Dining Room/ Home Office {How to make a hanging file drawer with a Dremel}

I love hanging files, so when turning the Dining room into a Home Office space, hanging file drawers were a must.  I played around with my own design and measured existing file drawers in our house to come up with a plan.  I pinned some things I could purchase to attach to the drawer, but I wanted two drawers and I was looking at about $30, which was more than I wanted to spend.  And then Sandra over at SawdustGirl.com rescued me and published a post about how she made some file drawers and it was cheap.  That was the way I wanted to go, but the problem was that Sandra used a table saw to make hers.  And my table saw was still in a really big and heavy box in our garage at the time.

Dremel sent me some of their tools awhile back to try out and I decided to use the Multi-Max to make my hanging file drawer instead of the table saw.

Dremel multi-max

My drawers are going in horizontally so the files go from side-to-side rather than front to back.  The drawer dimensions are 14″ deep by 19″ wide (exterior dimensions).  If my cabinets were deeper, I would have made the file drawer deeper because getting them in and out works, but I can’t take them straight up and out because it would hit the drawer above it.  You can see that it sits right under the drawer above when fully extended.

DIY hanging file drawer installed

So here’s how I went about it.  Take your hanging file and mark where you should cut.

Mark hanging file placementTake your bar and make another mark so that you marked the width of the bar.  Double check that your marks on both ends will let the hanging files move smoothly (the files have a nice cut out where they hang on the bar–your lines should be right in the middle of that).

Mark width of metal bar for hanging filesThis is what I bought to use.  I bought two, and I think it was just under $9 for both.  This made two pretty good sized drawers.

metal bar for hanging file drawer

I used the wood blade that looks like a spatula and cut straight down on my mark.

First cut for hanging file drawer

Cut straight down a second time, but at the end I kind of went in like a “V” so that the bar would have a tight fit.  I had to make adjustments and carve out a little more to get it in there but they sit in there perfectly now.

Second cut for hanging file drawer

Ah, my nemesis the hack saw.  You will notice that the blade is rusty.  That’s because I haven’t used this thing since it got me good last summer.  It got thrown to the ground out by the garden and sat there overnight while I was inside trying my best not to pass out and deciding whether to go get stitches or not.  All went well this time and I used it to cut the metal bar to size.

hack saw

Hanging files are all done!  I think that Sandra’s way is quicker, but if you don’t have a table saw and you do have a Dremel, then you’ve got an option here.  A hand saw would also work, but I don’t have any really good hand tools, so that never goes well for me.

DIY hanging file drawer

I love them!!  Hanging files are tied for my number 1 spot of “can’t live without” products–right up there with Post-Its.  Any other hanging file fans out there?  What organizational tool can you not live without?  I can always use recommendations in the organization department :)

Build your own hanging file drawer

DIY Hanging File Drawer with Dremel

**You are really going to want to construct your hanging file drawer so that the front and back are sandwiched between the sides.  That way when you pull the drawer out, the force won’t pull off the front of your drawer.  In these pictures I only used glue and nails to construct the drawers, but decided once I had them in to put 3 or 4 screws in each side as well.  These drawers will get heavy and will need the reinforcement.

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About Pink Toes and Power Tools

I'm a DIY girl with a blog. Trying to complete one project before I jump into the next one!

6 responses to “Dining Room/ Home Office {How to make a hanging file drawer with a Dremel}”

  1. Cher @ Designs by Studio C says :

    Awesome idea, Kristen! The hacksaw is my nemesis, too. Even if I draw a line, I still cannot make a straight cut. I have Matt do it – it always works for him!


    • Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

      I’m not that good with the hand saws, they always want to fly off of my mark! I’ve tried a coping saw too, for crown molding and that experience wasn’t much better. They are a good workout though, especially when the blades are as rusty as the one in the post, lol! I was sweating once I was done with all 4 bars :)


  2. billlattpa says :

    I don’t think that many people put a lot of thought into the fact that file drawers work much better when mounted side to side. I have a file cabinet at work and sure enough, every time I open it all of the files would fly forward. Finally I stuffed a paper bag in front to keep it from happening. Great idea!


    • Pink Toes and Power Tools says :

      I’ve never thought of that before either, but generally I have them stuffed so full I don’t have to worry about the files flying forward, lol! I just knew I’d have more room for files side-to-side since I didn’t want any more depth in the cabinets, but you bring up a good point.


  3. Tracy Smith says :

    Oh man, now I’m gonna have to build some file drawers for my new office! :-) I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do. Pallet top for the desk – I also have some pine panels I could use… still thinking it through.. LOL


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