iambillyg's Flat File Refurbish Thread

Information on shipping, storing and repairing your art, plus your reviews on products for art collecting, making, storing, etc..

Postby chan011 on Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:04 pm

should be closing escrow soon. might steal this idea for a coffee table

well done
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Postby chan011 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:44 pm

whats everyone's opinion regarding wood flat file vs. metal flat file?
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Postby jimmybing on Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:04 pm

Wood all the way.
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Postby mcgraw23 on Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:24 pm

Depends on what you're looking for. I've got one of both and I feel more comfortable storing prints in the metal one but the wood looks a lot better IMO unless you give it the billyg treatment
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Postby shagdonk on Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:26 pm

I've got wood.
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Postby iambillyg on Wed May 21, 2014 4:51 pm

Been doing some painting the last few days.

Updates soon.
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Postby iambillyg on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:02 am

Image
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Postby jjbehren on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:05 am

Damn, cool.
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Postby iambillyg on Sat Feb 21, 2015 4:49 pm

Got started on another transformation today.

I've received a lot of questions from people about my process when messing with files, so I wanted to be as thorough as possible this time around. I'm trying to take as many photos and provide as much explanation as I can. If I don't cover something clear enough, feel free to let me know.

- - -

Starting Out / Prep.
I start by checking the file to ensure there are no major dents or deep scratches. If there are, these need to be taken care of first. For dents, you could use bondo, like you would with a car. It's pretty easy to use and a small amount can be bought at Wal-mart or automotive stores. For scratches, or rusted spots, you can sand those spots down and then spray them with a primer.

For sanding, it's best to purchase an orbital sander. Holding the sander flat down on the file tends to take a while to eat through the paint/rust. I've found it's best to hold the sander at a bit of an angle and move it in an up and down motion to eat way the problematic spots. Again, once you've sanded away the area, be sure to spray a primer on it. Rust sets in very quickly if you fail to do this.

Luckily, the file for this project was in very decent shape, so no sanding or dent popping was necessary.

I like to paint my drawers first, and then move onto the shell. The first step is removing the existing hardware.

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For the label holders, you only need to bend the flap back a bit. The metal on these is pretty thin, and can be broken off if you push too hard. Be sure to save all of your hardware and screws in a ziplock bag. It's very annoying to almost finish a project, only to be a screw or two short.

Next, you'll want to wipe down your file to remove any dust particles. Using a semi-wet rag, or Swiffer duster, clean out the one drawer you're going to work on. You can also use an air duster to spray it out. If you've used a wet rag, be sure to dry it off before proceeding to paint. I've had instances where I did not dry a drawer completely, rushed to paint, and it resulted in issues.

With your drawer wiped down and ready for paint, you'll need to clear an area for the painting to take place. I use spray paint, which results in a lot of overspray, so it's necessary to cover up anything you don't want to get sticky. I purchased a pack of plastic tarps from Hope Depot and sprawled them out.

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Here are two tarps down. They measure 9x12 and cover a good amount of area, however, I wanted to ensure nothing was left to chance, so I put up two more (one on each side). This resulted in the garage looking like a scene out of Dexter.

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Now that an area for the painting to take place has been set up, you can prep the drawer for paint.

In the last photo, you can see I have my drawer sitting on a box. The box is actually a cabinet, so I covered it with a tarp to ensure it didn't get covered in paint. It's necessary to have the drawer sitting on something because you want to point the paint can to where you're spraying in front of you, not angled down or up.

For the drawers, I chose to only paint the face of the drawers. The way I see it, the drawers will be closed 99% of the time, and when they are opened, they're going to be covered in prints, so paining the lining of the drawers seemed unecessary. Because of this, I used kraft paper and painter's tape to tape off the sections of the drawer I did not want the paint to go to.

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This is an angle inside the drawer. Even though I'm not painting the lining of the drawer, I still wanted to paint the entire 'face' of the drawer, including the inside of it. The painter's tape keeps the kraft in place so it doesn't shift.

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I wrapped the kraft paper around the drawer, to ensure overspray did not get on the bottom of the drawer either. You can use newspaper if you don't have kraft paper laying around.

As a precaution, I always cover the 'wheels' on the drawers. Even though you're not spraying paint close to this section, I cover them to ensure no spray gets on them and messes with their overall slide.

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Next up: Paint.
Last edited by iambillyg on Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby HLB98 on Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:43 pm

Thanks Billy.
Your work is awesome.
Looking forward to the rest of proces.
Hope to start working on one as well at some point.
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Postby natepachl on Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:49 pm

:lurk: This'll be fun
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Postby greedy21 on Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:53 pm

iambillyg wrote:This resulted in the garage looking like a scene out of Dexter.


:lol: Was my initial thought
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Postby nocomply on Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:32 pm

Great DIY thread.

For those with wood flat files, do you line the inside of the drawers with an acid-free barrier or just protect the bottom print that's in contact with the wood?
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Postby iambillyg on Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:19 pm

nocomply wrote:Great DIY thread.

For those with wood flat files, do you line the inside of the drawers with an acid-free barrier or just protect the bottom print that's in contact with the wood?

I have a sheet of acid-free glassine on the bottom of each drawer, and each print is inside an acid-free bag from Frame Destination.

Drafting up an update.
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Postby wonkabars7 on Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:23 pm

Billy, you look like you're on the set of Dexter.
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