Milk Crate Filing Cabinet




Introduction: Milk Crate Filing Cabinet

Milk crates are abundant, cheap, strong, and made to a standard 12 inch inner width.
Standard filing folders are 11 and 3/4 inch wide, and have hooks that can grab the sides of the milk crate (after slightly modifying the crate)

All we need to do to make the crate usable for folders is cut two of the sides down, and remove the plastic fingers that stick out from the sides.

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need:

  • Milk crate. This can be 12in x 12in or 12in x 18.25in (inner dimensions)
  • Rotary cutting tool (a Dremel or something similar)
  • Rotary cutting bit (cutoff wheel, saw blade)
  • Calipers (optional)
  • Rotary sanding bit (optional, but recommended to smooth things out)

Step 2: Measure and Mark

You will need to mark where to cut the milk crate.

For a standard milk crate and filing folder you should cut 14mm below the top of the milk crate.

Make a mark on the inside of the milk crate on two sides. If you have a square milk crate, it can be any two sides. If you have a larger rectangular one, it should be the long sides (18.25in sides) which you mark and cut.

Step 3: Cut the Crate

Using the cutoff wheel, but the crate along the marked line, leaving some room at the corners to keep the crate's strength.

Step 4: Cut Some More

We now remove all of the plastic outcroppings like shown, leaving an inner rail on which our files will sit.

Step 5: Sand Sand Sand

Clear the remaining bits of plastic hanging on to the channel. It will make the file folders slide smoother.

Step 6: Finished!

Done! Enjoy your DIY filing cabinet!

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    6 years ago

    Great idea. Thanks for this.


    6 years ago

    Awesome, I had no idea that where the right size... and stackable is super bonus. Thanks for sharing.