Flat File

This flat file cabinet is for storing photographs, prints, and other flat artwork. The base and two case units are detachable, which is the only way to move it. The base and cases are maple veneer plywood. The top is trimmed in solid maple and finished with a white laminate as a work surface.

The drawers have 5/8" thick poplar sides and backs, 7/8" thick solid maple fronts, and 1/4" birch plywood bottoms. The fronts are attached with sliding dovetails and the backs and sides are joined with through dovetails. The cases and all sides and faces of the drawers are finished with three coats of semi-gloss precatalyzed lacquer. The drawers are hung on full-extension ball bearing slides. The brass drawer handles and label holders are from Lee Valley.

April 2003.

I built a second, slightly larger flat file for a friend, and I made a few changes in the materials. I used 1/2" Baltic birch plywood for the drawer sides and backs and 1/4" melamine for the drawer bottoms. These backs of these drawers are not quite as sturdy as the original drawer backs, because the 1/2" plywood tends to flex. The cases are made from maple shop-grade plywood, which looks almost as good as the maple veneer plywood—at half the cost. The finishing is the same as described above. The drawer pulls are simple brushed steel wire pulls, and the label holders are the chrome plated version of the Lee Valley label holders. I kept careful track of the cost for this flat file: $524 not counting the drawer pulls and label holders.

December 2003.