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File Box for Index Cards Answered

For some time I've been searching on Instructables for how to make a file box for index cards. No matter what word order or word types I used, what came up was making stuff out of index cards, or other odd stuff.  But nothing that got me what I was searching for.

How to make a file box for index cards, needs to be basic & simple, not laser cutting (as don't have such).
However, do have a box cutter, packing tape, handheld power tools: circular saw, saber saw, drill, just no tabletop tools, & no way to make, & no room to put any tabletop for such.

I've looked at the Snap-N-Store collapsible index card file boxes, & have head/read by customer reviews that the snaps don't necessarily stay snapped.  I'm thinking if made w/cardboard or fiberboard (as the Snap-N-Store is) that something like corner brackets/braces (just not metal ones for wood)  can be used instead of snaps, & would hold together better.

The Snap-N-Store boxes I'm wanting hold 1000 cards ea, & for ea size of index card 3X5, 4X6, & 5X8

I just need some help for a pattern & building instructions. Can anyone do an Instructable for such so I can follow & make them?

Remember, I don't have, nor get access to, nor know how to use a laser cutter, or tabletop powertools. I just have handheld powertools of circular saw, saber saw, drill, & boxcutter, scissors & the usual handtools & hardware.



Yep, looked in ebay, & have a few on watch list.

However, I've seen cust reviews on Amazon saying that the snap parts don't stay snapped.

Then, I ordered on ebay a 3x5 index card box snap 'n store, & ended up with, solely by mistake, not the 3x5, but a snap 'n store utility cup ( I did get a refund, tho). Upon examination, the snaps are not any kind of snaps. They are a facade of snaps on a strip of cardboard that is barely glued on the outside of the "box", & the bottom has really no support to speak of, which pops out all too easily.

Now, considering that info, I wonder what the index card snap 'n store would really be like. No real snaps to speak of? Shoddy manufacture?

Has anybody here bought any of the snap 'n store index card boxes, & can give a review of them?



Steel with a hinged lid for $25.

Look on the internets for "recipe box", plenty of types and shapes that will fit index cards. A simple wood box can be done with just a handsaw and glue. Just use masking tape or rubber bands to clamp till the glue sets. Good luck.

Yah I've looked up that too, just not as thoroughly as the index card box.

Sure, the box part would be easy to make w/wood, but the lid seems to me to be a little trickier. I don't want the boxes to be too heavy & take up too much shelf space, while at the the same time, hold up to the weight of 1000 cards, which is why I looked up the Snap-N-Store, & considered making some out of cardboard/fiberboard, which is alot thinner, but can't be made with glue & screws like a wooden one can be.

I absolutely hate those cheap plastic index/recipe card boxes. The pop clasps just mangles the the first few front cards, & doesn't stay closed. The old sturdy metal ones just costs too much anymore, for the funds I don't have available.

There should be an extra solid space on the inside front of such plastic boxes, between the lid & the first card, so end up w/absolutely no mangled cards.

Besides, I like making stuff.

Not sure how good you are with 3D programs but in the 123D range from Autodesk you can even find a program to design with cardboard.

No need to make any drawings massively accurate, just use them as a "how would it look guide".

Plexiglass and perspex for example can be "glued" with a bit of acetone on the mating bits, it partially dissovles the plastic and when the acetone evaporated you end up with a very permanent connection.

Measure the size for the cards, add them up for row and column.

Add the thickness of the spacing meterial plus about 2-3mm for ease of getting the cards in an out.

Plenty of similar shaped boxes are available with building instructions, just pick one that you think looks good and adjust the dimensions to your needs.

That sounds great, Downunder, but I have no printer, & no money for plexiglass etc. We are on a low, semi-fixed income, & have be frugal in what we spend our money on.

I do have & can get plenty of free cardboard, as reg cardboard boxes, as well as cereal boxes. I've used the cereal boxes to make passable pressboard report covers. The only cost to me was the metal fasteners at a great price on ebay.

If made of cardboard, they'd have to be reinforced. I may have some wood to use, but not sure if have the needed types.

So, those are the additional limitations I have to work under.

I got my plexiglass as scrap from companies that produce advertising signs ;)

Small pieces usually go in their bin, so it might be worth to do some research for some local shop.

And you don't need a printer for the design, just get it together on the screen for reference, the dimensions are fixed for the spacers so you only need to write down the other dimensions.

No need to be totally accurate for the design drawing either ;)

As for cardboard and the strenght on a low budget:

Cardboard from cerial boxes or similar can be cut to shape.

Once all pieces ar done, double them ;)

Prepare a mix of strach and water so that it is like wood glue in the consistency, now add one egg white to the mix.

Use a brush or roller to "soak" the cardbord with it.

Put a piece of baking paper on the table and add a piece of cardboard, a piece of baking paper, cardboard....

Stack it up until done, press the execc glue out and keep a good weight on it for a few days - depending on the temps in your area.

Once all is dry use a knife to scrape the excess glue of the croners.

The finnished cardboard is very strong and if you glue the double pieces together it won't bend or kink easily.

Now, that sounds like something I could manage, Downunder.

However, not sure bout the plexiglass & acetone...nasty stuff. I've used acetone before in a number of projects, but nothing like melting plastic, & melting plastic is awful. I use to go by a manufacture of plastics on a section of the 205 freeway, on the bike trail there. Nasty, nasty, nasty. I had to hold my breath going past there.

Tho, the way you're describing layering the cardboard & baking paper (I'm assuming that is wax paper, or is it meat wrapping paper. You from England?) sounds good.

Does the starch, water & egg make a better glue than wood glue or paper glue, or does it just soak the material better? I'm assuming egg yolk would end up rotting, so best to use just the white as instructed?


It is just non stick paper that does not absorb water, does not matter if you call it baking paper, wax paper as long as it seperates the cardboard and does not stick to it.
The egg in the glue is for increased hardness and a better suface finnish, but you can try without first to see the difference and if you like it.