Saturday, April 21, 2012

File Cabinet for Hanging Folders

My shop tool manuals and other shop information are currently kept in a plastic desk top file case, a bench top space waster, so it's time to make a two drawer file cabinet that will fit under the bench like the multi-drawer cabinet shown in a separate post. The first order of business is to design and build a drawer that will fit in the space and work. The drawer will be build using 12mm Blonde plywood from Lowes and assembled with pocket screrws and glue. Hanging folders normally hangs from two metal strips in a file cabinet and for this we will use aluminum angle.

Completed File Cabinet

Shop files in place.

Hanging file folder drawer prototype.
The protoype drawer seems to do the job with the height adequate for tab clearance Here is the material list for the drawer. The pocket holes at the top were a mistake.
  1. Front/Back, 12 1/16" x 10 1/16", 2 ea, 12mm ply
  2. Sides, 18" x 8 3/4", 2 ea, 12mm ply
  3. Bottom, 18 x 13", 1 ea, 3/16" Ply
  4. Rail, 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/16" x 3' aluminum angle
Now to build the cabinet which will be constructed similar to the others in this blog. Essentially, it will be a frameless type cabinet consisting of 4, 18mm thick sides and a 3/16" back. The front of the cabinet sides will be edged with 1/2" poplar and a step will be cut in the back edge to receive the 3/16" back panel.

Material Cuts for the Cabinet:
  1. Sides: 22 5/8" x 18 1/2", 2 ea, 18mm ply
  2. Top/Bottom: 14" x 18 1/2", 2 ea, 18mm ply
The construction of the cabinet starts by drilling pocket holes in the top and bottom pieces. During assembly mount the top with the pocket holes inside the cabinet and the bottom either inside or outside. Before assembly, cut a notch into the back edge of the panels 1/2" wide and 3/16" deep using the table saw. This is done as shown below by clamping a strip of wood to the saw fence and creating an indent for the saw blade. Using the wood strip as the fence, pass all the cabinet pieces through the blade, then adjust the blade to widen the cut and make a second pass.

Table saw setup for cutting back edge notch.

Glue and screw two pieces together at a time using squaring clamp blocks to hold the pieces square until the glue sets about 3/4 of an hour. The use of the squaring blocks are shown in other posts in this blog. When the cabinet is assembled glue and nail 1/2 poplar to the front edges. Finally, sand down all surfaces and, then, round over all edges with a 1/8R round over bit. Hand sand the finished cabinet and seal with Sealcoat. Sanded that surface when dry and finish with two coats of water based urethane.

Finished cabinet with slides mounted.
Mount two pair of ball bearing slides at 7 1/4" and 17 1/8" from the top. Mount the slide on the drawer 7" from the top ( measure from top of  the back or front).. For uniformity I always measure from the top of the draw.

Drawer with slide mounted.

Back added.
To simplify moving the cabinet, two 1 1/2" rigid caster are mounted at the back of the cabinet and 2" feet made from 1 1/2" square poplar at the front. #14, 2 1/2" metal screws are used to attach the feet having pre-drilled thru with 1/4" drill and counter sunk, 1/4" deep, with 3/8 Forstner bit.

Bottom showing legs and rigid 1/2" casters


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion regarding Hanging File Folders, I found it is fast, stylish and simple way to organize your workspace with the hanging file folders. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.