horizontally, that will house the Shelf Frame.

Step 2

Step 2 

Build the Frames for the Shelves (6): Use 1 1/4″ Screws and Wood Glue Then attach the Shelf Cleats using 1 1/4″ Screws and Wood Glue.

Step 3

Step 3 

Attach the Shelf Frames to one of the Side Frames: Use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue. The Sides of the Shelf Frames should line up perfectly with the Side Bars on the Side Frames and will fit right inside the U-Shape that the Legs and Side Bars have created.

Make sure you leave the recessed area created by the Shelf Cleats facing upward. This is where your actual shelf will sit, so logic dictates you need this facing up to hold it.

Step 4

Step 4 

Attach the Other Side Frame to the Shelf Frames: Fasten in the same manner, use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue.

Step 5

Step 5 

Attach the Front and Back Aprons (Red): Use 2″ Screws and Wood Glue, fasten from the inside of the Shelf Frame into the apron. This should be flush with the Shelf Frame.

Step 6
Step 6

Step 6 

The basic components of your shelving unit are built, now you need to cut out your Plywood Shelf. Drop it in once you have it appropriately sized. It isn't really necessary to attach it to the Shelf Supports, in fact I kind of like the idea of them being removable for painting, cleaning etc.

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School


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**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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