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
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
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 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
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
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