Pimp My Flat File - Mayline to Streamline

Information on shipping, storing and repairing your art, plus your reviews on products for art collecting, making, storing, etc..
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predel1
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Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:52 pm

This is the first time I have posted here on EB.

I recently got into this hobby after the release of the Mondo Avengers prints. I eventually collected them all and since then had been storing my prints in between acid free foam core until they were able to be framed. You can see them posted here on the Mondo blog under "We've been framed" http://blog.mondotees.com/2012/11/13/we ... -framed-3/.

After that I was hooked, and kept collecting but then had to purchase a portfolio because I could not keep piling them in between foam core. I found this portfolio on Ebay with 5 extra sleeve pages. http://www.aswexpress.com/discount-art- ... 00000.html

Since then I have added another 10 sleeves and that now after 60 more prints, it is almost full. I, like most of you at some point, decided that it is about time to get a flat file. My issue with them is that I can't afford a new one since they get up in price around $1,000 - $1,500 new. Used ones are hard to find in good condition but even more difficult to find Perfect! In my situation my place is one big open space that I also use as a place of business. I can't just have this big hunk of rusty metal sitting around without a purpose besides to support my hobby I don't have the room.

It must be functional, practical, and look great as well. I after some research I found three companies that refurbish them:
http://www.steelsantos.com/flat%20files ... ge%20.html
http://www.retrooffice.com/vintage-stee ... table.html
http://www.etsy.com/listing/98907985/on ... 4AodlHoAow

The main issue with these is that they are still around $1,200 - $1,800 for a custom one and that does not include shipping. I don't even want to know what shipping cost are for something so large and weighs almost 100lbs. Shipped across the country from Cali to the East Coast is out of the question.

So I have decided to refurbish my own and this thread will be my journey to flat file goodness.

All input is great!
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SurfingJeff
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Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:55 pm

I've been following your progress on Facebook and am excited about the outcome. Looking forward to seeing the final product!
T.H.C.
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predel1
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Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:58 pm

After some brainstorming I decided that the only way I could use a flat file in my place would be to make it into a coffee table. I have an extra sofa in my place with nothing in front of it.

This was the Flat File Coffee table that I am sure most of you have seen online and this was my inspiration to get started.
flat-file-1.jpg
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jamesmassey1988
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Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:58 pm

Pete is a great dude. Can't wait to see how good this looks.
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dasponyboy
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Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:07 pm

Man your setup is amazing! Awesome frame-ups and even better pad! :clap:
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predel1
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Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:20 pm

Thanks Guys!

I was posting a lot about this in the "Poster Buddies and Traders" group on FB but I kept getting new people that had not seen my previous posts keep asking me the same questions. So, I decided to make a thread here and keep everything I add in one place that everyone can see. Not just the FB group. The main thing I keep hearing is I would like to know your process so I can copy it.

I will try and be as detailed and thorough about this project as possible.
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predel1
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Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:13 am

Step One - Vision

I believe in completely fleshing out my ideas before I begin any project that involves investing money into. So, first I did a lot of research on EB to see what other people have done. I saw a bunch of guys with awesome flat files and others that just had ones that laid flat. :D I got some great ideas and some what not to dos

Next, I looked at the space and where I want to put it. I used my space to help inspire me of what I would like it to look like. I really want the flat file to just fit right in and look like it was mean to be here. The only spot for it is in front of this sofa.
my place.jpg
I designed my place around the color theme of Red and Black, since those are the logo colors of my business. My place is also is an old firehouse with lots of exposed brick, cement, and steel. I have tried to add a lot of wood and carpet to soften the place up but it still remains pretty industrial. So this helped me decide between a Wood or Steel flat file. The obvious choice was Steel.

I first imagined simply getting a black Flat file, bolting 4 casters to the bottom, cutting a hole in the top, and placing a piece of glass over it. DONE!! Haha, I didn't have time to wait around for the perfect used Black flat file to come around for me to buy at the perfect price. After surfing the web for a few weeks, I realized I would be waiting months for it, or more and my collection was quickly growing past my Portfolio.

I needed to move quick, so I adjusted what I was looking for. My new standards were for it to be a metal, Mayline or Safeco brands, and in good shape. I then made the decision that since most of the files I was finding, were Safeco and grey that I was going to have to paint it. So I went wild with ideas that I fleshed out using Photoshop. I started by making it completely black and just making the inside Red
Coffee Table.jpg
But then I realized after a 24x36 print is in the drawer, not that much Red. will be visible I wanted it to be Black and Red.

I then thought that I could paint the drawers entirely Red. So instead of just the inside, you would see the Red from the front as well.
Coffee Table_v2.jpg
But when GF, who lives here with you here says, “NO more Black and Red!” you have to adjust your vision a bit. :evil:

Next I had to have a flat file that met my standards.
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halftonegraphics
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Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:19 am

Image

Maybe this, but do a red pinstripe around the viewing window?
I broke something today, and I realized I should break something once a week.. - Warhol

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predel1
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Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:58 pm

Step Two: - Buy One or better yet Find One

After two months of scouring Ebay, Craig's List, and local Ads I had gotten nowhere. Most were either too far away for me to pick up or were so far gone it was not worth repairing. All the while I had seen great buys in other areas and other people in our FB group talk about their great finds. I eventually gave up. I figured that it was just my area that didn’t have an excess supply of old / good condition flat files. Trust me I live in Baltimore and was looking as far as NYC to pick one up.

Then one day, after not looking at CL for about a month, I found one! Some guy about an hour away said he had 2 left and his photos looked like they were in pretty good condition. I got in my car drove up with a friend that day and out into the country. We thought it was a pretty weird place to have a flat files and we pulled up to a custom dirt bike shop. The guy came out and met us and told us that at one point he had 20 or more of them and they had been selling off quite quickly. I thought it was odd that this guy had 20 of them but I didn't ask any more questions. Who knows how he got that many of them? I just didn't want to become Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction. haha

Prior to going I had been doing some research and learned that the two best brands were Safco and Mayline.
- Safcos all seemed to be a bit newer and nicer looking but the metal was, from what I heard, a little thinner and more easily dented.
- Maylines were the better build but heavier and more expensive of the two. New that is. :)

He showed me the two he had to offer at $200 each and they actually were Safcos. What his picture on CL did not show were the back sides of these were pretty dented more than I was comfortable with. :cry: I thought it was a loss again. Then he told me that he still had a really old one in the trailer. :)

There it was. I guess in what he used to "Transport" the 20 flat files in. It was a Mayline. A double stack flat file Mayline to be correct. I don't think this guy knew what he had and I was not about to tell him. He wanted $200 for both stacked up including a lid and a base. What a deal, but my SUV could only fit one in it. I was designing a coffee table, so I had to choose one. One of the two was pretty rusted but the other was in great condition. The guy would not sell me the lid or the base if I only bought one of the two. This was no big deal because I thought I was going to have to cut a hole in the lid anyways.

We loaded it up. I pulled my back out trying to lift it into the car. The only way we could fit it in the car was to put it in with all of the drawers still inside. (NOTE: If you find a deal for one. Find a friend with a truck too. That way you can lift it in and place the drawers in one at a time.)

After we got it home and I placed it on a tarp to make sure it would not scratch the floor, I realized I was going to have to carry it out again to fix it up. :roll:

But here it is! I finally have one! :notworthy:
My Flat File.jpg
Here is what the inside of the drawers look like. Does anyone use these flaps? Are the archival at all? I have never seen anything like it but I consider it a bonus!!
Flat File Drawers.jpg
Finally I got a little excited and I wanted to see what it would look like with a print in it!! (BTW - The cheetah pillows are my GFs. Her Chihuahua humps the smaller one. hehe)
Flat File in front of Sofa.jpg
NEXT: Flesh out my ideas and research how to fix it up.
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iambillyg
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Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:56 am

Looks good, pringle. Subscribed.
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jlabbate
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Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:00 pm

Flat File Coffee Table..love it!
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felocin
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Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:08 pm

iambillyg wrote:Looks good, pringle. Subscribed.
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summoner
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Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:13 pm

Subscribed!

Also, I want to know where I can find a flat file like this with both 1" and 2" drawers in the came cabinet!

Image
Image Image Image
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predel1
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Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:23 pm

summoner wrote:Subscribed!

Also, I want to know where I can find a flat file like this with both 1" and 2" drawers in the came cabinet!

Image
After looking at it some more, there is a possibility that the top 4 drawers of this cabinet are actually still 2 with false fronts. If you look threw the glass that drawer looks a lot deeper than the first drawer would be.

A wild idea. I don't have time to to that. But how useful would a super thin drawer like that be anyways? How would you keep the prints down and stop them from curling up a bit? I would hate them being damaged when you open the drawer back up?
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jb518
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Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:33 pm

I'm loving this thread. I have a couple flat files as well that I traveled to Hartforad, CT from Albany, NY to pick up, so I know what you went through to pick this up. I can't wait to see the finished product.
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