i bought a 4-drawer legal file cabinet last week.

which may seem like a strange purchase, to those who know me. i certainly don’t work in a law office, and i already had a perfectly useful standard file cabinet.

but i didn’t buy it for files, legal or otherwise, but as comic book storage.

you see, comic books are often (usually?) stored by collectors in “long boxes” and “short boxes” (creative names, huh?) that leave much to be desired in the aesthetics department:

tasty, eh? and i must note this is my stack of boxes after filling up the new cabinet. so it’s obvious i’ve got a ways to go on the storage front.

anyway, i had read several articles, blog posts and forum posts concerning the use of filing cabinets for comic book storage. most, if not all, of these references suggested the use of metal filing cabinets (HON products seem particularly favoured in comic book circles, fwiw).

but i wanted something a little more attractive (and, to be honest, cheaper) than the standard beige or off-grey metal file cabinet. sure, they look neater than a haphazard stack of cardboard boxes. but neatness isn’t everything. as much as i appreciate functional utilitarian designs, i don’t particularly want to look at it day-in and day-out.

but i found that Office Depot had their house brand wood vertical file cabinet on sale last week at a price i could stand – so i decided to try one.

looks much better than cardboard boxes, doesn’t it?

after assembly (with far too many styrofoam fragments from the packaging getting in the way) and some experimentation (found the drawer bottoms needed reinforcement), i had an attractive replacement for three long boxes.

so, holding around 800 books or so (with room for a few more), i think this is definitely a success.

what i’m probably going to do is fill it with completed runs (stuff like Excalibur and the Robinson/Harris Starman) and random Silver Age books. based on experience with this one, i’ll probably add more cabinets as funds allow. as much as i prefer the aesthetics of the wood cabinet, i may be forced to buy metal ones (avoiding the reinforcing issues i ran into with this one).

happy reading, folks!

quote of the day:

“Storage is important. Whether it’s cushions you only use outside in the summer, or blankets that only come out in the winter, you’ve always got to think of where to store them.” – Anthea Turner


7 Responses to “i bought a 4-drawer legal file cabinet last week.”

  1. Nicole Says:

    hi how hard was it to reinforce those cabinets? my husband is looking for a way to get his comics out of his parents basement and store them in a presentable way. your idea looks good but you said the drawers need reinforcing? just curious. thanks!

  2. jhota Says:

    it wasn’t hard at all, though i do have access to a exceptionally well-equipped wood shop.

    the drawers don’t mount to the bottom – they ride in a routed groove around the edges of the drawer sides.

    what i did was cut panels from a scrap chunk of half inch plywood about three inches wide and long enough to span – tightly – the gap between the drawer sides. i then glued these panels to the underside of the drawer bottoms and used a brad nailer to tack them through the drawer sides.

    gave enough stiffness (particularly with the lamination effect from the glue) to keep the drawers from sagging in the center.

    i do wish the drawers were slightly deeper, though.

  3. Comic Book Storage Made Simple - Welcome Home, Nerd Says:

    […] Transform a legal filing cabinet into  a comics chest of drawers. […]

  4. Daniel Says:

    This is the same one, correct? http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/422322/Realspace-Premium-4-Drawer-Laminate-Vertical/

    And it holds about 200 comics per drawer?


  5. Ziat Says:

    I saw the Dawson line of Realspace and they fill up left to right, two deep opposed to side by side. I am going to buy one and place a reinforced steel rod that will go under the bottom of the press board of each drawer for extra reinforcement.


  6. Laurence Says:

    Superb website you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any message boards that
    cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get comments from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!

  7. Classroom Blog Says:

    Premium Offer 4drawer Vertical File Storage

    […] a presentable way. your idea looks good but you said the drawers need reinforci […]

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