Plans / Uncat

Free Woodworking Plans to Build a Ballard Designs Inspired Hampshire Step Shelf

07.06.11 By //
Project Image

Our girl Loren is on a role…this is her 3rd project with us, and I’m so excited she has allowed me to post her plans because its giving all of you more amazing options for building than I can provide all by my lonesome, and it’s giving me a chance to work on my site (so much faster now and also looking awfully fabulous if I do say so myself!) and my own bed build, which has of course hit every road block known to man!

Dimensions for This Project

  • Tape Measure
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Kreg Jig – this is optional but will make some of your connections much much easier…recommended.
  • Saw – Optional if you have your local lumber supply cut your boards.
  • Miter Saw – can also use a Table Saw, Circular Saw, Hand Saw or Jig Saw to cut at an angle.
  • 1 – 1×10 at 8’
  • 3 – 1×2 at 8’
  • 2 – 1×2 at 6'
  • 2″ Wood Screws
  • 1 1/4” Pocket Hole Screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Sanding Supplies
  • Finishing Supplies
Cut List 
  • 3 – 1×10 at 10 3/4″ Upper Shelves
  • 1 – 1×10 at 9 1/4″ Top Shelf
  • 1 – 1×10 at 18 1/2″ Center Shelf
  • 1 – 1×10 at 27 3/4″ Lower Shelf
  • 2 – 1×2 at 29 1/2″ Back Legs
  • 2 – 1×2 at 43″ Front Legs (will be 41 3/4″ after mitering)
  • 7 – 1×2 at 9 1/4” Rails
  • 2 – 1×2 at 7″ Shelf Frame
  • 2 – 1×2 at 16 1/4″ Shelf Frame
  • 2 – 1×2 at 25″ Shelf Frame
  • 4 – 1×2 at 10″ Center and Lower Shelf Supports (will be 9 1/4″ after mitering)
  • 2 – 1×2 at 8 1/2″ Top Shelf Supports (will be 7 3/4″ after mitering)

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 your Base: Cut, Miter, and Space the Legs as shown in the image below and use your pocket hole system to secure, set for 3/4” stock with 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue. If you aren’t using a pocket hole system, you can fasten the rail and the front legs to the back legs using your 2” screws and glue. Be sure to countersink. The Rail will sit flush with the back edge of the back legs.

Step 2
Step 2

Step 2 

Build the Shelf Frames: These will essentially be a box with the Sides set in about an inch outside edges of each shelf's front and back rails. The exact distance each side is set in isn’t that important so long as you remain near the 1” mark and they are all relatively the same for aesthetic reasons. Fasten the frame together and to the Legs and using your pocket hole system set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue. You can also use 2” screws and glue to fasten the pieces of each frame together and then to the Legs if you aren’t using a pocket hole system.



Step 3

Step 3 

Fasten the Shelves and the shelf supports in place: Use your pocket hole system set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue to fasten the supports in place once you have cut and mitered them. You can use your pocket hole system to fasten the shelves in place or 2” screws and glue, just be sure to countersink and pre-drill.

Step 4

Step 4 

Fasten your remaining Shelves in place: use 2” screws and glue to fasten them in place or a pocket hole system set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws.

Finishing Instructions 

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

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! 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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