Laurel's Adventures in Home Repair
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File Cabinet

Vintage, Retro, Rustic, or Industrial Looking 4 Drawer File Cabinet On Wheels - That I Designed and Made

February 3, 2019 -
February 18, 2019
 

On this page I will provide the instructions for building a four drawer file cabinet that matches my Rolling DVD Storage Cabinet.  (see this here....)

Why am I building a file cabinet instead of buying one?  For the same reason I built the Rolling DVD Storage Cabinet.....I could not find a ready made file cabinet in the style, quality, and price that I wanted.

I did actually find a few ready-made file cabinet that I liked.  However, I would of had to retrofit the bottom of them with plywood so that I could attach casters.  They were also made with particle board.  ack!

Also, all of them had issues with the cabinet falling over, if more than one drawer was open.  I have no issues attaching a tall cabinet to a wall to prevent it from falling over, like my Rolling DVD Storage Cabinet.  But I do have an issue with attaching a low cabinet to a wall. 

Having a low cabinet tipping over when the drawers are open, is just poor design.  If the weight of the file cabinet is sufficient and the base is wide enough, there should be no tipping over, unless you have a child climbing it.

Also, what is the point of having a low cabinet if you can not sit or stand on it, if needed?

Whaaaaaat?!?!  Come on now!  Who hasn't rested their butt on a low cabinet or stood on a piece of furniture when you were too lazy to get a ladder?

I do not plan on sitting or standing on the cabinet.  However, if someone does......the four casters on it will hold at least 400 lbs.  I will however, store items on top of the file cabinet.
Criteria for this File Cabinet

1)  The file cabinet must be on wheels, so it can be moved around easily when needed.

2)  The cabinet will be similar in size to a two drawer lateral file.

3)  There will be four drawers instead of two drawers that are used in the traditional lateral file.  These files though, will be accessed face forward in the drawer, not sideways.

4 ) There can be no areas of the furniture that a dog can chew on.  There must be metal legs and edges on the furniture. No exposed wood edges.  Which means.... industrial style furniture.

5)  The stain/paint that will be used will be a dark walnut color to match the wood throughout the house.

6) The drawers will accommodate hanging files.

7) This file cabinet will follow the design of the Rolling DVD Storage Cabinet.  The drawer fronts will have the same reclaimed wood as the DVD Cabinet and the same hardware.

8) After designing, purchasing, and cutting the main cabinet pieces, I made a big design change.  Fold-down shelves on the sides.  I'll explain below, why I decided to add these.

With my graphic design software, I then designed the file cabinet.  See image at right.


Proposed file cabinet design

Material Purchases

Some of the items purchased for this project were bought at Lowe's.  These items were: plywood, whitewood, Minwax paint, aluminum angles, aluminum flat bar, screws, spray paint, and misc supplies.

Other items were purchased online at either Amazon.com or Build.com .

The design elements that are the same as the items used on the
Rolling DVD Storage Cabinet are: The aluminum angles, the faux rivets (upholstery tacks), the style of cabinet pull for the drawers, the corner brackets, the metal corner protectors, and the distressed wood on the drawer fronts.
Wood Purchases
 
 

Frame of Cabinet and Drawers

Top Choice SkyPly 3/4-in HPVA Oak Plywood, Application as 4 X 8
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Top-Choice-SkyPly-3-4-in-HPVA-Oak-Plywood-Application-as-4-X-8/1000083307

I actually wanted solid 3/4" thick wood for this project.  Wood species... not too important. Just wanted something with a decent smooth furniture quality finish.  Not too many choices in this department in this region.  Went with this oak veneer.

To fit the 2 sheets of plywood in my SUV, I had Lowes do 2 rip cuts of 17.5" on one sheet and ripped the other sheet in half. 
Trim on Front of Cabinet

(Common: 1-in X 3-in x 8-ft; Actual: 0.75-in x 2.5-in x 8-ft) Whitewood Board
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Common-1-in-X-3-in-x-8-ft-Actual-0-75-in-x-2-5-in-x-8-ft-Whitewood-Board/1000595627

 
Drawer Bottoms

Maple plywood
https://www.lowes.com/pd/1-4-in-Maple-Plywood-Application-as-2-X-4/1000351247

I had 3 leftover pieces of this wood from the Rolling DVD Storage Cabinet project.  Which I used on three of the drawers.  I used another scrap piece of plywood for the 4th drawer.  A 2' x 4' -1/4" thick sheet of this runs around $14.
 
Drawer Front Trim

Severe Weather (Common: 1-in X 2-in x 8-ft; Actual: 0.625-in x 1.375-in x 8-ft) #1 Treated Lumber  - Yellow Pine
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Severe-Weather-Common-1-in-X-2-in-x-8-ft-Actual-0-625-in-x-1-375-in-x-8-ft-1-Treated-Lumber/50441838
Reclaimed Wood - For Drawer Fronts

Bought this reclaimed wood online for Rolling DVD Storage Cabinet.  I have no idea where I can find a lumber yard in my area that will have reclaimed lumber.  This was the cheapest boards Home Depot had.  I could find nothing like this at Lowes.

Weaber 1/2 in. x 4 in. x 4 ft. Weathered Hardwood Board (8-Piece)

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Weaber-Weaber-1-2-in-x-4-in-x-4-ft-Weathered-Hardwood-Board-8-Piece-27862/207078140
Corners

For the corners of the cabinet, I wanted a metal bumper or guard to cover the edges of the aluminum angles on the edges.  Easier said than done.  I did finally settle on the one pictured to the right.  However, it was not my first choice after 3 days of searching.

These corners are easy enough to find for a small box or a trunk, but not for large furniture.  I needed to find a corner that was more than an inch from left to right and up and down so the corner of the aluminum angle will be covered.



Antrader 8pcs Metal Box Corner Protector Edge Safety Bumpers Furniture Corner Guard Bronze Tone 2.8" x 2.8" x 1.2"
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/
B07CV625R7/ref=
oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Faux Rivets

I actually wanted smaller nails or tacks for the rivet look on the edges of the aluminum corner angles. However, I could not readily find them and I wanted something more decorative looking than a regular nail or screw. 

What I did find a lot of, where upholstery tacks.  All kinds of tacks in different colors and styles.  BUT the one consistent size was 7/16".  So I had a choice between smaller less decorative nails or larger upholstery tacks.  I went with the tacks.

There was no way that these tacks could be hammered through 16 gauge aluminum.  So I needed something that would punch a hole through my aluminum angles before I put the tacks on.  So I found a hole punch for metal up to 16 gauge steel.


Neiko 02612A Multi-Purpose Power Hole Punch Kit,
3/32" x 9/32" (Bought this when I made the Rolling DVD Cabinet)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/
B0002T87CW/ref=od_aui_detailpages01?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Decotacks Upholstery Nails/tacks 7/16" - 100 Pcs
 [ Dark Antique Brass Finish] DX0511DAB
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/
B00W1CTOAM/ref=od_aui_detailpages01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Casters

For the Rolling DVD Storage Cabinet I used heavy duty metal casters that I had purchase b-e-f-o-r-e  I designed the cabinet.  Before I bought the new house. Before I realized that metal wheels on ceramic floors are not a good idea.  Those wheels were covered with some Flex-Tape to protect the floors.

For this file cabinet, I found black polyurethane casters with a retro look instead of metal.  Now I will not have to worry about the floors.

Each caster can support 100lb.


Headbourne 8276E Designer Casters 3 inch Polyurethane Black Mag Designer Caster, 4 Pack
https://www.amazon.com/gp/
product/B076FGP5H1

Cabinet Pull and Corner Brackets



Liberty Hardware P28376-WI-C Ironcraft 4 Inch Center to Center Handle Cabinet Pull
https://www.build.com/liberty-hardware-p28376-c/s1189449?uid=2958489


Richelieu BP9544125900 4-29/32" Long Traditional Corner Bracket for Barn Doors
https://www.build.com/richelieu-bp9544125/s1247178

Folding Shelf Brackets and Drawer Slides

YUMORE Folding Shelf Brackets 12, Max Load: 330lb Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Collapsible Shelf Bracket for Table Work Bench, Space Saving DIY Bracket, Pack of 2
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F3RBFXC/
ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Knape and Vogt KV8600B16 8600 Series 16 Inch Full Extension Side Mount Ball Bearing Drawer Slide with 150 Lbs. Weight Capacity - Pair
https://www.build.com/knape-and-vogt-8600b-16/s1397772?uid=3304248&source=trm_orderreceived
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Steelworks-6-ft-x-0-5-in-Aluminum-Metal-Flat-Bar/3053573
Material Costs for File Cabinet
   
2 -- 4' x 8' sheets of  3/4" Oak HPVA Plywood  $95.36
2 -- 8 foot long - 1" x 3" whitewood  (.75 x 2.25 actual) 7.98
1 - 32 oz can Minwax Polyshade Satin finish - Espresso 11.95
1 - 32 oz can Minwax Polyshade Satin finish - Pecan 11.95
1 - Wood Flat Phillips # 8 x 1 3/4 in.  (Bubble pack of 75 screws) 5.22
1 - Wood Flat Phillips # 10 x 1 3/4 in.  (Bubble pack of 75 screws) 4.00
1 - Headbourne 8276E Designer Casters 3 inch Polyurethane Black Mag Designer Caster, 4 Pack 45.34
3 - 6 foot long - 1" wide aluminum corner angles 35.07
1 - 8 foot long - 1" wide aluminum corner angles 12.32
1 - 11oz spray can Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze 5.56
200 - Decotacks Upholstery Nails 7/16" width (2 packs of 100 at $9.90) 19.80
8 - Antrader 8pcs Metal Corner Protectors Bronze Tone 2.8" x 2.8" x 1.2" 14.69
8 - 4-29/32" Long Traditional Corner Brackets for Barn Doors 44.39
2 - YUMORE Folding Shelf Brackets 12, Max Load: 330lb Heavy Duty Stainless Steel - Pack of 2 at $28.30 x 2 56.60
3 - Severe Weather (Common: 1-in X 2-in x 8-ft; Actual: 0.625-in x 1.375-in x 8-ft) #1 Treated Lumber  - Used as trim around cabinet drawer front 6.12
part of 1 box  - Weaber Weathered Hardwood Boards - 8 boards in package measuring - 1/2" x 4" x 48" - 10.5 sq ft  for $24.98.  Had left over from last project.  Probably used 1/3 of box 8.32
4 - Ironcraft 4 inch Center to Center Cabinet Pull 14.84
2 - 6 foot long, 1/8" thick, 1/2" wide aluminum flat bar - to hold hanging files 13.28
Misc - Sandpaper, Glue, Paint Brush, Caulk, Brush Cleaner, Finishing Nails 40.00
   
Total $452.79
Putting It All Together

Since I am designing the details of this file cabinet on the fly, some details and wood measurements are unknown when I begin.  For more accurate cuts, I prefer to cut some pieces after some sections are assembled.

What I did know, were the sizes of the big sections.  I needed these measurements before I went to the hardware store because I needed the plywood sheets cut so they would fit in my SUV.  I had Lowes rip one board twice at 17.5". The second board was just ripped in half.  I did the smaller cuts at home.

Pieces that I knew the measurements for and will be cut before the rest of the pieces:

2 - 39" x 17.5" for the top and the bottom of cabinet
3 - 17.5" x 27.25" for the sides and center
2 - whitewood trim cut to 28.75" - vertical trim on left and right side
2 - whitewood trim cut to 34" - horizontal trim at top of cabinet and between the upper and lower drawers

The measurements for the completed file cabinet will be:

- 39" wide
- 28.75" tall  (not counting the casters, which will raise the cabinet about 4")
- 17.5" + .75" thickness of whitewood trim + .5" thickness of plywood back = 18.75"
The 9 pieces I knew the dimensions of were cut, given a sanding, and then painted.

Painting Process - Colors Used and How Many Coats

For this piece of furniture, I will be using two colors of paint.  The first coat is the Minwax Polyshade Satin Finish Espresso, which you can see below, is v-e-r-y dark.  It is a coffee brown with black undertones.  If you use 2 coats of this paint, you will cover the wood grain......which I want to see.  So I only use one coat of this paint.

After the one coat of Espresso has dried, I sand it with 320 grit sand paper until the sheen is gone and it is ashy looking.  This is done for all wood surfaces.

After the cabinet is assembled I finish off the cabinet with a coat of Minwax Polyshade Satin Finish Pecan.  2 coats if needed.  This adds a little orange/gold tone to the Espresso.


First nine pieces of the file cabinet cut and being painted

Why do I paint b-e-f-o-r-e  I assemble the pieces?  It is just easier for me to paint pieces on a flat surface, than an assembled piece. 

The edges will be covered with the aluminum angles, so they don't really need to be painted.

Folding Shelf Idea

Good thing I painted first.  In the 2 days I was waiting for paint to dry, I came up with the idea of the fold-down shelves on the side of the cabinet. 
What had been nagging me, was the 1.75 inches of dead space on the design of the outer sides of the file cabinet.

I am copying the style of the Rolling DVD Cabinet and needed the 2.5" of trim to place the aluminum angle on the edge and the corner brackets. 

For the rolling DVD cabinet, there was no dead space.  The area behind the trim was being used by the shelves.


2.5" of trim on the left front of Rolling DVD Cabinet
 showing 1.75" behind trim piece

The other thing I decided upon, were the type of drawer slides that were mounted on the side of the drawers.  Which means, I would have to add wood to bring in the sides of the cabinet for these particular slides.  The area would still technically be dead space.

Better to move-in the sides 1.75", than to try to build up the area with wood and shims. 

But what could I fill in this 1.75" space with? 

 


Aluminum angle on edge and corner
 bracket on Rolling DVD Cabinet

Then it came to me.....what about folding shelves?  The shelves would come in handy when a flat surface was needed to set a box on.  The shelves could also be used as a small temporary desk area.

The wood is .75" thick and I found a folding shelf bracket that was only 1" deep.  For a total of 1.75".  Perfect.
Assembly Begins

After the paint had dried on the first 9 file cabinet pieces, they were assembled using the #8 1-3/4" wood screws.

4 screws for each board, top and bottom.

For the top of the the file cabinet (the top shelf), I countersunk the screws so that I could add some hole filler. 

Holes were pre-drilled before I put the screws in.

After the main file cabinet pieces were screwed together, I placed the casters on.


Top, bottom, sides, and center pieces assembly

This would make it easier to move around while I was working on the cabinet.

The trim pieces were then ready to put on.

However, before all of the trim pieces could be added, I needed to cut a few more pieces of wood.  I needed: 

1)  2 small wood squares to support the edges of the center horizontal trim.

2) 4 wood pieces to attach to the center support board for the drawer slides and vertical trim pieces

 


Top, bottom, sides, and center
 pieces assembled

3) 2 vertical trim pieces for the middle.

4) 2 horizontal pieces of wood for the bottom shelf

5) A piece of plywood for the back of the file cabinet.

6) 2 horizontal pieces to add to side along piece of wood attached to the back of the cabinet.


Assembly diagram, front view, for first 9 file cabinet pieces

Referring to item #1 above.

On the side of the file cabinet, I needed to have something to support the edges of the middle horizontal trim piece.  This was not a problem on the Rolling DVD Cabinet because there was a shelf in the middle to nail the trim to.

2 little squares of scrap lumber were cut.  They were screwed and glued onto the side exactly in the center.


Squares of scrap lumber were cut and placed
 on the side to support middle
horizontal trim piece.

The exact center of the cabinet ended up allowing 11-3/8" height on the top and the bottom openings for the drawers.  On the bottom shelf, there will be an aluminum angle going horizontal.  It is 1", 1/4" over the edge of the wood.  Because of this, what was originally 11.5" height in the design for each opening, changed to 11-3/8".

The middle horizontal trim piece was nailed into place with finishing nails.
Before attaching the vertical trim pieces, I needed to add the wood to the center piece for the drawer slides (Item #2 mentioned above)

4 pieces were cut from the 3/4" plywood 17.5" long and 4" high.  They were attached with glue and screws to the center board in the middle of where the drawer slides will be attached.

(Item #3 mentioned above)
So that the 2 vertical trim pieces on the front were flush with the drawer slide wood just attached, I needed to take off 1/4" from the trim. 


Four 4" high boards attached to the center board.
These will support the drawer slides and the
vertical trim being added to the front.
Along the bottom shelf, two .75 x .75 pieces of wood added.

This is because the trim is 2.5" wide.  The center board and the 2 pieces of wood added for the slide were .75 x 3 = 2.25".  I was having a hard time finding something that was only 1/8" to add on each side.  It was just easier to shave off 1/4" from the width, which will hardly be noticeable and will still fit the corner brackets.

After trimming off the 1/4", I cut one piece that was 11 3/8" long and the other was 12 1/8" long.  They were then nailed to the front with finishing nails.

For item #5 mentioned above.  Two pieces of trim board were ripped to a width of .75" and were trimmed to fit along the edge of the bottom shelf.  They were nailed on with finishing nails.
(For item #6 mentioned above) I used scrap pieces of 1/2"  or 15/32" (to be exact) plywood that I had on-hand.  I did have a single piece of plywood that would have fit.  However, I wanted to get rid of some of these smaller pieces of plywood I had sitting around.

I pre-painted the side of the plywood that would be on the inside of the cabinet.  I then attached the 2 pieces of plywood to the back of the file cabinet with finishing nails.


 Back of the cabinet covered with 2 scrap
pieces of 1/2" plywood


Trim on the front of the file cabinet complete.  Cabinet also ready for drawer
slides.  Added trim ready for paint.

For the last pieces of trim mentioned above as #7, I needed to rip some of the trim board at a width of 1/4". 

On the outer sides of the cabinet where the 1/2 plywood on the back overlapped into the recessed area that will hold the fold-up shelves, I needed to add some wood.

This way the aluminum angle when attached, has something to attach to, on this particular edge.

Now this edge matches the rest of the 3/4" edges in this recessed area.


 1/4" piece of scrap wood
glued and nailed with brads
along edge of plywood
 attached to the back.


With the scrap wood added,
the aluminum angle can now be added to the edge

The newer unpainted trim and back of the cabinet were then given one coat of Espresso paint. 

The screw holes on the top of the cabinet and countersunk nail holes on the trim, were filled with wood filler.

Two more pieces of wood needed to be cut for the fold-up shelves.  After I received the folding shelf brackets in the mail, I played around in the space to see what size shelf would fit in the recessed area.  I wanted it to almost fill the space with room around the edges that would allow me to grab the shelf and pull it up to open it.

The recessed area measures 17 1/4" x 27 1/4".  I decided on a shelf size of 16" x 25".


 Fold-up shelf being fitted into recessed area on
file cabinet side

Aluminum Angle Edge Trim and Faux Rivets

For the decorative and protective trim along the edges, the aluminum angles were used.  First they needed to be cut to size with a hacksaw.  I needed the following cuts:

3 - 36" - for for horizontal top front, top back, bottom front.
4 - 26" - for all four vertical edges of cabinet.
4 - 16.5" - for horizontal edges on the sides, top and bottom

Of note....the angles did not need to be the exact edge dimensions of the cabinet because the corner protectors will be installed on top of the angles.  See this in photos below.  So I cut pieces shorter than the cabinet edges.

I also decided not to place an angle on the bottom back edge.

After they were cut, I punched holes in the aluminum every 3", starting in the center, and measuring towards the end.
Only the edges that would be visible, excluding the top, had holes punched.  So the edges that are under the cabinet or on the back, will not have the faux rivets (upholstery tacks).

The aluminum angles were then given a few coats of Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.

The
Antrader Metal Corner Protectors were also painted so they would match the angles.


Aluminum angles cut, holes punched, and painted.

After the second coat of paint on the cabinet had dried, it was time to install the aluminum edges.

I started with the bottom of the cabinet first after flipping the cabinet upside down on a blanket.

To hold the angles in-place, I used clear caulk.  Why clear caulk?  It is less runny than glue.  Also, if I miss wiping off some excess caulk, it will dry clear.

The center hole on the angle was placed in the center of the cabinet side.

Upholstery tacks were then nailed in along the front bottom and the 2 sides at the bottom.

The cabinet was then moved so that one side faced up.

Two of the vertical angles were placed on the cabinet side.  After this was done, I placed the corner protector on the bottom corners.

The corner protector was placed on top of the edges of the aluminum angles.


Angles being placed along edges
on the bottom of the cabinet.

For the corner protectors, I used screws in the areas that are not seen, on the back and the bottom.

For the areas that will be seen, I used the upholstery tacks. 

For the top, I used the tiny nails that came with the protectors.

In order to get the upholstery tacks and the screws in through the angle underneath the corner protector, I needed to punch a hole through with brute force using a hammer and an awl.


Corner protector placed on corner over the aluminum angles.
Screws used on hidden areas and upholstery tacks
used on the areas that can be seen.

I did not punch these holes earlier in the aluminum angle because I did not know where they would be needed until I placed the corner protector on.

You can also see why I painted the corner protectors the same color as the aluminum angles (see photo above)  By painting it the same color, the corner protector and angles have the "look" of welded steel.


Back of the cabinet after aluminum sides and corner protectors installed.
Yes, It would have looked nicer with a full sheet of plywood but
remember, I was using scrap pieces of lumber.
Also, it will rarely be seen against a wall.

Folding Shelves Installed

After the aluminum edges and the corner protectors were installed, I could install the folding shelves on the sides. 

The brackets were easy to install with screws on the shelves and the cabinet sides.

The manufacturer claims that the folding shelf brackets can hold 330 lbs.  I would never place this much on this shelf because the cabinet would tip over. 

With both shelves extended, the cabinet top surface is about 7 feet long.


One of the cabinet sides with aluminum angles, tacks,
and corner protectors installed. 
Recessed area is where folding table will be installed.


Folding shelf in open position.  Grabbing the little levers popping out underneath and pushing them in unlocks the shelf.

Photo on the right shows shelf in closed position.  Shelf is flush
with the edges of the cabinet and out of the way.


Both folding shelves opened up on file cabinet.  And in a magical world of wizards and dragons
these are the wings of my magical flying cabinet.

Drawers

The drawers are nothing more than a simple box.  I used the 3/4" plywood for the sides and 1/4" plywood for the bottom of the drawers. 

For the drawer slides I am using, you need to allow .5" on each side.  So the width of the drawer must be exactly 1 inch shorter than the drawer opening which is -15 7/8"

The outside measurements for these drawers is 14 -7/8" wide x 17.75" deep x 11" high. 

The drawers will be screwed together on the side into the front and back.  So the sides will measure the full depth of 17.75".  The front and back will be 1.5" shorter than 14 - 7/8" for a width of 13 - 3/8"

For 4 drawers, the following drawer pieces were cut:

8 sides - 17.75" x 11"
8 front and backs - 13 - 3/8" x 11
4 bottoms - 13- 7/8" x 16.75"

For the bottoms, I added 1/2" to the inside drawer dimensions of 13-3/8" x 16.25".  This is because I made dados in the the drawer sides, fronts, and back to slide the bottoms into.

I made the dado in the drawer sides with my table saw making a couple passes until it was the width of the bottoms' thickness.  The height of the dado was 5/16".

Hanging File Notches

Because I will be using hanging files, I also made the notches on the top of the back and front drawer pieces.  This notch will hold the aluminum flat bar cut to the drawer length.  The files will be hanging from the flat bar.  The notches made were 1.25" long (or 1.25" from top to bottom).  This will allow the files to hang freely without dragging on the bottom of the drawer or the top file tabs from hitting the front trim along the top of the drawer.

The aluminum flat bar was cut with a hacksaw about 1/2 way through.  Then the bar was bent along the cut gently back and forth until it snapped in half.  Using a metal file, I smoothed out any rough edges.


Drawer pieces ready for assembly.  Dado made one inch up from the bottom
 on all side pieces so the bottom of the drawer will slide in. 
Along the top edge of the front and back pieces 1.25" notches were placed at the top
 edge for the aluminum flat bars that will support the hanging files.

The drawers were put together by first sliding in one of the drawer sides and then a back or front piece.

The remaining two sides were slid into place.

When I had the drawers square, I pre-drilled holes on the side and screwed them in.

No glue was used.  The only thing holding these drawers together are the screws.  Why?

These are drawers for hanging files.  No weight will ever sit on the drawer bottoms.  If there was, I would have used glue plus the screws.
 


Drawer bottom being slid into dados on sides


Drawer held together with 1-3/4" screws on sides


Aluminum flat bar inserted into slots at top of
drawer front and back to make sure hanging
file slides easily.

After the drawers were assembled and sanded down, they were painted on all of the sides except for the front.

The drawer slides were then installed on the drawers.  I used 16" slides because the drawers are only 17 3/4" long.  Drawer slides come in 2" increments.  They were installed dead center at 5.5" on the side of the 11" high shelves. 
Decorative Drawer Fronts

For these drawers, I took the most difficult path for a drawer front. 

Usually drawer fronts are either flush or the front has an additional piece that attaches on the front that overlaps the edges.

These drawer fronts have elements of both styles.  Flush with the added trim and overlapping the slides in the front with the trim.

 


Drawers installed on cabinet.  Drawer slides are visible on the sides
of the flush mounted drawers.  To cover this up, pine trim is cut to fit
each drawer individually allowing about 1/8" clearance on each
 side and covering up most of the drawer slide.  See lower left drawer.

First problem was the drawer slides I wanted to use.  They require .5 inches on each side.  So on a flush mount drawer, you will see the drawer slides on the side of the drawers.  See the photo above. 

But I wanted this style of slide because it can handle the weight of a file drawer.

Second issue was the style of the Rolling DVD Cabinet.  The cabinet doors were flush mounts.  I wanted to copy this style.  If I used an overlapping drawer front it would cover the decorative corner brackets.  So the drawers needed to be flush mounted.

With all of this in mind, I made the drawers only 17.75" deep instead of 18.25" (inside depth of cabinet).  The 1/2" would be used for the decorative front on the drawers which would then make the drawers flush.

After installing the drawer glides, I laid the file cabinet on it's back with the drawers installed.  With the cabinet and drawers laying flat, I could then cut the pine trim I would be using on the edge of each drawer.

Each piece of the pine trim around the edges of each drawer was custom cut so there would only be a 1/8" space between the edge of the drawer and drawer opening edge.  This way only a little of the drawer slide would show.  The mitered pine trim was then glued and nailed in-place with the drawer sitting in the cabinet.

To pull the drawer back out, I needed to attach a temporary screw in the center so I had something to grab.

Decorative Drawer Pull Plaque (Raised Area in Center)

I decided at the last minute to create a sort of plaque or raised area to add to the middle of the drawer front for the drawer pull.

I used a scrap piece of 3/4" whitewood.  I cut four rectangles 6" x 4".  I then made a 1" diagonal cut on the corners, for an octagon.  
The octagon was then nailed onto the center of the drawer front.

I then measured and drilled holes for the 4" pulls I would be installing.

The entire drawer front was then painted the Espresso color.


Decorative octagon plaque added to center of drawer.
Holes drilled for 4" drawer pulls.  The entire drawer front painted.

After giving the painted drawer front a light sanding, the weather wood boards were added to the front of the drawers.

After doing some measurements, I decided on 2 boards on each side of the octagon.  They measured 1 3/4" wide.


Cut weathered board being glued in-place on the front of the drawer

The shorter pieces on top and below the octagon in the corners were cut carefully to follow the shape.  These small pieces were also 1 3/4" wide. 

For the small center pieces above and below the octagon needed a wider piece 2.5" wide.  One wider piece looked better than 2 narrower pieces.

After dry fitting all of the weathered board in-place on all 4 drawers, the weathered pieces were glued on with wood glue.

The entire drawer fronts were then painted the Pecan color.

To make the shiny silver sliver of the drawer slides less visible in the front, I took a black permanent marker and colored over the chrome facing the front, making it black.

After the paint dried, the drawer pulls were screwed in and the drawers placed back in the cabinet.  The aluminum flat bars for the hanging files were put in place.


Completed file cabinet


Completed file cabinet


Drawers open on file cabinet

Drawers open on file cabinet
After completing this cabinet, I realized...... it is really a b-i-g cabinet.  It barely fits in the office space I originally intended for it to go into (took photos in the more spacious living room). 

I should have gone with 4" wheels on the casters.  I may switch it out later and use the 3" wheels on something else.  For right now the 3" wheels work fine but need to be pushed harder on a carpeted surface.

The drawers are 16.25" long in the inside.  Therefore, 65" of files can be stored in the four drawers.  These drawers can be retrofitted for legal size folders by placing the slots on the sides of the drawer for the aluminum flat bar, instead of the front and back.

Remove the hanging folder flat bars and you have a regular drawer.

See the End Table / Cabinet in this style on this page.....
   

All images on this page are copyrighted

   

 

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