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Filing Cabinet Hardware


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 opened. 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.

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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 slide smoothly. 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.