Flat files are essential for artists, architects, engineers, and anyone else who creates work on paper. Sheets of paper are easily damaged, and flat files protect them from wrinkles, folds, tears, dirt, and smudges. They are available in a wide range of sizes, from smaller cabinets which store 9” x 12” and 12” x 18” paper to larger ones which store 46” x 35” works. Most also stack, allowing for efficient use of space.
1. Safco Products Flat File
This flat-file cabinet offers premium steel construction and a powder-coat finish in any of 20 available colors, including basic black. Each drawer slides on nylon rollers designed with a quiet ball-bearing system, and stops keep the drawers in place. Up to 1,000 works on paper are protected from dirt and creases by a rear hood and a hinged steel flap in the front. The unit is modular, and up to five can be stacked. GREENGUARD certified, this cabinet is safe for classrooms, offices, studios, and homes. Choose from three large sizes: 36 by 24 inches, 42 by 30 inches, and 48 by 36 inches (this 42-by-30-inch version in white will accommodate all but the largest work). Bases are sold separately.
2. Scranton & Co Metal Flat Files
Scranton & Co’s flat file is a fortress for works on paper. Constructed of 22-gauge steel, the cabinet won’t get dented, and the five drawers will hold up to 50 pounds each. Drawers slide open and closed quietly on extra-strength rails with heavy side-roller assemblies featuring case-hardened steel ball bearings. Stops ensure that drawers remain in place when open, and rear hoods and hinged front depressors keep paper flat and clean. The museum-grade/archival-paint finish protects works on paper for long-term storage. GREENGUARD Gold certified, this cabinet is safe for home, studio, and office use. This 36-by-48-inch beast is ideal for galleries, conservation labs, and large working studios.
3. Advanced Organizing Systems
Flat files are expensive, so if you need a more cost-effective (and space saving) option, consider this vertical filing system. Each box comes with eight folders that can fit media up to 24 by 36 inches. The files slot in vertically and are made of rigid cardboard. While this is not an archival storage solution, you could always wrap your artworks in acid-free paper as a safeguard. The box measures 42 by 12 by 29 inches.
4. Childcraft Construction Paper Holder
Student artists are prolific, and educators need a reliable way to organize and store a lot of paper. Childcraft’s paper holder is constructed from birch, a hardwood known for its strength and durability. Compact and efficient, its open shelving holds 9-by-12-inch and 12-by-18-inch sheets. The sturdy shelves are spaced at 1.5-inch intervals and are removable. The cabinet’s stain-resistant finish is perfect for children’s messy art sessions. With GREENGUARD Gold certification, it is safe for use in schools and art centers.