I started out trying to buy something a simple product for my home office this week.  When I found that it didn’t work, I ended up building a replacement that is much better, and more my style, as well.

Part of setting up my office has been gathering all the accoutrements for my practice: office supplies and the like. I’m working from the Workantile coworking space part of my time. It’s a pleasant and social office space where I can go to write or work on proposals or research. But I can’t haul around all the stuff I need.  So I also have an office in the basement where I have my drafting table (which was once my Grandfather’s) and where I store all my books and catalogs and samples and files.

For business file storage, I have a plastic milk crate hanging file, and that works fine for letter size files.  But, for project files, with sketches on trace paper and the all the rest of the messy chaos that often goes with a work in progress, letter-size files are too small.  Trace is a 12″ roll, so it doesn’t fit nicely into a letter-size file without the edges sticking out, and with a hanging file, that’s just asking to be torn. In the past, I’ve used legal-size files, and that is what I’m doing now, as well.  Hanging files seem to work for this sort of thing, but I don’t have a legal-size hanging file so, I needed to get something.

My first attempt was to just buy something.  I figured I’d get a legal-size black plastic file crate to match the letter-size one I had for the other files.  But, after I got it home, I discovered that the ostensibly legal-size file crate was actually about a half inch too narrow. So that ended up getting returned. And I figured out a much better way to accomplish what I needed.

I also had an old metal wire crate that was about the same size, but it was about an inch too wide for the legal files to fit.  What I ended up doing was buying a piece of 3/8″ threaded rod and a few washers and nuts.  (The yellow paint on the end of the rod to identify what size it was turned out to match the remains of yellow paint on one part of the crate, as well.)  I just cut the rod in two, and put washers and nuts on each end to hold them in place.  Simple, effective, and even cheaper than the plastic one.