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converting hanging file cabinet to traditional

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  • converting hanging file cabinet to traditional

    I know this topic has come up a few times, but I have been unable to find a specific answer. I'd like to convert a new hanging file cabinet to the traditional kind with a follower block to hold up manilla folders. Unfortunately, I can't find a follower block that will work with a plain cabinet or a follower block type frame that will convert such a drawer. I've searched the net extensively under "follower block" and "backplate filing" but the searches turn up only cabinets with these installed already or removable. Has anybody else done this and have specific advice re: what to search for or where such a conversion kit can be found or how one could be made?



  • #2
    A temporary solution might be to keep a couple of small empty boxes of different sizes handy and use whichever size is appropriate in each drawer. During the normal course of rearranging and reblocking the files the boxes could be moved around as needed.

    I've done this before when the follower block was broken or missing from used file cabinets and it works quite well. (Hint - the boxes the file folders are packed in will work great, and you can give them a little more rigidity by putting some old bubble-wrap or styrofoam peanuts in them. A little tape helps them stay intact as well.)

    Not very elegant, but it works.

    If you have HON files you might try this link

    I imagine other naufacturers also sell parts for their file cabinets if you go directly to their web sites.


    • #3
      Here is a link to where this topic was discussed before:

      I've seen suggestions about using boxes, books, magazines and bookends. The suggestion to use magnetic bookends might be a workable solution.


      • #4
        thanks. the bookend solution sounds best. unfortunately, it is a wooden cabinet so no metal for magnetic book ends, but i'll try the regular bookends and see how they work.

        thanks also for the connection to the old link. i hadn't found that one in my search and it was more helpful than the ones i had found.



        • #5
          I understand the need to effectively use what is available, but have you entertained the idea of getting a new file drawer system?

          By new, I mean replace it with one that "works" properly. I had the same dilemma, I was using some 30-buck cheapies that I converted to a pendaflex system. it was squeaky and cheap and felt like I spent 30 bucks. After reading GTD, David's comments about the file drawer rang true, similiar to the use of a good labeler.

          But I'm a cheap guy, so off I went to the Nice but Used office furniture store. I literally hunted around the place for an hour and then I found it.

          A 4-drawer Steelcase.

          It was institutional metallic green. but the drawers rolled as if they were on air. The ball bearings were all there and bigger than my kid's marbles. I never saw them on them HONS or anything NEW at staples or Office max. It weighed a ton and had no dents or warps, just some scratches. And it was at least 30 years old.

          It made it to my basement and the back stops all work. A bit of synthetic bike lube made it perfect.

          Best 100 bucks I've spent yet.

          The old ones hold the manuals in the wokshop, old (stored) financial records. And the worst one became part of the recycling heap.