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 iambillyg on Mon May 06, 2013 10:16 am

It's come to my attention that I cannot stop buying flat files. Generally, the files I purchase aren't in pristine condition and could use a little work. It also seems that people here like seeing the process, from start to finish, of fixing/refurbishing a flat file. Due to that, I've created this thread.

I'll use this thread to post process pictures/info of my flat file ventures.

Here are a few that I've put work into so far:

BEFORE
Image
(Didn't have an actual photo from when they were picked up, but it was the standard Mayline grey.)

AFTER
Image

BEFORE
Image

AFTER
Image
Image

- - -

The Latest Project
Image

I'm currently trying to figure out exactly what I'd like to do with this project. I have no idea about color, handles, a base, casters, etc.

After completing the oak file from above, I sort of love being able to see what is inside the top drawer by having a 'window'. Due to this, I might work on cutting out the top to allow for a sheet of glass to sit on top. Unfortunately, this is generally easier said than done, so I'll have to see.

Thinking about color, I really like the cleanliness of my black flat file. It'd be nice to be able to just stack this one on top of it, without there being a color clash, however, that's a bit boring. If I'm going to go all the way by cutting out a whole in the top, I might as well paint it a cool color. I've always like Mondo's 'hot rod' red file, but I also don't want to copy that one completely. I've also been toying with pearl. We'll see.

Please feel free to contribute any advice, thoughts, or ideas here. I always love hearing the feedback you guys have to offer surrounding flat files and print care.

Cheers.
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Postby summoner on Mon May 06, 2013 10:35 am

A cutting wheel (a Dremel might have enough to get the job done) and a metal file to straighten the lines would cut a nice hole in the top. I actually thought about doing this when I saw this picture. It looks pretty close to what you are thinking. The key is to make sure there is enough structural support so that once the hole is there the flat file does not want to flex. As for casters, I saw someone actualy weld a metal ring, about 4"s wide around the bottom of the flat file and then weld/bolt casters to it. That may help with strengthening the flat file with a hole in the top as well.

Image

Image
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Postby Lukexxxi on Mon May 06, 2013 10:41 am

Been toying with the idea of cutting a hole in the top of mine, was probably your oak one that gave me the idea.

Looking forward to your progress, might give me a kick up the arse to do mine.
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Postby iambillyg on Mon May 06, 2013 10:46 am

summoner wrote:A cutting wheel (a Dremel might have enough to get the job done) and a metal file to straighten the lines would cut a nice hole in the top. I actually thought about doing this when I saw this picture. It looks pretty close to what you are thinking. The key is to make sure there is enough structural support so that once the hole is there the flat file does not want to flex. As for casters, I saw someone actualy weld a metal ring, about 4"s wide around the bottom of the flat file and then weld/bolt casters to it. That may help with strengthening the flat file with a hole in the top as well.

Image


If I could find a flat file like the one pictured here, I'd get rid of two of the three I currently own. I can't get rid of the oak one, but I really, really love how these look with the 1" drawers paired with the 2".
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Postby summoner on Mon May 06, 2013 10:50 am

^^^ Right there with you, but I think they are false 1" drawers fronts on 2" drawers though. Still, the look is bad ass...
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Postby postulio on Mon May 06, 2013 11:55 pm

That oak one is beautiful. Great stain job. I am in love with it....


I wish I could get one :drool: :drool: :drool:
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Postby Atlas on Tue May 07, 2013 12:12 am

Awesome work Billy. I am truly envious of that oak. A thing of beauty :heart:
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Postby Kramerica on Tue May 07, 2013 12:17 am

I think you should get into making frames. :wink:
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Postby Hahaajp on Tue May 07, 2013 12:18 am

All these flat files are beautiful! I really want to get one like the ones pictured above but I would probably have to do it myself and I have zero carpentry skills. :drool:
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Postby piratesprayer on Tue May 07, 2013 12:47 am

damn those flatfiles are gorgeous
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Postby time on Tue May 07, 2013 1:39 am

I'm still hoping I can convince you to make a drive out to LA for a show and bring along the next oak you refurbish for me to buy from you!
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Postby bruceyan on Tue May 07, 2013 1:57 am

Billy you got some serious refurbishing skills! When you gonna just do some custom pieces from scratch?
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Postby iambillyg on Tue May 07, 2013 8:43 am

Whoa, woke up to lots of comments.

Regarding the "carpentry skills", those don't really fall to me. I reached out to fellow EBer rockbridge for the wood work on the pictured files.

The black file:
- I picked it up off of craigslist along with three others after I first joined here. The story is in the Texas Crew Needing Flat Files thread.
- It had no top, and was just a slate grey file.
- I reached out to rockbridge to see if he could manufacture a wooden top for me, with slits on the sides of it, so it would fit flush, as the file had a protruding "lip" for other files to be stacked on top.
- With the top made, I then painted it black, along with the rest of the flat file.
- Rubbed a bit of carnauba wax on the drawer fronts for a slight shine.
- Polished up the stock handles.
- And done.

The oak file:
- I picked it up from local EBer keefdotorg.
- It also had no top, and was just a veneer file.
- I reached out to rockbridge again, to see if he could build a top that would allow for a glass in lay.
- Before dropping it off, I sanded the entire file down.
- rockbridge built the top and legs and then dropped it off.
- I chose a cherry stain at first, then decided I didn't care for it. Sanded the whole thing down again.
- I then chose a java stain, decided I hated it. Sanded it down.
- Finally settled on an espresso stain. -- This was the only stain that was an actual stain and not a stain/poly mix. For refurbishing large pieces of furniture, I'd stay away from those. Or just don't try to use them in Texas heat during the summer.
- I then reached out to a local company for a sheet of tempered glass.
- Went to LOWES and decided on hardware.
- And done.

So, yeah. No real carpentry skills, other than sanding and staining? But anyone can do that.
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Postby mliddell on Tue May 07, 2013 8:56 am

Thanks for the info. Looks great.
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Postby logan080502 on Wed May 08, 2013 7:11 pm

iambillyg wrote:
- - -

The Latest Project
Image

I'm currently trying to figure out exactly what I'd like to do with this project. I have no idea about color, handles, a base, casters, etc.

After completing the oak file from above, I sort of love being able to see what is inside the top drawer by having a 'window'. Due to this, I might work on cutting out the top to allow for a sheet of glass to sit on top. Unfortunately, this is generally easier said than done, so I'll have to see.

Thinking about color, I really like the cleanliness of my black flat file. It'd be nice to be able to just stack this one on top of it, without there being a color clash, however, that's a bit boring. If I'm going to go all the way by cutting out a whole in the top, I might as well paint it a cool color. I've always like Mondo's 'hot rod' red file, but I also don't want to copy that one completely. I've also been toying with pearl. We'll see.

Please feel free to contribute any advice, thoughts, or ideas here. I always love hearing the feedback you guys have to offer surrounding flat files and print care.

Cheers.


I have a very similar flat file fine is three 5 drawer files. The top one like yours can have the top taken off check if there are two small latches sitting flush underneath against the top you just slide them over and the top comes off.
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ISO HORKEY ROTK REG. CAN HAVE DAMAGE

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