Steel Flat Files, Safco Flat Files, Safco Blueprint Drawers, Mayline C-Files - EngineerSupply

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Steel Flat Files

The ultimate in large document storage, steel flat file cabinets provide users with a lifetime of quality protection for flat documents. Metal flat file cabinets offer flat storage of large documents such as maps, blueprints, art storage, construction documents, building plans, x-rays, survey plats, posters, topographical maps, and more. Mayline Steel Flat Files and Safco Flat Files both are extremely durable and provide protection for your large documents. For the ultimate in blueprint storage solutions and archival, you should consider the time and money your organization has invested in producing those documents. Once you do, you realize that these storage solutions become very attractive more as an investment in the time spent producing your documents. Mayline storage cabinet line of C-Files and Safcos Metal Flat Files are built to last with excellent materials and limited lifetime warranty.

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Steel Flat File Features

Read our Helpful Article: Mayline and Safco Flat Files Explained



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5 Drawer Steel Flat Files

Flat files are perfect for storing a lot of documents while conserving space. Architects, designers, and engineers will love the ability to store thousands of files in an efficient yet durable set of drawers that’s built to last. Choose from a variety of colors and base sizes to perfectly complement your office and meet all your filing needs!

Facil Steel Flat Files

Safco Facil Steel Flat Files are high-performing and economical options for storing large documents. Chrome drawer handles allow for easy storage and retrieval of any oversized documents, including technical drawings, artwork, blueprints, posters, and much more. If you’re producing large quantities of documents, flat files give you peace of mind in storing them efficiently and safely.

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Understanding How to Store Flat Files

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.

We have a large variety of various sizes of flat file drawers made by Safco, Mayline, and Studio Designs. Steel Flat Files are basically metal cabinets with very wide and deep drawers designed for the main purpose of storing almost any large flat document such as construction drawings, blueprints, x-rays, artwork, and so on. Safco Flat File Drawers are the most popular selling and widely used. Some flat file models can be stacked as tall as three cabinets. Optional bases can be used to raise a flat file cabinet off of the floor and come in two types, one base being a 4 inch riser and the other a 20 inch stand, either base works well to elevate the cabinets making them easier to access and use. The 4 inch base is generally used underneath two flat file cabinets stacked on top of one another, while the 20 inch stand is generally used with only a single cabinet. Safco also makes various folders which help organize and protect your documents while stored in the drawers.

All products are factory fresh and new, and are packaged well for safe and reliable delivery. Lift-gate truck delivery is available if you do not have a loading dock, and inside delivery is available if you would like the cabinets delivered just inside the most logical door. Otherwise you would be responsible for unloading which many customers do as it depends on if you have the resources to unload or not. EngineerSupply is an authorized dealer of all brands we carry and sell. In business since 1999, we are able to get large cabinets shipped on time and safely to your location. For very large projects, contact us before placing an order and we can usually quote lower prices. Since we are a Premier Authorized Dealer for Safco and Mayline, we are able to get the best prices and shipping cost and we pass this along to you the customer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How deep is a filing cabinet?

Office filing cabinets are typically 28.5 inches deep with drawers that hold 27 inches of files. You can also find a metal filing cabinet with the following depths:
  • 26.5 inches with a 25-inch drawer depth.
  • 25 inches with a drawer depth of 23.5 inches.
Buyers who shop for price will inadvertently compare office filing cabinets with shallow and deep drawers.

How much does a filing cabinet cost?

A two-drawer filing cabinet will typically cost $20 to $150, while a five-drawer filing cabinet can be bought for $250 to $1,000. Two-drawer lateral filing cabinets will go for $150 to $6000, while five-drawer models will sell for $250 to $1,500. Office filing cabinets that are fire and water resistant will be the most expensive (with two-drawer models that sell for $1,000 to $1,500 and five-drawer units that go for $1,500 to $4,000).

Can I put a lock on a metal filing cabinet?

If you want to keep your documents safe, you'll need to install a lock on your metal filing cabinet. And they can be purchased at any home improvement store. The top drawer has a knockout, which is an oval-shaped cutout that you can remove by taping the center with a punch hammer. You can insert the lock cylinder into the hole, but make sure the bolt is facing upwards. Once the lock cylinder is in place, insert the key and turn it clockwise so the retaining clip is over the cylinder flush. Then, put the linkage piece into the bolt’s hole to lock it in place.

What are the different types of filing cabinets?

Some of the most common types of filing cabinets include:
  • Lateral filing cabinets
  • Vertical filing cabinets
  • Mobile filing cabinets
  • Flat file cabinets
  • Side-tab filing systems
  • Card file storage systems
Whether you’re looking for a flat file cabinet or some other office filing system, be sure to look at the broad selection we have at Engineering Supply.

How do I measure a filing cabinet?

The capacity of a flat file cabinet or any other filing system will depend on the number of drawers and their dimensions. For side-to-side filing, you want to measure the exterior dimensions from left to right. But for front-to-back measurements, you want to look at the interior dimensions of your drawers. Be sure to look at what we have at Engineering Supply, so you can find a flat file cabinet that’s right for you!

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