Build Your Own Filing Cabinet

What You'll Need
2 plastic file folder holders, each 12x15 inches
2 1/2 inch corner hinges (16)
3 hinges
3/4 -inch plywood, 13x31 inches (2)
3/4 -inch plywood, 13x12 inches (2)
3/4 -inch plywood, 12x31 inches (2)
1-inch wood, by 1x29 1/2 inches

It’s useful to have a filing cabinet to keep all of your papers in order. Finding an attractive filing cabinet isn’t easy, but it's entirely possible to make your own. This is not a particularly complicated project, and most beginners can successfully undertake it. You’ll only need tools and an understanding of the process involved.

Step 1 - Type of Filing Cabinet

The design itself is for a chest-type style of filing cabinet. You can also add legs to it to raise it off the ground although this is not entirely necessary. Start by cutting the plywood to size, making use you wear safety glasses for the entire operation. This will stop small wood chips from flying into your eyes.

Check the dimensions by standing the two plastic file folder holders on one of the largest pieces of plywood. They should fit with a gap of 1 inch all the way around.

Step 2 - Assembling the Frame

Using two of the corner hinges, secure one of the 13x12-inch piece of plywood to one of the 12x31-inch pieces of plywood so you have an “L” shape. Repeat with the other two pieces of wood of the same size. Now, join these two pieces together with corner braces to create a rectangle. Use two corner braces for each connection and make sure they’re screwed firmly in place.

Step 3 - Base

Stand the rectangle on one of the largest pieces of plywood. You now have the base and the walls of your filing cabinet. Using a total of 8 corner braces, two to each side, secure the walls to the base of the filing cabinet. Pick it up to check that all the fittings are holding it securely.

Step 4 - Lid

Attach two hinges along the long side of the remaining piece of plywood. Now, attach the other side of the hinges to the outside of the long wall of the filing cabinet, checking that it will open and close smoothly.

To make a ledge for the lid, take the piece of wood that’s 1x1x29½ inches. Screw it in place at the top of the long side of the filing cabinet so that the lid will rest on it when it’s closed.

Step 5 - Finishing

To finish the filing cabinet, you can either keep it as it is after placing the plastic file folder holders inside, or you can paint or stain it. You can even cover it in wallpaper or stencilled designs if you wish. Your new filing cabilet will keep your files secure and out of sight.