File Drawer Hardware

Cabinetmakers discuss how to build custom file drawers, without that clunky off-the-shelf hardware. August 29, 2005

I am building some office furniture, very high end, and the customer has expressed to me that he does not want the hardware that has the plastic lip that installs over the top of the draw. Does anyone know where there is a good selection of hardware for file draws? Any help is appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor S:
I don't use a specific kind of "file drawer hardware" per se. Instead, we use a simple 1/8" x 1/2" aluminum bar (available at any hardware store) mounted in vertical slots 1/4" in from each side. Of course, you'll have to engineer the width of the drawer for hanging files, but you already knew that. One thing to keep in mind is clearance on the top for those little identity flags that stick out. It's a simple, clean look that's easy to adjust / modify. I don't know if this will work for your application, but it sure beats the usually clunky hardware you'll find at Staples.

From contributor T:
I agree with Contributor S. I would also suggest that you only I use 1/8" x 1" flat steel. Paint it with black Rustoleum or Hammerite and you're ready to go. Its much cleaner looking than purchased hardware.

I make mine from the .125"x.75" flat steel (zinc plated). I also cut a notch in the ends so that the drawer sides capture them. Be sure to file off any burrs so the ladies dont cut their fingers.
Like the other guy said, you need to do a lay out for the drawer width and depth for the "Pendaflex" sliding file folders. Ask your client if they want lateral or front to back action.

From contributor L:

We do much the same, but have changed to the steel clips that screw to the drawer box and hold the file bars, 1/8 x 3/4 or 1" galvanized steel or aluminum. We front to back long drawers and cross wise short drawers. Like everyone said - allow plenty of room above bars for tabs and over sized files.

From contributor A:
We have used both copper and brass stock. It doesn't cost much and really adds to the quality image.

From contributor T:
There are two kinds of rod holder clips. One is mortised to clamp over the top edge of the drawer sides allowing the drawer to be lower and the files to stand up out of the drawer. The other clip attaches to the inner face of the side allowing for a higher drawer and the files are fully recessed down in the box.

Either way these beat plastic runners and the brass and black clips make for a quality look that gets the clients attention. The same flat steel rod when rabbeted into the leading edge of very long door and drawer faces prior to veneering or lamination will drastically cut down on cupping and warping.

From contributor F:
I am curious what the leading edge of a door or a drawer front is?

From contributor T:
The leading edge would be opposite the hinge side. This technique cut way back on re-makes of long warped doors and drawers. We had set the number above 40" to be considered a long door or drawer. It did take extra work but in the end, we had to re-assign the service man to other duties for lack of service calls.