File Cabinet Bench


I was in need of a file cabinet system in my office.  I am also in constant need of places to sit in the office.  I wanted the cabinet to double as a bench.

I found this old wooden crate at Goodwill.  It was $3.  It was only worth $3 as it was full of spider webs and didn’t have a lid and had obviously been used to hold soccer balls in the garage.

The thing it did have going for it was
a) it was solid wood
b) it was a great width and depth for a file cabinet.


After bringing it home, I cleaned it all off, and sanded it just a little bit.  It was never finished off properly, and was dried out wood begging for a coating.  After a light sanding, I primed with kilz and then went with a semi-gloss white that I had left over from my stair project earlier.

I then had Scott help me engineer how to go about making a hanging file system inside.  The tabs on the hanging folder are a bit tricky, and require something not too wide, or too round.  At Home Depot we were easily able to find a piece of steel that worked for our needs.  We made a few braces, and notches for the steel to fit into.

I don’t have picture of the process to make the top, as Scott gave me the top as a gift.  But, it is made from hickory.  The pieces were put together using a biscuit joiner.

The lid was then attached with a simple ‘piano hinge’.  These are a nice option because they come in a variety of lengths, and if you can’t find the right size, it can easily be trimmed down to a custom width for your project.


I love that this mostly looks like a hope chest / bench.
That all my bills and files are hidden away in a not so obvious place.