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Making A Cabinet File Drawer

February 25th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments
Using "L" bar works great for hanging file folders.

Using "L" bar works great for hanging file folders.

Here are two of the easiest ways to make a cabinet file drawer rails for hanging folders. One is by using “L” bar aluminum or U-channel and the other is by purchasing a ready- made rack to use as the support. If you’re fabricating your office cabinetry from scratch, please refer to our article explaining how to figure drawer sizes. If you already have existing office cabinetry and they did not come equipped with the necessary parts that you need, one of these two methods may be just what you’re looking for. Many of the custom cabinet manufacturing companies use the L-bar or U-channel method because it is an economical way to manufacture a quality product that supports a lot of weight. If you’re looking for a quick set up for hanging your Pendaflex folders, it will be faster to just go to the nearest Office Depot or supply company and buy a rack (refer to the photo).

Pendaflex Files and Rack

Pendaflex Files and Rack

The 1/2” x 1/2” L-aluminum style of manufacturing will only work with the Pendaflex Hanging File Folders. The company sells “hanging folder frames and kits” also. This pre-made rack system may be a better choice for you depending upon your situation. The rack assembles rather easily and is then supported by the bottom of the drawer. One thing that you should take into consideration is the thickness of the drawer bottom that is going to be carrying the weight of the files. If you have a desk that you purchased from an office supply place, the drawer bottoms may only be an 1/8” thick. This Masonite material is not very durable and may break if the weight of your paper work that is stored in the drawer is excessive.

How To Make a File Drawer With 1/2” x 1/2” “L” Bar

The photo at the top of the page is almost self explanatory when it comes to understanding how to make a file drawer using 1/2” x 1/2” aluminum “L” Bar. If this material is not available you may substitute with aluminum U-Channel. The products are usually available at Home Depot, Lowes or any other local hardware store.

  1. Cut the aluminum L-bar or U-channel to the desired length using a hack saw, table, chop or any applicable power saw..
  2. Pre-drill the aluminum with a 3/16” wide drill bit in the exact location that you will be attaching it to the drawer sides or front and back with the pan head screws.
  3. Place the aluminum guide rails into position while using an actual file folder as a guide to determine exactly where they need to be screwed into place.
  4. Attach the hanging file drawer supports with small #6 x 5/8” pan head screws.

It may be a lot easier to just buy a hanging rack rather than learning how to make your own aluminum pieces and then installing them on your file drawer. Making the supports from the “L” Bar material is one of the best methods that I have ever used. There are other ready made products, such as the item to the left that can be purchased from Amazon that work with the Pendaflex file folders as well. As you can see by the photo, you just screw the mounting brackets into place and then insert the metal rods.

Just remember that the sides or front and back of the drawers are oftentimes stronger than the bottoms. If you feel it necessary, you can always reinforce the bottom if that will work with the cabinetry design.

Categories: Working With Drawers
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