In Projects, Questions And Answers, Techniques

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Filing Cabinet Hardware

All the stuff you’ll need to make the ultimate storage box.

By Andy Rae

Filing cabinets come in many
styles and colors, but the best
cabinets have one thing in common:
great hardware. It’s all here,
including safety gear that prevents
a cabinet from accidentally tipping
over when the drawers are
Like all projects, order the
hardware before you begin to
build. Look before you leap!
We’ve listed design requirements
with each type.
All of this filing cabinet hardware
is easy to get through the
mail. And it’s quite affordable.

Click on the image to view a larger version.

1. File follower takes up slack.
Keep your hanging-file folders from falling
into the back of a drawer by installing this
steel follower. The track comes 26-in. long
and can be cut with a hacksaw to fit the
drawer. Make your drawer bottom 1⁄2-in.
thick to hold the screws for the track. If
you’ll be using standard rather than hangingfile
folders, cut a 1⁄4-in.-deep groove into the
bottom of the drawer to recess the track.

2. Anti-tip hardware prevents accidents.
Your cabinet won’t tip forward if only one drawer can
open at a time. One wing always remains locked into the
plastic block mounted to the drawer side. All the pieces
are flush mounted and require 1⁄2-in. clearance. Drawer
slides must be mounted
at least 8-in. apart to
clear this hardware.

3. Over-travel
drawer slides
provide full access.

Get to the very back of a drawer, even on cabinets with overhanging
tops, by installing these ball-bearing drawer slides rated for 150-
lb. loads. The slides extend the back of the drawer 1 in. beyond the
cabinet’s face, allowing you to access the entire contents. They
require 1⁄2-in. clearance between each side of the drawer and cabinet.

4. Drawer locks add security.
Install this cam lock on flush or overlay
drawers. Drill a 3⁄4-in.-dia. hole
through a drawer front that’s anywhere
from 3⁄4-in. to 13⁄8-in. thick. Then rout
a mortise into the top or the rail to
receive the cam. You can forgo the mortise
altogether by using a narrow rail above the
drawer. The cam can lock behind the rail.
A double lock secures two drawers with a
single turn of the key, and installs easily by
drilling a 3⁄4-in.-dia. hole into the side of a
cabinet with 3⁄4-in. sides. This lock must be
installed on the opposite side of the anti-tip
hardware. It requires 1⁄2-in. clearance.

5. Wire supports for dividers
organize a drawer.

Make a fast, invisible connection between
drawer sides and dividers. Drill a series of
1⁄8-in.-dia. holes along the inside of your
drawer. Insert the ends of the wire into the
holes. Cut saw kerfs into the ends of the
dividers and slide the dividers down the wires.
The supports are 63⁄4-in. long.

6. Folder hangers let
hanging files

Cut these plastic
hangers to length
on your bandsaw
and slip them
over the top edges
of your drawer.
No glue is required,
but the
drawer sides must
be 1⁄2-in. thick.

7. Pulls and card holders keep
track of the contents.

Mount a brass pull on the surface of the
drawer for a classic look. Slide a card down
into a separate holder to identify the
drawer’s contents. Integrated pulls and
card holders are available as well, as shown
on the top drawer.


(Note: Source information may have changed since the original publication date.)

Woodworker’s Hardware, 800-383-0130,
Over-travel drawer slides: KV8505 16,
$18.47 for a pair of 16-in. slides;
Folder hangers: CPS32500 2.5, $4.91
for 98-in. length;
File follower: KV0476F ZC, $12.92;
File follower track: KV0476T, $3.84.

Timberline Lock, 800-562-5227,
Anti-tip hardware: SN400, $3.81 (lever); DC400, 59 cents (drawer clip).

Constantine’s, 800-223-8087,
Single drawer lock: 32H14, $5.15.

Lee Valley, 800-871-8158,
Wire supports: 61⁄4 in. 00S05.06, $1.75,
package of 10;
Single brass pull: 00G18.01, $2.90.

Rockler, 800-279-4441,
Double drawer lock: 17823, $6.99;
Combined pull and card holder: 27930,
$2.69; Single card holder: 27953, $1.99.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker December 1999, Issue #77.

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