Mayline Flat Files and Safco Flat Files Explained

What is a Flat File? Flat Files are used for both everyday document storage like working drawings, and long-term storage like archived blueprint storage. Flat file drawing storage keeps document secure and accessible. In this article I am going to outline and explain different options available for flat files to help you select the best product to meet your needs.

Flat files not only store documents but they protect them.What makes steel flat files unique is the ability to utilize vertical storage space. One flat file cabinet alone can accommodate up to 1,000 documents. So when multiple flat file drawers are stacked three high, a small amount of floor space can be used to store up to 3,000 documents. A Steel Flat file can hold almost any document such as maps, posters, newspapers, artwork, drawings, jacket covers, x-rays, fabric, proofs and blueprints. I have even had a customer use a flat to hold a precious rock collection. The possibilities are endless! Because of the diverse number of uses, many professional are able to utilize these large drawing cabinets for multiple purposes. Photographers, journalists, engineers, surveyors, offices workers, government entities, construction workers, just to name a few, all have special distinct uses for flat file storage.

The flat files come in three different sizes
• Small, for sheets up to 24"×36"
• Medium, for sheets up to 30"×42"
• Large, for sheets up to 36"×48"

Flat Files are manufactured by two main companies, Mayline and Safco.

A Flat File is typically composed of 3 units, the base, the top, and the flat file itself which houses the drawers.
• The Top provides a more professional look to a flat file system. It is optional but is recommended for the nice finished look it gives the unit. When selecting the top make sure that it matches the overall size of the drawers. The same top can be used for the same size unit regardless of the number of drawers it contains. Laminate tops were also added for a more professional appearance
• The Base supports the file there are 2 optional bases, the high base and the low base, each with pros and cons. The low base enables you to stack up to 3 flat files whereas the high base allows stacking only 2. The high base features a bookcase. This is good for storing books relevant to the drawings such as the specifications.
• Flat files come in 3 different sizes with two different drawer options, 5 drawers or 10 drawers. Both drawer options have the same outside dimensions the only difference is the size of the drawers. The interior dimensions for a 5 drawer flat file is 2” tall whereas the interior height for a 10 drawer flat file unit is 5/8” tall.

Flat File Capacity
Five drawer units accommodate up to 200 sheets per drawer. Ten drawer units accommodate up to 100 sheets per drawer. Both units accommodate 1,000 documents each.

Flat File Colors
Flat files come in multiple colors to fit into a wide variety of color schemes. The Mayline C-files are available in Sand Beige, White, Black, or Gray.

Drawing Protection and Organization
The drawers have a metal plan depressor on the front to insure that the drawings will lie flat in drawer. The drawers also feature a rear hood to protect the documents from slipping out of the back of the drawer and becoming trapped or entangled. These two features are just an example of how Mayline flat files can keep your documents flat and orderly. Each drawer also features a label on the front to help identify and quickly locate items in storage. Documents can be sorted in multiple ways chronologically, alphabetically the possibilities are endless.

Additional Flat File Options
• Locks are available if security is a concern. The optional lock makes sure only authorized personnel have access to sensitive documents. However many times flat files are kept in a secure (locked) room that also has fire protection.
• Folders are a good way to keep multiple plans in the same drawer organized. The folders lie flat in the drawer and open towards the drawer opening. They can be removed to keep documents sorted and together while not in the flat file drawer.
• Binding is another great way to keep related documents together and in the right order. Binding attached on one side and the document giving you the ability to flip through the pages almost as if it were a book. No need to worry about documents getting lost or out of order. The binding can be purchased in multiple sizes depending on the number of drawing that need to be bound together. The binding is also available in multiple colors so you can color code your documents.
• Drawer Dividers can be instead into the drawer of a metal flat file in order to partition it into smaller sections. The partitions attach magnetically in the drawer and will not affect the drawer’s ability to close.
• Dust Covers are available for maximum document protection. Dust covers keep dust off documents and must be purchased with the unit.

Please see specific product pages for Wood Flat Files, Steel Flat Files, Mayline Flat Files, or Safco Flat Files for more detail and specifications. For any additional question or for more information please call EngineerSupply.

Copyright 2008 EngineerSupply