anyone done this / is this cheating? ;)

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Forum topic by jerkylips posted 08-07-2011 06:55 AM 1111 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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273 posts in 1991 days

08-07-2011 06:55 AM

I need a bigger filing cabinet for home & was thinking about taking on the project, but time is at a premium right now with a 6 month old.. We have an office furniture manufacturer here in town that has an outlet where they sell returns, dinged up items, etc., very cheap. I was measuring my filing cabinet at my desk at work to get some dimensions & noticed that the ugly industrial drawer fronts are actually just screwed on & look like they can be taken off pretty easily, so it got me thinking, maybe I could pick up one of these cheap & build new drawer fronts and a carcass to cover up the metal. Has anyone done something along these lines?

12 replies so far

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46 posts in 2109 days

#1 posted 08-07-2011 08:26 AM

Hey I can only say this…

IF you ain’t cheatin’, You ain’t tryin’

-- If A equals success, then the formula is, A = X + Y + Z, Where X is work, Y is play, And Z is keep your mouth shut." -Albert Einstein.

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207 posts in 2819 days

#2 posted 08-07-2011 08:42 AM

I can’t recall doing anything like that myself but I sometimes confuse myself. I can’t see anything wrong with it though. It’s your stuff, do what you want. If other people come around and give you a hard time about it, throw them out! This just might be a case where metal makes a better “core” that would be hard to match with wood without expanding the outer dimensions or reducing the inner dimensions.

-- Tom Hintz,

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5 posts in 1906 days

#3 posted 08-07-2011 09:27 AM


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#4 posted 08-07-2011 09:27 AM


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5 posts in 1906 days

#5 posted 08-07-2011 09:28 AM


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57 posts in 1915 days

#6 posted 08-07-2011 12:17 PM

Sounds like a very resourceful means to an end,go for it.

One of the toolbxs in our machineshop is made from a,then new,24×24 by @36 high…..HVAC furnace plenum.Its got a factory pwd coat in a shade a little lighter than Kennedy’s Brown.Put an Oak FF and drwrs on it….....It gets way more thumbs up comments than any of the storebought bxs ‘round here.It’s the “blend” of metal N wood.Good luck,BW

View Tootles's profile


780 posts in 1923 days

#7 posted 08-07-2011 02:58 PM

Even if it is cheating, it will look good until you do get the time to do something else.

You can always call it a design feature to increase fire protection levels! It’s all in the way you look at it.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2404 days

#8 posted 08-07-2011 03:05 PM

Its not necessarily cheating, although if your going to build a carcass to cover the cabinet. I think you’d be better off building one from scratch. Unless by carcass you mean to skin over with 1/4” plywood and panel adhesive to cover the cabinet. I’ve often thought of skinning my refrigerator with ply.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View poopiekat's profile


4189 posts in 3155 days

#9 posted 08-07-2011 03:17 PM

I’m with Gregn. I’ve worked in custom shops that occaisionally wrapped file cabinets and desks to match the rest of the interior millwork. It would be pretty obvious to anyone what you did once they opened a drawer. It would never be considered ‘cheating’ unless you claimed to have built the unit entirely by hand. By the way, there ARE file cabinets manufactured in the 1940’s entirely of wood, even wooden compound slides. (the war effort made metal scarce) and I’ve seen quite a few still in use today.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View Richard's profile


1871 posts in 2111 days

#10 posted 08-07-2011 07:41 PM

I have seen it done and it looks great if you do it right but otherwise, not so good looking. Just take you time and it should look and work fine.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2271 days

#11 posted 08-07-2011 07:49 PM

I think we need to examine the word “cheating” and what it means to you.

My job is to solve problems that have wood in the solution. By “wood” I am including things like veneer, MDF, Melamine, and yes, even plastic laminate that sticks to wood.

For others, the job might be to solve problems only with wood from a tree (excepting, of course, the towering plywood).

Some think veneer is a lie because it, with its substrate, is not “solid wood.”

Drawing the line is quite personal. Once you’ve drawn the line, it’s easier to define what side of the line is “cheating” and what side is “playing by your rules.”



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View jerkylips's profile


273 posts in 1991 days

#12 posted 08-08-2011 04:44 PM

thanks for all of the feedback. The “is it cheating?” was tongue-in-cheek. I think it probably makes sense in my situation. We recently got ripped off by a local business to the tune of $4000+. L O N G story, but I’ll just say thank goodness for insurance. Anyway, the thing that saved us was having the paperwork we were given by the store, but I really had to dig to find it. It made me realize that we need to do a better job of organizing our stuff, so getting this done sooner than later is a priority. I think I’m going to pick up the cabinet, then I’ll have a little more breathing room to make it look good..

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