Monday, April 23, 2012

Studio Renovations - Custom Wood Flat File, part 1

I have been doing some more renovations in my studio.  I have been building a custom flat file that will fill an area at one end of my studio and also serve as a drawing table.  I began with measuring the space so I could sketch a flat file plan big enough to hold pieces of paper 30" x 40".
Here is my sketch for figuring out how much lumber I was going to have to buy.  I based my design on a custom flat file I saw at Wet Paint art store.  My flat file is going to be 32.75" x 45" x 27".  I already have a base built on the floor so the total height of the finished flat file will be at 32".

I first cut the sides and back to fit on the base I had built previously.  They are made of particle board and I sealed them with some polyurethane so they will not absorb moisture and warp.  I next built runners, or drawer glides, that would be screwed to the sides.  I turned the sides over and clamped and screwed the drawer glides in from behind so screws wouldn't show.

  There are three drawer glides on each side and they had to line up with each other so when the drawers are installed they will not be out of alignment or crooked.  When completed, there will be three drawers I can pull out to access the paper and a fourth area at the bottom that will act like a shelf/storage area.  Once the drawer glides were attached, I assembled the sides and back panels.

I assembled most of the flat file outside of its final position so that I could screw through the side walls into the glides and supports.  Here are three of the six supports that will keep the sides and back in alignment and also support some of the weight of the drawers.  I placed the first set of supports 8" from the front and the second 8" from the back.  Here's what this stage looks like completed and moved into place. 

Below is a view of the glides.  I needed to add some wood to the sides in order to have a smaller area for the drawer to glide in.  As is, the drawers could easily angle up once they are pulled out more than halfway.   So I added the wood on the sides.

Next I cut the drawers to size, 32.75" x 44.75".  I slipped the drawers into place to help me "square" the flat file.  The flat file was sitting unattached on the base, but once I squared it with the drawers, I secured it with screws through the painting storage area to the left and also into the base.  Here is what it looks like with the unfinished drawers in place.

I will show you how I finished the flat file in my next entry, where I make pulls on the drawers, create a filler board to hide the gap between the file and the walls and put on a top.

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